A simples guide

Cheap car insurance for young drivers – tips and advice

There’s no getting around it, getting the cheapest car insurance deals can be hard– especially if you’re a young driver.

It seems harsh. You’ve saved hard to buy your car only to find that insuring it can cost as much as you spent on the pesky thing! But don’t lose heart… let’s look at some ways to get the cheapest car insurance for young drivers. 

Why is car insurance so pricey for under 25s?

Firstly, let’s talk about why insurance is so pricey for the under 25s. It’s not a vendetta, and it’s not because insurance providers are envious of your youth – the fact is that young drivers are much more likely to have an accident than other age groups. So that means they’re more likely to cost an insurer money.

According to the road safety charity, Brake, 17-19 year olds only make up 1.5 per cent of people that have a driving licence, but they're involved in 12 per cent of serious road accidents in the UK.

So there is good reason for the hefty price tag on insurance for a young driver.

CAR Prang

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Money saving tips

So let’s look at some ways to get the cheapest deal. Our top tips are:

Compare, compare, compare! And did we mention compare? Shopping around can save money on your car insurance, so use our quote page to compare different policies. You can be looking at a wide range of prices within minutes.  Simply click on ‘get a quote’ and enter your details. Quotes will be listed in price order, starting with the cheapest.

Try adding a responsible named driver to your policy. Older drivers with more experience are best but even adding another named driver with a low risk occupation could lower your premium a lot. It can even further reduce the premium if you add a third driver. But remember, only do this if they will actually be driving your car – you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the law.

Make yourself as attractive as possible to insurers.

We’re not talking elaborate hairstyles and designer jeans, there are a number of ways you can do this:

Consider security devices like alarms and immobilisers.

Where you park when not using your car can make a big difference, with street parking higher risk than a private drive or garage.

Can you reduce your annual mileage? – Less time on the road means less chance of a prang (a crash to you and me)!

All these things are well worth looking into when trying to bring those premiums down.

Don’t customise your wheels. No matter how tempting it might be to put your own stamp on your car… don’t. Put down the go faster stripes! In all seriousness – insurers need to know about any modifications made to your car. Even if you bought it already customised, and it was the previous owner who was the ‘boy racer’ not you, modifications will very likely increase your premium.

Look at your excess. All policies have an excess, which is the amount you must contribute towards any claim. If you are willing to add a voluntary excess on your policy too, your premium could go down. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of this. The pro of having a lower premium against the con of paying more in the event of a claim. It’s worth considering whether you will be able to afford the total of all the excesses in the event of a claim.

Consider ‘black box’ policies. Sometimes called telematics, a black box policy rewards good drivers. A black box is installed in your car by the insurer. The black box monitors things like your acceleration, braking, cornering and the time of day you drive. You’ll receive discounts for good (lower risk) driving, but be warned, your premium can go up with bad (higher risk) driving.

Try altering the wording on your occupation. When you compare policies try entering different words to describe your job. Some occupations will be considered a higher risk than others. There often doesn’t appear to be any logic to this. A PA might get a lower premium than a secretary… so it’s well worth a look. A word of caution though, make sure you only give accurate details that do describe your job. Telling porkies on your car insurance might invalidate the policy when you come to make a claim.

Avoid paying monthly if you can. Despite the obvious attraction of spreading the cost of your car insurance, most insurers will charge you extra for doing this. If you can afford to pay it all in one go, do.

Don’t assume less cover is cheaper. As we mentioned earlier when comparing insurance policies, make sure you look at the price of fully comprehensive as well as third party fire and theft and third party. It may be that the fully comp is cheaper and you have more extensive cover too. 

Types of cover

Let’s look more at your options for bringing those prices down. We’ll start with the different levels of cover available. The three main types of policy are:

Fully comp – comprehensive insurance means that your insurance provider should pay out for the damage to your vehicle if you’re involved an accident, whether you’re at fault or not. The costs of any repairs, or even replacing the car if it’s beyond repair (a write-off), can be claimed back on a fully comprehensive policy.  It will also cover malicious damage, fire, theft and any damage or injury you cause to someone else or their property.

So whether you reversed into a lamp post, or bumped into another car whilst squeezing into a tight parking space, you can claim on your insurance policy.

Third party, fire and theftthis type of policy does what it says on the tin. You’re insured for any damage to a third party (which basically means ‘another person’) in the event of an accident, and your own car is covered if it's stolen or damaged by fire but not against any other damage.

So say you have ‘a prang’ with another car and it was your fault, you can only claim for damage to the car you bumped into and any injuries caused to its passengers. Damage to your own vehicle isn’t covered. With this type of policy your own vehicle is only insured if it’s stolen or damaged in a fire.

Third party – these policies only cover third parties against damage caused by you in your car. You might get a couple of other things included such as driving abroad cover but it depends on the insurer – check the policy cover before you buy.

Third party can sometimes be cheaper to a young driver, and if your car isn’t too valuable, it could make financial sense. But then again, the risks are there and you could have an accident – only you can decide what’s best.

Don’t rule out fully comp

While we’ve already said that third party is often cheapest, you shouldn’t automatically assume that comprehensive insurance will be the most expensive option. Strangely, sometimes it isn’t the case. It does seem crazy that it could be cheaper to get a policy that offers more cover.

Final suggestions…

Before you go off and to start comparing prices there are just a few more things to be aware of:

Don’t just snap up the policy with the smallest premium. There are other things to consider than just going with the cheapest policy. Check what’s included in the policy you’re looking at and make sure it meets your needs. Some policies include extra benefits like windscreen cover, breakdown cover and motor legal protection. Other policies will offer these features (and more) as optional extras, but at an additional cost. Remember to check you’re getting all the cover you need.

Make sure your details are correct. Giving inaccurate information to reduce your insurance premium is illegal. If you are found to have given misleading information you could face criminal prosecution and your insurance could be invalid.

So once you’ve chosen the most suitable car insurance, click ‘Go to Insurer’ to buy the policy online. Make sure you understand all the details before you go ahead and buy it, so you know you have the right cover for you.

If you’re careful and go claim free, you can start to build up a ‘no claims discount’. No claims discounts (NCDs) give significant discounts to you as a reward for being claim free. It’s an ‘at fault’ claim free discount, not blame free, so remember you won’t be eligible if you make a claim and you were at fault. 

So hopefully you are now armed and ready to find the cheapest car insurance deal. Then you can spend the money you save on something much more fun.

smashed windscreen

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