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First car insurance

Make sure you’ve registered your vehicle and sorted out your car tax and insurance before you hit the road. 
Here are a few tips on how you might get a cheaper first car insurance policy and how to successfully register your new ride. 

Make sure you’ve registered your vehicle and sorted out your car tax and insurance before you hit the road. 
Here are a few tips on how you might get a cheaper first car insurance policy and how to successfully register your new ride. 

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
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Posted 16 DECEMBER 2019

What do I need to do before hitting the road?

Before you get behind the wheel in your new car, you’ll need to register the vehicle, take care of vehicle tax, and get car insurance.

How do I register my new car?

If you’re buying your car brand new, you may find that the dealer will register the car for you. That’s one less thing to worry about. You should then receive a V5C registration certificate in the post, which is usually referred to as the ‘log book’. If the dealer doesn’t do it for you, don’t worry, you can do it yourself via the DVLA website (www.gov.uk) or you can visit the Post Office.

If you’re buying your car second-hand, the process is a bit more complicated. The seller needs to complete section 6 of his or her V5C form. This is called ‘new keeper or new name/new address details’. Both you and the seller then need to sign section 8. Finally, they should fill in section 10 ‘new keeper supplement’ and you take this section away with you.

After that, they pop the amended V5C form to the DVLA in the post and you should receive a new one in return.

This can take anything from two to four weeks, so don’t panic if it doesn’t arrive straight away. If it still hasn’t arrived after four weeks, you can find a V62 form called ‘Application for a vehicle registration certificate’ on either the DVLA website or in a Post Office. If you send this, along with the V5C supplement that you received from the seller, it will prevent you having to pay a new registration fee.

How do I apply for vehicle tax?

You can apply for vehicle tax online via the DVLA website with either your new V5C form or the section 10 slip of the V5C you were given by the seller. Entering these details along with the vehicle registration will allow you to get your tax in place. For the future, it’s a good idea to add a recurring reminder to your phone’s calendar, so you always know when your tax, insurance and MOT are due. 

Why is first car insurance typically more expensive? 

Insurance providers decide on their premium prices by looking at the risk posed by each category of drivers. Unfortunately, statistically, young drivers of a student age are far more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers over the age of 25. In fact, just under a quarter of all 18-24 year olds crash within two years of getting their driver’s licence.  

Also, remember that the car itself might be expensive to insure, so it’s worth checking out our guide to the cheapest cars to insure.

Furthermore, AA research shows that while one in eight British drivers are under the age of 25, they account for a quarter of all accidents.

How can I get the cheapest insurance quote for a first car?  

You may be able to get cheaper car insurance as a new driver by:

  • Comparing first car insurance quotes – you might not want to go with the first insurance quote that you find. By comparing various insurance providers with us you could get a more competitive price.
  • Choose the car that suits you best – the market value and type of car you buy could significantly affect the premium you’ll pay. If you opt for a new, high-powered or luxury car you’re going to be quoted some very high premiums. A more common, standard model with a smaller engine might not sound as glamorous, but it could save you money on your car insurance until you’ve clocked up some driving experience.
  • Increasing your voluntary excess – in insurance speak, your policy excess means the amount of money that you would need to pay in the event of any damage to your car before your insurance policy kicks in. There are a few sorts of excess. The insurance provider may set a compulsory excess, but there’s also usually an additional voluntary excess on top. You can decide to have no voluntary excess, so you wouldn’t have to pay for anything over the compulsory excess if you were to make a claim. However, your premium could then be higher. Another type of excess that might apply to you is a young driver excess, which is usually applied to drivers under 25. Just be sure to read the T&Cs so you know what’s included in the premium.
  • Adding security features – improving security on your vehicle might help lower your premium. Even something as simple as an industry-approved steering wheel lock may make a difference. If you can afford it, investing in an immobiliser or alarm might be an option. If you have the option, parking on a drive could also help to lower your premium. Just bear in mind that you might need to speak directly with the insurance provider to accurately reflect the security measures taken in your premium.
  • Avoid modifying your car – while you may love the idea of modifying and adding extras to your car, insurance providers don’t tend to be so keen. They want you to stick to your factory specifications and could refuse to even quote you a price. Those that will insure you, could charge you more.
  • Restrict how much you drive – the amount of time you’re on the road obviously reduces your risk and, with it, possibly your premium too. Most insurance providers will ask you for a mileage limit, so set this as low as you think you can comfortably achieve. Just make sure you’re being truthful – if you make a claim and you’ve considerably underestimated your mileage, you could end up with a void policy.
  • Driving well – if you make sure you drive well from day one, it could lead to lower premiums. Your premium will increase if you start to get penalty points or if you have an accident. But if something does go wrong and you do receive some points, make sure you tell the insurance provider. It could affect your premium, and might invalidate your policy if you don’t make them aware.

Is telematics insurance a good idea for first cars?

If you’re a careful driver, then yes, definitely. Telematics car insurance involves the use of a black box, a gadget placed in the car, or an app for your phone that relays details of how you’re driving to your insurance provider. If you drive well, they could reward you with lower premiums.

We know that insuring your vehicle for the first time is expensive. Compare car insurance in minutes to see if you can find a great deal.

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