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Everything you need to know about first time driver insurance

Before you take to the roads for the first time after passing your driving test, make it a priority to get a great deal on your new driver car insurance. Not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place. Because we recognise that insurance for new drivers can be an expensive business, we want to help you save money and find a deal that’s right for you.

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Why is car insurance for new drivers so expensive?

Young drivers of a student age who’ve recently passed their test are more likely to be involved in an accident. In fact, almost a quarter of all 18 to 24 years olds have a crash inside the first two years of driving. And drivers aged 17-19 might only make up 1.5% of UK licence holders, but they’re involved in 12% of fatal and serious crashes.

Of course, this isn’t your fault as a new driver, and you’ve had no opportunity to build up the no claims bonuses that will help you reduce your car insurance later in life. But there are ways to reduce the cost of your insurance.

Is a higher voluntary excess better?

In insurance speak, the compulsory excess on a policy (young driver excess or inexperienced driver excess) is the amount of money you’ll need to pay should you have an accident before your insurance policy kicks in. It’s set by the insurance provider.

Then there’s the voluntary excess on top of this, which you can choose. Increasing your excess to one that you can still afford could help to reduce your premium. But remember, if you do need to make a claim, you’ll have to pay the compulsory and the voluntary excesses together – so make sure you could afford the total.

Will adding another driver to my policy reduce the cost?

If you’re a new driver and share the vehicle with a more experienced one, adding this second driver might save you money. Because you’ll be spending less time in the car, your insurance provider could reduce your premium as you’ll have less chance of having an accident. Even an experienced driver with a good record who only drives occasionally could make a difference.

Just make sure you don’t put forward the other person as the main driver, if that isn’t the reality. This is known as 'fronting', which is a type of fraud and, at the very least, could invalidate your policy.

Are there any practical tips to cut the cost?

Well, the good news is there’s a number of things you can do.

Choose your car with care
While you might dream of owning a high-powered car, your insurance premium will be more affordable if you opt for a standard car with a smaller engine. For example, if you’re aged between 17 and 24, the average cost to insure an Astra would be £1,642.43** a year. Insuring a Corsa, on the other hand, will cost you an average of £1,391.23** a year – that’s a considerable saving. See our young driver’s report and cheapest cars to insure pages for more information.

Take an advanced driving course
Pass Plus is a short course that you take after your driving test. It aims to help with those areas of your driving that might not have been covered in your lessons, such as driving at night, motorway driving and all-weather driving. If you successfully complete the course, some insurance providers may offer cheaper car insurance.

Consider a black box policy 
black box, or telematics, policy uses clever technology to inform your insurance provider how you drive. A small device is fitted to your car, or sometimes you download an app to your phone, which measures when, where and how you drive. Your provider then uses this information to accurately calculate or adjust your premium. Drive safely and the reward could be cheaper car insurance.

Steer clear of modifications
Try to avoid adding unnecessary modifications to your car, such as alloy wheels or a spoiler. While you might think they’re a great idea, even the slightest modification will bump up your premium. Some insurance providers may even refuse to insure you.

Increase your car’s security
If you reduce the risk of your car being stolen, by fitting an immobiliser or alarm for example, your provider may offer you cheaper cover. Just bear in mind that you may have to speak directly with your insurance provider to get this saving.

Why compare first time driver insurance with

We independently compare over 100 of the UK’s insurance providers to provide new and young drivers with car insurance deals.

We’ll show you policies based on price, policy cover level, add-ons or annual or monthly payment terms – helping you compare policies based on your needs.

**All average price amounts based on data from August 2017 - January 2018. You may find a cheaper or more expensive quote based on your personal circumstances