Cheap car insurance for new drivers

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  • Compare prices on 169 insurance policies[1] to find the right cover for you
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[1] Correct as of June 2023.

Do new drivers need car insurance?

Yes – everyone driving a car on a UK public road is legally required to have car insurance. If you’re caught driving without insurance, you’ll be in serious trouble with the police.

What type of new driver insurance do I need?

If you’re looking for new driver car insurance, there are three options to consider:

  • Third party - this is the minimum level of insurance needed to legally drive on public roads. It covers the cost of compensating others for any damage or injury you cause to them or their vehicle. It doesn’t cover the cost of any damage to your own car.
  • Third party, fire and theft - this covers the cost of damage or injury to third parties, as well as your car being stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Fully comprehensive - this includes third party, fire and theft, plus any other damage to you or your own vehicle. Even though it’s the most comprehensive cover, it’s not always the most expensive. That’s because it’s more widely offered and tends to be taken out by the safest drivers.

How much is car insurance for new drivers?

How much you pay for your car insurance will depend on a number of factors, including where you live and what kind of car you drive. 

According to our data, drivers under 25 pay up to £1,672 a year for their car insurance[2]. This compares with up to £743 for drivers across all age groups[3].

It may seem unfair that new drivers have to pay so much more, but insurance providers consider inexperienced drivers a bigger risk.

[2] 51% of young drivers between 17-24 years old could achieve a quote of up to £1,671.33 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in June 2023.

[3] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £742.43 for their comprehensive car insurance in June 2023.

Why is car insurance so expensive for new drivers?

New drivers pay more for their car insurance partly because they lack experience, but also because they tend to be young drivers – between the ages of 17 and 24. 

Insurance providers consider young drivers more of a risk. This is borne out by statistics: government figures show that in 2021, a fifth of those killed or seriously injured in car accidents were in collisions involving a young driver.

Another thing that could bump up your premiums is the fact that, because this is your first policy, you haven’t had chance to build your no claims bonus. For every year you drive without making a claim, you’ll receive a discount on your car insurance. Although you don’t yet qualify for this, there are other ways you can save on your first-time car insurance.

How to get the cheapest car insurance for new drivers

Even as a new driver, there are ways to potentially reduce the cost of your car insurance. Here’s how: 

  • Compare quotes – you’ll have a better chance of finding a deal that suits your needs if you compare new driver car insurance quotes from different insurance providers. 
  • Buy a smaller car – you might dream of owning a sports car, but your insurance will be cheaper if you choose a standard car with a smaller engine. See our top tips for cheaper car insurance
  • Consider a black box policy – this is where your insurance provider monitors your driving using a plug-in device, app, or small black box under the dashboard. This tracks your speed, acceleration, braking, and location. Your insurance provider then adjusts your premiums depending on how you drive. If you prove you’re a safe driver, you could get a cheaper premium.
  • Share a car with a parent – adding a more experienced driver as a named driver can save you money. If you’re spending less time driving the car, your insurance provider may change your premiums to reflect this. 
  • Avoid modifications – don’t add unnecessary modifications, such as alloy wheels or spoilers, to your car as even the smallest mods can bump up your premium. Some insurance providers may even refuse to insure you. 
  • Increase your security – if you fit an immobiliser or alarm, your insurance provider may give you cheaper cover as your car’s less likely to be stolen. To find out more, talk to your insurance provider. 
  • Reduce your annual mileage – if you spend less time on the road, your insurance provider will see you as less of a risk and may offer you a cheaper premium.
  • Pay annually – if you can afford to pay for your car insurance up front, it’s usually cheaper than paying in monthly instalments.
  • Pay a higher excess – if you’re willing to pay more towards a claim, you’re likely to get a cheaper premium. But be sure you can afford the excess if you do need to make a claim.
  • Pass an advanced driving course – if you can prove you’re a safer driver, insurance providers may reward you with a cheaper premium. Advanced driving courses like Pass Plus show your insurance provider you have more experience, despite being a new driver.

What other first-time driver insurance options are there?

As with any car insurance policy, there are extras you can add to your new driver insurance. These include:

  • Breakdown cover – one of the most common extras. Most insurance providers offer breakdown cover as an optional extra, or you can buy it separately. Before you do, check you’re not already covered – some bank accounts include breakdown cover, as do many car dealership packages
  • Courtesy car cover – gives you a replacement vehicle if yours is being repaired
  • Personal accident cover – if you don’t have comprehensive cover, you might want to consider this. It allows you to claim compensation if you or your passenger are hurt in an accident
  • Windscreen cover – covers the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged windscreen
  • Key cover – covers the cost of replacing your keys or fob if they’re lost, damaged or stolen
  • Legal protection – helps with legal costs if someone makes a claim against you, or you’re accused of a motoring offence
  • Misfuelling cover – means you’re protected if you fill up with the wrong fuel.

Depending on the policy, some of these might already be included as standard. That’s why it’s always a good idea to compare deals so you can work out which is better value for money.

How long are you considered a new driver?

Different insurance providers have different views on this. However, a new driver is essentially someone who’s just passed their driving test and has no driving history. Once you start building a no-claims bonus, you should start to see your car insurance get cheaper.

What do our customers say?

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What do I need to get a new driver insurance quote?

To find your first car insurance policy, just fill in our online form and we’ll show you a list of quotes to choose from. We’ll need a few details about you and your car, including: 

  • Your registration
  • What you use your car for 
  • Where you keep your car 
  • Your annual mileage 
  • Where you live 
  • Your driving history 
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Why compare first-time driver insurance with Compare the Market?

We  independently compare  a wide range of the UK’s insurance providers, to provide new and  young drivers with competitive car insurance deals. 
We’ll show you policies based on price, cover level, add-ons and annual or monthly payment terms, helping you compare policies based on your needs. 

We compare prices for 169 car insurance products[1]

Get a quote in just 6 minutes[1]

51% of young drivers could achieve an annual premium of £1,672[2]

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Correct as of June 2023.

[2] 51% of young drivers between 17-24 years old could achieve a quote of up to £1,671.33 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in June 2023.

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Author image Julie Daniels

What our expert says...

“The make and model of car you drive also has an impact on how much insurance you pay. Each car is assigned an insurance group from 1 to 50, with the cheapest cars to insure falling into the lowest groups. So, if you’re a new driver, it’s worth bearing this in mind when choosing your first car, to help keep your running costs down.”

- Julie Daniels, Motor insurance comparison expert

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between compulsory and voluntary excess?

Your compulsory excess is the amount of money you pay towards a claim. The insurance provider decides how much this is.

A voluntary excess is an additional amount you can choose to pay. Increasing your excess could help reduce your premium. But if you do need to make a claim, you’ll need to pay both the compulsory and the voluntary excess, so make sure it’s an amount you can afford.

Is a higher voluntary excess better?

A higher voluntary excess could help you to reduce your car insurance premium. But remember – you’ll have to pay more if you make a claim.

What’s a no claims bonus?

A no claims bonus is a discount you earn for every year you drive without making a claim. You can start to build up a no-claims bonus from your first year as a qualified driver. The longer you drive without claiming, the bigger your car insurance discount could be.

You can protect your no-claims bonus – this allows you to make a certain number of claims each year without it affecting your discount. You’ll have to pay extra on top of your car insurance to do this.

Is it better to pay for my car insurance monthly or annually?

Paying annually usually works out cheaper than paying monthly. This is because you’ll likely have to pay interest on monthly payments. But paying monthly can be helpful if you’d rather spread the cost, making it easier to budget. New drivers may find this the easiest way to manage their finances, as their insurance premiums may be very expensive.

If you’re 17, you can’t apply for credit in the UK, so you may need to find a rolling one-month contract. If your birthday isn’t far off, one option could be to buy temporary insurance, say for one month at a time, then applying to pay monthly when you can.

Find out more about monthly vs annual car insurance.

Do driving courses reduce the cost of insurance for new drivers?

Doing advanced driving courses that you can take after passing your test - for example Pass Plus or IAM RoadSmart – may get you a discount on your insurance, but it’s not guaranteed.

Can new drivers go on their parents’ insurance?

Yes. If you’re a new driver and can’t afford your own car or insurance, your parents can add you to their policy as a named driver. That means you’re covered to drive their car, with the same protection they have. However, this is likely to increase the cost of their policy.

What’s fronting?

Car insurance fronting is when an experienced driver (often a parent) tries to cut the cost of their child’s insurance by claiming to be a car’s main driver – even though it’s their child doing most of the driving.

If you’re found guilty of fronting, you could face a substantial fine and six points on your licence.

Page last reviewed on 12 JULY 2023
by Alex Hasty