How to get car insurance for young drivers
Driving can be pretty expensive when you first start out. The average car insurance premium for a 17-24 year-old now stands at £1,197***.
Switching car insurance is a great way for young drivers to cut the cost of their premium – you could save up to £257** by choosing a better deal. Here’s what you need to know about young drivers car insurance, including car insurance for 21-year-olds.
***51% of young drivers between 17-24 years old could achieve a quote of up to £1197 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in March, 2022.
**Premium Drivers Report, April 2022.
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Why is car insurance for young drivers so expensive?
Car insurance for young drivers is costly because there’s a far bigger risk of them crashing (particularly those under the age of 25) – meaning they present a bigger risk to insurance providers.
It’s estimated that one or two in ten new drivers have a crash within the first six months of passing their test. And around 10% are caught committing a driving offence in their first two years, according to a 2018 Department for Transport report.
One of the biggest benefits to older drivers is that a clean driving history rewards them with a no claims bonus. But, if you’re a young driver, you won’t have had a chance to build one of these, as you simply haven’t been on the road long enough. Unfortunately, if you’re a young driver, experience is one of the biggest ways to get cheaper car insurance, and so we’re sorry to say that you’ll need to drive safe and be patient.
How will a black box policy affect my car insurance?
Black box insurance, aka telematics insurance, can help you save money on your young driver insurance. A little box fitted to your car lets your insurance provider monitor your driving – from the way you corner, to your speed and braking. If the data shows you’re a safe driver, your insurance provider could offer you a reduced premium.
To qualify for lower insurance premiums, some telematics providers may limit your mileage, or restrict the hours during which you can drive (night driving, for example). A penalty may be imposed if you don’t stick to the limits. For that reason, it’s a good idea to compare policy restrictions as well as the price.
How can I get cheaper car insurance as a young driver?
There may be ways that you can keep your insurance premiums in check. Think about:
Driving well: Penalty points and speeding fines could result in a higher premium, so drive carefully. Also, remember that if you get six or more penalty points in your first two years of driving, your licence will be cancelled.
You could consider a Pass Plus driving qualification, which may help lower your premium by showing your competence as a safe and skilled driver.
The type of car you own and its value: The value of your car, and even the model, can affect your insurance. If your first car is a new, high-powered or luxury vehicle, your premium will most likely be higher. While a more basic model with a smaller engine might not be what you want, it could save you money in the beginning.
Extra security: Fitting an alarm or immobiliser reduces the risk of your car being stolen, making you less of a risk in the eyes of insurance providers.
Avoiding modifications: From an insurance point of view, popular modifications such as a new spoiler or stereo system put your car at a higher risk of being stolen. Some insurance providers may refuse to insure cars with modifications, while those that do might charge a significantly higher premium.
Limiting your mileage: Limiting the amount of time you’re on the road will reduce your risk of having an accident and could help lower your premium. Your insurance provider will want to know your annual mileage, so try to keep it as low as possible. Make sure it’s accurate though. A false mileage count could invalidate your policy.
Paying upfront: If you can afford to, it’s a good idea to pay your yearly insurance in one go. Monthly instalments often end up costing more because you’re likely to be charged interest.
Adding an experienced named driver to your policy: This is a legitimate way to bring the cost down. But you have to make sure you don’t give false information about who the main driver is. This is known as ‘fronting’ – a type of fraud that may invalidate your policy. It’s also important to be honest in all other information you provide, such as where the car’s kept.
Opting to pay a higher excess: The excess is the amount you have to pay towards a claim. Opting to pay more can bring down your premium, but you need to be sure you can afford the excess if you have to claim on your insurance.
Shop around: Young drivers who shop around can make savings on their annual premium. If your car insurance is up for renewal, the best time to look at switching to another provider is three weeks before your policy end date.
There’s no need to do all the legwork yourself. When you automate your car insurance with AutoSergei™, he’ll let you know if there’s a better deal available before your renewal.
What types of car insurance are available for drivers under 25?
There are three types of cover to consider:
- Third party insurance – the most basic level of cover you need to drive legally. It can cover you for any damage to another person’s vehicle or any injury you cause to someone else as the result of an accident.
- Third party fire and theft insurance – in addition to the above, your vehicle could be covered if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.
- Fully comprehensive insurance – includes all of the above, but could also protect you as a driver, and will pay out for damage to your car.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get added upgrades or additional cover as a young driver?
Even as a young driver, you can add plenty of extra cover options to your policy:
- Breakdown cover – avoid the nightmare of breaking down in the middle of nowhere and having nobody to come and rescue you. Breakdown cover can get you back on the road as soon as possible.
- Personal accident cover - if you or a passenger are killed or seriously injured in a car accident, personal accident cover can pay out compensation. This type of cover is often included with comprehensive insurance policies, but make sure to check and add on as an extra if you need to.
- Motor legal protection – if you’re involved in an accident and you need to take legal action against the other driver, or someone decides to take action against you, motor legal protection can cover your legal expenses.
- Lost keys cover – losing your keys is a nightmare, because it’s not only really annoying, but nowadays it can be expensive. If you’ve lost your keys or think they’ve been stolen, lost keys cover can pay towards the costs of replacing and reprogramming them. This can sometimes be included in a comprehensive policy, so check if you’re already covered, but add it as an extra if you’re not.
- No claims discount protection – if you’ve done an amazing job of building up a long no claims discount, then you can save a lot on your car insurance. To avoid losing that great discount, you can add no claims discount protection to your policy, so you don’t lose it if you end up making a claim.
- Windscreen cover – even small chips and cracks can lead to more serious and expensive problems. If this isn’t included as standard on your policy, seriously consider adding it as an extra.
Can I save money by adding another driver to my policy?
As a young or first-time driver, it could be worth adding a more experienced driver to your insurance policy. As long as they have no previous claims or convictions, it may help reduce the cost of your premium.
Just make sure you’re named as the main driver, otherwise it will be seen as car insurance fronting which, at the very least, could invalidate your policy.
Will a driving course help reduce the cost of insurance?
Possibly, yes, as passing an advanced driving course helps prove that you’re a safer driver and a lower risk of making a claim, which can be rewarded with cheaper car insurance.
If you’re interested in taking an advanced driving course, you can find out more about them here.
How much voluntary excess should I pay on my car insurance?
Choosing a higher voluntary excess could be another way of keeping car insurance costs down for the younger driver.
Just make sure you can afford to pay both the compulsory excess set by the insurance provider and your chosen voluntary excess, if you need to make a claim.
Can you negotiate the price of car insurance?
Yes, and you may as well give it a try. If you’re not happy with the quote offered, there’s no harm in negotiating the price of your car insurance. This can be a good idea if you’re renewing with your existing provider, as the best deals are normally reserved for new customers. While it sounds crazy, you don’t often get rewarded for loyalty when it comes to car insurance. So, if you feel like you’ve got the gift of the gab and fancy trying your luck, give them a call and haggle away!
To improve your chances of getting a better deal, it’s good to be prepared. Have all your documents handy, and have a good idea of the other deals that are available to you. That’s where we come in with our comparison service.
If I’m not driving my car for a while, does it still need to be insured?
Provided your car is on the road, it needs to be insured whether you drive it or not. If you’re not going to be driving your car and you don’t want to pay tax or insurance on it, you need to declare it off-road by making a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). You can do this via the DVLA.
Once you’ve declared your car off-road, you can’t drive it on a public road and you’ll need to park it on your driveway, in a garage or on private land.
I am driving less due to the coronavirus pandemic, what can I do?
Driving fewer miles is one way that you might be able to save money on your car insurance, but this can vary and depends how significant a reduction it is you’re making. If you think it might be enough to make a difference, you should get in touch with your car insurance provider.
When does car insurance get cheaper for younger drivers?
Typically, car insurance gets cheaper when a driver turns 21. Even at 21, you’ll probably find your premium is considerably more than an older, more experienced driver’s. So it’s still worth shopping around to see if you can find cheap car insurance for 21-year-olds.
Will I be charged if I make changes to my policy?
If you need to update your personal details with your car insurance provider, they may charge an admin fee to update your account. This varies between providers, and you should find these details, including how much it could cost you, in your policy documents.
If there is a cost, but you need to update your information, you’ll still need to let your insurance provider know. If you don’t tell them about moving house or getting a new job, then you run the risk of invalidating your policy.
Where can I compare car insurance quotes for young drivers?
Right here at Compare the Market. We independently compare a wide range of the UK’s most trusted car insurance providers to offer young drivers competitive car insurance deals.
Compare car insurance for young drivers today and see if you can start saving.
What our expert says...
“Car insurance for young drivers is rarely cheap, but scrimping on cover isn’t always the best the way to save. You could go for the minimal cover offered - third party insurance - to comply with the law. But it's definitely worth investigating other options such as telematics, going for a less powerful motor or simply resisting the temptation to pimp your ride, while sticking with comprehensive cover to keep costs down."
- Kate Hughes, Insurance expert
What do I need to get a car insurance quote?
Just tell us a bit about yourself and your car, including:
- some personal details – your age, address and job
- your car registration number
- how you use your car – for work, leisure or commuting – and how many miles you drive in a year
- your driving history – any convictions, accidents and insurance claims in the last five years
- details of any additional drivers you want on your policy.