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Young Drivers Insurance.
Passing your driving test is a tremendous feeling as it provides you with the freedom and independence to go where you want whenever you want. This tremendous feeling is amplified when you have your own car!
Once you’ve got your own set of wheels and are ready to take to the roads, finding car insurance cover could be the one thing holding you back, as brokers can quote extortionately high premiums for younger drivers, sometimes quoting prices which are more expensive than your first car!
The reason why brokers often quote such expensive policies for young drivers comes down to the number and cost of claims that are made by this age group. Statistically speaking younger drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident than their older counterparts, making them high risk and therefore more likely to make a claim. In addition to higher premiums, the size and cost of a claim involving a young person tend to be higher than that of older drivers. This is because many claims made by younger drivers involve high-speed collisions and there are often multiple passengers in the car, thus making the combination of damage to the vehicle and other vehicles involved, alongside personal injury costs result in costly claims for brokers to resolve.
There are a number of ways to lower your insurance premium, the most significant of which are listed below:
1. Car Group
The car group to which your vehicle falls under would be Young Drivers Insurance and this can be fundamental to the price of your premium quotation. Every car registered to drive on UK roads falls into one of 50 car insurance groups, which take into account the make and model of the car, its performance, the cost of repairs, its security features, how desirable it is to thieves, and lastly how often particular car models are involved in accidents. So when buying your precious first car as a younger driver, it’s a good idea to choose a car from a lower group as this will make your premium lower.
If you are a young driver looking to renew your policy but have since been penalised with a driving conviction, expect quotations to be costly. It seems obvious, but do your best to avoid speeding and other driving misconduct, as such convictions can add as much as 10% to your quotation. Once more, if you are found guilty of a serious offence such as drink-driving you could see an increase of 50% or more. You might even find it difficult to obtain cover at all.
Generally speaking, the lower your expected annual mileage the lower your premium as you lessen your likelihood to make a claim. However, drivers must be cautious not to exceed their expected mileage, as this could invalidate your policy
The policy excess is a sum of money your insurance company requires you to pay towards the cost of making a claim. To reduce your insurance premium, you can opt to pay a higher excess than the compulsory excess demanded by the insurance company.
Although it is important to make sure you can afford to pay the combined (compulsory plus voluntary) excess should you have to make a claim.
5. Claim free driving
If you have not claimed on a previous car insurance policy, you can build up a no-claims discount (NCD). The NCD can discount up to 70% off car insurance quotations for young drivers after five consecutive claim-free years.
6. Level of Cover
Three types of motor insurance exist: Fully Comprehensive, Third Party, Fire & Theft and Third Party. Opting for a more basic level of cover can be the cheapest option for young drivers; however, you should always compare all three policy types as some brokers will offer good deals for fully comprehensive cover.
7. Policy Extras
If you opt for comprehensive cover, brokers will often automatically add policy extras to your premium such as legal expenses, courtesy cars and breakdown cover. If you do not wish to have these additional services included in your policy the quotation prices will often be lower.
8. Payment: Monthly or Annually?
Although it is tempting to purchase Young Drivers Insurance in monthly instalments, more often than not spreading the cost of cover over 12 months rather than paying the whole premium in one go will work out to be more expensive.
If your car has an alarm, immobilizer or tracking device this will lower the cost of your premium as it makes your vehicle more difficult for thieves to steal. Premiums can also be lowered if you are able to park off road overnight either in a locked garage or in a driveway.
10. Enhance your driving skills
The Driving Standards Agency’s Pass Plus course is aimed at newly qualified drivers and could earn a reduction of up to 35% on the cost of car insurance for young drivers as it is seen that having these extra skills will reduce the statistical likelihood of an accident.
11. Adding ‘named’ drivers
As a young driver you can reduce the cost car insurance by adding more experienced drivers to your policy as ‘named’ drivers. This reduces the cost because the insurer assumes that the car will be driven by a ‘safer’ driver at some point.
Automatically renewing your policy each year is not advised, as brokers do not necessarily reward brand loyalty to young drivers, so it’s always best to shop around online.
Teenage Drivers: Build Habits to Help Your Pocket
First-time driver insurance plans are almost mythical in cost. In 2015, first time drivers paid £2,322 on average – and that was a reduction over the previous 6 years. The reason for this is the assessment of risk by insurance companies. With young drivers having a reputation for being reckless, arrogant and accident-prone on the road, you end up paying the price. But, if you’re a young driver, and build good habits to keep yourself out of accidents, your rates will keep dropping and you could help out future generations, too.
Instructors and Parents
Before young drivers even take the wheel, however, it’s arguable that the first step is with the teacher. Your first instructor will often be the meaningful; if driving students are taught good habits, then youths behind the wheel can be placed in good stead to keep those habits up. If you have formed bad habits, however, there are plenty of driving apps available on the market that can assist you with gently breaking your bad behaviour.
Once you’re qualified and comfortable behind the wheel, a great way to get better at driving is to challenge yourself behind the wheel. This can take many forms; from bad weather driving, to getting yourself on the motorway, to performing a bit of masochism and getting yourself into rubbish parking situations. These all sound like bad ideas, but if you put your mind to it and set out with getting better in mind, you’ll do well.
Cyclists can be infuriating for drivers, but it might do you a world of good to walk a mile in their shoes. When you’ve just learned to drive, the temptation can be to drive literally everywhere – and understandably so. You need the practice and challenges, as outlined above, and it’s new and exciting. From time to time, though, try and pick up a bike or another small vehicle and experience their world for a day. The mindfulness can transfer over to your driving and make you less likely to collide with someone.
Reducing Your Premium
The benefit of all of this, of course, is the reduction of your car insurance premium. Some courses – like the Pass+ – will immediately get this down, and are a great way of developing your driving skills. You can also always carry over no-claims bonus to new insurers, meaning that the benefit of your careful and learned driving will be of benefit in the long run.
Driving is scary, exciting and you can easily take it for granted, especially when new. Use these tips to keep yourself safe on the road and to help your pocket in the long run – every hour spent behind the wheel, behaving properly, will pay dividends in the future.
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