There once was a time when new drivers used the same methods as their parents to insure their first cars. Before the advent of insurance comparison sites, a phone call to your local insurance broker was the only way to get cover.
The industry has matured a lot since then, but the cost of car insurance has ballooned – especially for young drivers. Passing your test at 17 or 18 years old is a cause for celebration, but the average cost of car insurance has now crept above £2000 for this age group. Ouch .
Luckily, comparison sites now offer drivers the chance to skip straight to specialist young driver policies built for shedding the ‘L’ plates. Here’s what you need to know about young driver car insurance.
Black box insurance remains one of the most popular types of young driver car insurance. It works by tracking a driver’s technique using GPS and satellite technology – factors like speed and the smoothness of your driving contribute to setting the car insurance premium.
This arrangement allows young drivers to continue to learn in the months and years after passing their driving test. Safe driving is rewarded by a welcome saving – it allows young drivers to prove they are more than just a statistic.
Choosing the right car
For young drivers, the make and model of a car can make a huge difference. That’s because cars with large engines are considered high-risk when a young driver is behind the wheel. To boost safety and cut costs, it is better to choose cars with small engines – like the Volkswagen Polo 1.0, the Seat Ibiza 1.0 and the Kia Picanto.
The value of the car – and its parts – also matters, because powerful and expensive cars cost more to repair and replace.
Adding a named driver
Once you’ve found a great young driver insurance policy, there are ways to bring down the cost even further. People of all ages are benefiting from carefully choosing job titles, but adding a named driver is particularly useful for young drivers.
Consider adding a second driver to the policy – usually someone older, like a parent. Their years of experience can help to balance out a young driver’s inexperience, sometimes saving hundreds of pounds.
Take care to always stick to the rules, though. Never lie about the main driver or switch the roles – this is called insurance fronting, a type of fraud. It can invalidate your insurance and will possibly lead to a conviction.
Setting your excess
Every car insurance policy comes with an ‘excess’ – that’s the amount you’ll pay in order to make a claim. This comes in two halves: one is compulsory, while the other is voluntary.
In general, the higher you set your voluntary excess, the cheaper your car insurance will be. Tread carefully, though – set your excess too high and claims may not be worthwhile.
Choosing the right insurer
Put simply, some insurers just cater to young drivers more than others. This is why it’s so important to compare quotes before you purchase a policy – the potential savings can reach into the hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
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© Patrick Vernon 2019