Young drivers – those between the ages of 17 and 24 – make up only 1.5% of the UK’s driving population, but are involved in 9% off all serious and fatal road accidents, according to the road safety organisation Brake. This causes the cost of young driver’s insurance to rise.
Even allowing for those serious and fatal road accidents, almost a quarter of drivers aged between 18 and 24 crash their car within two years of passing their driving test, says Brake.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that many insurers are more than wary of extending cover to younger drivers and do so only after loading such policies with high financial costs. Here at GSI Insurance, we aim to take some of the sting out of those punishingly high costs for younger drivers, but there are still further ways you might want to help yourself.
- Drive carefully
It may be an obvious piece of advice, but it really does help to keep careful driving uppermost in your mind. Not only is this a way of reducing the risk of injury to yourself, your passengers and other road users, but also the risk of damage to your car and the insurance claim which follows.
Just one accident or one claim might knock you back and leave you paying even more for the young driver’s insurance cover you need.
- Don’t drink and drive
Another seemingly obvious piece of advice, but one that remains especially pertinent when you are young and want to get out and about to enjoy yourself.
Avoid any temptation to get behind the wheel after you have been drinking however, by designating another qualified driver who might take it in turns to avoid the alcohol when you go out together.
The ways in which insurers are able to assess the motoring risks they cover grow more and more sophisticated. The on-board, real time monitoring provided by telematics is just one illustration.
For the younger driver in particular, this technology gives you the opportunity to demonstrate to your insurer that you are driving safely or abiding by any curfew on driving hours that might help to reduce the cost of your premiums.
- Level of insurance cover
Something that is going to stand you in good stead throughout your driving career is an appreciation of the different levels of insurance cover that are available.
If your car is relatively old and of low value – unlikely to cost a great deal to replace rather than repair – you might want to opt for the most basic level of third party cover (the minimum legal requirement).
For a little extra security, you might instead choose third party, fire and theft, but for protection against other forms of accidental damage to your vehicle, you are going to need comprehensive insurance.
You might want to keep in mind the fact that even though some levels of insurance cover may provide less protection, they are not always cheaper.
Tempting as it might seem, you must avoid using the name of a more mature and experienced driver for a car that you are going to be using most of the time.
This is known as “fronting” – a deliberate act of deception as far as your insurance company is concerned. Not only is it a crime itself, but is almost certain to invalidate your insurance cover and leave you guilty of the further offence of driving without insurance.
Further reading: Young Driver’s Insurance Guide