With no track record built up over the years, new drivers can find it difficult and expensive to obtain insurance for their first car. The excitement of owning a vehicle can be tempered by the deflation that comes with seeing how much it costs to arrange cover. So, rest assured you’re not alone if you’re trying to figure out how to get cheap car insurance for a new driver.
Why is it expensive?
All car insurance is based on risk. Research shows that almost a quarter of serious traffic accidents involve drivers under the age of 25. For that reason, it’s hardly surprising that this group pays the highest premiums.
As time goes by, drivers who prove their skills by avoiding accidents get the benefit in the form of a no-claims bonus that makes their policy cheaper. A new driver, who has never owned a car before, has not had the opportunity to do that. So, until they can prove themselves, they will be charged a higher premium.
Cars are placed in categories (groups), depending on the make and model, as some are more likely to be involved in accidents and are more expensive to replace. The best option is to buy a vehicle in a low risk group and build up a record of safe driving. That will make premiums cheaper when you eventually splash out on your dream car.
Keeping costs down
Start with the type of cover. There are two main options. The first is referred to as third party, meaning that your car is not protected. This is the minimum legal cover you need to drive in the UK and it protects you if you damage someone else’s property or injury them when you are driving. It covers your passengers as well.
This insurance does not cover damage to your own vehicle or property, so if you damage your car, you won’t receive compensation from your insurer.
As the name suggests, comprehensive cover is total protection. It will pay out the cost of repairing your vehicle as well as any damage you cause to others. These policies can provide other benefits too, such as legal cover, a replacement car, and optional extras including breakdown cover and windscreen replacement.
Once you’ve decided on the type of policy you want, the task is to get the best cover possible within your budget. If you’ve opted to take out a comprehensive policy, one way to trim costs is to exclude some of the extras. Start with the ones you need least. Each option you remove from the policy will bring the premium down.
Another way to maximise cover without cutting corners is to agree a voluntary policy excess. This means you’ll pay more towards any claim you make. If you opt for an excess of £100 and claim £1,000, the insurance company will take off the excess and pay you £900. The higher the excess, the lower the premium, as it means you can’t claim for any minor damage.
One other way to help bring the cost down if you’re a young driver is to add a parent to your policy. Provided they’ve got a good driving record, they’ll get cheaper premiums and this will bring down the overall cost of the policy. Don’t be tempted to name them as the main driver if they aren’t though as this is deemed to be fraud.
Renewing the policy
The good news is that by the time you come to renew the policy in the second year, the premium should be lower if you’ve had no accidents and you haven’t been convicted of any driving offences.