Car insurance

Young Drivers' Car Insurance

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What Sort of Car Insurance Is Right For You?

Before you begin shopping for policies, you need to know what sort of car insurance policy is best for you. Different types of policies have differing levels of cover, and it's good to know this information before proceeding.

There are three main levels of cover to choose from when you compare car insurance with; third party, third party fire & theft and fully comprehensive.

Third Party Car Insurance

Third party is the absolute minimum cover you need to drive on the road in the UK: This cover protects against damage you may cause to other people and nothing else. This includes injuries to pedestrians, other drivers and passengers, damage to property as well as damage caused by caravans and trailers you might have attached to the back. Third party insurance is often thought of as the cheapest level of cover but this is not always the case and it's important to compare the various policy options to ensure you're getting value for money.

Third party cover can be suitable if your car is old and of low value, especially if any repair work would work out more expensive than the value of the car. However, if you're driving something a little more expensive, it might be worth considering other options.

Third party, fire and theft car insurance

This is the next step up after third party car insurance. Third party fire and theft (sometimes called TPFT) provides protection for third parties, as well as cover against fire damage and also against theft. Should you be at fault in a crash, TPFT will not pay for repair work to your car, so this cover may not be the right choice if you cannot afford to replace your car should the need arise.

Third party fire and theft can also be suitable in many cases for young or inexperienced drivers (or those with a little no-claims bonus) as it affords them a decent amount of cover, however it is still worth comparing against a fully comp deal as you could find the cost is actually cheaper than TPFT.

Fully comprehensive car insurance

Comprehensive insurance covers all the aspects previously mentioned, but also covers you, as the policyholder, against medical expenses, damage to your vehicle, personal accident benefit and damage to or loss of personal items inside the car. Comprehensive cover is the most complete cover you can get, although you should not assume that all comprehensive policies are the same.

For example, some companies will include a courtesy car, extra legal cover, no-claims protection, European driving cover and more - always check the small print of your policy as most of the things mentioned above can be added for a small extra cost

If you're a young driver looking to insure your first car,you probably already know that young drivers face some of the highest car insurance premiums around. What you may not know, is that there are a few things you could do to bring down the cost of car insurance in your first years on the road.



Ways to save money on your insurance

1. Carry on learning by completing the Pass Plus course

Insurers and brokers – including the AA – offer substantial discounts on car insurance to newly qualified drivers who have completed the Driving Standards Agency's Pass Plus course.

The course consists of six practical modules designed to improve your experience of:

  • driving in town
  • driving in all weather conditions
  • driving out of town
  • night driving
  • dual carriageways
  • motorway driving






2. Understand why insurance is expensive for young drivers

A look at road accident figures helps explain why insurance premiums are so high for young drivers.

Five facts about accidents involving young drivers

  1. 1 in 5 drivers are involved in a crash during their first year on the road
  2. male drivers aged under 21 are 10 times more likely to have a car accident than male drivers aged 35 or over
  3. young drivers have a higher proportion of crashes at night than older drivers
  4. 1 in 8 British drivers are under 25, but a quarter of drivers who die in traffic collisions are in this age group
  5. In 2007, 40% of passengers killed or seriously injured – meaning lost limbs, paralysis, brain injury and other life-changing injuries – were in a car driven by a young driver*

Being aware of the risks that come with being an inexperienced driver can help you to think about how you can improve your driving.

3. Concentrate on earning a no-claims discount

If you drive safely by following the Highway Code and staying within the speed limit you will reduce your chances of being involved in an accident. By avoiding accidents you will improve your chances of earning that all important no-claims discount when you come to renew your car insurance.

4. Choose a car in a low insurance group

 In the UK every new car is assigned to a car insurance group from 1 to 20 (although the insurance industry is phasing in a new 50 group scheme to give more accurate banding of cars).

A car's insurance group is based on how much the car is likely to cost insurers per claim. Cars in group one represent the lowest cost for insurers, so the lower the insurance group a car is in, the lower your insurance premium is likely to be.

As a young driver it makes sense to look for a car in a low insurance group if you want to pay a lower premium. You can search the ABI database to find the insurance group for a car your interested in, or to find cars in a particular insurance group.

5. Improve your car security

 Thinking about the security of your car could help you reduce your premium. Things to consider:

Where your car is kept overnight

If you can, the ideal place to keep your car is in a locked garage. If this isn't an option, your car is best kept off the street.

Security devices

It may be worth considering additional security devices for your car. Your insurer can advise on approved security devices. Devices which may attract lower premiums include:

  • alarm/immobiliser systems
  • high security door and ignition locks
  • mechanical immobilisers
  • glass etching – etching the registration number to vehicle glass
  • a visible VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) which can be seen through the windscreen acting as a further deterrent to thieves

Remove valuables from you car

Take the stereo, sat nav and valuables with you when you lock your car.

6. Don't modify your car!

Fins, spoilers and other extras may look good, but if you modify your car it's likely to mean a higher car insurance bill.

7. Compare like with like when buying car insurance

 When you're searching for a policy, make sure you compare like with like. Two car insurance policies with the same price may not offer the same level of benefits, so it's always worth checking to see whether the policy covers everything you need.

If you think you've found a bargain, always look closely at the detail, particularly at any compulsory excesses which you would have to pay when making a claim. What looks like cheap car insurance could actually be expensive if the excess is more than you can afford to pay.

As a young driver you could find car insurance that's right for you with companies such as AA Car Insurance.