UK car insurance is an increasing nightmare – particularly for the young driver?

boyracer

In general, in modern day “rip-off Britain” consumers are increasingly getting fleeced by suppliers whose prices are escalating at many times the rate of inflation, aren’t they? That is not more so than in the case of car insurance, where in general in just a decade it has escalated-up almost one-hundred-and- twenty percent, indeed? Nowadays, the motorist pays on average some 460 quid for their car insurance

However, car insurance is particularly steep for young drivers, starting keenly out on the road with a shiny new licence at the tender age of 17 or later, as any parent or grandparent, who forks-out to help them will tell you. Long gone are the days when a parent could simply add their teenager to their own insurance cheaply and take them out on spins for private lessons – now it is far too expensive and a long course with a driving school at eye watering cost, has become the norm?

Well, ‘learner’ specialist insurance is just about still affordable (say £100 per month, when the teenager is using your car and only driving under supervision), but as soon as the youngster gets a full licence or/and their own car (when he or she can drive willy-nilly), a year’s insurance can cost as much as their second-hand car (and certainly a couple grand or even much more), can’t it?

Now, car insurance companies’ quotes, work on a ‘risk’ basis and they rate young drivers as ‘high risk’ because the majority will have an accident in the first 2 two years [read the blog from last year “Young drivers in Britain – well past time for discrimination?”).

Some young drivers will be considered to be a ‘slightly lower risk’, when certain things are on their Quote application or NOT on their form. You see to pay less, they need to be ‘seen’ as not fitting the profile of high-risk young drivers!

This blogger is certainly no car insurance expert, but these are the things that should be considered in getting quotes for your young driver’s insurance:

  • Applying for Comprehensive insurance can be cheaper than Third Party Only, because they see the person as more responsible.
  • Adding a mature driver as an occasional user, who themselves have a ‘preferred job’, with their own car & insurance and no recent accidents or convictions [say like a driver experienced relative – particularly Mum or Dad] as a named driver can also help. Don’t add anyone else or let anyone else drive your car during the policy
  • Car kept off the road at night in a garage or driveway is a must.
  • As does not having or driving to, a part-time job.
  • Certain jobs are seen as higher risk for all drivers [like professional drivers, actors, pub & hotel workers, artists (but not illustrators apparently), a journalist, F1 drivers(!), etc], so if possible be selective in job selection, declaring even what is studied if in Full Time Education [if equally doing drama and geography, perhaps best to record geography as the course].
  • Offer to pay a substantial voluntary Excess fee [like say £500 or more] but you need to be able to raise it if ever needed. [Most don’t find it worthwhile making a claim for under £500 as any claim puts the next premium up, as well as losing no-claim discount].
  • Obtain, have fitted if possible and declare use of a dashcam as that is seen as being safety concerned.
  • Declare on the form that you will pay the insurance annually rather than by instalments as that shows greater commitment. Get your own insurance rather than be a named driver on a parent’s policy, so their no claims cannot be effected AND you get a substantially cheaper policy in the second year provided you keep accident & claim free.
  • Have a new car with modern safety features that is not too expensive as it is cheaper to mend, with a smaller less powerful engine, and is not seen as sporty [so no convertibles or sports cars nor 4x4s!] and never get modifications done – you need to be seen as a bit staid and not brash and overconfident!
  • Have a car with a factory fitted immobiliser or have one fitted.
  • Declare an annual low mileage [say under 5000 miles] and if that ends up in the policy taken out, then stick to it.
  • Don’t tell any lies which is fraud
  • Finally use one or more internet comparison sites to obtain quotes – Confused dot com is particularly good for car insurance.
  • Some companies aren’t on comparison sites though, so at the same time get a quote from them – like Direct Line, Zurich, and Aviva for example.
  • Be wary of some companies particularly if the quote doesn’t last for 30 days and don’t necessarily go for the cheapest but one that looks like it gives good reliable cover.
  • Understand that things go up and down even from day to day, so accept a good quote or try again a week later if there is nothing satisfactory that meets your needs/budget.
  • Check in full the policy documents of the one actually taken out, so you know the restrictions that are indeed included, since not all that you offered will be incorporated necessarily, or there may even be some you didn’t expect!
  • If anything changes during the policy tell the company but you may have to pay an extra amount or your policy will be void.
  • The discount on the first year of no claims can be up to a third so you might expect, if first insurance is say £1300 to be quoted just £867 in the second year provided you have had a continuing clean record and kept to the rules if you have had a ‘black-box’ fitted by the insurers (which monitors your driving).

 

To keep themselves and other safe and not become an accident statistic, young drivers should have some sensible rules such as:

  1. The car will be driven ALWAYS within the speed limits on ALL roads and in EVERY circumstance, without exception [If YOU are unsure always check the correct limit on your Satnav] (if you have one)
  2. The car will NOT be driven by anyone else except YOU, apart from those people you have insured as named drivers, and no other person is to obtain insurance on it]
  3. The car will NOT be used to show-off driving skills [YOU will of course drive sensible & CAREFULLY at all times BEFORE and AFTER your TEST]
  4. The car will NOT be used to provide a pseudo TAXI service for mates or friends [Whether payment is provided to you or not]
  5. The car will NEVER be used to carry more than FOUR people [especially if it only has 4 seat belts]
  6. The car will NOT regularly be parked in the ROAD at night so may have to be at a relatives [The insurance often requires it normally to be in a driveway or garage]
  7. The car’s DASHCAM (if available) must NOT be switched-off when it is being driven [The insurance is sometimes based on all journeys being recorded on video in the event of an accident]
  8. The car should normally carry only one or TWO adult people [If it is intended to travel with 4 people this should be with the prior agreement of your parents]
  9. The car should be maintained in accordance with the Owner’s manual [If still under manufacturer’s WARRANTY which will require that]
  10. The car will have no mobile phone used, whether hands-free or not, while driving, nor satnav application changes made [ALL mobile use or satnav entries have to be when the car is stationary and parked – that is the LAW]
  11. IF the car is involved in ANY motoring incident however minor YOU MUST inform your parents [It MAY then be necessary to also inform the insurance company]
  12. YOU must also keep in mind that:
  • the more PASSENGERS carried, the heavier the car load which affects the car-handling characteristics, so the more difficult it is to control the car
  • youth and driving INEXPERIENCE puts young drivers at increased risk
  • having good practical & TECHNICAL skills of driving can result in OVERCONFIDENCE
  • some new HAZARD situations are not immediately obvious to new drivers
  • driving after consuming any ALCOHOL or drugs whatsoever should ALWAYS be avoided
  • a high level of CONCENTRATION is required CONSTANTLY, and common distractions are mobile phones (texting especially), conversations with other passengers, eating & drinking, and using gadgets like satnav/radio
  • NIGHT/evening/early morning or tired driving increases risk

 

[Above all KEEP SAFE – many young drivers are impressionable adolescents, unwary, overconfident, and keen to drive at excessive speed, so are also very heavily involved in fatal accidents (statistics claim it is a quarter of all such accidents), so such kids are twice as likely to be killed as mature drivers].

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