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Cost of getting young drivers on the road falls

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
03/04/2017
Spending less on a first car combined with lower insurance premiums has seen the cost of driving for young people drop by more than 10% in the last year.

The cost of getting a young driver on the road has fallen from £6,455 in 2-16 to £5,733, an 11% decrease, according to Gocompare.com.

The drop has been attributed to a significant reduction in the amount of money being spent on a first car from £3,685 last year to just over £3,000 this year, although this is still a lot higher than the typical £2,477 spent on a first car in 2009.

The comparison site also found that the average cheapest car insurance premium for a 17-year-old has dropped by £41, taking it down to £1,994 from £2,035 last year. But the cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old driver still constitutes one third of the total new driver bill.

As such, more than half of parents surveyed (53%) said the cost of car insurance is a major concern and 12% said their child has delayed getting a first car specifically because of the high price.

After safety, the cost of car insurance is parents’ biggest concern when their child is learning to drive and 30% said that the cost was far greater than expected.

The survey of 1,000 parents revealed that three out of five (59%) feel the insurance industry should do more to help young drivers and the same number describe young driver insurance premiums as a ‘rip-off’. More than half of parents (51%) also believe that high insurance premiums play a major factor in young people driving without insurance.

Matt Oliver of Gocompare.com, said: “The cost of car insurance makes up a significant proportion of the cost of getting a young driver on the road, so it’s good to see that the average premium for 17-year-old drivers is continuing to fall. However, it remains to be seen whether recent changes to the personal injury discount rate, or Ogden rate, will reverse this trend over the next year.

“While many people feel that young drivers are treated unfairly when it comes to insurance premiums, unfortunately, statistics show that newly qualified drivers are more likely to have an accident. These accidents also tend to be more serious in nature, resulting in more expensive claims – hence the higher premiums.”

Young driver tips to keep premiums down

Gocompare.com list these top tips to help young drivers keep the cost of motoring down:

Choose a sensible car – Young drivers’ insurance premiums will be lower if you drive a standard car with a small engine in a low insurance group. It may not be a supercar but it makes sense to drive something smaller and slower until you’ve built up some no claims bonus and have shown a safe driving record. Also, avoid cars with modifications, as they can push the price of insurance up.

Consider opting for a higher excess – This may lower your premium but you will need to decide if paying a lower premium is worth the risk of having to contribute more towards the cost of a claim if you have an accident.

Thought about a ‘telematics’ policy? – Some policies require your car to be fitted with a ‘black box’ transmitter and others do a similar job with a smartphone app. In both cases the idea is that your driving is monitored by the insurer and your premiums can come down faster than with a traditional policy if you prove to be a safe driver.

Added extras – Consider whether you really need added extras such as a courtesy car, legal assistance, breakdown cover and key cover. Some policies include these types of cover as standard or as add-ons but they’re not free – the cost will be built into the premium so you may be able to save money by removing them or choosing a different policy without all the bells and whistles.

Adding a safe driver – Adding another named driver with a clean licence and several years’ claim-free driving to a young driver’s policy could reduce your premium. This is one way a parent can help their child to get lower premiums without breaking the law.

Drive safely – By being careful on the road you will avoid accidents, fines and penalty points, all of which will affect your insurance premium.

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