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Young driver costs fall by over £700 in one year

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02/03/2020
For young drivers, the overall cost of getting on the road has fallen by £775 over the last year, research has shown.

The total bill for a new young motorist learning to drive, and then buying, taxing and insuring their first car is now £6,071 on average, down from £6,846, according to analysis by GoCompare.

The comparison site put the drop down to drivers spending less on their first car and insurance premiums for young people falling.

The average policy for a 17-year-old driver has plummeted by nearly 50% in seven years, from £3,392 in 2012 to £1,737 in 2019.

The introduction of telematics insurance, which requires drivers to fit a black box in their car, which then monitors and rewards them for safer driving, has helped lower costs, GoCompare said.

The findings also show that a growing number of first cars are now bought using a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) or leasing deal.

While most first cars (62%) are still bought with cash from savings or parents, 16% of parents said their child’s first car was bought using PCP or it was being leased and just 10% purchased the car with the help of a personal loan.

Young drivers spend an average of £3,562 on their first car, a fall of £714 from 2018 and 42% of parents have contributed or intend to contribute towards buying their child’s first car.

Lee Griffin, chief executive of GoCompare, said: “At around £6,000 the cost of getting a new driver on the road is a substantial drain on teenagers and their family’s finances.

“Car insurance for younger drivers is still expensive compared to those with longer safe driving records. Statistics show that the type and cost of claims for newly qualified drivers are more expensive for insurers to settle, hence the higher premiums. However, there are some simple steps young drivers can take to try to keep their premiums as low as possible while staying on the right side of the law.”

How young drivers can cut the cost of insurance

Choose a sensible car

Insurance will be cheaper if you drive a standard car with a small engine and no modifications.

The average premium for a young driver insuring a Range Rover valued at between £3,400 and £3,600 is £2,736, while a Peugeot 108 of a similar value would cost £802 to insure – that’s a £1,934 difference.

Consider a higher excess

This will probably lower your premium but weigh up whether you’d be able to contribute more towards the cost of a claim if you have an accident.

Select a telematics policy

If you prove you are a safe driver, your premiums can come down faster than with a traditional policy.

Do you need those added extras?

Some policies will include extras such as a courtesy car, legal assistance and key cover as standard or as add-ons, but they’re never free. The cost will be built into the premium, so you could save money if you remove them.

Add a safe driver

Adding another named driver with a clean licence and several years claim free driving can reduce a young person’s policy. This is totally legal and is different to ‘fronting’, which is when you falsely name a parent or more experienced motorist as named driver to cut costs. This is illegal and could leave both offenders with a criminal record.

Drive safely

Avoiding accidents, fines and penalty points will all help keep your premiums lower.

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