Get an old head on your young shoulders when shopping for cover
You may think you have more chance of finding the Loch Ness monster than getting a cheap deal on car insurance as a young driver.
In fact, you’ve probably got more chance of buying a car than actually being able to afford to insure it.
It’s a familiar story for drivers aged between 17 and 25, with premiums in their thousands. Striking on a deal on nice used car may seem like a piece of cake compared to trying to get an insurer to slash their insurance rates.
Of course, insurance providers feel they are justified in charging much more for young drivers as statistics tell them they are more likely to be involved in an accident or be the victims or theft or vandalism.
But, don’t despair, because there are a few steps you can take to cut the cost of car insurance for young drivers.
Be a good driver
Okay, it may seem like a no-brainer, but driving well will keep you out of harm’s way. However, your insurer isn’t going to take your word for it, especially if you’ve only just ditched the L plates.
But there is a way for your insurer to monitor your driving with the help of a small computer you can have installed in your car. This is known as telematics and means the insurance company will be able to assess your driving across a range of criteria, including your speed, braking, overall handling of the car, when you drive and on what roads your drive.
A policy which includes telematics is usually one which you pay monthly, so your premiums can be adjusted according to your driving. Of course, bad drivers will see their costs go up, so it’s important to be sensible.
Pay your premiums upfront
Yes, after banging on about how much premiums cost, we’re now advising you to shell out all that money in one go. Well, it actually makes sense because by paying monthly, you’re actually giving more money to the insurance as many will add a high level of interest to your regular payments. If it is possible, pay your insurance in one go. You could even explore the possibility of taking out a short-term loan which has a much lower rate of interest than the one your insurer is offering.
Get some experience behind the wheel
Young drivers naturally won’t have much experience on the road, especially since all you’ve really been doing before you got your licence is practicing three-point turns and reverse parking.
Inexperience, therefore, means a greater level of risk for insurers. Having an experienced driver on your policy can reduce your premiums as your insurer may reckon that the car is good hands from time to time.
However, having an experienced driver named on your policy shouldn’t be confused with a practice known as ‘fronting’, which is actually against the law.
Fronting involves a parent or older person taking out a policy in their name for a vehicle their child drives.
Insurance companies are more and more clued in to such practices and have many ways of finding out if fronting is going on. If caught, you could be prosecuted for fraud and find it very difficult to get car insurance in the future. It’s simply a risk not worth taking.
When shopping for wheels, keep insurance costs in mind
You may dream of zooming around in souped-up sports car as soon as you get your test, but, realistically, a nice sensible hatchback may be more in your budget range when it comes to insurance.
More powerful and expensive cars will attract higher levels of insurance, which will be even greater if the driver is between 17 and 25.
Therefore, when you are browsing those used car websites or flicking through the AutoTrader, keep in mind how much it will cost to insure your dream car.
Make life hard for car thieves
Having security devices in your car will keep insurers happy. If you purchase a car which doesn’t have an alarm, immobiliser or tracking device, you should consider having them installed. Be sure to purchase only insurer-approved products however. It may be a big initial expense, but it will save you money further down the line.
Where you park the car will have an affect on the cost of your insurance too. In a driveway or a garage will be it more secure, meaning premiums will be lower.
Take out a bigger excess
You will have to take out an excess in any car insurance plan. In the event of a claim, your excess will be the amount you are expect to pay towards repairs or other costs. By taking out a larger excess, you can reduce your premiums. However, this will mean you will be forced to fork out an awful lot more if your car is involved in an accident. Therefore, deciding how much of an excess to opt for can be a delicate balancing act.
Young Drivers – Steer clear of modifications
After taking out cover, any changes you make to the vehicle could render you policy obsolete. Insurers will cover your car in good faith, so any modifications can affect the cost of your premium. If you do change anything on your car, such as have a rear spoiler fitted or extra lights at the front, let your insurer know or, better still, ask them beforehand how much extra it will add to your premium.
Compare Deals Online to Save
Comparing quotes online for young drivers is the best way of getting the most competitive quotes. The more insurers you compare, the better chance you have of getting a cheaper car insurance policy. Compare online today, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the savings you can make.