Cheap car insurance for young drivers: how to save money

Car insurance for younger drivers can cost a small fortune, particularly if you're a teenager. Follow our tips and save some money!

Take a Pass Plus course

After you’ve passed your test, you have the option of taking a Pass Plus course to help you become a more careful driver (and reduce your premiums).

It takes at least six hours with six practical modules covering driving on motorways, rural roads, at night and in all weathers.

The price is around £180 but it depends on where you live, your instructor or driving school and how long your training takes.

Some local councils do offer a discount off the full cost so check with them before you book. 

Be careful before you pay; insurers may only give a discount if the teenager is the main driver of the insured vehicle rather than a named driver.

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Get a car that’s cheaper to insure

All insurers place different cars within numbered groups, based on the car's value and performance, and those groups then play a part in the cost of your insurance.

Cars within groups 1-5 are the cheapest to cover, and include motors like the Vauxhall Corsa, Fiat Panda, Volkswagen Up, Seat Mii and the Skoda Citigo.

Insurers are less likely to cover you if you have a modified car with a massive engine as it'll be more powerful and more attractive to thieves, so it’s best to avoid pimping your ride.

Read How car insurance groups work.

Enhance your car’s security

That said, not all modifications are bad.

Insurers will feel better about covering you if your car is more secure. Try fitting it with a Thatcham category alarm and an immobiliser.

It’s also a good idea if you park your car in a garage or driveway overnight instead of on the street to help minimise the risk of further damage. 

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Rope your parents in to help

It’s worth either getting yourself put on a parent’s car insurance policy as a named driver or putting one of them on your policy as a named driver.

A more experienced driver can really bring down your premiums as they’re seen as more reliable than a younger driver.

Be wary of ‘fronting’, though. This is where a parent claims they are the main driver on their child's car, when actually the offspring does all of the driving, in order to get a cheaper insurance policy. 

Read more at Are you guilty of this major insurance fraud?

Choose the right type of insurance

Car insurance comes in different types, and the one you go for will affect just how much your policy costs.

The minimum requirement is third-party car insurance which pays out if you injure or damage another person or property.

The next step up from this is third-party, fire and theft insurance. This offers the same cover as third-party insurance, but also covers your vehicle if it gets stolen or damaged in a fire.

Finally, there is fully comprehensive car insurance. This covers you for damage to your own vehicle, as well as to other road users, whether it's your fault or if blame cannot be attributed. It also includes fire and theft cover.

Despite its name, there may be some exceptions in your 'comprehensive' cover, so be sure to read the terms and conditions before you sign up.

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Black box insurance

Black box (telematics) insurance involves a telematics box which is fitted to your car. It tracks where, when and how you drive, monitoring things like sharpness of acceleration, braking and cornering.

If you can prove that you’re a safe driver, then you can knock a load off your car insurance premiums. Read more at Driving apps that can save you money.

You can go for a restricted mileage policy if you don't drive that frequently to boost your savings.

It's particularly good if you have a telematics device as your insurer can see exactly how much you're driving as they tend to add a couple of extra thousand miles on to your estimated annual mileage.

If you don’t like driving at night anyway, you could opt for a limited hours policy. It works with a GPS tracker, to check whether or not you're driving between 11pm and 5am.

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Build up a no-claims bonus

Even though you haven’t been driving for long, any stretch of no-claims you can get is beneficial. The bigger the bonus, the lower your premiums will be.

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Stump up a higher voluntary excess

All insurance policies come with an 'excess'. This is how much you pay towards any claims you make. So for example if make a claim on your car insurance and have a £500 excess, you will have to stump up the first £500 towards the repair.

The higher the excess you go for, the cheaper your policy will be. Just don't get too carried away and commit to an unaffordable figure.

Compare, compare, compare

Have a look around so that you can make the right decision about what car is best for you. You can get up-to-date quotes based on the make and model of your car, how old it is and how often you drive it.

Alternatively, you can enter your registration plate number and dive right in. Why not start at the loveMONEY car insurance comparison centre?

To get a better idea of what's out there, don’t forget about Direct Line and Aviva as they’re not included in search engines.

Find out more at How to pick a car insurance policy.

Cut your car insurance costs (Image: Shutterstock)

If you don't quite land the deal that you had in mind, it never hurts to haggle. Read our guide on How to haggle and save a fortune for some handy tips. Remember to do this every time your policy expires and never auto-renew.

And before you make your final choice, look out for cashback deals on Topcashback and Quidco. You could save even more! Click through to the insurance section to find out what cashback offers are available.

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Could your car insurance go down in future?

Possibly. One area being explored is graduated driving licencing (GDL). 

This basically means that instead of getting a full licence as you would now, new drivers have certain restrictions for a certain amount of time after they pass their test. This allows them to build up their skills and experience gradually.

For example, they wouldn't be allowed to:

  • Carry passengers who are younger than 25 unless they're supervised. New drivers who are parents or carers and need to carry children should be exempt from this restriction;
  • Drive between 11pm and 6am, unless supervised or travelling directly from home to work or school; 
  • Drive on motorways.

These licences are already in force in other places including Australia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland and certain US states. In the US, 16-year-old drivers who are subject to the GDL had 37% fewer crashes per year, and 17% fewer crashes per mile driven.

 A 2017 survey by breakdown specialist, GEM Motoring Assist, found that 90% of drivers would like to see a graduated driving licencing scheme introduced in the UK. 

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