Cheaper car insurance for young drivers: our top tips

It’s no secret that young drivers pay a premium when it comes to car insurance so it’s even more worthwhile spending time looking for a cheaper deal.

Insurance quotes stretching well over £1,000 are the norm these days with some hitting twice that for young drivers aged between 17 and 24.

Some argue that it’s for good reason, though. Figures show younger drivers are more likely to need to claim. One in five UK drivers will have an accident in their first year while a quarter of road accidents involve at least one young driver aged between 17 and 24.

• Best first cars for young drivers

Historically, boys are worse than girls but EU equality legislation put a stop to gender-specific policies meaning both male and female motorists now pay the same.

So what can young drivers do to get cheaper car insurance and keep those spiralling costs to a minimum? Our handy guide is here to answer just that.

Manufacturer-backed young driver insurance deals

Manufacturers are desperate for young drivers to buy their cars new – but the high cost of insurance, let alone the cost of buying a brand new car, will put most off.

However, there are often deals they will offer to get younger drivers on the road, and with today’s finance deals it can be affordable to drive away in a new car – and the car maker will help to insure it, too.

Ford is currently offering up to £1,450 off your insurance if you buy a new Fiesta, for example, if you fit it with a black box (explained below). You can also get up to £1,100 off your insurance on a new Ka, too.

Where should I look for cheaper car insurance?

The quickest and easiest way to find the cheapest car insurance quote is to go online to one of the various comparison websites.

Simply key in a few details about yourself and your car and you’ll bring up a long list of options to choose from. Remember that this will not be an exhaustive list though and quite often going to a broker or to some of the major insurers not signed up to comparison websites can get you a better deal.

Car insurance comparison sites

There are a few pitfalls to be aware of when using comparison websites, too. First, be careful to check the details. For example, to reduce the premium in order to rank higher on the sites insurance companies will often include higher compulsory excess which may not suit your needs.

Consider ringing up the insurer directly, too. They’ll sometimes be able to beat the online quote as they won’t have to pay the fee that the comparison site charges. Don’t assume fully comprehensive cover will be more expensive than third party, either. Sometimes the fully-comp deals come out less expensive.

What is black box car insurance?

Telematics or ‘black box’ car insurance – is an emerging market that continues to offer young drivers a way to get cheaper premiums.

The technology – a black box – is fitted to your car. It gathers driving data such as speed, distance and time of day, which is then fed back to the insurer to generate more accurate premiums for individual drivers and hand out rewards to those who drive safely.

Black box

If you’re a safe driver you’ll be rewarded with bonus miles or may get a discount at renewal time. Choosing a policy with telematics as part of the deal will almost certainly reduce your premium as a young driver so it’s well worth considering. 

Can my parents help to lower my car insurance quote?

When filling in your insurance details, there’s no benefit to bending the truth. Not only is it illegal, in the event of an accident would invalidate your cover altogether.

However, there are some simple ways that parental help can get you a cheaper annual insurance premium.

• History of the UK driving test

Consider adding your parent as a named driver on your insurance policy, even if they only drive the car occasionally. You must list yourself as the owner and lead policyholder but there’s nothing wrong with using an additional experienced driver to help cut costs.

Watchdog: Black box fault

Similarly, if your parents have insurance cover on their own cars, consider getting a multi-car policy. Larger insurers will offer a discount for insuring a fleet of family cars and as a result your individual insurance quote will be less.

Car insurance is affected heavily by location as well. Clearly we’re not suggesting you move house to get a cheaper insurance deal but getting your car off the road and onto a driveway or into a garage will help lower your risk and subsequently reduce your premium. Fitting alarms or immobilisers to your car will help too. 

What’s the best car to buy to get cheaper car insurance?

Young drivers who’ve just passed their tests all want a flash car to show off to their mates in but as a general rule, the flasher the car the more the insurance. There’s obviously the purchase price to think about too but even if you can find the funds to buy that dream car or you’ve been given the cash as a present – you might not be able to insure it.

• Cheapest cars to insure

Nearly half your premium is dependent on what type of car you’re driving so as a young driver starting off on the road you want a car that’s in one of the lowest insurance groups. A car will often fall into a lower insurance group if it’s got a cheaper list price and smaller engine.

Another way to avoid paying over the odds is to avoid modifications. Adding a spoiler or a body kit may look good to boy racers but insurers may take it as a cue to charge you more. Check out our top 10 list of the cheapest cars to insure to help you with your decision. 

Do I have to pay for my car insurance up front?

Paying a lump sum up front for a whole year’s worth of car insurance can be daunting, for young drivers it will often be more than the value of their car but it’s often the cheapest way.

=Many insurers will offer monthly repayment plans or split the cost into two six-monthly payments but the reality is you’ll end up paying more in the long run. Some insurers add up to 10 per cent onto the quoted premium if you pay monthly. If you can find the cash upfront, it’s the most cost effective way to pay.

Car insurance jargon explained

Inevitably, there’s a lot of jargon attached to the car insurance market but our handy guide will explain some of the key terms… 

Car crash, insurance, write-off, accident


This is the amount you’ll have to pay if you make a claim before the insurance company will pay out. If you have a claim for £1,000 and your excess is £400, you’ll pay the first £400 with the insurer picking up the tab for the rest. Compulsory excess is what the insurer sets while voluntary excess is decided by you. Setting a higher excess will reduce your annual premium. 

Fully comprehensive

These policies offer the most complete level of car insurance protection available. With comprehensive car insurance, you can claim from your insurer for accidents that are your fault or when fault can’t be proven such as in a car park.

Third party

It’s the minimum amount of protection you can buy. It covers you against damage to another vehicle or structure, injuries to a third party or your own passengers and medical treatment cost and legal cost claims against you. Third party, fire and theft cover adds protection against someone trying to steal your car or set fire to it.

Tell us your experiences or trying to get car insurance as a young driver in the comments section below…

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