With the help of Adrian Flux, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to insurance for young drivers to help you get the best deal possible on your car insurance – from what car to buy to where you should live, it’s all here.
WHY SO MUCH?
Insurance premiums are related to risks, and young drivers are the highest risk category out there, simply because they make the most claims. The young driver category is also a restricted market, as less and less companies are prepared to take on the risk of insuring a young driver.
HOW TO GET THAT PREMIUM DOWN…
1) CAR CHOICE
Okay this is pretty obvious – you shouldn’t be thinking Skyline or Supra for you first ride, but there is a golden rule to getting the perfect first car. You might think that the 20-year-old Fiesta you bought off your brother for 50 notes will be the cheapest option to insure, but you’d be wrong.
The ideal situation is to get a car that’s around 10-years-old and valued at about £1000. The insurance company wants to know that you’re going to respect your car because it’s of value to you, but on the flip side anything too new and too expensive could become a costly claim for them. It’s a balancing act people, so learn to walk the tightrope.
2) DRIVER COURSES
This is no myth – insurance companies love driver courses and can give discounts of up to 15% off young driver premiums, which is a sizable chunk when paying big money. The Institute of Advanced Motorist’s NVQ (soon to be QCF) in Safer Driving is a good one, along with Pass Plus. Ask your insurance company which one they support and get it done.
3) LIMITED MILEAGE POLICY
Again, it’s not rocket science, but the less you use your car the less risk there is of you crashing it. This is a great way of getting your first year’s policy down before you can get that all important one year’s NCB under your belt.
4) GARAGE IT!
If you’ve got access to a garage, use it! Again you can see a decrease of around five to 10% in your annual premium.
5) GET A CAR ALARM
Got a car? Then you’re going to need an alarm. Again this will help keep your premium down. But which one to choose? Well you’re going to need a Cat 1 or Cat 2 Thatcham approved unit. Don’t know what that is? Let me explain; Thatcham is the test centre used by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to assess cars, safety equipment and security devices to group cars for insurance purposes, and to test the effectiveness of safety and security products.
CAT 1 OR CATEGORY 1
This is the approval rating for a combined alarm and immobiliser. Keys aspects are: Random encryption remote controls, so that the code changes each time it’s used to prevent cloning. Battery backup siren, so it still goes off if the power is cut. Armoured housing, to protect the alarm ECU from attack. Black wiring, to make it harder to trace wires and bypass it.Passive arming two-circuit engine immobiliser.
CAT 2 OR CATEGORY 2
This is just a passive arming engine immobiliser, which bypasses the ignition, fuel pump or starter motor (usually two of these) and simply stop the car moving. Again, it has tricky-to-see black wiring, and they’re operated either by a digital touch-key or a transponder. These start from £179 including mobile fitting and VAT. Give the guys at GAP security a call… www.gapsecurity.co.uk
INTERESTING YOUNG DRIVER CAR INSURANCE FACTS
DIY OR CHEQUEBOOK!
You might think that DIY modifications would be frowned upon, but Adrian Flux doesn’t have a preference between DIY modifications and professional work. If it’s legal and goes through an MoT it’s fine by them.
Are vans cheaper to insure than their car equivalent? In a word, no. Again, it is down to the circumstance, but you shouldn’t really see any bonus for driving a van.
As a general rule you will find that estate cars are cheaper to insure than their hatch or saloon equivalent. This is because of their rep, and the fact they are heavier and therefore a bit slower.
Brokers like Adrian Flux take note of your individual car build, and often it will be cheaper to insure a car that you have modified than one you bought with the modifications in place. This is because they know you are more likely to care for your ride if you’ve put your own sweat and toil into the build.
PLACES TO LIVE
Where you live is another major factor in insurance. As a general rule of thumb, the more rural you are the better. London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool suffer with the higher premiums, whereas country bumkins will get a better deal. To see how safe your area is hit www.police.uk and pop your postcode in the search bar.
How long does it take to get a full NCB? This varies between each company but it’s normally between four and five years.
POINTS DON’T MEAN PRIZES
If you’re a youngster, getting three points on your licence is a major blow. If you can actually get a quote, expect the premium to rise by up to 300%!