Can’t millennials catch a break? Mounting debt, decreased opportunities, getting called snowflakes for showing compassion….and as if to kick a whole generation when they’re down, comparatively expensive car insurance. Indeed, while the average driver in the UK pays £680 a year for their insurance, drivers under the age of 25 can be paying more than £1,300.
According to statistics, younger and less experienced drivers are more likely to be in involved in an accident than older drivers, especially in the first two years after passing their test. Insurance companies set their premium prices according to risk, so unfortunately due to these stats are used against drivers under 25. There are, however, ways to lower your premium price. So without further ado, here’s our IDEAL guide to finding cheaper under-25 car insurance.
YOUR CAR MATTERS
The bigger, faster and more powerful your car is, the more your insurance will cost. Indeed, every car available in the UK is assigned a car insurance group number, between 1 and 50. Cars belonging to group 1 have the lowest premiums, and cars in group 50 the highest. One of the best ways to reduce your premiums is to buy a car in a low insurance group. These will typically have smaller engines and lower repair costs. So, while you may want to impress your friends with a flashy first car, if you’re looking to get the cheapest insurance, then buying a car in a low group is a must. Wow them instead with your strength of conviction and loyal, honest character.
You should avoid adding modifications to your car, unless it’s for security purposes. Any modification that improves the performance of your vehicle or increases it’s chances of getting stolen will raise the cost of your insurance, often by hundreds of pounds. Those tints you’ve been longing for will have to wait.
LOWER YOUR RISK
The price of your insurance premium depends on your insurer, your level of cover and level of risk. The risk is calculated by your insurer after assessing your case and circumstances. As a young driver, your level of risk will be high, but there are a few ways you can prove to your insurer that you’re a good driver and thus lower your premium.
An obvious way to show you’re safe behind the wheel is by using telematics or a black box insurance policy. This works by fitting your car with a device that monitors your driving, by recording your speed, acceleration, braking, distance covered, turning and time of day spent driving. This data is sent to your insurer, who consistently update the price of your premium depending on how safely you’re driving. According to uSwitch, young drivers could save on average £1,282 a year by choosing a black box policy over a standard one. However, remember that your premium could also go up with black box insurance if you prove to be a reckless driver, so think carefully about how you command that road before choosing this policy.
You could also consider taking extra driving courses in order to lower your premium. Courses such as PassPlus and Drive IQ will test your driving skills more thoroughly than standard driving tests and are well liked by some insurers. PassPlus has six modules including all-weather driving, night driving and driving on motorways.
LESS IS MORE
You should also think about driving less. The lower your mileage, the cheaper your insurance will be, as the more you drive the more likely you are to have an accident.
Other ways to increase your security and lower your risk include fitting alarms or immobilisers to your car, or parking in a garage overnight instead of the street. You should never lie to your insurer about any of your circumstances, as if you’re caught, your insurance could be invalidated and this will cause you problems in the future.
There are three types of car insurance policies to choose between. These are third party, third party fire and theft, and fully comprehensive cover. Third party insurance covers the cost of repairing other vehicles in any accident, but not your own. Comprehensive insurance covers both your car and the other vehicle. However, while third party cover is usually the cheaper option, this is not always the case. Drivers who take out third party insurance are often seen as more of a risk by insurers. You should always shop around and compare different car insurance policies to find the cheapest option.
SHARE THE LOAD
You should also consider adding a second, more ‘responsible’ driver to your policy. This could be a family member, a parent for instance. If you’re a young and high risk driver, adding a low-risk driver to your policy will bring down the average risk and your cost. However, you should never add someone as the ‘main driver’ if they are not. This is known as ‘fronting’ in the industry and is considered fraud. Your insurance will likely be invalidated and you could face criminal prosecution.
DON’T LEAVE IT TILL THE LAST MINUTE
Sure, it feels counterintuitive to renew any policy, particularly insurance, well before your current contract expires. Why fork out in advance when so much could happen in the meantime? But contrary to this assumption, the best time to renew your car insurance is eight days or more before your policy ends. According to research from moneysupermarket.com, it could end up costing you up to 28% more if you renew it on the day it runs out. A little foresight goes a long way here.