Reduce your teenager’s first car insurance costs
Advice for parents seeking affordable insurance cover for their son or daughter
Getting a decent insurance quote for a young driver is tough. But while it will invariably be expensive, there are ways to limit the damage – as long as you do your homework.
Your teenager may not agree, but small is definitely beautiful when it comes to choosing their first car. Ensuring the car is in the lowest possible insurance bracket is the first step to driving down insurance costs and a small-engined vehicle without modifications will attract lower premiums – so forget souped-up roadsters, ordinary is best for young drivers.
The next thing to remember is that when taking out motor insurance for your child, honesty is always the best policy – getting insured in your name for your child’s car is not the best idea for them, or for you. It’s actually illegal and classed as obtaining insurance by deception. Known as ‘fronting’, insurers are likely to cancel the policy or worse still, refuse to pay out if there’s an accident. If the vehicle is predominantly used by your child, he or she must be the named as the main driver on the policy. However, adding a parent as a named driver can make a significant difference to the overall premium.
Be as online ‘savvy’ as your teenager. The insurer or broker you’ve used for umpteen years may not offer the best deal for your youngster and you could find better by buying directly online. Forage for rapid no-claims discounts – some insurers allow their young customers to earn a full year’s-worth of NCB in half that time. And always ensure you’re comparing like-for-like when shopping online.
Try the obvious options for cutting premiums – bigger excesses, restricted mileage, fitting security devices and using off-street parking.
Consider Pass Plus, a practical training course aimed at helping motorists improve their skills and drive more safely. It can be taken at any time, although it’s probably most useful to drivers in the year after passing their test. There’s no final exam, but drivers could get discounted premiums with the certificate. Do bear in mind that not all insurers offer Pass Plus discounts.
’Big Brother’ might just be your saviour here too! Digital driving buddies – ‘black box’ technology officially called telematics – can cut premiums substantially once a young driver starts proving they are a good driver. A number of online insurance companies use telematics to tailor policies specifically for young drivers, designing motor insurance around reducing risk by monitoring driving habits in return for lower premiums.
Another potential solution lies in keeping an eye out for special offers and deals from manufacturers targeting younger drivers. For instance, Vauxhall announced a deal in the summer for younger drivers aged between 18 and 20, which means they are given a year’s cover for £99 if they buy a Corsa Limited Edition or Excite model.
Offered in conjunction with specialist ‘black box’ insurer ingenie, the Vauxhall deal also rewards good driving by returning the cost of insurance over the course of a year. While buying a new car might sound like an expensive way to gain cheap insurance, with premiums often reaching into the thousands, it could actually make financial sense in the long run.