Car insurance is prohibitively expensive for young drivers, which is unfortunate given that they are the people least likely to be able to afford an expensive policy. Insurance for young drivers is also difficult to find and there are many insurers who treat young drivers like plague victims. Or in other words, they won’t touch them. So why is it so expensive to insure young people and are there ways to bring the cost of insurance down to an affordable level?
High Risk Drivers
Insurance companies view young drivers as high risk. They assume that young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents and/or drive recklessly, which although unfair is borne out by statistics. According to the road safety charity, Brake, one in five young drivers is involved in an accident within three months of passing their test. Additionally, young drivers are involved in 25% of all serious road accidents, which is a fairly sobering statistic if you are the parent of a recently-qualified driver.
5 Reasons Why Young Drivers Are Considered To Be High Risk
Inexperience – A lack of experience is the biggest cause of young driver accidents. Young people usually pick up the skills needed for driving pretty fast, but what they lack when they pass their driving test is the experience to judge road conditions and spot potential hazards.
Risk taking – Young drivers are more likely to take risks when driving. They often fail to see that driving too fast is dangerous, even though it is a major cause of accidents. Young people are also more likely to drive under the influence of drink and/or drugs.
Peer pressure – Many young drivers carry passengers whilst driving. Unfortunately, it is hard to drive sensibly when friends are egging you on to drive faster or overtake on a stretch of winding road. It is also tempting to show off when you have friends in the passenger seats and a young person who is normally pretty sensible when driving alone is far more likely to drive recklessly when in the company of friends.
Over-confident behind the wheel – Too many young drivers think their driving skills are somewhere up there with those of Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher. Sadly this tends not to be the case and they soon lose control at speed.
A sense of immortality – Most young people think they are going to live forever and that accidents only happen to other (more stupid) drivers.
A lack of experience is in part responsible for many of the accidents involving young drivers and the more experience and no claims bonus they gain, the cheaper their car insurance will become. But gaining more driving experience is really difficult when the average car insurance quote for a driver aged 17 runs into thousands of dollars.
Is it Possible to Reduce the Cost of Insuring a Young Driver?
Some young drivers choose not to bother with insurance at all, which is one way of reducing the cost burden, albeit a stupid and reckless one. There are safer alternatives, however, which include the following:
Adding a young driver to a parent’s policy – In the short term, it is cheaper to add a young driver as a named driver on a parent’s policy. The disadvantage of this is that the young person won’t be able to accrue their own no-claims bonus.
Adding a parent as a named driver on a young driver’s policy – This may depend on the parent, but in general it should help to reduce costs.
Multi-car policies – Some insurance companies offer cheaper insurance for young drivers if more than one car is included on a family policy.
Telematics – One way of reducing the cost of insuring a young driver is to agree to drive with a black box recorder fitted to the car. The safer the person is behind the wheel, the cheaper the premiums will be, so consider a “pay-as-you-drive” policy if you have been quoted an astronomical figure.
Although it is expensive to insure a young driver, there is light at the end of the tunnel. If they manage to enjoy a first year of driving unscathed and claim free, insurance in year two should be significantly cheaper.