UK Young Driver Insurance
It can be very expensive to insure young drivers because they represent a much higher risk for insurance companies. Parents who add a young driver onto their policy can see premiums quadruple overnight. Some companies won't even insure anyone under 21. But even with these difficulties, there are some ways to reduce the costs of young driver insurance.
High Risk Drivers Lead to High Costs
Statistics justify young drivers' high premiums; they're riskier drivers. Drivers under age 21 are twice as likely to make an insurance claim as drivers over age 21. Further, it's five times more likely that their claim will involve an injury and ten times more likely that it'll involve a serious injury. Such stark statistics lead to incredibly high premiums. A 17-year-old male driver will pay 9 times more than a 25-year-old, all other things equal. A 17-year-old female will pay 6 times more than a 25-year-old.
The Driving Standards Agency has the Pass Plus course for new drivers. Costing between £180 and £300, it aims to give young drivers more experience in things like night and motorway driving. Young drivers can get a discount of up to 35% off their monthly insurance costs if they complete the course. Yet insurers note that those who have completed Pass Plus are only slightly less likely to get into an accident; many young drivers consider the course as a means to get a discount, not as a learning experience.
Driver Training Changes
There are several ways training for young drivers is changing. Insurers are hoping to revamp the Pass Plus course to make it more meaningful. In the interim, 14 to 17-year-olds will soon take a new pre-driver training qualification in school. And the theory driving test will now include proof of understanding and case studies, as well. Many insurers would like the driving test requirements to change so that young drivers have a full 12 months of driving experience before taking the test.
Innovative Ways to Lower Premiums
Some insurance companies have developed their own ways to create awareness in young drivers about the importance of safe driving – and they offer incentives to participate. One example is an insurer's "Safer Driving Agreement;" by signing this voluntary agreement, young drivers and their parents agree to their own restrictions on driving times, number of passengers, and so on. For this, young drivers get a £100 discount on insurance premiums. Other insurers are testing technology that tracks young drivers on the road, noting when they drive dangerously. Drivers get a 25% discount for being in the program, plus monthly incentives for good driving. Other insurers let young drivers bundle a car purchase with an insurance purchase – giving discounts on both.
Given the changes, it's essential for young drivers to research all the options. Many web sites allow drivers to get quotes from a variety of insurers. Motorists should take advantage of these sites to make sure they get the best deal.
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