How to slash the price of teens’ car insurance – do’s and don’ts
Car insurance never seems to get cheaper – certainly not if you stick with the same insurer year after year and never challenge the renewal prices.
Have a claim or a few points on your licence and the premiums can quickly become eye-watering.
But premiums if you’re under 25, and worse if you’re a teen, are in a different league.
Many young drivers are at risk of being priced off the road.
You can expect to be quoted staggering premiums of over £1,000 just to insure a modest car.
Such premiums can quickly dampen the enthusiasm of any newly qualified driver to take to the road.
Here's how we can help.
Teenage drivers pay eye-watering sums for car insurance, so here are 13 do's and don'ts to cut the cost of your premium down.
1. Do shop around
This is the number 1 Do.
Use our comparison tool to find promising quotes and then build from there with the tips below.
2. Do consider buying the lowest category car
If you’re buying a car, perhaps a first one, then you’ll save money if you buy one that’s in the lowest category for insurance purposes.
A little research will reveal what car is in which category, but keep in mind it’s not all about how much the car is worth – the size of the engine is also important.
So, an old banger worth a few hundred, but with a V8 may cost more to insure than a much newer Fiesta, say, that’s actually worth more money.
3. Don’t modify your motor
Along with the lowest insurance category, which usually means a mainstream car with a small engine, make sure it’s not modified in any way.
You may long for sexy new alloys on your new banger, or a bigger, shinier exhaust (or two), but to an insurer either of these is a huge flashing sign, screaming “Higher risk!” And insurance is all about risk.
4. Don’t assume third party is cheaper
Third party only, third party fire and theft and comprehensive.
The difference between these used to have a big effect on premiums.
Basically third party means the insurance will only pay out if there’s an accident and it’s your fault – they’ll settle with the other (the third) party.
Fire and theft covers you for that as well.
And comprehensive will pay out to fix your car if there’s an accident even if it’s your fault.
But, perhaps bizarrely, fully comp will often be cheaper that the other two categories.
Bizarre? It might seem so, but insurers calculate, based on stats of course, that anyone opting for third party is more of a risk.
5. Don't mislead the insurer about you being the second driver
Don’t be tempted to add yourself as a second driver to someone else’s car when you are actually the main driver.
This is fronting and if the insurers suspect it’s happened, they make refuse to settle a claim.
6. Do try adding the name of a more experienced driver to your policy
This can sometimes bring down the premium.
7. Do go for as high a voluntary excess as you can afford
This is the amount you agree to pay before a claim pays out.
The higher it is, the lower your premium.
But make sure it’s realistic and a figure that you could actually afford to pay tomorrow, if you had to.
8. Do install security equipment
This might help get the premium down, but make sure it’s Thatcham approved – an institution called Thatcham Research independently rates these different car alarms and immobilisers by category.
Read more: Car insurance extras - are they worth it?
9 Do keep your car in a garage overnight
If possible, store your car in a garage over night as this may well affect your premium by lowering the risk of the car being stolen.
10. Do consider a telematics-based insurance policy
These black box devices allow insurers to calculate premiums based on an individual’s driving habits.
They record data that is fed back to the insurer.
It measures such things as speed, pace of acceleration, what time of day the car is used and mileage. from such data, and insurer can calculate what type of driver you are –nutter or nice.
Of course, this won’t get you a lower premium to start with, but as data is collected, the results can be reflected on what you pay.
A word of warning: a faulty black box can play havoc with your insurance.
11. Do consider a multi-car policy
Getting a teen or young driver on a family’s multi-car policy is likely to be the cheapest option of all, so long as no one in the family has a bad driving history, of course.
But it’s also a high-risk option because if the young person has to make a claim, it will affect the price for everyone else at renewal time.
12. Do pay up front
If you can, pay for your policy up front rather than staging payments.
Or at least check to see if staging will cost you more before you agree to it.
13. Don’t forget to insure the car
Never forget to cover the vehicle, even if the young person is away for an extended period, travelling, perhaps, or at university.
It’s now illegal to have a vehicle without insurance unless you inform the DVLA that it’s being kept off road.
And, remember, don’t rush to make a claim if you can avoid it – building up that no-claim bonus may seen a long way off, but it will mount up…if you don’t claim! Premiums will decline. But it takes time.
Finally…we’ve said it before and we make no excuse for repeating it: never, ever auto renew.
Always shop around to see what you could save.