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Young people priced out of driving by eye-watering insurance costs

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Jul 25, 2016

Young people are putting off driving for longer than ever before, as the cost of insurance soars.

Since 2007, the number of 17-20 year-olds sitting a driving test has plummeted by 21 per cent, the Daily Mail reports.

The paper reported on research by driving school RED, which suggested most drivers wait a decade from legally being allowed to drive to sit their test.

Almost one in two motorists (44 per cent) are now over the age of 25 before they learn to drive.

Around the same percentage (48 per cent) said cost was the reason for the delay.

The spiralling cost of insurance is believed to be behind the dramatic fall in young people taking the test.

New drivers aged between 17 and 24 face having to pay an average of £1,275 a year, according to recent research.

The eye-watering sum represents a 13 per cent rise year-on-year.

Including the price of the car, young drivers now have to spend £4,750 to cover their first year on the road.

Take teenager Naomi Bowler, from Folkestone, Kent, who was given an insurance quote by Aviva SIX times the value of her car.

New licence holders can drive down premiums by becoming a named driver on their parent’s insurance policy.

It’s far cheaper to add a driver on to mum or dad’s car than to take out a whole new policy for a young driver.

But parents thinking of adopting this approach should be very careful.

Named-driver policies, by enlarge, do not offer the second driver a no-claims discount when they apply for their own insurance further down the road.

The other problem to watch out for is ‘fronting’ – where the named driver uses the car more than the policyholder.

Fronting is illegal and can invalidate a policy altogether.


Three tips for young drivers to get cheap insurance

1) Increase security

Adding extra security features to your car – like an alarm – can drive down the cost of your premium.

Parking your car in a garage or driveway can also keep costs down, as insurers will see this as minimising risk.

2) Get qualified

Taking an extra qualification can get you cheaper insurance.

The Pass Plus scheme is a training course designed to help young drivers. Not every insurer will recognise it, but big players like the AA and Churchill offer discounts to drivers who have passed.

It only takes six hours to complete and could help you cut your quote down to size.

3) Increase your excess

Paying a higher voluntary excess can lead to cheaper insurance.

But remember: only agree to pay what you can afford in the event of a crash.  

If you need to make a complaint about your insurer, use A Spokesman Said's free tool. We're in your corner. 


Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.