If you've just started driving, or recently passed your test, no doubt you'll be thinking about getting insurance and taking to the road as soon as possible. Our guide to insurance for new drivers will have you off the starting line in no time
If you’re learning to drive through and instructor or driving school, you won’t need to worry about taking out insurance at this point. If you’re planning on learning via a family member or friend, they can add you to their insurance policy as a named driver, but the increase in premiums for an unqualified driver would likely be high. To combat this, a number of firms now offer learner driver insurance. This will effectively give you comprehensive cover to drive someone else’s car, giving you the flexibility to practice when you can. Further to this, many companies offer a discount on standard policy once you have passed your test and are ready to take to the road.
Newly Qualified Drivers
Congratulations on passing your test, all you need to do now is navigate through the maze of policies and levels of cover on offer. All car insurance policies fall into one of three levels of cover:
- Third Party: This is the most basic type of cover and therefore the cheapest. You might also consider this the minimum legal requirement. It basically covers any other parties should you damage their vehicle or property, but offers no coverage for any costs to the damage of your vehicle
- Third Party Fire & Theft: This is second level of insurance available and covers third party damage, as mentioned above, as well as covering any damage to your vehicle in the event of fire or theft
- Fully Comprehensive: This is the highest level of policy you can acquire. It will insure you for all of the above, as well as covering yourself for any accidental damage to your car. Typically you’ll also be insured for any personal effects in the car such as your sat nav, as well as (at least third party) coverage to drive another person’s car with their permission
Reducing Your Premium
Insurance for new drivers, particularly young ones, can be quite pricey. Once you've decided which level of cover you can afford, you'll be pleased to know there are a few things you can do to reduce your premium:
- Named Driver Adding yourself to another experienced drivers policy, e.g a parent, or adding an experienced driver to your policy, can reduce the overall cost compared to two separate policies
- Install a Black Box/Telematics device Basically the insurer fits a tracking device to your vehicle to monitor how, and where you drive. This allows the provider to build up a personal data set about you as a motorist and you’ll get a fairer premium as a result. This type of policy could reduce the costs for a number of motorists, but is particularly useful for new and young drivers, as well as drivers with a previous history of claims.
- Drive safely Probably the most obvious advice is ‘drive safely’. Other than protecting yourself and those around you, drivers with a ‘no claims’ history can enjoy up to 70% off their premium. If you are unfortunate enough to have an accident, providing the damage isn't too expensive, you should consider footing the bill yourself. This will preserve your no claims bonus until you really need it, as you can expect a sharp increase in premium prices once you've claimed.
- Pay your premium upfront Many of us choose to pay monthly by direct debit as it’s the most affordable option. If you’re in the enviable position of being able to pay your premium upfront – or even loaning the money from a relative, you’ll be financially better off, as monthly repayments are seen as technically a loan, with interest being charged.