Do new drivers need car insurance?
It is a legal requirement for all motorised vehicles that are being driven to have car insurance, whether you are a new driver or have years of experience. Besides, you’ll want to protect yourself (and your car) if anything happens.
But car insurance isn’t just important as protection for you. If an accident happens that affects somebody else, and you are found to be at fault, your insurance may need to pay out for their damage costs, too.
Note: ‘At fault’ doesn’t necessarily mean that you did anything wrong. If something happened to your car and it was nobody’s fault or the culprit couldn’t be found, you would be at fault. It simply means that your insurance would have to pay out instead of somebody else’s.
What is the best type of car insurance for new drivers?
The best new driver insurance ultimately depends on you. Various factors, like your age, gender and even occupation play a part in how much you pay. Which insurance company you go with also has an impact, because they use different algorithms to determine how much each of their customers pay. This is why it’s important that you research the market thoroughly to find the best deal for you.
Having said this, there are different levels of insurance you should consider. These can play a major factor in price and are:
- third-party – the lowest (and cheapest) level of insurance, you are covered against damage caused to other people, cars and property
- third-party, fire and theft – the middle level, it covers you against the above as well as if your car is stolen or on fire
- comprehensive – the most expensive level because you are covered for pretty much everything, even medical expenses, and can even claim if you are found to be at fault
Comprehensive car insurance can often work out cheaper for the driver if they have to claim.
This is because you are secure in the knowledge that your provider will pay out for basically any type of accident or crime that can happen to your car.
If you take out third-party insurance and have to pay out yourself anyway, you’ll be facing some pretty expensive bills on top of your insurance costs. After all, the point of having insurance is to make sure that you are covered if something goes wrong.
What is the cheapest car to insure?
Smaller, less powerful cars often come hand-in-hand with cheaper car insurance. This is because they are in lower insurance groups. Every car is placed into one of 50 categories, with 50 being the most expensive to insure. The lower the number, the cheaper your car insurance will be, since insurance companies typically factor this into the equation.
As a new driver, it may be worth looking into this before you buy a car, in order to keep your insurance costs low. Some providers place more importance on the groups than others, so if you shop around you can find the best insurance for new drivers.
How to get cheaper car insurance for new drivers
Whilst your age and level of experience are out of your hands, there are several other things you can do to reduce how much you have to pay for car insurance, including:
Black box insurance
Also known as telematics insurance, black box insurance is where you have a small box placed inside your car by the insurer. It uses GPS technology to measure how well you drive. If you are a safe driver, the provider will reduce the cost of your insurance. Just remember that if you are not a safe driver, you can find yourself paying more.
For example, if you take care not to speed the provider may lower the price of your insurance. But if you typically drive at 32 or 33 miles an hour when the speed limit is 30 miles an hour, they may increase the price instead.
Named driver insurance
When you first pass your test, it might be an idea to become a named driver on somebody else’s car insurance. You’ll have to drive their car, but it only need be a temporary solution, until your insurance gets cheaper as you become more experienced.
Alternatively, you can add a more experienced driver as a named driver on your insurance. If they have a good driving record, this may bring your insurance down by a lot.
If you decide to go with this option, just be aware that it can make insurance more costly for the other person, especially if they have a long, clean driving history. Some insurers only let you add named drivers who are your spouse, partner or a close relative. It’s also important to avoid fronting, where you take out insurance in somebody else’s name for a car you drive, because it is illegal.
Adding additional security to your car can also reduce the cost of insurance. You can:
- leave your car in a garage overnight, rather than on the road
- fit an immobiliser or alarm
- Install a steering wheel lock
Before taking out insurance, ask the provider which additional security measures they would recommend.
Increase your excess
Paying a larger excess will bring the cost of your insurance down. You just have to make sure you have the cash spare for if something happens and you need to make a claim. Paying annually can also make insurance cheaper with many providers.
When does car insurance go down for new drivers?
Age is a huge factor in how expensive car insurance is. This means that new driver insurance usually goes down quite a lot in price once you leave your 20s, but then it goes up again when you reach your 60s.
It also should get cheaper once you get some more experience and if you build up a no claims discount. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a waiting game, but making sure you drive carefully can help speed up the process.
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