So you've just passed your driving test, ripped-up your L Plates, and can't wait to get out on the open road. But there's one thing holding you up; and that's finding car insurance that you can afford.
As a 17 year old driver the economic cards are really stacked against you. Firstly you haven't had the chance to build-up a driving history, which means you haven't had the chance to build-up a no claims discount. And secondly as you're statistically much more likely to have an accident or claim on a policy.
Spending more on your insurance than your car is actually worth seems unfair, but if you consider that one in five new drivers will crash within six months1, then the inflated premiums begin to make sense. However, even as a 17 year old, there are a number of steps you can take to cut the cost of your car insurance:
Take the Pass Plus course: The Pass Plus course was conceived by the Driving Standards Agency, and a number of leading insurance companies, as a way of making new drivers safer on the roads. The six practical lessons cover everything from driving on rural roads to mastering motorways. Costs vary, depending on your driving instructor, but expect to pay somewhere between £100 and £150.
Once you have successfully completed the course you can expect discounts of up to 30% on your insurance premium, which may well be more than the cost of the course! What's more, a number of Local Authorities have got behind the scheme and are offering to help with the finances, to find out if you are eligible visit the Pass Plus website.
Choose a limited hours policy: As a 17 year old driver the idea of a 'limited use' policy might not get the blood racing, but dig a little deeper and you could be surprised. For example, take our latest innovative product for drivers aged between 17 and 25. All we ask is that you don't drive your car between 11.00pm - 5.00am (when you're probably at home or in bed) and you could save up to 40% on your insurance. Admittedly your driving hours are slightly restricted, but surely it's better than not being able to drive at all! To find out more about our specialist GPS tracked policies click here.
Get a starter policy: A number of insurance companies offer six month starter policies, and if your birthday falls within the insurance period; you'll be one year older when it comes to renewals and can look forward to a lower premium. Similarly you'll also find providers offering 'accelerated no claims' policies, where you can earn a full year's no claims discount after 8-10 months.
Improve your car's security: Most people are unaware that two thirds of all stolen cars are at least nine years old2. New cars come with central locking and immobilizers fitted as standard, which means that older cars are much softer targets. Because most teenagers can only afford to buy a car that's already been around the block a few times, it makes sense to think seriously about improving vehicle security. A more secure car means lower premiums and we've outlined the most cost-effective ways of cutting costs here.
Don't pimp your ride: A car's performance is a key factor in determining its' Insurance Group. As a rule of thumb you can expect insurance costs to climb with engine size and acceleration. However, insurance companies also look at 'extras' and 'modifications', so if you want a lowrider with alloys and a spoiler; you can expect your premiums to go through the roof. To find out more about how insurance groups are calculated click here.
Our team of consultants knows a thing or two about being a 17 year old (after all we we've all 'been there and done that') and we've got plenty more ways you can save. To speak to a team member call 0161 874 8029 or get a quick online quote.
And remember that the best way to cut the cost of your insurance is to drive safely and start building-up your no claims bonus.