Now that you’ve passed the driving test, you’re ready to take to the road, driving alone for the first time. Though an exciting prospect for many and armed with your shiny(ish) new driving licence, you’re ready to go.
That is of course, after you have trudged through the various procedures required to ensure your car is legal for public road use. For first time new drivers, particularly those that are young, by far the biggest hurdle is car insurance.
For a new driver, especially a new young driver, car insurance is going to be expensive – there’s really no getting around that. But there are a few considerations to take into account that can help to significantly reduce the quotations. Let’s take a look at some first time car insurance tips with the top 10 recommendations for cheaper car insurance.
1. Use Comparison Sites
The various car insurance comparison sites all use different providers on their database. Search for quotes using the top 3 comparison sites to compare results.
2. Types of Insurance
There are three main types of insurance; third party, third party fire and theft and comprehensive. Third party being the minimal most basic insurance covering others property, but not your own would make you assume it’s the cheapest. This isn’t often the case however, with comprehensive insurance often being cheaper. Whilst conducting a search, ensure all three types are searched for.
3. Consider Telematics
Telematics, or black box insurance requires you having a tracking device (usually a black box) fitted inconspicuously to your vehicle. Among other things, it records and transmits back to your insurer details such as your speed, brake force, how you take corners and time of day you travel. The principal behind the system is that the safer you drive, the less you pay – which works in favour for many new and young drivers. The disadvantages are that you’re always being ‘spied’ on and there’s some debate to the accuracy of the system. In general though, if safe driving and financial saving is your priority, then ensure telematics is ticked on your quote searches.
For first time car insurance, being a new driver in particular is going to be more expensive the more miles you cover annually. Insurers see it as the more miles, the greater the chance of an accident. A section of your quote form covers this, asking you what your annual mileage will be. Keep the costs down by keeping your mileage to a minimum. However, as tempting as it may be, it’s important to be as accurate as possible when stating your annual mileage as exceeding this may invalidate your insurance in the event of a claim.
Being a new, first time driver, it is of course a little difficult to assess how many miles you’ll be covering. Estimate college / uni / work and any friends you visit each week. You can use Google Maps to establish how many miles are required. The table below is what car insurance providers use to approximate annual car mileage based on weekly, monthly and annual mileage. Estimate your weekly or monthly mileage and use the table to provide you with your annual mileage.
5. Second Driver
New drivers lack driving experience and due to this, they’re considered high risk. Adding an additional driver to your policy may help to reduce your quote. Many of the various insurers work in different ways, so whilst adding an additional driver may increase your quote with certain insurers, with other insurers it may reduce it. The better the driving history that they have, the lower the risk to the insurer resulting in better results for you. Not only a good driving history is important, but several years driving experience will also help. A parent or family member such as an uncle or Aunt is a good place to start.
6. Increase the Excess
Excess is the amount you’ll have to pay in the event of a claim – see car insurance excess for further information. The benefits of increasing the excess is that it usually reduces your annual premium. First time insurance is usually very expensive, so you may be able to find an insurance provider able to offer excess towards the £1,000 mark which should significantly reduce your premium. Be cautious though, as this is the amount you will need to find if you make a claim.
7. Overnight Parking
Consider the safest location to park your car overnight. The less likely your car is to be stolen or vandalised, the happier your insurer will be. If you have access to a garage, this is the ideal option. A private driveway is also good. The safer the parking, the cheaper your premium.
8. Multi-car Policy
Many insurers offer multi-car policies, so if in your household – you still live with parents for example and have two or more vehicles, a multi-car policy may save you some cash. The savings here are usually around the 10% mark.
9. Avoid Modification
Young drivers, particularity young male drivers enjoy modifying their car. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with this, ensure you tell your insurer else you may find your policy is void in the event of a claim. Be cautious before modding a car, it can significantly push up the cost of a premium, so get a quote based on the new modifications from your insurer before making the mods to check it doesn’t break the bank.
10. Avoid Auto-renew
Insurers offer a very convenient auto-renew service that automatically renews your vehicle insurance once it expires. It might be convenient and save you the hassle of looking for another insurer, but the people who generally benefit the most are the insurance companies. You might expect that loyalty pays off in the form of a considerably reduced auto-renewed premium, but no, in fact it’s the opposite – they hike up the costs, making easy money from you. Towards the end of your insurance term, always conduct a new search for quotes – you’ll almost certainly find much cheaper options that your renewal. This applies to all drivers of any age and experience.