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How to cut the cost of first time driver insurance

Feb 5, 2021

It’s what every learner dreams of: passing their driving test. The joy and freedom it brings is hard to beat. But then what? Unfortunately, it’s back to reality – and that means buying your first car and taking out insurance for a first time driver. These are costs that can soon mount up, so the trick is to make these next steps as affordable as possible.

Looking for ways to cut the cost of first time driver insurance? Here’s how to make sure you’re not paying more than you need to.

1. Be smart about the level of cover you choose

The three levels of standard car insurance cover are: third party; third party, fire and theft; and comprehensive.

Third party is the minimum insurance requirement needed to drive, so it’s easy to assume that it is always going to be the cheapest option. However, this is not always the case.

Bear in mind that insurers may see a first time driver who chooses third party insurance as a higher risk than a new driver who takes out comprehensive cover. Do your research and look into all your options as the results may surprise you.

Insurers may see a first time driver who chooses third party insurance as a higher risk than a new driver who takes out comprehensive cover.

A young man driving a new car
2. Add an experienced additional driver

Adding more drivers to your insurance policy can help reduce the cost of insuring your first car. It may sound counter-intuitive paying for more than one person, but car insurance is all about risk.

New and young drivers are automatically placed in the high-risk category; adding a second (or third) driver could bring down the cost of your premiums.

But don’t just add any driver – the more experienced they are and the better their driving history, the more impact it should have on the cost. Your best bet is to get different quotes for different people (mum, dad, brother, or gran) and see who can lower the cost the most.

Never say someone is the main driver of a vehicle if they aren’t. Known as fronting, this could result in your insurance becoming invalid and you ending up with a criminal conviction.

3. Make sure the numbers add up

The cost of car insurance is not something you can avoid, however there are things you can do to keep the overall costs down. One is by paying for 12 months of insurance in one go. Paying in monthly instalments means you pay interest on top of the cost of your insurance cover, so try to avoid that if you can.

You could also look at how paying a higher voluntary excess could cut the cost. However, taking this approach should be done with caution. If you do end up having to make a claim, you will end up paying more. You need to be sure you can afford a higher cost down the line.

You can also reduce costs by buying insurance cover at the right time. Research has shown that buying it 20 to 26 days ahead of your renewal date (compared to either 30 days in advance or at the last minute) is the cheapest time to buy.

New and young drivers are automatically placed in the high-risk category; adding a second (or third) driver could bring down the cost of your premiums.

A young persons hand on a steer wheel as they drive a car
4. Choose your first car wisely (and avoid flashy mods)

Different cars are placed into different insurance groups, ranked from one to 50. Taking the time to choose the make and model of car can make a difference to insurance prices – especially for young and new drivers.

For example, to drive a car with a powerful engine you will usually pay higher premiums (as well as the car costing you more to buy). Insurers go on the basis that the faster a car, the more likely it is to be involved in an accident. Powerful cars may also be more attractive to thieves.

The same principle applies to modifications that boost the look and performance of your car. Modifications are seen by insurance providers as increasing the chance of a car being broken into or stolen. Altered suspension, spoilers, roll bars and engine modifications may look and feel great, but they are all likely to increase the cost of your insurance premium so check before you upgrade anything.

Choosing a cheaper, less powerful, modification-free car will mean insurers place it into a lower insurance bracket and help you cut the cost of your motoring.

5. Have your own insurance policy

Being a named driver on your parents’ insurance policy is a cheaper way to get insured. However, once you invest in your own car, you’ll need your own policy to drive it. This may be more costly, but does come with its advantages.

After the first year, you will start earning your no claims bonus (NCB) which could give you a discount on your annual premium. The sooner you take out first time driver insurance, the sooner you can start working towards that no claims discount.

Choosing a cheaper, less powerful, modification-free car will mean insurers place it into a lower insurance bracket and help you cut the cost of your motoring.

A young woman's hands on the steering wheel of a car she's driving
6. Keep your mileage in check

The more you drive, the higher your chances of having a collision. See if there’s a way you can keep your mileage low so future premiums could be reduced.

Saying that, it’s important that you are always honest about the number of miles you drive. If you are found lying about your mileage, it could result in your insurance being invalidated.

7. Consider black box insurance

Black box insurance – also known as telematics insurance – is a good way to prove to your insurance provider that you’re a better driver than the statistics might suggest. That means it is also a good way to help young and new drivers cut the cost of their insurance for first time drivers.

Once you have installed a black box device into your car, you can prove just how safe a driver you are. The device monitors your driving behaviour and awards you a driving score. If you can show that you have driven safely over the course of a year, when it comes to renewing your policy, you could be in line for a discount.

Insurance for new and learner drivers

At Smartdriverclub Insurance, we want to help you cut the cost of insuring a first time driver.

Our insurance keeps costs low by including windscreen cover, courtesy car cover, in-car equipment cover and personal belongings cover. We even offer learner driver insurance while you still have your L-plates.

Get in touch for a free quote today.