Young drivers are often faced with sky-high car insurance premiums because insurers tend to view them as more likely to be involved in accidents. But a few tips and tricks can drive down the cost. For cheap car insurance for 17 year olds in the UK, comparing policies is essential. Cover can vary widely, up to around £3,000 per year for particularly high-risk drivers. Consider these 10 top tips before buying car insurance.
1. Pass Plus
If you’ve recently passed your driving test, the last thing you want to do is take another exam. But by qualifying on the advanced driving Pass Plus course, you could reduce car insurance premiums by up to a third.
2. Keep your car safe and secure
Better in-car security and parking in a safe place could reduce your insurance premiums. Having an alarm, immobiliser or tracker professionally fitted, using steering or handbrake locks, or parking your car in the driveway or garage overnight, are all ways to cut insurance costs.
3. Consider taking public transport to work
If you use your car to commute to work, it will push up the premium. Use the car for just “social and domestic” reasons and you’ll get a better deal. So ditch the wheels and take the bus.
4. Less power = cheaper cover
A powerful car in the hands of an inexperienced driver is a potentially dangerous mix – hence the expensive car insurance. That’s why it makes sense for your first car to be a modest set of wheels with a small engine. It will be cheaper to insure, easier to handle, and could be less thirsty on the fuel.
5. Avoid modifications to your car
Any modifications from the “factory fresh” version of your car will cost you extra. Are alloy wheels, fat exhaust pipes and so on really worth it? Basically, if you want cheaper insurance, avoid modified cars.
6. Up the voluntary excess
Voluntary excess is what you agree to pay in the event of a car insurance claim, on top of the compulsory excess. Raising the excess will reduce your premiums, but it does mean you will have to pay more of the costs if you have to make a claim.
7. Start building up your NCB
A No Claims Bonus (NCB) is the best way to reduce your car insurance costs. Unfortunately, you can’t get it until you’ve had car insurance for at least a year. This is because the NCB is a discount off your next year’s insurance bill for being a safe, claims-free driver in the previous year. Better still, the more consecutive years you go without a claim, the bigger the discount could be.
8. Keep a clean driving licence
A clean licence is one without any penalty points. If you break traffic laws, you could incur points, a fine, a driving ban, or all three. This is why it’s absolutely vital to drive safely if you want to keep insurance costs down. You can receive points for things like driving without due care and attention, driving whilst over the alcohol limit, or speeding. Read more about driving convictions.
9. Pay for car cover in one go
Paying for car insurance in monthly instalments may feel easier on your bank balance but you’ll likely pay more over the course of a year. This is because many insurance providers will give you a discount if you can stump up the entire year’s premium in one advanced payment.
10. Consider a lower level of car insurance
In the UK, the only compulsory car insurance is Third Party Only (TPO). As such, you are not obliged to opt for more expensive levels of cover such as Third Party Fire and Theft (TPF&T;) and Comprehensive cover (Fully Comp or Comp). However, it’s vital that you understand the difference between the three levels of cover before choosing, as TPO could leave you with a very expensive bill should your car be involved in an accident.