Passing your driving test is a huge achievement, and for many 17-year-olds, it is a symbol of freedom and taking those first steps into adulthood. There is little better than the feeling of getting behind the wheel of your very first car, but before you can take it out for a spin, you need to choose your car insurance.
Car insurance is eye-wateringly expensive for anyone under the age of 25, and for a new driver at 17 it is going to set you back a pretty penny.
Arranging your car insurance is not a fun task, but it is a necessity before you can hit the road. It is important to remember that your car insurance as a 17-year-old is always going to be higher than that of your parents or older siblings. While you must accept that your first ever car insurance is not going to be cheap, there are some options out there to help you keep the costs as low as possible.
Why is car insurance more expensive for 17-year-olds?
Losing your L plates and paying through the nose to be able to drive on your own for the first time is a rite of passage for almost every young person in the UK. Before you begin shopping around for the best car insurance for you, it is vital that you understand the reasons behind the expensive price tag.
Insurance companies will calculate everything based on risk, which means they will be assessing the likelihood of having to pay out for a claim. The more likely they are to have to pay out, the higher the premiums will be.
When you are 17, your driving experience is limited, and it is likely you have only ever driven during driving lessons. On top of this, roughly one in five young drivers are involved in an accident within the first six months of getting their licence.
All this means that insurance companies will take the view that they are more likely to have to pay out for a claim, and so increase the premiums to help cover these costs. As you grow older and build up a no claims bonus, your insurance premiums will decrease as the insurance companies begin to see that you are less of a risk to them.
Black Box Insurance: The best car insurance for 17-year-olds
What is black box insurance?
Insurance companies are aware of how the high prices of car insurance for young people can be off-putting and even result in some young people not driving at all. They have come up with other solutions to help tackle these high prices while also protecting themselves, and one popular solution for many new drivers is black box insurance.
Black box insurance, or telematics insurance as it is sometimes known, is based on your own driving as opposed to statistics of other people your age.
When you choose black box insurance, your car will be fitted with a small ‘black box’ device that is used to track your driving style and habits. It will record your speed, the distance you have travelled and the time of day you are driving.
Your braking and cornering will be monitored as well, and all this data is used to build up a thorough profile of what you are like as a driver. When you have black box insurance, you will be able to login to a secure website portal that will give you performance data on your driving and give you advice on any areas you could improve on to bring down the cost of your insurance.
Generally, if you drive fewer miles on roads known to be safer and also limit your driving at night time, then your premiums will be lower. Some black box insurance policies will have premiums that change every month depending on your driving, while others will have fixed monthly premiums.
If you choose a black box insurance policy, it will almost always be cheaper than not having a black box, as insurance companies will see you as less of a risk as they can monitor your driving.
How can 17-year-old drivers keep their insurance costs down?
As well as choosing black box insurance, there are other ways that 17-year-old drivers can keep the costs of their insurance to a minimum. Here are our top tips on keeping car insurance as low as possible:
- Choose the right car: If you haven’t already got your heart set on a specific car, then choosing wisely can save you a lot of money in car insurance.
Opt for something with a small engine as in general smaller cars will cost less to insure. Every car will be put into its own insurance group and can have a big impact on how much you end up paying in insurance.
- Add a named driver with experience: If you have a family member or close friend with a lot of driving experience and a clean licence, then look at adding them as a named driver on your policy.
While it seems obvious that adding more drivers will make the cost go up, in some cases, it can actually reduce the cost of your premiums. Never be tempted to take out the policy in someone else’s name and add yourself as a named driver, as this is called fronting and is a type of insurance fraud.
- Get more driving qualifications: You can try to prove to insurance companies that you are a safe driver by continuing your learning even after you’ve passed your driving test.
Taking advanced driving courses such as Pass Plus can be really effective at lowering the cost of your cover, as insurance companies will see you as less of a risk.
- Pay annually: While making monthly premium payments is often the easiest and most manageable option, it is usually cheaper to pay your insurance annually instead. If you can afford to pay for one year in advance, you will generally save across the course of the year.
It is also worth looking into flexible finance options as MyFirstUK offer various options with low deposits for first-time drivers.