Young drivers’ insurance: how to buy cover for your child

When your child passes the practical driving test, any learner driver insurance that he or she had will automatically cease, and it’s time to graduate to a standard insurance policy.

For young, newly qualified drivers, standard policies are known as ‘young driver’ policies, and generally apply to anyone aged 17 to 25.

These policies don’t tend to offer anything different from a standard policy in terms of coverage, and the application process is the same as it is for a more experienced driver.

A quote is given by the insurance company based on the information the applicant provides and the options he or she chooses. The resulting policy provides insurance cover for the vehicle and its named driver(s) in the event of an accident.

Where you will see a difference, is in the premium …

Why is young driver insurance so expensive?

Insurance quotes are calculated by taking into account a variety of factors, including

  • age
  • driving experience
  • type of car
  • the address the vehicle is being kept at.

But ultimately, it’s all about how much risk the applicant poses to the insurance company.

Unfortunately, statistics show that young drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident than experienced drivers so they are deemed to be a high risk – and more costly to insure.

Some companies have stopped insuring young drivers altogether because of this, but there’s still plenty of choice on the market, so do shop around for the best price.

Did you know?
It’s usually possible for a parent to arrange an insurance policy on his or her child’s behalf, provided all information given is accurate. However, there may be occasions when the insurance provider will need to speak directly to the policyholder.

01 – How can we keep the cost as low as possible?

Until your child has built up some driving experience and a no claims bonus, premiums are likely to be high. But there are many ways to reduce the impact on his or her (or your!) bank balance.

02 – Use a price comparison site for a market overview

It’s best not to rely on price comparison sites. Not all insurers appear on them, and many can give you a much better deal if you contact them direct. However, these sites do provide a great overview of the market so you can get an idea of pricing before starting to make enquiries.

03 – Encourage your child to take an advanced driving course

Driving qualifications such as Pass Plus will reduce the premium your son or daughter is offered by many insurance companies – possibly by up to 25%!

04 – Choose the right car

If your child doesn’t have a car yet, then you’re in a great position to help him or her to choose one with insurance premiums in mind. Newer cars tend to be cheaper to insure, because they have higher safety and security standards.

However, the car’s value (as new), performance and cost to repair are also considered, so it’s best to stick to something basic and reliable.

Older cars can be improved by adding enhanced safety and security features such as:

  • an approved alarm
  • immobiliser
  • tracking device.

Other modifications can make it more difficult and expensive to find insurance. No matter how alluring they might be to your son or daughter, it’s probably best to steer clear of non-standard bodykits and turbos.

05 – Consider a black box policy

Black box policies are currently the best deals on the market for young drivers, as they allow the individual to prove him or herself, rather than being pigeonholed as a ‘high risk’.

Your child will have a telematics or ‘black box’ installed in the car (or use a mobile phone app), which will track where, when and how she or he drives. A safe driving record will keep premiums low.

Policy details vary from provider to provider, so be sure to choose one that works best for your child. For example, some may impose a curfew or penalise policyholders for driving at night, and others may limit mileage.

Don't forget!
A voluntary excess is usually coupled with a compulsory excess, so be sure to add the two figures together when calculating the total amount your child would have to pay in the event of a claim.

06 – Try altering certain policy details

Increasing the voluntary excess will reduce your child’s overall premium, and adding an experienced driver to the policy as a named driver could make a difference. Also, be sure to remove any optional extras that your son or daughter doesn’t need.

Picking third-party only or third-party, fire and theft cover won’t necessarily result in a lower premium, but it’s worth comparing prices if your child doesn’t need comprehensive insurance.

Adrian Flux offers learner driver insurance from as little as £1 a day. Get a quote to see how much you could save.