Car insurance for 17 year olds

For the average 17 year old, the prospective freedom and enjoyment of learning to drive is something to get excited about. However, with the cost of insurance being the highest for the 17 – 22 demographic of motorists, finding cheap car insurance for 17 year olds can put the brakes on many teens’ driving ambitions. While this may seem slightly unfair, there are several options to take that can keep the cost to a minimum.

According to the AA’s British Insurance Premium Index, the average price for an insurance policy for a female driver in the 17 – 22 demographic is £1,671 for a female and £2,872 for a male. Car insurance for 17 year olds, however, can exceed even those prices, especially for males, and with an 8.2 per cent annual rise in premiums in 2011, these figures look set to grow even larger.

But why are prices so high? The cost of an insurance policy is based on the likelihood of a claim being made based on a number of factors, including the type of car, the possibility of crime etc. When it comes to car insurance for 17 year olds however, the cost is high because young drivers are more likely to be involved in a collision. While the overall number of collisions in the UK is falling year on year, the proportion of those crashes involving young drivers is rising and the average young driver is 10 times more likely to be seriously injured or even killed in a car accident than a motorist over the age of 35.

What can you do to keep the cost down?

Firstly, determine whether a car is required at all. Adding a young driver to an existing policy, such as a parent’s, can be costly in itself but compare that cost with that of a new policy first to determine which would be best. If a new car is required, buy a smaller vehicle with a less powerful engine. Adding the parent to the new policy can also bring the cost down; however, adding them as the main driver is illegal if they are not the registered owner.

Secondly, the type of cover purchased can affect the cost quite dramatically. Fully comprehensive cover can provide extra peace of mind but third party fire and theft or even just third party only policies are typically much cheaper and can shave substantial amounts off quotes.

Many companies now offer several alternatives to standard insurance such as a pay as you go policy, where the premium is renewed each month and can be cancelled when the car isn’t in use. Another option is a pay as you drive policy, where a ‘black box’ is fitted to the car and the premium is determined by how often and when you drive; avoiding rush hour and late night driving can lower the cost.

As a new driver, car insurance for 17 year olds will not include a no claims discount. Until a driver can build up their discount, insurance is always going to be costly. To ensure the costs are kept down as much as possible, research is the best step; car insurance comparison is easy online and can efficiently find the best company so driving can remain the exciting prospect it should be.