Car insurance tips
It's a known fact that car insurance can cost you some serious cash you're young. Whether you’ve passed your driving test recently (congratulations!) or as soon as you were 17, there are plenty of ways to carefully save money.
What kind of cover do I need?
Choosing your cover isn’t as complicated as it sounds. There are three different types:
Third Party – this is a basic cover, which is for claims made against you by other people if there’s an accident. You’re covered for injuries to others and damage to the other drivers property.
Third Party Fire and Theft – you get the same benefits as Third Party cover, but it also protects you from fire damage or theft. It’s not normally that much more expensive than Third Party insurance and can be a good choice for those who live in cities with higher crime rates.
Comprehensive – The most expensive option. This cover offers the same benefits as Third Party Fire and Theft, but also includes accidental damage cover for your car, as well as cover for medical expenses following an accident and for missing personal possessions following a theft.
How much should I be paying?
Unfortunately cover for young people tends to be more expensive because you’re young, and therefore the premiums are higher. Statistics show that young people are more likely to be involved in accidents, or claim for damages.
It’s simple to find quotes online, but make sure you ring around as well (not all insurance companies will turn up on comparison sites) to get the best deal and really read the fine-print. Some policy providers even have student specific insurance. Endsleigh offers a competitive quote and includes RAC roadside cover.
I’ve got my own insurance, can I drive my friends car?
Short answer: probably not. Most policies include a driver-other-cars (DOC) benefit. However, these policies penalise ‘young drivers’, because they’re statistically more likely to be more reckless when driving. DOC benefits aren’t generally available to those under 25, so your best bet is to take out temporary cover - but this can be pretty costly, especially if you don’t plan ahead.
I’m happy with my current policy, I’ll auto-renew
DON’T! It might be easy, but it’s going to be costly! A survey by GoCompare.com found that over a third of young drivers let their policy auto-renew, without first shopping around to find a better deal. You’re throwing away money if you don’t check. Searching policies can take a matter of minutes, but can save you hundreds.
Much like electricity and phone bills, just because you got a good deal when you first signed up, doesn’t mean that this policy continues to be the most competitive or relevant to you. Check to see if your current policy has automatic renewal set up – and cancel it! Each year check the market for better deals; policy providers will be fighting for your custom.
Don’t break the law
Having your car registered in your parents name and just having yourself as a named driver generally works out much cheaper than insuring in your name. This is called ‘fronting’ and unfortunately, is against the law. Unless the registered driver is the main user of the car and the named driver only occasionally uses it, this policy won’t stand up. Don’t get caught out.
Always make sure you’re honest when filling in the forms. If your car isn’t kept in a garage, don’t say it is even though it’ll be cheaper to insure. If something does go wrong and you need to make a claim, it’s likely the truth will come out and you won’t be covered.
Set up a dashboard cam
Dashboard cams aren’t just there to record footage of meteors crashing into Russia, they’re a great way to provide evidence if you’re ever involved in an accident.
You can get them on the high-street (Halfords etc) and can cost as little as £45 for a very basic model.
Get a black box fitted
You probably know that aeroplanes have black boxes fitted, but did you know that cars can have them too? The ‘box’ measures how frequently you drive and also how you well you are driving. If you’re a speedy Gonzalez behind the wheel, this one probably isn’t for you.
You can get a black box insurance policy, which will reward you with lower premiums if you drive safely. More Than have one specially designed for young drivers, but as always, shop around to see if it’s the best deal for you.
Got a garage?
Simply keeping your car in a garage, or off the road, can lower the cost of car insurance. If this isn’t an option for you, lots of insurance companies offer advice on how to make sure your car is secure. Investing in steering locks and immobilisers might make you seem like the dad of your friend group, but it can save you plenty of money.