/ Money, Motoring

Young drivers still punished by car insurance prices

Young male driver in car

This past year has seen a record increase in the price of car insurance premiums, with young drivers the worst hit. What needs to be done to ensure that teenagers aren’t hit by unaffordable car insurance?

Many of you don’t appear to have much sympathy for the younger drivers among us. Our previous Conversation on the high cost of car insurance for teenagers prompted responses along the lines of ‘young drivers are their own worst enemies’.

The most common argument offered was that insurance premiums simply reflect the risk based on statistics and that if young drivers want cheaper car insurance, they’ve got to start driving safer.

Record rise in car insurance premiums

But it doesn’t look like that’s happened, with the AA reporting a record price rise due to a surge in accident claims. Young drivers have been especially hit. Premiums for 17-22-year-olds have risen by 47% in one year – the biggest rise since the AA started tracking car insurance in 1994.

Young men are worst off – with the average price of the three cheapest quotes starting from a hefty £2,457 a year. That’s almost double the premium offered to young women, but is apparently due to young men being twice as likely to be involved in an accident. Whatever the cause, it’s quite simply pricing these drivers out of the market.

Which? Convo commenter ‘Mother’ agrees:

“[Car insurance premiums] are quite clearly unaffordable to young people and even their long-suffering parents. Yes, there are bad young drivers and all need to gain experience of the roads, but don’t tar all with the same brush.”

What should be done for young drivers?

Isn’t the knock-on effect of these high cost premiums an increase in uninsured drivers on our roads? There are around 1.5 million uninsured drivers in the UK and most are under 25.

From our previous poll, over half of you think uninsured drivers’ cars should be sold, with this cash going to compensate crash victims. And then there’s 20% of you who think we should confiscate and crush their vehicles! Perhaps a bit harsh. But as ‘Mother’ points out, reducing premiums for young drivers would mean more would choose to be insured.

So what should be done to get these costs down? Perhaps the new and tougher driving licence that includes independent driving will reduce the amount of accidents among young drivers?

Convo commenter Jane Winfield thinks new drivers should only be able to drive cars with a small engine, which is actually one of our tips for young drivers trying to reduce their premium. What do you think should be done to reduce car insurance premiums for young drivers?

Ron Adams says:
15 October 2010

Young Car Drivers & high insurance premiums.
An appliance could be fitted to the car to restrict the maximum speed for 1 or 2 years or restrict them to day light driving for 1 or 2 years.
The main problem is that too many young drivers do not insure their vehicle because of the high cost. If young drivers premiums were reduced we may get most of them taking out insurance hence the total income to the Insurance Companies would be the same. It is a question of economics.


I like a US idea wear a young driver can have a black box in the cars that can record how a accdent has happed this gives them a discount on there insurance. At £275 maybe a good way to keep your NCD in a accedent that is not your fault. To restrict night driving will leave other problems like getting use to driving at night, wot will be counted as night and the rush home.
We also need to stop the use of parental insurance which means that a lot of young drivers are driving without proper insurance

Green Machine says:
16 October 2010

Here we go again, playing the “unfair to all” young motorists card again, what a load of rubbish. Sadly in todays way of life, there are so many issues that affect daily life, it is only sensible that we look at the overall average of issues. the insurance companies have looked at the issues across the board and reflect this in what we have to pay. I do not agree that were I live is a particular problem, but in reality my post code is rife with car crime, so it is only right that this causes a change in my premium, not that i like it, but this is reality. The same must apply to the higher risk accident groups also, and a sad fact is that it is in the younger age group that these accidents occur. Premiums will only come down if they either reduce their accident rates OR they have more severe restrictions on there insurance. for example, as in motorcycle legislation, there should be a restriction on engine capacity or BHP that limits new drivers to lower power engines, or even only allowing group 1 or 2 class vehicles to newly qualified drivers. there are already incentives to new drivers, ie the pass plus courses, but they don’t seem to take this up as options to reduce their premiums, as they say it is too expensive. I am sorry but if you don’t pay the insurance premium and drive, then when you are caught you shoould be forced to pay a monthly amount to the motor insurance bureau of at least twice the average of your expected premium, for the amount of time you are calculated as being uninsured. They days of the £350 fine and a 6 months ban are ridiculus, as it looks like a better option to go without insurance, and if you get caught, then the fine is way less than cost of having insurance. I find this anomaly so wierd. it looks cheaper to get caught than pay insurance. This may sound like a twisted argument, but sadly, this is how its seen by the drivers I have encountered over the years that have been to court for failure to have insurance. Many of whom weem to view the ban as just a piece of paper, yes this means that there future premiums will skyrocket, but many have no intentions of getting insurance in the future so this is of no deterent. Maybe a solution would bee to tag each insurance offender, and if the tag shows a movement in excess of 15 mph, they should be pulled, as it is unlikely they are on foot at the time.

Callum says:
21 April 2011

To ”Green Machine”, the reason not a lot of young drivers take up pass plus is that the insurance discount often doesn’t cover the cost of getting pass plus. Yes, a lot of young drivers are crashing, but the amount is still a minority, none of my friends have crashed, actually a old man crashed in to one of my friends, and he’s more than likely paying ten times less. I have a clean driving licence, I have no interest in modifying cars, or speeding, actually I’ve never speeded, I’ve passed the latest driving tests which recent research shows that most on the road wouldn’t even pass a driving test now (technically they are unsafe in the eyes of the DVLA) but it seems easier for insurance companies to brand me a boy racer. Oh and by the way, lower powered cars are now more expensive to insure in some cases, for example a 1.4 Golf is cheaper for me to insure than a 1.0 Vauxhall Corsa, but we both know the Golf is much more dangerous, it’s not only bigger but more powerful. For some reason my insurance will be about a £1000 cheaper when I’m 21, I haven’t driven since my test, and by the time I’m 21 I would’ve forgotten how to drive and all the safe driving I was taught when learning, how can I be more safe then, than now, when I can remember how to drive safely. And driving without insurance isn’t cheaper, as it’s a immediate 6 point penalty, and you would lose your licence, driving lessons to pass the driving test again would cost more, plus it’s illegal, which would surely go down on your criminal record. You would almost definitely get caught with the Police’s new ANPR car systems. I personally think that insurance providers should bring out more attitude tests, and systems like the co-op have introduced which judges your driving and lowers your premiums the safer you drive.

Robert Miles says:
18 October 2010

Perhaps a solution to the uninsured driver problem and perhaps the road tax licence is to incorporate this into the fuel cost at the pump. A basic 3rd party insurance could be had for all drivers and of course you could top this up under your own scheme. The RTL paid as part of the fuel you buy would be a much fairer scheme. The more you use, the more you pay.

Century Auto says:
1 February 2011

Does your car insurance drop when you turn 25? If that’s so, how much…?


It really depends on which car insurer you go with – If you’ve had no accidents or claims, then of course your insurance is going to reduce.

Insurers will often increase your premium in the second year of your policy, so it always pays to look around for a better deal. You can call up or go onto an insurer’s website to get quotes. Either way, you’ll be asked a series of questions about your age, address and occupation. Online quotes can often be cheaper than ones that are given over the phone.

P Smith says:
18 February 2011

Why is so much focus put on these young drivers. I passed my test at 17 and was competent to drive from day one..by the way i’m 38 and have been on the roads for 21 years. Yes you do get some who drive around as though they’re playing Grand Theft Auto..but then again i’ve witnessed so called grown men and WOMEN doing exactly that.
My nephew is 18 and has started to take driving lessons. He’s on a minimum wage but has managed to save £1000 towards buying his first car. I’ve been looking at Clio’s and Punto 1.2l engines as these are appropriate due to his age and experience. I then decided to search some quotes.. and you can imagine my shock when every quote was around the £6000 mark.
Like i said, he’s on minimum wage, he works hard and is a sensible lad. He doesn’t go into the towns wasting his money on a friday and saturday night..he saves what he earns and does worthwhile things with his money.
So, whats the point of bieng able to drive at 17 if you’ve not got a hope in **** of affording to drive on the roads..unless mummy and daddy are stupid enough to part with that kind of cash.
The reason premiums are so high is because of fraudulent claims..fraudulent suggesting the claims should never go through.
The insurance companies simply pay out without thoroughly investigating, then just add thier losses onto our premiums the following year.
Have you been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault..thats whats splattered on the tv day in day out. So it comes to pass that even in a minor collision you can bet your life theres gonna be whiplash, hospital appointments, time off work etc etc.
These claims go into thousands and thousands..so i think its about time claims were investigated properly, so that the premiums can get back down to a respectable figure, and allow anyone whos of an age to drive..the opportunity to do just that.
The other thing thats crossed my mind is the thought that maybe the goverment is playing a part in the scandalous price rises. Prices so high in a bid to cut congestion..whereby young drivers are eliminated, others like myself decide to start using the bus..due to the fact that my renewal has rose by £350 even though its the same car, and i have 1 years extra no claims. They’ll also cut congestion because there is undoubtedly going to be an increase of uninsured drivers on the road..who without doubt will get caught and banned.
Anyway, whatever…its all gone to pot.