/ 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?

Dave says:
7 December 2012

Really, this is ridiculous
When my son turned 17, he took a part time job whilst still at school to help pay for his car, which he duly bought. As a provisional driver he insured his own car, fully comprehensive in his own name for £1400. He took lessons and drove his own car under supervision, gained 100% in his theory test, and passed his driving test first time with one minor fault. Now we come to insure his car for him with a full licence and are greeted with premiums going upwards from £8500! There are no negative aspects to his application other than he is 17 and just passed his test. How are any parents, let alone a student, trying to gain a better education for his future, expected to pay such amounts?

We have gone from elation at him passing his test to devastation at the fact we will now have to sell his car.

This is my third child to pass their driving test, the other two, whilst the premiums were not cheap, were at least manageable. Are our young drivers generally getting so much worse over the last five years that premiums have to rise so much? If so, someone needs to take a serious look at the we we instruct and examine them.

Whilst I accept there are those out there who flaunt the law and drive recklessly, young and old, but should the emphasis not be on rectifying that problem, rather than taking the easy way out and punishing the vast majority who drive safely and responsibly? My son loves driving, he loves his car, polishes it regularly, would never do anything that would risk damaging it and yet he is effectively barred from driving it.

I despair!

Lydia says:
6 August 2014

I’m not sure what I am supposed to do?

I work self employed and absolutely need transport.
I can’t afford to hire because i’m 23.
I can’t ride a scooter because often work is in other cities.
I can’t public transport because I need to be at obscure locations before 7am.
And I most CERTAINLY cannot buy … because my insurance quote is £4800-6000!

Its insane. I’m doing a job that is normally being done by 26-30 year olds, who can all afford car insurance. I’m going to be priced out of my career simply because of my age. Maybe I should have been a dropout for a few years first?

The other factor is that I live in Hackney. But if I’m working in a different part of the country everyday, I really can’t live outside of London. Plus I put my life first.

Please someone tell me what I’m supposed to do? I have 20 days until the next job starts, all in locations I can’t get to.

maureen Gee says:
24 November 2014

just to warn young drivers to watch car insurance my grandson passed his test and was running round in a oldest car was insured with Hasting direct he was insured as a student, he then with the help of his parents saved and bought a 2009 Ford Fiesta costing £6,400 he also got a job as a delivery man with a pizza company and left being a student, when he bought the new car he phoned Hasting insurance told them about all his circumstances that had changed payed the diffrents, on Saturday 25th Nov 2014 on a very foggy night I,m afraid to say he had a accident delivering pizza and the car is a write off, now HASTING DIRECT are refusing to pay any compensation saying he did not declare any of this information all this was done over the phone so he has not got any proof of what he said ,he now has ended up penniless with nothing, hope you can pass this on to all young driver’s when using the phone to do their insurance, he say’s the next time he does any business over the phone he’s going to record all THANK YOU HASTING INSURANCE FOR MY GRANDSON BEING PENNILESS

Nick Reeves says:
19 April 2015

One of the other factors to reduce insurance costs is how long you have had your licence, iv been driving for 11 years and my mother has had a licence for 25 years she hasnt driven in over 10 years and she gets an insurance quote on mu catr for 200.00 I have been driving for 11 years without fault and my insurance quote was 700.00 I agree smaller than some of the quotes talked about but this logic from the insurance company is flawed. How can young drivers obtain experience, gain no claims bonus, or build up time on there licence if its to expensive to drive in the first place. Older drivers in my area cause the most acidents not young people, older people drive far slower than speed limits resulting in ques, overtaking, slower reaction times and thier insurance is between 200 – 600 pounds also no logi. Insurance companies are a business but when the goverment make it illegal to drive without insurance there is an obligation to make sure the people are not ripped off or defrauded. There is something dodgy in the air and I smell money!