As if young people aren’t charged enough for car insurance, insurers are now calling for some far-fetched restrictions on when and how they can drive. Why don’t they just focus on improving driving standards?
It seems to me that insurance companies are trying to shirk out of their responsibility for the risks they would have us believe they offer cover for.
Not content with demanding extortionate amounts of money from the under-25s, they’re now calling for even more restrictions to be imposed on them.
Too many restrictions for young drivers
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has called on the government to impose a number of restrictions on young drivers, including: a ban on driving between 11pm and 4am; a zero-alcohol limit; and a 12-month learning period during which they won’t be allowed to take a driving test.
In a rare ‘sensible’ move, the government announced last week that it would not impose any such restrictions on young drivers. My 22-year-old niece has struggled to find an insurer to cover her and enough money to pay for premiums, so I’m relieved the government has decided not to make things even tougher for her.
While I commend the notion of a zero-alcohol limit for all drivers, it would unfairly penalise young people if they weren’t allowed to drive themselves home after 11pm. In my early 20s I worked in a local pub, and would have been concerned about my own safety if I hadn’t been able to drive myself home after work. It is these, and many other jobs involving unsociable hours that are taken by under-25s.
Similarly, why should anyone who is adept enough to pass their test in less than 12 months be forced to carry on as a learner for longer?
Stop penalising and start improving standards
Instead of coming up with a list of restrictions, why doesn’t the insurance industry step up to the challenge of helping improve driving standards? Insurers could provide sizeable discounts for those who take advanced driving courses, for example. At present they really only pay lip-service to this, so it’s not financially worthwhile for drivers to bother getting extra training.
And if they really believe their suggested restrictions would save lives, why not offer reductions to all drivers who voluntarily agree to abide by them?
There are many ways that insurers could act as more a positive influence on young drivers than simply penalising them for being young. If they don’t, we’ll end up with a situation where no one drives until their mid-20s, at which point they’ll still lack the experience to drive safely.