It’s looking sunny in the UK but there’s darkness on the horizon. That darkness is the shadow cast by the convoy of static fuel tankers not moving due to industrial action. Yet another rising cost for the financially embattled motorist. Furthermore, the call to get the petrol cans out to stockpile fuel could go hand-in-hand with a call to stockpile cash to save for your insurance. Coincidentally, it’s motor insurance that’s worth protesting about. Anybody searching for driver’s car insurance is faced with some astounding figures. Those under 24, the costs are highest with average bills regularly coming in at over £3000. Parents with children still in education may even have to foot this bill as; fuel alone is an expense that’s only going to go up and up if, the fuel starts to flow freely that is.
With economic times tough, unions primed for action and the job market limited, the impact people is becoming serious enough to get the attention of the government especially, that of the plight of young drivers. The deputy speaker of the House of Commons, Nigel Evans, has recently met with the Association of British Insurers to highlight government concerns over the impact on employment that lack of access to low cost insurance is having on those seeking work for the first time. Special concern is focused on young drivers in rural areas, who may have no choice but to drive in order to access work. The Association has acknowledged that the issue is one that requires attention, but argues that solutions to the problem are not simple. An AA spokesman has also pointed out that there are a number of steps that young drivers can take to reduce their potential insurance cost. So what exactly are the options?
Cost Reduction Plan
- Generally it’s sensible to buy an older, lower risk car. Low powered engines, cars without modifications and second hand cars will all make a big impact on the price you are quoted.
- Additional driving lessons. In this case you may have to spend to save but it can be worth it. The “Pass Plus” course introduces you to driving in poor weather conditions, driving on the motorway, night driving and other advanced skills. Many of these may not have been covered in standard lessons. The savings can be significant – but double check that your insurer will accept the course, before you take it!
- Pay for your insurance in one go. This may not be possible for most young drivers but if there is any chance of doing so it will save money. This works for any driver, so is not simply a tip for the young. If you can’t afford it in your first year or two, but stay accident and claim free, consider doing it as soon as your premiums begin to reflect your driving record.
- Build up a good driving record. This is simply the best way to access savings as soon as possible. Claims and accidents, driving penalties and points will all keep your premiums high for years. If you are a good driver make sure your insurer is reflecting this on your renewal quote, if not, go elsewhere.
- This leads nicely to shopping around for insurance. It can be time consuming to do this effectively, but it can be worth it. Check at least two or three comparison sites, preferably more, check insurers that don’t use comparison sites and check out specialist young drivers car insurance sites. The difference in quotes can be dramatic and well worth the time invested.
Indirect Avoidance Costs
Insurance industry research has found that a high proportion of young drivers have considered driving without insurance or have given false information on their applications. While it’s fairly understandable that many do this, it’s equally important to understand the implications this can have. If you are involved in accident and need to make a claim the insurer will check your details carefully, if you’ve given false information they may invalidate your insurance. This means no pay-out, but can also mean that you have been driving without adequate insurance, which is a criminal offence. This is a lose/lose situation and can lead to high premiums remaining the norm for you for many years. Driving without insurance is a more serious matter and can lead to a driving ban, fines and persistent offenders will face losing their car under new regulations. For young drivers it will also mean years of high premiums, which may keep them off the road far longer than a driving ban.
Sometimes public transport, walking and getting lifts everywhere just isn’t practical, never mind desirable – when you’re under 30. (Or any age for that matter.) At the same time, those who can afford motoring shouldn’t be penalised for irresponsible drivers so, adequate insurance cover / costs is needed. The question is; how do you balance out the costs without penalising either group of vehicle users? Let’s hope the governments schemes, incentives and planning can answer this question and help thousands of drivers – even truck drivers!
Although the government hopes to encourage insurers to offer special schemes for young driver’s car insurance prices still remain high. To find the best deals some simple changes to your driving habits, safer driving and shopping around can help to find the best quotes possible.