Car insurance for 17-year-olds
Find out the average cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old, the cheapest cars to insure, and how to cut insurance premiums.
So you’ve passed your test and are free to get behind the wheel without supervision. Time to celebrate! That is, until you try to get car insurance and do a double-take at just how much it costs. Car insurance tends to be very expensive for 17-year-olds, especially when you consider that many are still in education and not earning a full-time income. This guide explains what car insurance is available to 17-year-olds and how they can find the best policy for their needs.
Why is car insurance more expensive for 17-year-olds?
Well, we hate to say it, but younger and less experienced drivers are simply more likely to be involved in an accident and to make a claim. Official stats prove it. Department for Transport figures, for example, show that 17-20 year old drivers make up a disproportionately high number of road traffic casualties (11%) compared with most other age groups.
Car insurance companies will calculate a new customer’s premium based on the risk of someone in their demographic making a claim on their policy, among other things, so insurers charge them far more to compensate for this.
What types of insurance are available to 17-year-olds?
Technically, 17-year-olds can purchase the same types of insurance as any other motorist: comprehensive, third-party fire and theft or third-party only.
Comprehensive insurance offers the deepest level of protection. And, contrary to what you might expect, it may not be the most expensive type. So it’s worth checking the cost of all types of insurance.
With some insurers, younger drivers may be able to opt for a “black-box” policy. This allows insurers to track your driving activity and (hopefully) prove that you are a safe driver. If you can do this, you’ll often be able to get discounts on your premium.
Cheapest cars to insure for a 17-year-old
Average car insurance cost for a 17-year-old
To give you an idea of the average cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old, we ran several quotes using a popular make and model for a 17-year-old and an average UK postcode. Based on our results, on average, you could get a comprehensive car insurance policy for an annual sum of £2049.32.
Average insurance cost for a 17-year-old by location
The table above shows the cheapest cars to insure for 17-year-olds and the average insurance premium for each make and model. However, there are a number of other factors that affect the cost of your car insurance premiums, one of the biggest being your location.
To show the power of the postcode, here are some average quotes for a 17-year-old living in three different locations. The quotes are for a Hyundai i10 S 5d Model.
- Cheap: £1512 (Truro, TR8)
- Average: 1855.46 (Chester, CH1)
- Expensive: 2271 (London, E10)
As you can see above, there is a great degree of cost variability between each location due to factors such as the likelihood of theft, historic claims data in the area and road traffic data. For example, the driver who lives in London will pay an extra £759 per year when compared to the driver who lives in Truro.
Case study: finding the cheapest car insurance for a 17-year-old
Holly, our fictional 17-year-old, has held her licence for 5 months. She’s been driving her parents’ shared car as a named driver since she passed her test, but wants the freedom and flexibility that owning her own car will give her, so is thinking of investing in a second-hand VW Golf SE hatchback.
Holly’s keen to get the cheapest car insurance she can, so decides to try out a few options. She starts off by getting quotes with a leading price comparison site, plus Direct Line, which isn’t on price comparison sites.
When the price comparison site results come up she gets a bit of a shock. Some of the top five quotes all come in at more than £3,000, with the cheapest being £2,255 if she pays annually.
Can going direct save Holly money?
Sadly Direct Line isn’t any cheaper. Its standard comprehensive policy would set her back an eye-watering £4,282, while the provider’s black box policy would cost £3,094, so she rapidly rules this option out.
What about adding an experienced named driver?
Desperately searching for ways to cut the cost of cover, she asks her 50-year-old dad if he’d be interested in driving her car occasionally, so she can add him as a named driver. He likes the idea and has a clean driving record with plenty of no-claims years, so she tries adding him on as named driver on the price comparison site.
She’s pleased to find that this knocks more than £200 off the cost of insurance via the price comparison site, with the cheapest quote now coming in at £2,029.
Is it worth considering a different car?
Finally, Holly notices that her car of choice – a VW Golf SE – is in insurance group 11 out of 50. It’s not the most expensive insurance group, but nor is it the cheapest. She reconsiders and checks the price for a VW Polo SE instead, which is in insurance group 8. This puts her cheapest quote at £1,598, so she decides this is a trade-off worth making.
What other costs are involved in getting your first car?
As well as paying for their car insurance, new drivers will need to make sure they have the money available to cover a bunch of other costs. They all add up, soo make sure you do your budgeting carefully before shelling out for your own car.
- Fuel. As a new driver, it’s easy to underestimate the cost of keeping the tank full, or an electric engine powered up.
- Car tax. This annual bill, also known as vehicle excise duty, is paid to the government. The amount you’ll pay is based on your choice of vehicle, its emissions and when it was registered.
- MOT. If a car is more than three years old, you’ll need to pay for an MOT test every year to make sure it meets the minimum legal standards for road safety and environmental friendliness.
- Servicing and maintenance. You’ll have to pay for the cost of repairs of maintenance as a vehicle ages. An MOT test will identify what crucial maintenance jobs are required.
- Repairs. If your car needs repairs following an incident, you can make a claim on your insurance, in which case your provider will pay for it. However, this will impact your no-claims bonus, so you might prefer to cover the costs of cheaper repairs by yourself. And bear in mind that wear and tear won’t be covered. Touching up minor scratches caused by gritty roads or dealing with rust patches will typically come out of your own pocket.
How can 17 year-olds save on their car insurance?
- Choose a cheaper car. Insurers will consider how much a car costs to repair when calculating your premium. When you choose a cheaper car, you’ll pay less to insure it. Scroll up to see our list of cheapest cars to insure.
- Add a named driver. If you add a more experienced driver onto your policy, insurers will often reduce your premium.
- Take your “Pass Plus” course. This course teaches newly-qualified motorists how to handle some more advanced aspects of driving, such as driving at night or on the motorway. You’ll get a certificate for completing the course, and some insurers will offer a discount to younger drivers who have this.
- Add a black box. A telematics box will track your driving activity and prove to your insurer that you’re a safe driver. Black box insurers will offer you a discount if you agree to this. Assuming, of course, that you drive safely. Careless driving could have the opposite effect. .
- Increase your voluntary excess. Most insurers will cut your premium if you agree to cover more of your insurer’s potential costs with a larger excess. Make sure you don’t set it so high that you can’t afford to pay it following an incident, though.
- Add additional safety measures. When you install extra safety measures – such as an alarm or immobiliser – to your vehicle, you reduce the likelihood of making a claim. For that reason, most insurers are happy to reduce your premium when you do it.
- Avoid unnecessary modifications. Modifications such as a spoiler or an expensive sound system can send your premium skyrocketing because your insurer will factor in the cost of replacing these luxury items.
The bottom line
Car insurance can be a huge expense for 17-year-olds, but there are a number of actions you can take to reduce the costs. From choosing a vehicle in a low insurance group to installing a telematics device, there are options out there for first-time drivers.
As always, it’s important to compare quotes to find a provider that suits the level of cover you need and falls within your budget.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Car insurance for 20-year-olds
Find out the average cost of car insurance for a 20 year old and how to save on your premiums.
Car insurance for 18-year-olds
Find out the average cost of car insurance for 18 year olds.
Car insurance for 19-year-olds
Find out how much car insurance costs for a 19 year old.
Best car insurance for young drivers in the UK right now
We’ve compared and rated the best car insurance for young drivers on a number of specific policy features and benefits that are relevant to younger drivers.
Cheapest car insurance for young drivers
read our guide to getting the cheapest car insurance deal possible as a younger driver. Plus compare car insurance quotes from some of the cheapest companies.
Cheapest car insurance for new drivers
A good car insurance policy doesn’t have to be expensive, even for new drivers. Compare cheap beginner car insurance quotes and start saving today.
Best black box car insurance
We’ve rated and the best black box insurance companies out there based on their overall policy features and customer feedback.
Car insurance for learner drivers
Compare learner car insurance options for yourself, your son or daughter to ensure you have the right cover in place.
Car insurance for new drivers under 21
Car insurance can be tricky for new young drivers. Learn why it is important to have the right policy and 10 ways you can save on your insurance cost.