Car insurance for 17-year-olds

Find out the average cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old and the cheapest cars to insure.

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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?

Car insurance companies will calculate a customer’s premium based on the risk of someone in their demographic making a claim on their policy, among other things.

The youngest drivers are statistically the most likely to make a claim on their car insurance, 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, but it may not be the most expensive, so it’s worth checking the cost of all types of insurance.

With some insurers, younger drivers may be able to add telematics to their car as part of their 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 secure a discounted premium.

Cheapest cars to insure for a 17-year-old

Make Model Age Average price -
Vauxhall Adam ENERGISED 1.2 3dr 17 £1810 Get Quote
Volkswagen UP 1.0i Up 5dr 17 £1582 Get Quote
Ford KA 1.2 85 Zetec 5dr 17 £1596 Get Quote
Renault Twingo 0.9 TCE Iconic 5dr 17 £1727 Get Quote
Kia Rio 1.0 T-GDi 2 5dr 17 £1727 Get Quote
Ford Fiesta 1.1L Zetec Ti-VCT 5dr 17 £2049 Get Quote
SEAT Ibiza 1.0 TSI XCELLENCE 5dr 17 £2292 Get Quote
Hyundai i10 1.0 Se 5dr Hatchback 17 £1855 Get Quote
Volkswagen Polo 1.2 S 5d 17 £1793 Get Quote
Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i X-Press 5dr 17 £2236 Get Quote
Peugeot 108 1.2 PureTech Allure 5dr Petrol Hatchback 17 £2390 Get Quote
Citroen C1 1.2 PureTech Flair 5dr 17 £2390 Get Quote
Skoda Fabia 1.0 MPI 75 Colour Edition 5dr 17 £1919 Get Quote
Dacia Sandero 1.0 SCe Ambiance 5dr 17 £1919 Get Quote
Vauxhall Corsa 1.4i ecoTEC Design 5dr 17 £2113 Get Quote

Average car insurance cost for a 17-year-old

To provide you with 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.

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 (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.

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 the following costs.

  • Petrol. New drivers tend to underestimate the cost of keeping the gas tank full.
  • 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 maintenance jobs are required.
  • Repairs. If your car needs repairs, 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.

How can 17 year-olds save on their car insurance?

  • Choose a cheaper car. Insurers will also 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. Most insurers will offer you a discount if you agree to this.
  • 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.
  • Add additional safety measures. When you install extra safety measures 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.

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