Cheapest car insurance for new drivers

Do you feel like you're being quoted far too much for car insurance? Find out how to find cheap car insurance as a new driver.

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When you’re starting out, insurance companies will hit you with higher premiums as you’re seen as being more likely to have an accident and make a claim.

However, there are ways to find discounts and policies that can lower your insurance costs, all the while giving you the cover you need.

What’s the cheapest type of policy?

Logic should dictate that third party insurance is the cheapest type of policy. This is the most basic type of deal on offer and it’s the minimum level of cover you need to legally drive in the UK.

It pays out for any damage you cause to someone else’s vehicle or property. It won’t offer any financial help should your car need repairs or replacing.

However, insurance companies have clocked that younger and less experienced drivers are the main buyers of this type of policy and they can work out more costly than you expect.

It’s definitely worth getting quotes for third party, fire and theft and comprehensive insurance too, as these might work out cheaper – despite offering you higher levels of protection.

What affects the cost of car insurance?

There are a number of factors that make car insurance more expensive for one person than another. These can include:

  • Age
  • Car make and model
  • Where you live
  • Average yearly mileage
  • Driving history

How can I lower my car insurance rates?

There are many ways to lower your insurance premiums including:

  • Buy at the right time. Buying car insurance three weeks ahead of its starting day is often cheaper than signing up months before or at the last minute.
  • Telematics policy. Having a black box in your car which monitors your speed, distance travelled and the times you drive can lower costs. Or indeed raise them.
  • Buy a cheaper car. Buying a less powerful, safer or older vehicle can lower your costs. Although insurers will charge you more for having a rare car which will cost more to find parts for.
  • Opt for a higher excess. When you make a claim you generally have to pay a certain amount (an excess) before the insurer starts contributing. Agreeing to a higher excess can lower your premium.
  • Nominate your drivers. Adding an older or more experienced driver to your policy if they use your car occasionally can lower costs.
  • Park in a secure location. Leaving your car in a garage overnight can make insurance much cheaper.
  • Up your security. Insurers may lower your costs if you install antitheft or other security features in the car.
  • Never auto-renew. Car insurance companies often don’t reward loyalty. Each year you should get quotes and shop around, it could save you hundreds of pounds. Particularly if you’ve had a change in your personal details, getting married for instance.
  • Beware paying in instalments. Insurers often charge interest on monthly instalments, which means higher costs. Paying an annual lump-sum will lower your premium.
  • Reduce your mileage. You could earn a discount if you limit the miles you drive each year. Taking public transport or carpooling could be one way of doing this.

How to get cheap car insurance if you’re a young driver

Car insurance can be a major drain on young drivers’ wallets unfortunately. While you might see yourself as a responsible road-user, insurance companies will see you as being a higher risk. That’s because younger drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in a collision.

Yet, there are ways to get a decent deal on car insurance as a young driver. These include:

  • Choosing your car wisely. Powerful and expensive vehicles will cost more to cover, so buying a cheaper car could save you money on insurance for years to come.
  • Build a safe driving record. Drive responsibly and avoid making any claims, and you will start to earn a no claims discount after a few years.
  • Get an additional driving qualification. Taking a defensive driving course might convince the insurance company you’re safer on the roads and provide you with a cheaper premium.
  • Pay annually. Try not to pay your insurance in monthly instalments as insurance companies will typically charge you more.

Frequently asked questions

Bottom line

As a new driver, insurers, unfortunately, do consider you as more of a risk than experienced drivers but this doesn’t necessarily mean you should be lumbered with the most expensive car insurance.

Even though you might not have a lot of experience on the road, you may be a safe and careful driver, and if this is the case, choosing a telematics insurance policy could help to lower your premium.

Before deciding on a policy, do some homework and compare the deals on offer to you.

The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you.
*Based on independent online research by Consumer Intelligence (March ’20). 51% of car insurance customers could save £285.88.

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