Car insurance for first time drivers

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How to find car insurance as a new driver

Last updated: May 2021

Edited by Rachel Wait

Whatever your age, your first car insurance policy will probably be the most expensive you ever buy. 

But that doesn’t mean you should give up on finding a cheap policy, or at least a cheaper one. 

  • Some insurers will offer much lower premiums than others so it pays to get as many quotes as possible to find the best deals

  • Never buy your car insurance on price alone; look for the policy with the right cover for you, because the cheapest policy could cost you more in the long run

How to save on new driver insurance

Try a black box policy that records your driving and could mean cheaper cover if you drive safely. Find black box quotes here, and find out how it works here.

Fully comp for new drivers

Get comprehensive cover, which not only gives you the best protection, but can be cheaper than lower levels of cover. This guide explains which level you should get.

Add a named driver to your policy

Add an experienced driver to your policy. Having a safe driver on your insurance could mean lower quotes; find out more about adding drivers to your policy here.

Just make sure they are named only, as adding them as the main driver when you drive most of the time counts as fraud, and could get you in serious trouble and your claim rejected if you are involved in an accident.

This guide has more tips on finding the right cover as a new driver.

Don’t forget your excess

When you make a claim you will have to pay an excess, which is how much of the claim you have to pay yourself, so check how much each policy charges when comparing quotes.

Some insurance companies impose larger excess for inexperienced drivers, so make sure that you can afford the excess amount in the event of a claim. Find out how car insurance excess works?

Car insurance for new drivers FAQs

New drivers have less experience and are more likely to be involved in accidents and make insurance claims, so car insurers charge them more. All drivers have gotten safer in the past few years, and younger drivers have shown the most improvement but young drivers are still more likely to be involved in accidents than drivers over the age of 25.

  • Figures from the Department for Transport in 2018 show that around one in five new drivers are involved in a crash during their first year on the road

  • Young drivers between 17 and 24 are three times more likely than drivers from any other age group to be injured in a car accident

  • Young drivers often crash with other young people in the car, injuring them, and because each passenger is a ‘third party’, the insurer has to pay out for their injuries, making claims more expensive

Yes, it is illegal to drive in the UK without insurance and you could face a fixed fine, six points on your licence and your car being seized and destroyed if you do it.

There are three ways you can learn to drive and that will determine whether you need to take out learner driver insurance:

  • In your own car: you will need to have a learner insurance policy in place

  • In someone else's car: you must either get a provisional insurance policy, or ask the main driver to add you to their policy

  • If you are learning instructor: you won’t need provision or learner driver insurance because you’ll be covered by your instructor as the provisional insurance costs are included in the fee you pay them

Find out more about how learner insurance works

All car insurance covers you if you have an accident, but there are different levels of cover available.

Third party – the most basic cover – if you have an accident that is your fault it will cover you for damage to another car or property and for injuries to a driver and passengers

Third party fire and theft – same as third party but you are also covered if your car is damaged by fire or stolen

Comprehensive – (or fully comp cover) this is the highest level of cover and will also pay out if your car is damaged and you are at fault.

It is the amount you have to pay towards any claim you make, all insurance policies have an excess but you can choose to pay more upfront – which can reduce your car insurance premiums. Find out how car insurance excess works here.

No, this is known as fronting and is illegal. The main driver must be the person who drives most, but you can add a named driver to your policy.

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