Tighter rules for young drivers could decrease insurance premiums


Tighter rules for young drivers could decrease insurance premiums

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has suggested that new safety standards for younger drivers could reduce insurance premiums by up to £370 a year.

The average annual premium for a 17 to 18-year-old driver is currently more than £1,800.

But three million young drivers could save up to 20% of those premiums, if safety standards were improved, the ABI says.

These safety standards include a zero tolerance for blood alcohol levels, a limit to the number of passengers young drivers can carry as well as restrictions on driving in the dark.

Current figures suggest that 40% of 17-year-old males have an accident in their first six months of driving but the ABI believes tougher sanctions on younger drivers could see a reduction in the number of collisions.

A study by insurance comparison site Gocompare.com found that half of respondents asked in a recent survey agreed with the ABI's suggestions. 50% of British drivers would like the Government to consider a zero drink and drive alcohol limit for young drivers while 28% would like the Government to consider banning young drivers from carrying passengers in their cars until reaching a certain level of driving experience.

But many industry experts believe the ABI has taken things too far. "Whilst we agree that there is a need to improve the safety of young drivers, we believe that the ABI has gone too far in its recommendations which could serve to stifle the learning experience of young drivers, rather than enhance it," said Michelle Fisher, Brand Manager for Goodyear Tyres.

"We work closely with experts such as the Driving Instructors Association to better understand the best way to approach the teaching of young drivers and believe that restricting a novice driver's exposure to certain driving conditions (such as night time driving and driving with friends in the car) post-test is simply delaying the inevitable and serves to move risk back a few months rather than eradicate the risk entirely," added Fisher.

"It is short-sighted to think that after 6 months of driving around only in daylight hours and with no mates in the back, they will suddenly expertly manage these risks."