How to cut motor cover costs for young drivers

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The average cost of insuring a car for young drivers has soared to a record high of £3,688, according to figures from moneysupermarket.com. And newly qualified drivers face annual premiums of around £5,957.

Many young drivers are forced to give up their dreams of getting behind the wheel altogether as a result. Luckily, however, Walletpop has some top tips on cutting the cost of motor cover.


What not to do
It is never a good idea to lie to an insurer as this will invariably invalidate your cover - and could easily lead to claims being refused, and even fraud charges, as a result.

Research from Co-operative Insurance indicates that as many as 41% of parents illegally 'front' their children's car insurance during the first few years that the kids are on the roads. In other words, the policies are taken out in the older drivers' names, even though they will rarely if ever be using the vehicle, and the child is added as a named driver only.

However, in the event of an accident, insurers can refuse to pay out all or part of the claim, cancel the policy, and even prosecute for fraud to recover third party claim costs from the policyholder or driver.

And the bad news for those considering this is that they can identify policies that have been 'fronted' by looking at details as simple as whose credit card is regularly used to buy petrol.

What you can do - without breaking the law
There is hope for young drivers and it comes in the form of the little black box used for new telematics insurance policies that can slash their premiums in half. A telematics insurance policy measures drivers' mileage, when they drive, and how they drive - by penalising for sudden braking, excessive g-forces, or cornering at high speeds.

Insure the Box, for example, charges policyholders by the mile. Motorists initially pay for 6,000 miles, have the option to top up and receive free reward miles if they drive safely. Both Co-operative Insurance and young driver specialist Young Marmalade also offer telematics policies designed to cut the overall costs for careful motorists who are prepared to restrict their mileage.

Anyone found to be driving safely during the first 12 months they hold the insurance is also likely to be rewarded with a much lower premium when he or she comes to renew. But beware: It is particularly important to pay attention to the terms and conditions of policies of this kind as your premiums will shoot up again if the insurer offering the policy sees that you are breaking the rules by exceeding your mileage, for instance.

If you doubt that you will be able to keep to the terms, a better option is therefore to consider adding a named driver such as a girlfriend or relative, who will sometimes drive the car, to a policy in a bid to bring costs down.

Other tips include opting for a relatively new vehicle with a small engine and taking an advanced driving course that will help to prove your ability behind the wheel. You will need to tell your insurer that you have this, but the company may well take it into account when pricing your policy – not to mention that it should make you safer on the roads.

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