Cheap insurance for young drivers - with a catch

Updated: 

teen driving in USPat Wellenbach/AP/Press Association Images

The cost of motor insurance for younger drivers is crazy. Confused.com calculated that it could easily cost as much as 18% of salary, hitting an average of £3,635.

Now there is a clever new way to bring the costs down. However, young drivers may not be desperately keen.

Cameras watching

The idea is that drivers under the age of 25 should agree to have a camera fitted inside their car, in return for a 15% discount on their insurance premium. Camera manufacturer, Cillibongo has teamed up with broker Adrian Flux to offer the deal.


On the plus side for youngsters, the camera is facing forward, so they don't need to worry about any other activities they plan inside the car. The idea is that it will record the experience of the driver in the event of an accident, helping clear up cases faster and establish fault. It will also help clamp down on fraud. The camera also records the forces it is being subjected to, so it can tell how you are driving.

Black box

This isn't the first initiative to be aimed at bringing costs down for this group. A number of insurers now offer a discount for those who agree to have a telematics black box fitted to the car, monitoring driving behaviour like acceleration and braking.

Ashton West, Chief Executive at Motor Insurers' Bureau said: "A growing trend amongst young drivers is to make use of GPS telematics boxes which can be a useful tool in bringing premium costs down. Some insurers have been offering to install a smartbox unit into a car's dashboard to gather driving data. This information is then used by the insurer to determine the insurance cost to the driver based on their driving skills and behaviour. The new technology is allowing young drivers much more freedom and control over the cost of their insurance."

An analysis of 10,000 young driver claims by The Co-operative Insurance shows that those with telematics or 'black box' insurance are 20% less likely to have a car crash than those with standard insurance.

Alternatives

If the idea of having your driving watched and recorded doesn't appeal, Moneysupermarket.com recommends:
  • Shop around - People who use MoneySupermarket to compare car insurance prices save on average £375.
  • Buy online - Many car insurance providers offer discounts to customers that buy online.
  • Mileage limit - Consider a mileage limit or to only drive at certain hours of the day.
  • Car security - Make sure you have an alarm and immobiliser.
  • Drive a car with a smaller engine - A newer, more reliable car that is less likely to be used by 'boy racers' will have a cheaper premium. Aim to drive a car like this for at least two years after passing your test - and forget about turbo-charged cars, with big spoilers, fat tyres, alloy rims and other "sexy" extras.
  • Parents - If at all possible, avoid being added to a parent's insurance policy. It prevents you from building up your own no-claims bonus. However, adding a more experienced named driver to your policy may bring down your premium.
  • Pass Plus - This is a certificate where a young driver who has already passed his or her driving test receives specific lessons in night, motorway and town traffic driving; achieving Pass Plus can earn significant discounts (as much as 35%) on your car insurance.
  • Payment method - Drivers looking to keep the cost of their car insurance manageable may opt for the convenience of paying by monthly instalments, rather than in an annual lump sum. Those who decide on monthly repayments can expect to pay an additional APR for this option though, so shopping around for the best deal is crucial.
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