The Fixer: Beat the car insurance blues

The Fixer logoHave you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a large, faceless organisation alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

This week she finds an alternative for a mother shocked at the amount her insurer wants to add her learner driver son on her policy.

Dear Fixer,
My 21-year-old son is keen to pass his driving test. He has saved up for driving lessons, which he has already started.

However, he also wants me to take him out in my car - with him driving - so that he can practice between lessons and improve more quickly.

I have a VW Polo, so it is not a bad car for him to learn in. But I am not sure how to go about insuring him on my car without it costing me the earth.

I could add him to my insurance policy, but his age and lack of experience means that is a very expensive option. My insurer, Churchill, has offered to add him as a named driver for the remainder of my 12-month policy, but wants an extra £500!

It is also insisting that the excess we pay towards any claims made as a result of his driving rises to £650 - even though the excess on my policy is only £200 at the moment.

I want to help my son, but adding him to my insurance simply costs too much to be a viable option. Is there another way to insure him on my car for less?

N Barber, Oxford

Dear Mrs Barber,

The high cost of car insurance for young drivers is a big problem, one that prevents many teenagers and 20-somethings getting behind the wheel.

However, you cannot allow your son to drive your car without insurance - not only is this against the law, it could be financially crippling if he was involved in an accident.

One option that is worth looking into is short-term car insurance lasting for up to 28 days. It should prove cheaper than adding your son to your annual policy because it does not last for as long.

You can also rest assured that any claim made on the separate short-term car insurance policy will not affect your own no-claims discount.

You can compare short-term insurance policies from specialists including Dayinsure as well as traditional insurers using a comparison website such as MoneySupermarket.

If you think you will need cover lasting more than 28 days for your son, meanwhile, it is also worth checking out pay-as-you-go policies that can run for one, two or three months.

Remember, though, that your son is still likely to face high insurance premiums after he has passed his test - whether he gets his own car or drives yours.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.

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