Passing your driving test and finally gaining your well-needed independence is a huge milestone, but it does mean that you’ll have the responsibility of your car from now on. The first hurdle after tracking down your dream car is to do your insurance research to find the best option to suit your requirements.
Unfortunately, insurance for your first year of driving is going to be expensive and the most costly out of all of your driving years. Insurance companies see new drivers as more likely to need to make a claim, so skyrocket premiums, which although is incredibly unfair, is a something that you’ll have to accept and pay.
Even though it is unlikely that you will find a quote that is less than around £900, there are many different handy and clever tips and tricks that will help to lower first year car insurance significantly.
How To Lower First Year Car Insurance
Insurance companies view new drivers as inexperienced and less likely to know how to handle a tricky situation, so increase the cost of policies to cover any potential costs they’ll have to pay out. Although finding a low-cost quote is important, it is also vital to ensure that your premium fits for requirements, such as the number of miles you estimate to drive within the year and the excess you are prepared to pay.
Before starting your insurance policy research, we highly recommend reading and taking into consideration applying some of our tips – you would be surprised the amount of money you could save!
1. Add A Second Driver
One of the best ways to lower your insurance is to add a second driver to your policy, in particular, an experienced parent or friend who has a clean licence. According to MoneySupermarket, adding another named driver to your policy for your first year can lower your premium up to 13%.
Although there is another driver on your insurance, it doesn’t mean that they’ll ever have to drive your car, you will still take sole responsibility for your vehicle, and it will still be in your name. It will also be handy in the event of an emergency, and you need someone else to drive your car for you.
2. Small Engine Size
The bigger the size of your engine, the more expensive your insurance premium will be, as companies see you are more likely to be involved in an accident due to fast driving. Most new drivers opt for a small, runaround car for their first few years while they are getting used to being on the roads independently. Not only are smaller cars cheaper to buy and insure, but also cost less to fuel and repair in the event of a fault. We always suggest holding off on the big, flashy car you have always dreamed of until you have a little more experience under your belt.
3. Fit A Black Box
Opting for black box insurance is known for being one of the key methods of lowering your insurance and is the option most new drivers go with. The theory behind fitting a black box is that as the telematics track every aspect of your driving, you are less likely to drive irresponsibly, therefore will not have to pay as much in terms of premiums.
The great factor of a black box is that it will only take a matter of minutes to fit and once its there, you won’t even be able to notice it. It will be tucked away, and all you’ll need to do is download the online portal which will visually show you all data tracked.
At the end of the year, those who have a black box fitted will be given a range of different rewards for their quality of driving over the course of 12 months. If you’re unsure on how to find the best quote for you, we suggest taking a look at Confused.com and using their search tool.
4. Do Not Modify Your Vehicle
Modified cars are seen as more desirable to thieves; therefore insurance companies will up your costs, so that in the unfortunate event of car theft, they will not have to pay out as much.
The most popular forms of car modifications include suspension upgrades, headlight tinting, car wrapping, window tints and racing stripes. So, we suggest refraining from buying a modified car for your first car and leaving slight modifications until after your first year.
5. Overnight Parking
Similarly to modifications, your insurance provider wants to be reassured that, particularly overnight, your vehicle will be safe from theft. If you have a garage, then it is highly recommended that this is where you keep your car when it is not in use. Alternatively, parking on a driveway will also help to reduce your premium costs.
Many new build houses are located at the side of a road meaning that there is no option to park in a garage or on a driveway, only the side of the road is available. Unfortunately, stating that you plan to park overnight on the side of the road is likely to add extra costs to your insurance.
6. Avoid Monthly Payments
Monthly payments are often the ‘go-to’ option for first-time drivers as it is a more manageable way of paying for your yearly cover. However, similarly to any other form of a direct debit, spreading a large cost over a number of months will acquire an added interest. You will need to pay an initial chunk of cash when you take your policy out, regardless of whether you opt to pay monthly or all in one. Choosing to spread your insurance premium over the course of 12 months is thought to add at least an extra 20% to your overall cost compared to paying it all in one.
For more information on the difference in annual vs monthly insurance payments, take a look at this uSwitch article.
7. Shop Around
Never go for the first insurance policy you find, it is most likely not the cheaper, nor best one for you. Insurance companies know that new drivers are relatively inexperienced when it comes to understanding each aspect of a policy, so will add unnecessary costs.
There are tonnes of comparison sites on the internet for a reason, so make use out of them! Take a look through sites such as Go Compare and Compare The Market, they are ideal for helping you to find the ideal quote.
8. Consider Mileage
You will be charged depending on the number of miles you plan to drive each year. The more miles you add on, the more expensive your policy will be.
Be realistic with the number of miles you think you will drive. The majority of new drivers limit themselves to 6,000 miles as this gives you enough leeway to be able to enjoy your independence while keeping your premium affordable. An important point to remember is that if you run out of miles, companies will charge you a fortune to add on even as little as 100 extra miles, so you always want to avoid running low on your allowance.
9. Pay A Higher Excess
As part of your insurance policy, you will be asked to state how much money you would be prepared to pay towards repairs if another driver was to make a claim against you – this is called the excess.
The higher the level of excess you agree to, the lower your car insurance will be because your provider will have less to pay out in the event of a claim. Drivers tend to set between a £50 – £200 voluntary excess, so it is your choice what you choose, but remember if you set, for example, a £200 excess, you must ensure you have the cash to pay this off needed.
10. Consider Car Sharing
Car sharing is less common, and many people are not prepared to share their vehicle with another driver, however, is it one of the ways to cut your insurance premiums. You could consider sharing your car with a parent, sibling or partner if you are happy not to have your car readily available whenever you wish. It means that you can split the cost of insurance accordingly and save some extra cash.
Lower Your Car Insurance Premiums
The high cost of car insurance premiums is a topic we always aim to discuss with our pupils taking driving lessons in Milton Keynes as it is often a task many new drivers find a little tricky. It’s unlikely you would have had to take out an insurance policy in the past for anything else, so it is understandable if it is a little out of the ordinary. So, we hope our tips have been helpful and enjoy your newly found independence!