New drivers in 2018 face absurd insurance costs. It’s thought that the average policy is 20% higher than it was in 2011 and even higher for new drivers, young drivers or those that have been involved in an accident or made a claim in the last 12 months.
The reasons for these rises are clear. There are more cars on the road, some driverless, drivers face more distractions from phones they can’t bear to put down and other devices in the car, and more claims are being made every year. Insurance costs more because providers are paying out more frequently, and those that are statistically more likely to have an accident, especially those with little driving experience to prove how responsible they are on the road, suffer the most.
These seemingly extortionate costs are putting many young people and older first-time drivers off. Added to the cost of buying a car, rising fuel costs, the fees associated with learning to drive and the cost of road tax and suddenly driving becomes a very very expensive luxury. One that many simply can’t afford. But, driving gives you so much. Being a driver gives you freedom and the chance to live the life you want. It means that you don’t have to become or feel like you have become a burden to others. It can save you money long-term, and it can turn you into a more responsible person. It’s certainly worthwhile.
So, if you desperately want to drive, but the idea of huge insurance premiums is putting you off, you’ll be happy to hear that there are a lot of things that you can do to bring your costs down and make driving much cheaper. Here’s a look at some of them.
If you want a little freedom and the chance to practice your driving skills but can’t currently afford a car of your own, you may want to get some named driver experience in another vehicle. If you live with your parents, or a partner or friend that has a car, ask them if you can have access to it. They should easily be able to update their policy to add you as a named driver. This will bump their costs up, but it’ll be cheaper for you to pay them the difference than taking out a policy of your own.
It will also mean that when you do come to ensure your own car, you’ll have some named driver experience to add to your application. As long as you don’t have an accident during this time, this can help to reduce your premiums.
Another option is buying a car and adding another named driver. This should be someone with a clean driving history and at least a few year’s experience of their own. However, it’s important to note that insurance companies are becoming a bit more careful with this. A few years ago, you could simply add a parent, even if they never drove your car. Now, the named driver must have access to the car and drive it at least occasionally. So, if possible it should be someone that you live with at least some of the time.
As a new driver, it looks good if you’ve learned as much as you possibly can. Don’t just apply for a license and get driving. Take lessons from an approved instructor and take extra courses such as americansafetycouncil.com/content/florida-defensive-driving-course. This shows that you have learnt from a professional, your road knowledge is up to date and that you are responsible and keen to be a good and safe driver. If at any point in your driving career you are involved in an incident which could push your insurance costs back up, you can always take another course to try to bring them down again. In fact, sometimes this will be court ordered, depending on the kind of incident and situation.
Insurance providers are very black and white. Some career options look good; others don’t. Someone working in a professional industry, with other professionals and academics is seen to be a much safer driver than someone that works late at night in a bar or other licensed premises. This isn’t necessarily true and might seem a little unfair, but the decisions are all based on statistics. Fortunately, there are usually options. Office managers, for example, can pay more than office administrators, and music teachers pay more than just teachers. Don’t lie but be careful about what you put and try a few things out.
Insurance isn’t all about protecting you or paying out in the event of an accident. It’s also about covering the costs of your car if it is stolen or damaged when it’s parked. Because of this, it’s important to consider where your car is kept. Both while you are at work, and at home at night. A car kept in a home garage is likely to be much safer than one parked on the street away from home, where you can’t see it all night. If you’ve got a garage, use it. If not, a driveway or even the street outside your home is preferable to around the corner. When you are at work, is there private parking that you could utilize? Sometimes it’s worth paying extra for a private space that then brings your insurance costs down.
This one can backfire and is another thing worth comparing before you buy a car. Newer cars are usually worth a lot more than older vehicles. So, your insurance company will have to pay more out if it’s written off or stolen. But, repairs are often cheaper, as the parts are more readily available, and the car is less likely to be seriously damaged. You are less likely to be involved in an accident in a safer, easier to drive car, and modern security features make it much harder to steal. Look at some vehicles and way up your options before buying. Comparison sites like www.insuremycarnow.com can be great for this.