Curfew and restrictions proposed for young drivers

Drivers under 25 with fewer than two years’ experience shouldn’t be allowed to drive between 11pm and 4am, said the Association for British Insurers (ABI) this week.

The new proposal by the ABI also recommends a zero tolerance approach to alcohol for young drivers.

Additionally, learner drivers under 25 would be required to spend at least one year behind the wheel before passing their test, effectively doing away with the concept of intensive driving courses.

ABI’s director of general insurance and health Nick Starling said: ‘Our proposals are not designed to drive young drivers off the road, but to ensure that they become safer drivers.’

The goal of reducing loss of life on our roads is a commendable one; however the ABI’s suggestions involve taking away freedom and independence for young people, while also reducing their opportunity for gaining experience in the road.

One potential avenue for positively encouraging safer driving habits among young people is the use of “black box” telematics technology.  A new wave of young driver insurers is encouraging young people to drive responsibility, with benefits on offer including cheaper car insurance and safer roads for all.  Getting behind the wheel having only recently passed can be a costly process, especially for teenagers – primarily due to the cost of New Driver car insurance for those who haven’t built up a no-claims discount yet.

The majority of young drivers don’t actually have a crash, and so enforcing curfews and restrictions across the board seems unfair for many young people.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments – should young drivers be banned from driving late at night?

What Factors do Car Insurance Providers Consider?

In order to get the most affordable car insurance possible, it is smart to learn about the factors that are used to determine rates. Car insurance providers take many different things into account when calculating online car insurance quotes. In addition to obvious things like your driving record and the number of points that are on your licence, providers take the car you drive into consideration too. They do so by assigning a group to each type of vehicle. The lower the number of your car’s group is, the cheaper it should be to insure.

Understanding Car Insurance Groups

There used to be 20 different car insurance groups. In recent years, that number was raised to 50. The change was primarily made in order to assign more specific information to each vehicle. On the one-to-fifty scale, group one denotes vehicles that have small engines, limited specifications and low price tags. From an insurance standpoint, such vehicles are less likely to produce expensive claims. Group fifty represents expensive cars with powerful engines and numerous fancy options. Those types of vehicles have been deemed to be riskier to insure because they are more likely to result in very expensive claims.

The Factors that Determine a Vehicle’s Group

If you are shopping for a new vehicle, you should pay attention to its insurance group. You can look up such information online, but the following factors will give you a clearer idea about how these groups are determined:

Value when New – Higher price tags generally push vehicles into higher insurance groups, which results in more expensive car insurance.

Cost to Repair – The typical price to repair a vehicle is taken into account when calculating its insurance group. You can expect a higher car insurance quote when you drive a car that is costly to repair.

Time to Repair – Long repair times translate into higher labour charges. In the event of a claim, an insurance provider has to pay more.

Security – Vehicles that are equipped with high-quality anti-theft devices are considered to be less likely to result in expensive claims.

Cost of Parts
– Cars that require hard-to-find, expensive parts tend to fall into higher insurance groups.

Performance – High-performance cars are more likely to be driven at reckless speeds. Therefore, such vehicles tend to end up in higher insurance groups.

Reducing the Cost of Owning a Car with a High Insurance Group

You do not have to despair if the vehicle that you currently own falls into a high insurance group. There are things that you can do to mitigate the issue. Drive safely and conscientiously to enjoy a no-claims discount. Collect several online car insurance quotes to find lower prices and better deals. You might even consider agree to a mileage limit. In that case, you agree to stay below a certain mileage in exchange for a discount. From an insurance provider’s standpoint, lower mileage equals reduced odds of having to pay a claim. One way or another, you should be able to find a good deal on car insurance.

The other car insurance pricing factors

Our last post started looking at the factors used by car insurance companies to provide you a quote.  We focused on the importance of car insurance groups in picking the right car – today we’re going to look at the other key factors.

Is your car modified?

Modified cars increase the cost of your insurance – and some insurers won’t even touch you if your car is “modded”.  The reason?  Well, your typical joyrider would rather steal a souped-up lowered Corsa with tinted windows, body kit and fat exhaust pipe!  So the moral here is – don’t pimp your ride if you want to get cheap insurance!

Where is your car kept overnight and during the day?

This is a fairly straightforward one – the more secure the location of your car, the lower the risk of it being stolen.  If you have off-street parking available to you, it’s a good idea to use it where possible.  This applies for those who commute to work as well as for when the car is at home.

Do you live in a risky neighbourhood?

Insurance companies will have a good idea of the number of vehicle related crimes that happen in your area.  There are certain neighbourhoods and sometimes whole towns that insurers will not provide cover for, as the risk of car theft is simply too high.  Certain areas also have higher instances of “cash for crash” fraud, compounding the problem.

Additional driving qualifications

Passing your driving test is just the first step.  Gaining road experience is critical to becoming a good, safe driver, and there are a number of courses which look to accelerate this process.  Tests like AA Proficiency, Institute of Advanced Motorists and Pass Plus are considered by some insurance when quoting, and for young drivers especially they can make a worthwhile difference to your premium.

No claims discount

There are large discounts available for drivers who have accumulated a history of driving without making claims.  A lack of claims suggests that the driver could be a safer driver, or might engage in less risky driving habits.  New drivers can struggle in this way, given that they haven’t yet had the chance to accumulate such a history.  Many insurers will require proof of your NCD once you’ve taken out a policy.

Convictions, penalties or disqualifications

Conversely to the no claims discount, any explicit signs of your lack of driving safety will have a considerable impact on the price to pay.  You might even need to look for a niche insurer if you have a seriously marked history of bad driving.

In reality, car insurers will use as much data as they can to determine your risk to them.  The above factors are some of the key ones, but as underwriting grows in complexity and becomes supported by additional data sources, the calculations behind your quote will become ever more advanced.

It goes without saying that if you lie about any of the above factors in an attempt to “engineer” a cheaper quote, you could be shooting yourself in the foot.  If you do end up needing to make a claim and your details are checked, your insurance will be invalidated.

Car Insurance

Car insurance is something which every driver has to have. Most people do not give it a lot of through, just when the renewal form comes, they either look on a comparison website and find a cheaper company or just renew with who they have.

It is worth thinking about what your policy covers you for though. It is great having a cheap policy and in these times where everyone is struggling financially, we are all looking for ways to reduce our spending and this is a good one. However, it is worth being very careful and checking what sort of coverage you are getting from your insurance.

Some insurance policies do not include a courtesy car. This means that if your car is being repaired, you will have to pay for a replacement while this is happening. This means that you will have to hire a car, if you need to get to work, drive the children to school or whatever and this is costly. If the repair takes some time then this could end up costing hundreds of pounds, far more than you will have saved on the insurance.

If you do find a policy which is more expensive but has all the cover that you need, then it can be worth looking on line to see if you can find a discount code. There are quite a few websites which offer this facility and you may be able to get some money off. You may also be wise to use a cash back website where you can get a lump sum back if you take out a particular policy. With a combination of these, you could easily end up paying a lot less than you did for your previous year without sacrificing the quality of your cover.