The Young Driver’s Insurance Dilemma

Car insurance for young drivers is expensive for at least one compelling reason and that is motoring for the young is extremely dangerous. Social commentators have a habit of reducing flesh and blood to facts and figures, but road traffic accident (RTA) statistics aptly describe the situation without sympathy or sentiment.

The Stark Statistics

According to Nigel Lacy, the founder of Young Marmalade, which aims to help young people find cheap motor insurance, the world’s roads claim one human life every six seconds. RAC Foundation’s Elizabeth Cox, meanwhile, claims that road accidents account for more than 50 percent of all external causes of death among children in the UK aged between 10 and 14. Ms Cox adds that young people aged between 15 and 19 are at even greater risk. Compared to the general population figure of 42 deaths per million, people in this age group suffer a fatality rate of 82 per million. Tellingly, males aged between 14 and 19 are subject to a rate of 127 deaths per million.

Many road accident compensation claim involves a young driver. The Office for National Statistics makes the point clear by suggesting half of all avoidable deaths among teenagers in the UK are caused by road accidents. When RTAs among young people aged between 15 and 24 account for more deaths than suicide, drug abuse and violent crime combined the point that motoring is especially dangerous for young drivers ought not to be ignored.

Insurance companies are quick to use road casualty statistics to justify increased annual premiums. Young drivers are particularly vulnerable to inflated premiums, which many would argue is entirely fitting considering they cause the most accidents and should therefore be held to account (uninsured drivers excepted, of course). Fortunately, there are ways for young motorists to just about afford these premiums.

How to Afford Insurance

Third party only insurance is certainly one option. In law, third party is the minimum level of cover required of drivers. Comprehensive is undoubtedly useful, covering most conceivable hazards, protecting no claims discount bonuses and providing a courtesy car if necessary. Very few young drivers have a no claims discount to protect, of course, so comprehensive is an unnecessary expense for most fledgling motorists. Fire and theft are obviously worth thinking about, but third party should be regarded as the cheapest and sometimes most suitable option for young drivers, 20 per cent of whom can expect to experience an RTA within six months of passing their practical driving test.

The Excess

Another option for young drivers is to set a relatively high excess on the policy, which ought to have the effect of reducing the premium by a substantial figure. If the young driver is wise enough to buy (or have bought for them) a vehicle fitted with a small engine and if they manage to resist the temptation to modify the car to any greater extent than installing a pair of fluffy dice, the premium should be reduced to the minimum. This won’t be as low as the sum paid by the 50-year-old SMART car driver who possesses a 33-year no claims discount, but certainly not as high as the mindless 17-year-old boy racer in his heavily modified Golf GTI whose destiny includes a sharp bend and a large tree.