Taking out new driver insurance is probably the last hurdle you will need to clear before you get behind the wheel for the first time. I cant decide if insurance companies love new drivers because of the high rates of insurance that they get to charge them or if they live in fear of them knowing that they are a high risk group that might well be involved in expensive accidents and make more claims than any other group of driver, one thing is sure, its a calculated risk that they take when offering any insurance and they will have done the numbers to back up any policy that they might offer you. This can often lead to flustrating car insurance quotes for new drivers.
From an insurance perspective the best thing you can do is move out of the “new driver” bracket as quickly as possible and the best way to do this is buy building a no claims discount. If you take out a few quick insurance quotes as a test and just key in varying dates of birth keeping all other details the same you will soon see why, young drivers really do pay a LOT more.
I’m not exactly sure at what point an insurance company stops classing someone as a new driver, however, the last time I checked a “young driver” was anyone aged 24 or under.
New drivers, for whatever reason, have worse hazard perception than more experienced drivers, this could be due to them needing to focus so much on the task in hand that they are not able to look freely around as you are able to do when driving becomes more “natural”.
Statistics show that the new driver is much more likely to take risks than someone who is more experienced, this greatly increases the change of an accident when you consider the level of skill new drivers have – youth can also mask this lack of skill with and arrogant overconfidence. Programs like Pass Plus are designed to reduce these risks but a reduction on such a great risk still leaves a high risk.
New drivers insurance rates are also inflated as younger drivers, especially teenagers are more likely to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, even if this is something you would never engage in, if you fall into this profile of driver, you will be subsidising your less responsible peers until you escape the most expensive, high risk group.
Lastly for some reason new drivers are the group most likely to not wear a seatbelt, this makes no sense at all and its so easy to do, be safe, dont fall into this group and buckle up.
The bottom line is that if you are going to be a driver then you are going to have to be a new driver for a period of time and in that period the insurance companies are going to categorise you as high risk. There is very little you can do about this other than perhaps getting added onto another person’s insurance policy but this is not really a long term solution as it will reduce the premiums a little for the moment but you will not be earning a no claims discount. Whether you like to admit it or not you are in the “high risk” group for a reason and lots of new drivers do have accidents in the first few years, many drivers have numerous.
The best thing to do is to take the rough with the smooth, get your car insured and do everything you possibly can over your first few years on the road to prove to the insurance company and everyone else that you are a safe driver and not a high risk boy racer!