Hastings Direct.

Important - Coronavirus update

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  • At this time, please help us to prioritise essential calls by using our online services.
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Young drivers' insurance

Congratulations on passing your driving test! All those lessons have paid off and now that pink driving licence is yours.

Before you can take to the open road, you'll need to buy your first car insurance policy. Because this is the first time taking out cover, you might be feeling a little daunted – but fear not, Hastings Direct is here to help! This handy guide contains all the information you need to know about young driver car insurance...

What is young driver insurance?

Insurance companies like us offer a range of insurance policies that can help drivers aged 17 to 25 get a good deal on cover. You can choose from our Hastings Essential, Direct and Premier policies, or take out our specialist SmartMiles telematics policy (we'll get to that later).

All our policies feature a great range of benefits as standard. Plus, you can tailor your policy to suit your needs by choosing from optional extras like breakdown cover and car key insurance.

Why is insurance so high for young drivers?

If you've already started to get quotes for 17 to 25 car insurance, you might be a little shocked by the results. Insurance for young drivers is typically high because they're less experienced on the road, and are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident than older drivers.

Just take these stats cited road safety charity Brake: drivers aged 17-19 make up just 1.5% of UK licence holders, but they're involved in 9% of serious and fatal crashes when they're behind the wheel. In particular, drivers aged 16-19 are one third more likely to die in a crash than drivers aged 40-49. Also, 23% of drivers aged between 18 and 24 have an accident within two years of passing their test.

Because young drivers are more likely to have an accident and make a claim, insurers balance out the increased risk with higher premiums.

How can young drivers get cheaper car insurance?

The cost of car insurance is calculated based on a wide range of factors. These include things like your age, driving experience, type of car you drive, annual mileage and where you park your car overnight.

While some factors (like your age and experience) can't be changed, there are some things you can do that will help to bring down the cost of cover. Such as…

Choose a car that's cheap to insure

All cars fall under an insurance group of between one and 50. Group one cars are the cheapest to insure, while group 50 are the most expensive. So if you're yet to buy your car, doing plenty of research beforehand could really pay off.

Don't modify your car

The only modifications that could lower your premium are ones that improve your car's security. And even then, they need to be industry-approved devices and your insurer will need to know about them before they're fitted.

Bear in mind some modifications might make it impossible for a young driver like you to get insured – like superchargers, for instance.

Boost your excess

When you get a quote for car insurance, you need to set what's known as an excess, which is the amount you'll pay in the event of a claim. Generally speaking, the greater the excess, the lower your premium – but just be sure you can afford your excess if you needed to claim.

Add a parent to your policy

If your mum or dad is an experienced driver with a claim-free history, adding them to your policy could bring down the price. But be warned: it's illegal to name them as the main driver if they aren't, just to get cheaper insurance.

Be a safe and responsible driver

It's an obvious point, but one worth making! If you're a safe and responsible driver and don't make any claims, you should see your policy drop with each year of driving. Not to mention, being a good driver will help to keep you safe on the road!

What car insurance is best for young drivers?

Just like any other driver, you can choose from third party, third party fire & theft and comprehensive car insurance policies.

Third party policies provide you with the most basic level of cover required by law, and will cover costs associated with the other driver in the event of an accident. This means if you need to replace or repair your car, the money will come from your own pocket.

On the other hand, comprehensive insurance covers you and the third party in an accident. You'd be forgiven for thinking these type of policies cost much more than third party insurance, but in actual fact, they can sometimes work out cheaper. This is because more people with a third party policy end up claiming on their insurance.

Comprehensive cover will bring you greater peace of mind when you're on the road, even if it does work out slightly more than a third party policy.

What is black box for young drivers?

Black box is another insurance option and is very popular among young drivers. Hastings SmartMiles is our black box (also called telematics) policy. It's different to other cover types because a device is used to monitor your driving – and we calculate your premium based on this information. Prove you're a safe and responsible driver, and you'll pay less for cover. It's as simple as that!

What are the best cars for young drivers?

Good first cars for young drivers need to tick three boxes: they should be cheap, easy to drive and safe. Auto Express recently shared its top ten:

  1. Volkswagen up!/Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii
  2. Ford Fiesta
  3. Kia Picanto
  4. SEAT Ibiza
  5. Volkswagen Polo
  6. Hyundai i10
  7. Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 108/Citroen C1
  8. Dacia Sandero
  9. Suzuki Baleno
  10. Vauxhall Viva

Car insurance

Our straightforward car insurance is Defaqto 5 Star rated, so you can be sure you're getting a great product. Plus you can choose from a great range of optional extras.

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