Just passed your driving test? Congratulations! You can finally ditch those 'L' plates and enjoy the freedom that comes with being a fully qualified driver.
There's no doubt you're eager to hit the road as soon as possible — but high insurance costs could be stopping you from getting behind the wheel.
Insurers calculate a driver's premium based on their "perceived risk." Many different factors are considered when assessing risk, such as the driver's age and experience, the type of vehicle they drive, and where the vehicle is parked at night.
As a new and inexperienced driver you're statistically most likely to be involved in a car accident. This means you're most likely to make a claim, and this is reflected in the price you pay for car insurance.
According to the Young Drivers at Risk study from the AA, 26% of 18-24 year olds are involved in a car crash within two years of passing their test, while 23% crash within the first six months. The Improving the Safety of Young Drivers report from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) explains that incidents involving young drivers are typically the result of one or more of the following:
Of course, just because you're an inexperienced driver doesn't automatically mean you're going to be involved in a car accident; driving within the law and with caution will help to make sure you're safe behind the wheel.
There are a number of things you can do that will help keep you and your car safe on the road, such as:
Taking an advanced driving course is a great way to broaden your driving experience, improve your skills and boost your confidence. A Pass Plus course, devised by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), comprises six modules: driving at night, on rural roads, on motorways, on dual carriageways, in towns, and in all weather conditions.
Haven't bought your first car yet? As a new driver, it's important to choose a car you feel comfortable and confident driving in. Factors you should consider include the car's engine size (the more powerful the engine, the higher your insurance will be), visibility and safety features.
While you might be tempted to buy a car straight out of the showroom, given the number of incidents young drivers are involved in, it could be a better idea to start off driving an older car that's in good condition.
If you plan to drive an older car, there's a chance it might not have safety features such as an alarm or immobiliser as standard. You can get them fitted into your car, but you must make sure the devices are insurer and manufacturer approved. These act as deterrents to thieves which will, in turn, boost your car's security.
Where do you keep your car at night? Using a garage or driveway can limit the risk of theft and damage to your car. If you park in a secure car park or on the road during the day, before leaving your car make sure there are no valuables (such as phones or handbags) in sight.
Taking steps to improve your safety and your car's security is good for another reason: it often leads to a reduction in insurance. For example, parking your car in a garage overnight is considered less risky than leaving it on the road; and if your car has good security features then it's less likely to be stolen. These measures lower your level of perceived risk, and therefore you can expect to pay a cheaper price for insurance.
Also, being a safe and cautious driver will result in you building up a no claims discount over the years, which will lead to further reductions in your insurance.
We offer a range of competitively priced insurance policies to suit all circumstances. As a new driver, you can choose from our third party, third party fire and theft, comprehensive or telematics insurance.
If you're a little confused as to what's covered by each policy, let us help. Third party is the most basic level of insurance and covers you against damage to other people's cars and property. This is often, but not always, the cheapest level of cover.
One step up is third party fire & theft, which offers all the protection of a third party policy plus coverage for your car if it's stolen or involved in a fire.
Comprehensive insurance provides all round protection for you and your car, as well as other people and their cars. There's also telematics insurance, which is a great solution for new drivers as it calculates a premium based on your driving style. This means the safer you are on the roads, the less you pay for your car insurance.
Here at Hastings Direct, we understand that no two drivers are the same. That's why we allow our customers to personalise their policies, selecting from a range of optional additional products such as key protection and breakdown cover.
All information is correct at time of publication. Hastings Direct cannot be held responsible for any misinformation displayed.