The Association of British Insurers (ABI) recently called for radical changes in the way that young people learn to drive. Their report and recommendations were produced with the aim of reducing the number of accidents and casualties amongst the UK’s younger drivers. These recommendations include the adoption of a minimum one year period of driving tuition, restrictions on night-time driving for newly qualified drivers, a lower alcohol limit for young motorists and the lowering of the learner driving age to 16 and a half.
The ABI report analysed the high incidence of road accidents and casualties involving young drivers: under 25s account for one in three road deaths; and an 18 year old driver is three times more likely than a 48 year old to have a crash. The report argues that steps taken to significantly improve road safety amongst Britain’s young motorists would not just result in fewer road deaths and injuries but would also positively impact on the cost of young drivers’ car insurance.
That younger drivers pay more for their insurance is not in doubt. A newly qualified 17 year old driver can expect to pay some 70% to 80% more for their first insurance policy than a newly qualified 35 year old with the same car, occupation and postcode. This is a reflection of the increased risk that insurers face from younger drivers. Tiger.co.uk, an independent car insurance comparison site, has produced an analysis of young drivers in order to examine the insurance costs paid by young motorists and to look in particular at the effect that making an insurance claim during the early driving years may have on costs.
Tiger.co.uk’s analysis shows that a male driver passing their test at 17 and keeping a clean licence and with no insurance claims could pay around £9,500 in car insurance premiums over a five year period. A female motorist with the same postcode, occupation and car would pay substantially less – about £4,700 in total:
However, when a 17 year old has an accident and a claim during their first year on the road, this has a knock-on effect on premiums over the following period. Total insurance premiums paid rise by over £1,100 (or 12%) for a young male driver and by over £850 (or 18%) for a young woman:
Commenting on this, Tiger.co.uk’s Commercial Director, Andrew Goulborn, said: “We support the ABI’s report and recommendations. They are clearly aimed at improving driver safety amongst the UK’s younger motorists and we applaud any initiative with this aim. Whilst reduced road casualties are of course the most important effect of this, we also wanted to highlight the effect that an insurance claim in the first year of driving could have on car insurance costs. Essentially, in the example used here, a young driver will pay about £1,000 in additional premiums as a result of an insurance claim as a 17 year-old. In addition, in the longer term, safer driving by younger motorists could help to reduce the massive premiums that 17 and 18 year olds currently face when buying car insurance”.