Insurance companies will give you a variety of reasons why young drivers pay more, and in some cases it does seem logical. However, in many instances it still seems unfair. The question is how do you lessen the inevitable discrimination?
So, the options. Should there be more than one car in your household, you could put the youngest driver on one of the policies as a named driver. This will increase your premium substantially and also will not amass them any no claims discount. The other option of course is to get a small, cheap, undesirable car that will hopefully be low on the insurance group. Once the car is in your possession, keep it in a garage and ensure that it has a decent alarm system as this should erode the premium slightly.
Small, cheap, undesirable? Not many teenagers would gladly go for that. And of course, if you are thinking of buying something like this for your son or daughter, there is also the safety aspect to consider. Your child might be the best driver on the planet, safe, conscientious, law-abiding and generally spot on – but not everyone else on the road is. Older cars won’t have all of the safety bells and whistles of newer vehicles and, should the worst occur, your child stands a greater chance of injury. In addition, older vehicles won’t have ABS or the sheer power to get you out of situations.
Organisations such as Learn And Live do sterling work campaigning for extra safety and tests for young drivers, but even they feel that items such as ABS encourage speeding, since the driver is confident in the knowledge that the extra power can be scrubbed off. However, what about the situations that no-one can prepare for – the car pulling out blindly in front of you, the children suddenly running out between two parked cars with less than 2 feet to spare? Without ABS, the younger driver could collide with the hazard – through no fault of their own. And who will be the first person to be blamed? All those under 25 raise your hands…
One thing that won’t help is knowingly inflaming your insurance policy. Modifications, stereos, non-stock alloy wheels and the like will all about pounds to your premium and should be carefully thought out before you splash out on the kit.
If these are impractical, then simply fit an alarm, grin and bear it. It will get better – one day and thousands of pounds away…
Published: 8th July 2008