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Advice for Cheaper Car Insurance


Here at MyFirstCar we are often asked advice on where and how you can get cheaper car insurance for young drivers. So here are a few pointers which may be useful. Please feedback to us whether you found it useful.

The bad news first, is there is no such thing as cheap insurance for young drivers. Once you come to terms with this then all else is a bonus. The objective should be what is the very best you can do.

Shop around

The most important advice is to spend some time comparing various insurance companies. The best way is an insurance comparison website. You should try a few as they won’t all have the same insurers on their lists. Sites such as comparethemarket, confused.com and moneysupermarket, to name but a few.

When making your comparisons, don’t forget to get quotes from companies who do not appear on comparison sites.  Companies include Direct Line, Admiral and Aviva.

Choose the right car

Cars are grouped 1 to 21. As a rule, boys should be looking at insurance group 1 or 2 and girls 1 to 3. So when you are choosing your car, you should ask what group it falls into. All cars stocked at MyFirstCar will fall into a low insurance category.

Can I be added to my parent’s policy?

In the past many people would add their young drivers to their policy and enjoy a much lower insurance premium. Times have changed and insurers are wise to this. They will normally price to biggest risk which will be the youngest.

If you were to add a young driver and then they were to have an accident on the way to work or college, then they are obviously the main driver and you may have a problem making a claim. You can however add parents to their policy and this can often save money.

Telematics insurance (Black Box Insurance)

It's perhaps no surprise that telematics car insurance policies are gaining in popularity.

Telematics insurance, sometimes known as black box insurance, harnesses modern technology to try to bring down the cost of car insurance. You might not notice much difference in the cost during the first year, but the savings should then start to come through.

Tracking device

If you take out a telematics insurance policy, the insurer will fit a black box to your car - usually at no charge. The black box is no bigger than a smartphone and is often attached to your dashboard.

In addition to monitoring where and when you drive, it also records how you handle the car - acceleration, braking, cornering, and so on. This means that the telematics insurance provider will know whether you drive in rush hour, at high speed and whether you brake harshly and frequently.

Monitor your driving habits

It sounds a bit sinister, but telematics insurance can lead to cheaper premiums.

Let's say you take out a standard car insurance policy. The insurer will look at a number of risk factors before it sets your premium, including your age, occupation and make and model of the car. But it does not take into account your driving habits. For example, it will not know that you avoid motorways and never drive at night.

Adjusted premiums

But the time of day that you drive - and your driving methods - can have a big impact on your driving record. For example, accidents are much more likely at night and in rush hour, for obvious reasons.  If your insurer can track your time on the road, it can therefore adjust your premiums to more accurately reflect the risk of a claim.

Price per mile

Telematics car insurance providers all use similar technology, but the policies work slightly differently.

Some cover a certain number of miles and then award bonus miles to careful drivers. Miles are also deducted for a number of risky activities including driving at rush hour or at night. The data is then used to decide renewal premiums, with discounts for the safest motorists. Or, you can pay for cover by the mile - and the price varies according to the time of the day or night that you take the car on the road.

Cut the cost of cover

Telematics insurance companies reckon they can cut the average car insurance premium by about 25%.

But some motorists can benefit from much bigger savings. Young drivers stand to gain from a telematics car insurance policy, as do motorists with convictions, who can often pay sky-high premiums. Telematics car insurance can also work to your advantage if you are a careful driver who rarely gets behind the wheel.

Safer driving

There are other advantages to telematics car insurance. Fans of the black box argue that it encourages safer driving. The technology can also help to track down your vehicle if it is stolen and assist in managing a claim after an accident (it can often serve as an independent, objective witness to the events leading up to the crash)

Road restrictions

But there are disadvantages, too. Telematics insurance policies often impose restrictions on when and where you can use the car, banning night time driving, for example.

Privacy is another issue. You should always read carefully the firm's commitment to the use of personal data.

Check also if the telematics insurance company charges for the black box and its installation - and what happens if you choose to cancel the policy. 

Pass Plus

Pass Plus is intensive further training, offered to any drivers who have just passed their test. This can be booked, and in most cases done, with your driving instructor. The course is designed to train new drivers in more challenging situations, which cannot be experienced as a learner driver such as, motorway driving, night driving etc.

Pass Plus does involve an assessment and if passed, can save you up to 35% on your car insurance. The course itself costs £150 approx but will see greater savings on your insurance. Therefore making it not only cheaper overall, but you are safer and more qualified on the roads.

Pay higher excess

A total excess will indicate how much you will have to pay should you need to make a claim. Every car insurance policy, especially for under 25’s, will have a compulsory excess. In order to make your insurance cheaper, you can also include voluntary excess. The higher this excess is, the cheaper your overall policy will be. However ensure the two excess figures combined are reasonable, in case you ever need to make a claim.

Pay your insurance in one hit

Insurance companies will give you the option of paying your policy in one lump sum or in monthly instalments. If you chose to pay by monthly instalments, most companies will charge 15% (some up to 30%) interest so your premium will end up being more expensive.

Secure your car

Alarm system

Cars with better alarm systems will receive better premiums, Thatcham approved alarms are recognised by all insurers.

Parking

Insurers will ask where your car will be parked overnight. Your premium will be cheaper if your car is parked on a driveway or garage, as they are less likely to be stolen or vandalised. If you have one of these at your home then use it.

Drive Safe

It goes without saying that the safer you drive the cheaper your car insurance becomes. Once you have finished your first year of driving, without any accidents or points, then this will ensure that the next year is cheaper.

This continues to come down as your ‘no claims discount’ increases. If you have accidents that are your fault or receive penalty points on your license, you will never get out of the ‘expensive’ car insurance cycle. Safe drivers are rewarded with cheaper insurance.

For more information on car insurance or anything else car related please feel free to contact MyFirstCar on 01252 377788 or visit our full stocklist at www.myfirstcar.uk.com.


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