So why is car insurance for young drivers so expensive? The answer perhaps lies within another question – do you remember when you were 17 and had just passed your driving test? Car keys in your hand, no more embarrassing ‘L’ plates on your car, no parent sitting with you while you drove everywhere at 29 miles an hour, no more over-acting required to convince your driving instructor and then your driving test examiner that you were the safest driver on the road. You were finally free of all of these restrictions and it was just you, your car, the open road and demonstrating (with some natural flair, of course) to your friends just what a good driver you were.
Roll forward a few years and now you have teenagers of your own, they are desperate to gain the same on-the-road freedom that you enjoyed then – but the cost of insuring their car, no matter how small, old or cheap it might be, seems ridiculous with some quotes even for third party, fire and theft premiums running into thousands of pounds. And if their dreams extend to high-performance car insurance, you may want to start doing the Lotto.
You shop around, you try all of the usual suspects whose endless car insurance TV adverts you have endured all these years, only to find that the cost of insuring your son’s or daughter’s old banger would probably cover a month’s wage bill at the factory where toy meerkats are produced.
You talk to friends and other people you know who have gone through similar experiences in the feint hope that you might unearth a stroke of genius that has enabled them to insure their own offspring’s car at something approaching a sensible price. But your research draws a blank as it slowly dawns on you that despite all of your meticulous research, there really is no cheap option for young driver car insurance. Even the time-honoured ruse of adding your young son or daughter to your own insurance policy has been rumbled by these fiendishly-cunning insurers, who now inform you that this is entirely possible – but they will base the premium on the age of the youngest driver. Foiled again. And your own hard-earned no claims bonus would also be at risk – the ultimate test of faith in your son or daughter’s driving ability.
What about telematics, where your child’s pride and joy is fitted with the insurance industry’s equivalent of a George Orwellian in-car Big Brother device and the insurers offer discounts based on the fact that they will know how the car is being driven and at what time of day or night. It’s a thought, but I wish you well trying to sell that ‘electronic parent in the car’ concept to a teenager, at any price.
Even your daughter can no longer rely on the time-honoured expectation (common amongst the fairer sex, at any rate) that women make better drivers and therefore their car insurance premiums will be lower as a result. The EU ‘Gender Directive’ has put paid to that as it was just so unfair that the premium you pay should reflect how good a driver you actually are. The EU has clearly never seen the insurance industry’s claims ratios that might argue in favour of such a discount. But at least it means that both boys and girls will be equally bankrupt by the time they have taken out a car insurance policy that would make some mortgage payments seem cheap.
Ultimately, it comes down to their age, inexperience, a misguided though common belief in their own immortality and the very likely chance that most young drivers will actually have an accident in their, or your, car before they achieve an age and gain sufficient experience to make this less likely. Before then, however, they – or you - have little choice other than to pay their young driver car insurance and hope for the best. Specialist insurance brokers may be able to soften the blow, with access to less well-publicised car insurance schemes specifically aimed at young drivers - you are welcome to enquire at QuoteRack.co.uk.