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Car insurance for new drivers

If you are a new driver, particularly if you are still in your teens, you've probably been pretty horrified when you found out what sort of insurance quotes you can get. Unfortunately there is a very good reason for that; new drivers represent the biggest risk to insurance companies because they have more accidents, causing more damage and more injuries, than any other insurance group. You could put this down to inexperience, over exuberance or the follies of youth but the result is just the same; new drivers, particularly younger ones, cost insurance companies a lot of money and since these companies are businesses and not charities they will charge you a lot more for cover, that is if they will cover you at all!

Okay, what you really want to know is how to cut these premiums down, substantially! There are ways of doing this. You are never likely to be able to get genuinely cheap insurance, only age, experience and a trouble free record can do that for you, but by following a few simple guidelines you can reduce the cost of your insurance by a very great deal indeed.

One) it's only natural to want to have the best car that you can afford, one that will be the envy of your friends and will make the members of the opposite sex really notice you! This could prove a very expensive decision though, insurance wise. The more powerful the car is the higher the insurance bracket it will occupy, and the greater its value the more the premium will be loaded. By swallowing your pride a little and opting for a cheap (albeit reliable) runabout with a small engine you would save lot of money on your insurance.

Two) don't be tempted to customise the car. Insurers are very wary of people who fit flared arches, new exhaust systems, lowered suspension etc; apart from the fact that these modifications could structurally weaken the car or affect its steering or braking, car modifiers, particularly young ones, can be looked upon as boy (or girl!) racers by some insurance companies.

Three) consider the advantages, and the advantages, of opting to pay a much higher excess; that is the amount that you contribute towards the cost of any claim. The higher the excess that you offer to pay, the lower the premium is likely to be; and sometimes the reduction can be a very considerable sum indeed, although obviously you have to be confident that that you could afford to pay this excess if the worst came to the worst.

Four) if you have an accident and make a claim your next premium is likely to soar up and you would not be entitled to any no claims discount for that year. If it is a fairly minor scrape that would not cost a great deal to put right, do your sums and work out whether or not it would be better to pay for the damage out of your own pocket, rather than risk the consequences of making a claim against your insurer.

Five) it can be a very heady feeling to have your own car at long last but please resist the temptation to head for the open road and put your foot down! Britain is full of speed traps of all different types so the odds against getting away with speeding are pretty short and the effect of a conviction on your next insurance premium could be very high. To go a step further, a conviction for dangerous driving, or driving under the influence of drink or drugs would make it very very difficult indeed, if not impossible, for a new driver to get insurance at any price!

Six) finally, think very carefully about taking a Pass Plus course. This is a government sponsored scheme supported by the car insurance industry which is designed to increase the knowledge, skills and experience of new drivers with particular emphasis upon night driving, tackling the different challenges of urban and country roads, and the safest techniques for driving on dual carriageways and motorways. Not only will taking one of these courses help to cut down risks for your car, and yourself and any possible passengers, but a growing number of insurance companies such as Churchill, Tesco, Direct Line, Zurich and many others will give you a substantial reduction off your premium if you successfully complete a Pass Plus course.

Always remember that you will not be a young, inexperienced driver for ever but if you get points against your licence or are involved in accidents in the meanwhile you may well still find that, even though you are older and more experienced, most of the cheaper insurance companies could still charge you a fortune or even refuse to insure you at all. On the other hand, after a few years of building up a claim and conviction free record you should be able to look forward to much cheaper car insurance, even though you will probably have a bigger, more valuable and more powerful car by then. Drive safely!


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