How to get cheaper young driver insurance

It’s tricky finding affordable car insurance if you’re a young or new driver in Ireland. Here’s the best ways to get cheaper car insurance if you’re under 25.

Who counts as a young driver?

When it comes to insurance, you’re considered a young driver if you’re aged between 17 and 24 years old.

The cost of insurance is much higher until you reach 25, then it’s easier to find cheaper cover as you gain experience and can demonstrate you’re a safe driver.

Why is it more expensive?

It’s all down to statistics. Newly qualified drivers tend to be young, lacking in experience, and more likely to have an accident and make a claim within two years of passing their test.

This makes young drivers riskier and more expensive to insure, which raises the cost of cover.

How to make it cheaper

You’ll need to get several quotes and spend time shopping around for the best deal. Here are some more tips to try:

  • Get black box insurance This is when your insurer uses telematics equipment to monitor your driving habits.
  • Choose the right vehicle: Opt for a small, reliable car rather than a large, more powerful car. Avoid cars that have been modified too as you’ll pay extra for this.
  • Consider using a broker: Compare multiple quotes quickly and simply. They may not cover every insurer though, so get additional quotes yourself as well, to find the best deal.
  • Buy online directly: There’s often a discount for buying this way and you can still ring up if you have any other queries.
  • Be a named driver: on an experienced driver’s policy while you gain experience. They must be the main driver though, as buying insurance for a less experienced driver to lower the cost, known as ‘fronting’, is illegal.
  • Add a named driver: with good driving experience to your policy while you’re inexperienced. Sharing your car with them means you’ll be driving it less, which reduces the risk of an accident and brings the cost down.

What is black box cover?

It involves a small telematics device being fitted in your car to monitor your driving.

Your driving style and behaviour will determine the rewards you earn - these can mean a lower cost policy or extra kilometres. You’ll get driving tips to help you increase your rewards too.

This is ideal if you don’t have any driving history as it gives you a chance to prove to the insurer you’re a safe driver, and can make your insurance cheaper.

The device allows the insurer to monitor things like:

  • Your speed
  • How smoothly you drive
  • General usage

Consistent safe driving could help you save on cover and lower insurance premiums over time.

What about no claims bonus (NCB)?

This is how long it’s been since you made a claim on your insurance or had a claim made against you, regardless of who was to blame.

The more consecutive claim-free years you’ve accrued, the bigger the discount you’ll get - sometimes as much as 75%.

Building up your NCB while you’re young, is a great way of reducing the cost of your insurance.

You can pay to fully or partially protect your no claims. Partial protection is known as ‘step back’ because making a claim reduces your NCB, usually by two years. You can find out more about NCB in our guide.

Each insurer may have slightly different terms regarding NCB, so check the policy details.

What type of car insurance cover do you need?

While cost may be a big concern for you, it’s vital to have the cover you need. Here are the three main types of car cover:

  • Third party: is the minimum cover needed by law. If you cause an accident, any passengers you’re carrying and the driver and passengers in the other vehicle will be compensated but you won’t be. Any damage to your car won’t be covered.
  • Third party fire and theft: Covers any third parties involved in an accident, plus damage to your vehicle caused by fire and theft. It doesn’t cover other damage to your vehicle.
  • Comprehensive: Covers all parties involved in an accident including your car and personal belongings. It also covers your car against theft and damage caused by vandalism.

Comprehensive cover offers more protection than the other types, so it’s often more expensive.

Consider what each policy type offers and what cover you actually need. For example, if your car isn’t worth very much, you may opt for third party, fire and theft cover.

Be aware that paying less initially may mean paying more later if you have to claim. Here’s how to get the best car insurance.

What about extras?

There are lots of optional extras you can add to your policy such as:

  • Breakdown cover: which can include basic roadside recovery or things like onward travel to a destination of your choice, and home start which covers you if you break down at home.
  • Key cover: which can cover the cost to replace your keys if they’re lost or stolen as well as replace or repair the locks.
  • Courtesy car: In the event that your car is written off or damaged, you get use of another car for a set timeframe.
  • Legal protection: which isn’t always included as standard so check the policy wording. It can pay for legal fees resulting from a claim.

All of these extras can add up, so check what’s already included and only pay for what you need.

Young driver FAQs

Can young drivers have a no claims bonus (NCB)?

Yes you can, but you usually have to be the policyholder rather than a named driver on someone else’s car, to be able to earn a no claims bonus.

However, it’s worth shopping around as some insurers can take named driving experience into account too. This means you might not have to start from zero years no claims when you buy your first policy.

Do women get cheaper car insurance than men?

Not any more. In 2012, a court ruling made it illegal for insurance companies to take gender into account when calculating insurance prices.

However, there are other factors like driving experience and the type of car you drive that will affect the price. This can mean that women pay less than men as they’re more likely to drive less powerful cars and keep hold of their no claims bonus by having fewer accidents.

What is fronting?

It’s where an experienced driver falsely poses as the main driver on behalf of someone less experienced, by adding them to the policy as a named driver. This is usually done to make the policy cheaper for the real main driver who’s usually younger.

Fronting is a type of insurance fraud, so if caught, you could be prosecuted. It can also invalidate your insurance and result in you paying for any costs associated with a claim.

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