First Car Insurance

Passing your driving test is a landmark achievement in anyone’s life. It’s a time of celebration and the beginning of a new-found sense of freedom. Congratulations, you’re now a qualified driver and can join the ranks of the UK’s motorists. Those L-plates can finally be taken off your vehicle and the open road awaits!

As the holder of a full driving licence you’re now legally entitled to drive in the UK. Naturally, you’ll be excited - you no longer need to rely on lifts from parents, or public transport, to get about. You’ll be keen to get behind the wheel as quickly as possible. If you haven’t already got one, your first plan of action will be to buy your first car - there’s lots of helpful information and tips from the RAC on buying a car here.

Once you’ve bought your first car there are a couple of important other tasks you still need to do before you can actually drive it. It needs to be taxed and it needs to be insured for a start. And, getting insurance for your first car can prove expensive. In fact, the average insurance premium for a young driver equates to 10% of an average annual salary, according to research.

Why is first car insurance expensive?

There’s no getting away from it - if you’re a newly qualified driver, your insurance is likely to be more expensive than that of a more experienced driver who has several years of incident-free driving under their belt.

As a new driver who has just passed their test, insurers will see you as carrying a higher risk of being involved in an accident, and therefore a higher risk of making a claim. You may have passed your driving test, but as a novice motorist you still have a lot of learning to do. This inexperience on the road is reflected in the price of your car insurance. But, there are ways to reduce costs.

Reducing the cost of first car insurance

As a new and relatively inexperienced driver, some of the factors which influence the price of your insurance cannot be avoided. There’s nothing you can do about your age or your motoring experience; in time, all being well, a record of careful, claim-free driving will result in lower premiums.

So, what can you change?

The obvious answer is: the vehicle you choose as your first car. The type of car you drive is a major factor is calculating the price of your insurance. While it might be tempting to go for the flashiest, most expensive car you can afford (finance deals can make this more achievable), you should consider this carefully. Choosing the right make and model of car can help to reduce insurance cost.

What is the right type of car? 

Well, in terms of a lower car insurance price, it’s worth understanding more about car insurance groups. All cars are included in what’s known as the Group Rating System, which evaluates vehicles and assigns them to one of 50 groups based on a number of factors, including performance, safety features, and the cost of parts. There’s more detail on car insurance groups here, but in short, the lower the number of group that your vehicle belongs in, the better the chances you having a lower insurance price. For example, if your first car is in group 5, it should be cheaper to insure than a car in group 20.

During the process of buying your first car, you could research car insurance groups and, if you’re considering two or three different makes and models, get insurance quotes for all of them online to see how prices compare.

Put it this way, if you’ve got your heart set on a gleaming new BMW as your first car, expect your insurance price to rocket skywards.

Can black box insurance save money?

Black Box Car Insurance - sometimes called ‘telematics’ - can help to save money on car insurance for new and inexperienced drivers. A small black box is fitted in your car, and uses technology to track your driving performance.

The system monitors key driving factors, such as braking, acceleration and speeding, and gives a weekly driving score. If your score indicates you to be a safe and considerate driver, this could result in your car insurance being reduced at renewal time by your insurer, as they may consider you to be a “safer risk”. Bear in mind though, that a consistently poor driving score may flag alerts and lead to your insurance being increased or even cancelled.

Read more about RAC Black Box Car Insurance here.

What else can I do to reduce the cost of my first car insurance?

Regardless of whether you take up the option of black box insurance, driving carefully and sensibly is the way everyone should approach driving. The more years of safe motoring you can record, the lower your car insurance price could be - if you can build up a decent history of no claims, you’ll be considered a lower risk in the eyes of insurers.

Other ways of potentially reducing the cost of your car insurance include improving the security of your vehicle - installing an immobiliser may help, so could parking it somewhere safer overnight, such as in a garage or on a driveway, rather than on the street or away from your home. You can also choose to restrict your mileage. Insurers will ask you for your annual mileage when you take out a policy, and generally speaking, the higher it is, the higher your policy price is likely to be. However it’s important to note that you must be as accurate as you can, as an unrealistic figure may invalidate any potential claim you make.

First car insurance is usually among the more expensive policies on the market, but it’s possible to bring the price down by following those tips and, ultimately, driving with care.


Get a quote for RAC Black Box Car Insurance here

Get a quote for standard RAC Car Insurance here

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