Young drivers make up just seven per cent of road users, yet they contribute more than 15 per cent of the total insurance premiums each year, uSwitch has found. The cost of their annual premiums represent an average of 69 per cent of the value of their car.
New government proposals to correct age discrimination against older people could have an effect upon young people too, but in the meantime, the advice is to get as much help from dealerships when buying a car, to make sure that insurance is affordable, or even available for the model they have selected, to check that modifications are not amounting to too much – a ‘GTI’ badge can add over £1000 to the annual premium cost – and that they are estimating the correct mileage that they will be covering.
Ashton Berkhauer, an insurance advisor at uSwitch.com, comments: "In theory, the Equalities Bill could mean the end of the road for higher premiums for young drivers.
"However, insurers have to price by risk and there is clear evidence that younger drivers are more of a hazard on the roads. There is also a danger that many more ‘boy racers’ will find that they can afford to insure faster, flashier cars – we could see accidents increase as a result. This would be wrong and we urge the government to seriously consider all the implications before implementing any change. Young drivers must do their homework first and shop around to make sure they find the best cover and policy features to suit their needs and budget."
In 2007 it is estimated that male drivers aged under 21 were ten times more likely to have an accident than other road users. In addition, under-21 year old motorists accounted for 34 per cent of dangerous driving convictions. Under-21 drivers were responsible for 16 per cent of all motoring offences.