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white clock learner driver3 minute read Guides Learner Drivers

Are Young Drivers Dangerous?

Young drivers are among the most expensive road users to insure. But is this fair? We look at why young drivers are considered to be dangerous by insurers, and what can be done about it.

Sean O'Neill

Are young drivers dangerous?

If you’re a young driver, then – there’s no two ways about it – getting car insurance is going to be expensive. According to the Confused.com car insurance price index, the average car insurance price for 18-year-olds was £1,419 in the first quarter of 2022.

Insurance providers set their prices on the basis of risk, and younger drivers are considered to be less experienced, and more likely to be involved in a collision.

If you’re a safe driver, this may seem unfair. Here we’ll look at the reasons why young drivers have to pay more for their car insurance, and what you can do to take the edge off.

Why are young drivers considered to be high risk?

Back in the bad old days, when insurance companies calculated risk, the price of insurance was influenced by a lot of assumptions. For example, journalists might be considered more likely to drive dangerously, because they’d be racing around looking for a scoop. And young drivers are more likely to pose a risk due to being inexperienced.

Insurance doesn’t really work like this anymore. Prices are calculated based on huge amounts of data that insurance companies gather. The cost may be influenced by numerous factors, such as where the driver lives, their age, the type of car they drive, their annual mileage… And also their profession.

As insurance providers collect their own data, there may be variances from company to company. If one company happens to get more insurance claims from drivers based of a postcode in Leeds, for instance, then they’re likely to consider drivers from that postcode to be higher risk. But mostly the data will show similar patterns, and certain demographics will pay a similar amount across the board.

Which brings us to young drivers. Statistics show that comparatively new drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, and that the collisions tend to be more costly. According to road-safety charity Brake, one in five drivers crash within a year of passing their test. And more than 1,500 young drivers are killed or seriously injured on UK roads each year.

What are the risk factors?

There are certain risky behaviours that young drivers are more prone to, generally speaking. Carrying several passengers of a similar age increases the chances of collision, due to distraction or peer pressure.

Evening and early morning also see a higher proportion of incidents. This could be due to tiredness, or simply not being used to driving when it’s darker. Driving lessons aren’t usually conducted in the dark, so newer drivers often don’t have the practice when it comes to night-time driving.

Even if you’re a competent night-time driver, that doesn’t mean that other road users won’t be tired or distracted. It’s worth remembering that, if you’re subject to reduced visibility or adverse conditions, other road users will be too.

But I’m a safe driver. Why do I have to pay more?

Although car insurance prices are calculated using a lot of data, there’s still a certain amount of pigeonholing. While you may be part of a certain high-risk demographic, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not a safe driver.

But if the statistics show that younger drivers in your area are more likely to be involved in a collision, you’re off to a bad start. Through no fault of your own.

Don’t lose heart though… There are things you can do to hopefully lower the cost of your car insurance.

Young drivers and their phones

One of the most common offences whilst driving is using your phone behind the wheel, the rules used to offer some leniency when it came to handling a phone when driving. Before you could get away with minor, quick use, like changing a song, or maybe quickly updating maps location.

While none of this was encouraged, there didn’t seem to be a direct rule against it. The highway code changed recently and it put a ban on any use of phones, with the exception of emergencies, hands free (voice control), and paying for things using any contactless payment on your mobile device.

With the idea of using your phone whilst driving in mind, the common misconception would be young people are the worst offender to this. However, with people aged 16-24, only 11% of those used their phone while driving, with the ages 25-34, 35-44, and 45-54 all coming in with more text and drive offenders.

How can I get cheap car insurance?

Sadly car insurance for young drivers is never going to be cheap… But you can take steps to lower the cost.

For lots of useful tips on reducing the price of your car insurance, read our cheap car insurance for young drivers guide.

At Veygo, we specialise in learner driver insurance and temporary car insurance. If you’ve passed your test, it’s well worth considering a temporary policy if you share someone else’s car. For example, if you occasionally drive a parent’s car, taking out a short-term policy as and when you need it may work out cheaper than being on an annual policy. Work out how often you’re going to need the car, and do your sums. If it works out cheaper, then you’re quids in.

In addition, if you do have a prang, this won’t affect your parent’s no-claims bonus. Whereas being a named driver on their policy means that – if you do have an accident – it’s likely to push up the cost of their car insurance in future.

Another option if you’re looking for an annual policy is telematics (AKA black box) insurance. This type of policy is tailored to the way you drive, rather than your demographic. If you can demonstrate that you’re a safe driver, your car insurance should work out cheaper.

Although they’re commonly known as black box policies, you won’t necessarily need to have a device installed in your car. Lots of policies use apps to monitor your driving, so all you’ll need is the location enabled on your phone.

If you’re looking to get some cheap temporary car insurance, or maybe you’re still a learner trying to get on the road, hit the button below to get started! 

Sean O'Neill
Sean O'Neill

Having studied English literature in university I now work within motor insurance and work closely with data teams to understand market trends in short-term car insurance and hot topics that might be helpful to car drivers out there. I'm currently learning to drive and taking driving lessons to get out on the road by myself soon!

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