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Learning to drive

Car insurance facts & figures

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As a new driver, the cost of your insurance is guaranteed to be painful. At FirstCar we often hear stories of how 17 or 18-year olds are charged £4000 or more for their first year of cover.

Why is my insurance that high?!

Before you explode in a rage about how you’re being ripped off, consider these key facts. Then ask yourself whether or not you’re actually (possibly) getting reasonable value from your insurer:

  • Young drivers (aged 17-19) make up 1.5% of the driving population, but are involved in 9% of serious and fatal crashes where they are the driver.
  • It’s no surprise that insurance is so expensive when you hear about the cost of payouts to care for badly injured motorists: £10m is not uncommon. A payout of £18m was agreed when a young driver caused an accident which left one dead – and four other teenagers needing round-the-clock care for the rest of their lives.
  • Young women are far less likely to have a serious accident than men, but still have a worse insurance record than older, more experienced drivers.
  • A car’s insurance group is only a rough gauge of how much a car will cost to insure, because insurers base the premiums on their own experience of drivers with that type of car.
  • Insurance company Swinton reckons an increasing number of accidents are being caused by ‘pedestrians’ – that is, people crossing the road while listening to MP3 players.
  • Drivers are more likely to make a claim in Swansea than anywhere else in the UK, according to Virgin Money.

Whatever happens, don’t be stupid enough to drive without insurance. That could be the most expensive mistake of all. Even if you don’t have an accident, automatic number plate recognition systems help the police to catch thousands of uninsured vehicles every year.