The day young people gain their driver’s licence is a big day, a license means increased independence, more freedom, and for many it’s the first major step on the road to the rest of their lives. But gaining a driver’s license also brings with it a large measure of responsibility, both to the driver and to other motorists. Being a licensed driver means adhering to road rules that protect lives. It means maintaining your vehicle so that it’s always in a safe state to travel. And it means having the right car insurance in case the worst should happen.
However, the issue of car insurance can be daunting for many younger drivers as there are many factors involved in insurance companies determining the type and level of cover they will provide you. So here is a quick guide to some key things young drivers should take notice of when seeking car insurance. Following these tips will help you get the lowest premium and the right cover for you.
First, ALWAYS tell insurance companies the truth about the state of your vehicle. If you have made any modifications to the engine or body that are likely to impact the roadworthiness or performance of the car then tell them from the outset. You may end up paying more in the short term via your insurance premiums, but it could save you thousands in the long term if you have an accident and your policy becomes void because you didn't inform them of the changes to your vehicle.
Second, many young people try to put someone else’s name (usually an older drivers) details down as the primary driver of their vehicle in order to gain insurance or to lower their insurance premium. However, as with the modifications issue mentioned above, this isn't a great idea as, if discovered, it can make your insurance void. So always put yourself down as the primary driver, but consider adding a second responsible driver to your policy as this may help your case.
Third, never forget that vehicle type impacts on insurance cost, so when you’re out and about shopping for your first car, put your ego aside and look for cars that insurance companies will favour. Cars with large engines driven by younger drivers pose a greater insurance risk than vehicles with smaller engines, as do high performance cars and older vehicles. Smaller cars can equal smaller risk.
Fourth and final point is to take the time to shop around when looking for car insurance. By comparing insurance provider’s policies side by side you can find the right level of cover that suits your budget and driving needs whilst also minimising your risk. A few quick tips when considering a car insurance provider are to not assume that third party insurance is cheaper than comprehensive insurance, to check carefully how much you'd really be paying when you make a claim, and to consider the difference it would make to park your car in a secure location rather than on the street.
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