Road safety charity the IAM is calling on insurance companies to overhaul their systems for calculating prices for young drivers, after finding that a search for car insurance quotes for an average 17 year old driver revealed the cheapest annual premium to be £7,091.38. The top price quoted was just over £9700.
This particular search – made on a popular price comparison site – was for the fictional ‘Tom Stevens’, with a date of birth of the 03/03/1994. He has held a full licence for one month, and was requesting insurance on a 2007 1.1l Kia Picanto. He lives in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and claimed the car would be parked on the road. He has no previous claims or convictions and is in full-time education with a part-time job, and requested cover just for ‘social’ use.
Once Tom had been driving for a year, his cheapest quote dropped to £2528.55, on an otherwise like-for-like basis.
IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “Young drivers can only learn safer driving by practising it, but huge insurance premiums risk pricing them off the road. The challenge for the government, the insurance industry and road safety experts is how to balance the need for experience with the very real risk that young drivers pose to themselves and other road users.
“When an insurance premium is matching university tuition fees, innovative thinking is needed to reward the safest young drivers or spread the cost in a more manageable way.
“Many young people will need a car to get to work and there are serious implications to the economy of young people who are unable to afford to drive, and to road safety if drivers simply choose to forgo insurance.”