Car insurance for 18-year-olds

Everything you need to know about finding cost-effective car insurance for 18-year-olds

Find cost-effective car insurance for 18-year-olds

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Do I need car insurance at 18?

Contrary to what people may think, 18-year-olds can get car insurance. In fact, if you’re 18 and you drive, you’re legally required to have it!

If you’re still learning, you won’t need insurance to drive your driving instructor’s car as you should be covered on their insurance. However, if you’re planning on driving between lessons with a friend or family member, you’ll need to be insured just like everyone else.

Great car insurance for 18-year-olds

There are three main types of insurance. The minimum you legally require is ‘third party only’, but read up on all the options to make sure you choose the best car insurance for you.

  • Third party only: This insurance covers damage that you make to other cars and injury caused to other people.
  • Third party, fire and theft: This insurance type covers all the above, as well as covering your own vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Fully comprehensive: This covers all the above, but it also covers more kinds of damage to your own car. Make sure that you compare insurance quotes though, as different providers will include different levels of cover as standard.

Generally, ‘third party only’ is the cheapest car insurance. So, if you’re looking for cheap car insurance, as many 18-year-olds are, you might consider a ‘third party only’ policy. This is particularly worthwhile if your car is cheap to repair and replace.

However, a ‘fully comprehensive’ insurance policy will offer you that extra peace of mind.

Top tip:

Always compare car insurance quotes from all three insurance types. 'Fully comprehensive’ could be cost-effective!

How much is car insurance for 18-year-olds?

Car insurance providers calculate their prices based on risk. Sadly, young drivers are more likely to claim on their insurance than older drivers. In fact, Brake revealed that 23% of drivers aged between 18 and 24 crash within the first two years of passing their driving test.

This means that the price of car insurance for an 18-year-old is usually high. According to the Consumer Intelligence price index, the average car insurance premium for drivers under 25 is £1,734!

You might be wondering at what age your car insurance gets cheaper - if you’ve been driving since you were 17, do insurance rates go down at 18?

This all depends on the provider, but generally speaking, your insurance costs do get lower as you get older. So, it’s possible that your premium is cheaper at 18 than it was at 17 - particularly if you’ve managed to build up your no claims bonus during that time.

The least risky group for an insurer is drivers over 40. For this reason, they tend to be the cheapest to insure, so you have that to look forward to!

How can I reduce the cost of my car insurance?

Looking for the cheapest car insurance for 18-year-olds? Follow these 5 tips!

1. Park your car somewhere safe

When you apply for insurance, you’ll have to tell the insurance provider where you park your car overnight. If you park it in a secure garage, you could get your insurance for cheaper than if you park it on a busy city street.

2. Grow your no claims

Usually, the longer you go without making a claim, the cheaper you’ll get your insurance for. Start growing your no claims bonus nice and early by taking out a hybrid insurance policy while you’re still learning.

3. Pick a dashcam or black box

By adding a dashcam or a black box to your car, you’re able to prove that you’re a safe driver and get discounted insurance. They are usually provided and installed as part of your insurance premium.

4. Add a named driver

If you add an older, more experienced driver as a named driver to your insurance policy, you could make a saving. Just make sure you list yourself as the main driver if you are going to do most of the driving, so you don’t accidentally commit insurance fraud!

5. Increase your voluntary excess

Increasing your excess could get you your insurance for less. Be aware though that this means if you do need to make a claim you’ll need to pay more towards it - so weigh up the risks carefully and make sure you’d be able to afford it.

Which cars are cost-effective to insure for 18 year olds?

Another factor that affects the cost of your insurance is the type of car you drive. All cars belong to a car insurance group, numbered from one to 50. The lower the number, the cheaper the car will generally be to insure.

Usually, the cars in the lowest groups are cheaper cars with small engines and less power. So, if you’re looking for cheap cars to insure at 18, it’s worth choosing one that’s in group one or two.

Some cost-effective cars to insure for 18-year-olds include the Peugeot 107, Hyundai i10, Nissan Micra and Citroen C1. You may also be able to find other cheap cars to insure at 18, such as models of the Fiat 500 and Ford Fiesta with smaller engine sizes.

Top tip:

Always check the insurance band for your car's make and model. Different variations could be in different bands.

Can you get temporary car insurance for 18 year olds?

Temporary car insurance is a popular choice for 18 year olds who don’t own their own car. It’s short term insurance that allows you to get covered on a friend or family member’s car for short periods of time. You can opt for anything from one day insurance to 30 day or six month insurance.

Short term temporary car insurance for 18 year olds is particularly useful if you don’t drive regularly. For example, you might be home from university and just need temp cover for a couple of weeks. Or, you might want to borrow a friend’s car to go on a road trip.

With temporary insurance for 18 year olds, you only pay for what you use and the car owner’s no claims bonus remains unaffected if you need to make a claim.

If you drive more regularly however, and you tend to drive the same car every time, it could be cheaper to get insured longer term on a friend or family member’s car as a named driver.

Equally, if you own your own car, you’ll need to insure it continuously by law - so temporary car insurance wouldn’t be the best option.