Did you know that 26% of new drivers aged 18-24 are involved in a crash during their year as a driving 'fresher'?
But why is this? Are these stats the reason why young drivers' insurance is so pricey? How can we stay safe in our first year after passing and make sure we practice safe driving for life? And how can we make our insurance cheaper?!
All these questions will be answered right here, right now — so let's get stuck in.
The number-crunchers at road safety charity Brake found that 17–19-year-olds are involved in nearly 10% of all serious and fatal crashes even though they make up a tiny 1.5% of all drivers. This means an average of 1,500 young drivers are killed or seriously injured in the UK each year. If you got all those people together, they’d fill the Brixton Electric in London or The Ritz in Manchester. That many young lives. Needlessly lost. Every year.
These shockingly sad stats help us understand why young drivers' insurance is so expensive. So now that you’ve passed, how can you stay safe on the roads? And will this help bring your future insurance policy prices down from outer space?
It’s easy to get carried away when you’ve just passed your test. All your graft has manifested into a nice, shiny pink driver’s licence and you’re itching to get out onto the road without someone breathing down your neck.
But just step back for a moment, take a breather and remember you’re still at the very beginning of your driving life. You might feel like a decent driver, and you’ve taken a test to prove it, right? Not quite, a study by RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) revealed that it takes an average of 1,000 hours to experience most of the challenges the road offers and to be considered an “Experienced Driver” ™.
So, with the average learner needing 50 hours to pass their test, there’s a long road for you to travel before you’re a road-hardened driver. We don’t want to scare you, but just keep in mind that you’re still fresh behind the wheel and remember your limitations. Don’t speed, don’t drive recklessly, and definitely don’t show off to your mates.
If you’re anything like me, being without your mobile is like losing half your brain (and the useful part, at that). However, when you’re driving, you’re gonna need to forget the nomophobia and put your trusty digital sidekick to one side.
You won’t need a driving school to tell you that using your phone while driving is very illegal. You might think “ahh, it’ll only take a second” to skip a song or check your notifications, but that second can literally be the difference between life and death.
And if the threat of death isn't enough for you — if you’re caught using your mobile behind the wheel within 2 years of passing, your licence will be revoked, you’ll be fined, and you’ll need to sit both driving tests again.
Death, injury, or retaking the driving test. All these things suck — use hands-free features or leave your phone until you can pull over. It’s really not worth the risk.
Just like phones, passengers and loud music can be distracting while driving. Take your time and don't have your mates join you for a drive until you're confident that you can focus on the road with them in the car.
It's also best to not crank up the volume on your music too soon. Many young drivers find it useful to be able to hear the engine and we all know that loud music can make it hard to concentrate.
More lessons?! I know it’s not what you want to hear after you’ve just waved goodbye to your instructor for what you thought was the last time. However, a few extra driving lessons are a good way to get practice on some of the more nerve-wracking roads (like winding country roads and motorways) before going it alone.
Let me put my Martin Lewis money-expert mask on for one moment, ‘cus here’s a money-saving tip to pop in your back pocket — consider a course of PassPlus lessons. This is a course that some instructors offer, and you won’t even need to sit a test at the end.
Instead, you’ll learn some more advanced driving techniques with your instructor and, once they’re satisfied that you’re up to scratch, you’ll get a PassPlus certificate which can bag you a discount on your insurance. Only certain insurance providers offer PassPlus discounts, so do your research and get quotes from a few different companies before taking the plunge.
While we’re feeling thrifty, here’s another great money-saving tip. Black box insurance policies monitor your driving, and sometimes set curfews and other rules, to help offer you a cheaper insurance policy.
We won’t go into too much detail here — instead, have a good read of our full guide to black box insurance.
It goes without saying, but simply driving safely and staying out of trouble is the best way of knocking that sky-high insurance price down a peg or ten.
Once you’ve got a couple years of no-claims bonuses under your fan belt, you’ll notice your insurance quotes are much more reasonable.
And the best way of getting a no-claims bonus? Don’t be involved in any accidents by driving safely, sensibly and always sober!
Thanks for reading! These tips will help you to save you some money and could help to save lives. We've got even more money-saving insurance tips and a full guide to insurance for young drivers if you want to save as much as possible.