Teenager in the driving seat? What you need to know

Help them stay in the safe lane with a little expert advice from AXA

Car safety

11 November 2021

Learning to drive is a rite of passage for many teenagers. It opens up a new world of freedom, fun, and independence.

For those who don’t live in towns and cities it’s also a necessity. Over half of teenagers with a full driving licence use their car to get to work.

But it’s an unavoidable fact that insurance for teens is expensive. We can’t pretend otherwise.

Why is insurance for teenagers so expensive?

The sad fact is that teenagers are more likely to have accidents.

Teens aged 17-24 are estimated to cost £2.9 billion in accidents, compared with £14.7 billion across the board. That’s almost 20%, yet they make up just 7% of drivers overall.

And it isn’t just down to inexperience:

  • Young drivers are more likely to take risks when overtaking or speeding
  • 1 in 5 crash within a year of passing their test
  • Half admit to using their mobile at the wheel
  • Over a quarter of fatal accidents are caused by young drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit.

Though there is a silver lining. Since the year 2000 the number of young drivers aged 17-24 killed in serious accidents has fallen year on year.

Still, the charity brake.org recommends putting off the age at which they start to drive, encouraging walking, cycling and public transport.

How long does it take for teen premiums to go down?

One fact that stands out in all the government statistics, is that when it comes to deaths among young drivers, 75% are caused by young men aged 17-24.

That’s why premiums typically drop dramatically at 25. After then, you’ll often find that prices drops a little each year till age 60, as long as all other details remain the same. They can also reduce their premium by building up their no claims discount. To earn their no claims discount, they’ll need to have their own insurance policy.

It may be tempting to insure your child’s car in your name using your no claims discount, however this is a type of fraud known as “fronting”. If you are caught fronting, your insurance policy will be declared void, and any claims you may have made will be refused. Additionally, if your insurer has to pay out a claim to a third party they are entitled to recover these costs from you.

However, there are ways to reduce the price:

  • Increase the excess (the amount the driver is happy to pay if there is a claim)
  • Pay yearly instead of monthly (to avoid interest)
Girl with red hair behind the wheel of a car

Charity brake recommend supervised driving

Accidents are often caused when teenagers bow to peer pressure. They’re simply more likely to have accidents when they have young people in the car, not when they’re ferrying older adults.

The solution therefore is to dissuade them from giving lifts to friends. And for a responsible older adult to sit with them while they drive.

Stick to daytime driving

Records also show that most crashes happen late at night and early in the morning due to:

  • Tiredness
  • Over-confidence - when there isn’t much traffic around they assume the risk of accidents is much lower than it is
  • Consuming drink and/or drugs

So if you’re sharing a vehicle or insurance you could reduce use of the car at these times.

And experts estimate that tiredness accounts for between 10% and 20% of all road crashes worldwide.

AXA can help

If you’re looking for a quote for your teenager, whether it’s to add them to your existing policy, or for a fresh quote, we can help.

Years ago it used to be cheaper for young adults to get third party fire and theft insurance. But most insurers noticed that riskier drivers chose this option. As such, comprehensive insurance tends to be better value. To compare your options and get a quote, see our types of cover page for a full breakdown of both types of policy.

Whatever you need, you’ll find AXA is here to help you get back to the good stuff.