New insurers in market good news for young drivers
Young drivers can cut the cost of insurance cover dramatically thanks to the entry of new underwriters into the market.
Insurers are increasingly prepared to provide cover for younger drivers, who experts say can achieve further savings by fulfilling a number of key requirements.
Figures compiled by broker CoverInAClick.ie reveal that a 21-year-old provisional driver with no experience could pay as much as €3,936 in the first year.
That is a price regarded as out of the reach of most young people.
But with just one year of driving experience, no claims and a full licence behind them, they can secure a premium of €932.
Jonathan Hehir, of CoverInAClick.ie, said this represented a reduction of three-quarters in the premium.
He added that even though insurers are the ones who set the prices, young drivers still have some control over their fate in terms of the premiums they pay.
This is particularly the case if they have gained some driving experience.
"We ran the numbers and if these young drivers can reach and complete three driving milestones - get 12 professional lessons, attain their full licence and earn a one-year no claims bonus - then they will see a huge reduction in what they are charged for motor insurance," Mr Hehir said.
He added that even those who only manage two out of three and don't pass their test the first year, will still see a marked decrease in premiums.
Mr Hehir said that young drivers face greater challenges than other drivers when securing the best value on the market.
There is limited competition in the insurance market for first-time drivers.
He said a young driver will typically only have five insurers prepared to offer a quote. But a more experienced driver with a full no claims bonus could have 15-plus insurers looking to quote for their business.
Mr Hehir advises that all young drivers should take a course of lessons from a professional instructor.
Discounts will be offered by certain insurers for drivers who have completed 12 lessons from a qualified driving instructor.
They should also get a full licence and, if possible plan ahead by getting added to a parent's insurance policy for a period before they take their driving test.
Most insurers will insist on a full year, but some providers will offer discounts to young people who have just six months' experience on their parent's policy.
Inexperienced drivers should also look at the model and engine size of the car they are planning to buy, before seeking quotes for various cars.
And young drivers are also advised to check the differences between third-party fire and theft cover and comprehensive. The most suitable cover can vary according to the value of the vehicle.