Why it could pay to wait before passing your driving test as 17-year-old drivers quoted over £3,000 for cover

  • The price of insuring a car for a new driver has reached near-critical levels
  • But the good news is that older new drivers are charged less year-on-year 

Young drivers could save thousands of pounds by delaying passing their driving test, as 17-year-old first-time motorists are now being quoted more than £3,000 a year for cover.

The average cost of car insurance for a newly passed 17-year-old driver has now hit £3,075, up by more than £1,000 from £2,004 at the same point last year, according to Compare the Market.

These prices are what drivers are quoted, not what they necessarily pay, but serve as a useful benchmark. 

The average cost of car insurance for a driver with a provisional licence, of all ages, is £726 a year.

Generation gap: The price of car insurance for first-time drivers is always expensive, but falls steadily with age, with older new drivers paying far less than their younger counterparts

This typically increases to £2,731 when a driver passes their test and receives a full licence. 

Car insurance is more expensive when drivers pass their test as they are no longer being supervised by an experienced driver. 

However, the cost of car insurance is £771 cheaper after a motorist has earned a year of driving experience, and falls steadily year-on-year.

As the cost of car insurance has increased for new drivers, the proportion of young people learning to drive has steadily fallen. 

The latest figures from the Department for Transport show just 27 per cent of 17- to 20-year-olds hold a full driving licence, compared with 37 per cent of 17- to 20-year-olds in 2018.

But motorists who decided to learn to drive later in life could benefit from cheaper car insurance. 

While the average quoted premium for a newly passed 17-year-old is £3,075, this falls to £2,503 for a newly passed 22-year-old. 

For a newly passed 27-year-old, the average cost of car insurance is £1,089 cheaper, costing on average £1,986.

Julie Daniels, of Compare the Market, said: ‘Newly passed 17-year-olds must now pay more than £3,000 on average for their first year’s car insurance. This will put substantial strain on their or their parents’ finances.

‘As the cost of car insurance continues to increase, it may force some potential young motorists to delay learning to drive. 

‘Our research shows that these drivers could benefit from cheaper premiums if they decide to learn in their twenties instead. 

‘For those eager to get on the road sooner, choosing a telematics policy may be a good option for some young motorists, whose premium could be reduced if they demonstrate they are a safe driver.’

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