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Is temporary car insurance right for an 18 year old?

For young drivers, buying car insurance is a costly business, because they lack experience and statistics show they have more accidents. No wonder insurers hike up the premiums.

Safe driving comes with practice and so it’s tough for those who have recently passed their test to gain that invaluable time on the road. Insurance may be priced at around £2,000 a year for those in urban areas and added to all the other costs of owning a car, can make matters impossible.

So, what can be done to allow young drivers the chance to obtain insurance and drive when they need to?

Think short-term insurance

One option for an 18 year old is temporary car insurance. This means a young driver can take out comprehensive cover on a car they borrow on an as needed basis. The car’s owner can be reassured their No Claims Bonus remains protected.

The leading provider, GoShorty, will insure drivers aged 18 and above. This is providing they have held a driver’s licence – full UK or EU/EEA – for at least six months. They also need to have been resident in the UK for at least 12 months and have a permanent address.

Temporary car insurers want to cover sensible young drivers.  As a result, they won’t cover those who’ve racked up many penalty points or had several accidents. Drivers with driving bans and criminal convictions will also not able to obtain temporary insurance. In terms of the car they borrow, this needs to be registered in the UK and without modifications, other than for a disabled driver or an LPG conversion.

Those meeting the criteria will find short term car insurance cover is the ideal way to get behind the wheel.

Pick a suitable car

Understandably, insurers don’t want to see a young driver in a Lamborghini. So, a cheaper quote can be obtained if the car is from a ‘low’ insurance group. All cars have an insurance classification and there are 50 groups. Generally, the lower the number, the lower the premium and vice versa.

Those in low groups are newer affordable models with less powerful engines and cheaper to repair if there’s an accident, along with having built-in security. Typical examples include VW’s Polo, Hyundai’s i10 and the SEAT Ibiza.

You can buy cover online within minutes with GoShorty. For young drivers, it’s the flexible and affordable way to drive.

Other options

A young driver can appear on a parent’s policy as a ‘named’ driver. This will push up the cost of the main driver’s insurance, but will be cheaper than the young driver buying their own cover.

A higher excess can also push down the price of cover, although care should be taken to ensure the amount chosen is within reach should an accident occur. Telematics, known as ‘black box’ insurance, is another possibility. This technology allows the insurer to monitor the driving style and car use. Clearly, some may find this somewhat intrusive, but the purpose is to reward safe driving with lower premiums.

There’s no getting away from the fact car insurance for young drivers is expensive. However, the price can be brought within reach and mean getting on the road safely. For an 18 year old, temporary car insurance represents a cheap and easy option.

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