Currently reading: Young people driving uninsured amid sky-high premiums
118% increase in uninsured young drivers since 2021 is blamed on premiums increasing by up to 77%

More young people are driving without car insurance as their premiums reach a record high, with those living in London paying the most.

Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart says the number of drivers aged 17 to 20 punished for driving without insurance increased from 2902 in 2021 to 6316 in 2023 – a 118% increase.

An IN10 licence endorsement – the code for ‘using a vehicle uninsured against third-party risks on a licence’ – stays on a driving record for four years from the offence.

The charity says the increase coincides with rapidly rising premiums, and it is asking the government to halve insurance premium tax for young drivers and zero-rate it for those who undertake further training. It also wants current road safety strategy updated to focus on skills development and training.

Insurance comparison site Quotezone says since last year 19-year-olds have seen their premiums rise by 47% to £2435, 18-year-olds by 60% to £2986 and 17-year-olds by 77% to £3496. Quotezone also revealed the difference in young driver premiums across the UK.

The most expensive area is London, where 18- to 24-year-olds pay an average of £2811, compared with Northern Ireland, the cheapest, at £1359.

Elsewhere, young drivers in the south-east typically pay £2105 while those in the south-west pay £1714. Josh Burford is 17 this month and has been researching insurance as a learner in his Hyundai i20. He has been quoted £1000 on his own policy or £300 on his parents’, but he has chosen the former. “In 12 months I’ll have a year’s noclaims bonus, which will reduce future premiums,” he said.

When Burford passes his test his insurance will rise to £2500, including the balance of his learner cover. The policy he plans to buy, offered by Howden Insurance, is without black box cover, which Burford says is too restrictive. “Having a black box would save me between £500 and £1000, but while it rightly penalises speeding, it also penalises cornering and braking beyond approved limits and driving after 9pm, which is unreasonable.”

When he was 14, Burford’s parents enrolled him on a Young Driver Foundation course, which teaches children aged four to 17 the principles of car control and has delivered more than 1.4 million lessons.

According to its research, just 3.2% of drivers who have been taught by the organisation have an accident within six months of passing their test. The national average is 20%. Burford believes his Young Driver training should be reflected in his insurance. “It’s a very good scheme and I consider myself to be safer for it,” he said. “I’d like insurers to take it into account when calculating premiums.”

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In fact, the Young Driver organisation has told Autocar it will shortly be announcing a partnership with a major insurer offering premiums starting from around £1500 for graduates of its scheme. Managing director Ian Mulingani said: “This will be a game-changer, offering more affordable pricing to reflect the fact that customers are proven to have fewer accidents.”

How much is car insurance in the UK by region?

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Boris9119 6 June 2024

We have the technology to automatically prevent a vehicle from operating if insurance is not currently active on that vehicle. It would require embedded equipment built into cars during manufacturing, at a small cost, and a centralized insurance database operator to manage the system. Reality is there is no will at government level, or as a society to address the issue.

Deputy 6 June 2024

Cost of insurance = thousands.  Penalty for no insurance  = £300 and 6 points.  You do the sums and risk analysis!  

Will86 6 June 2024

The next government, whoever they are, need to get a grip on insurance claim payouts. The number of stories of excessive costs, whether for repairs, courtesy cars or claims management companies, is troubling but surely isn't impossible to fix. That would benefit everyone, not only young drivers.

Deputy 6 June 2024

100%.  It's an industry led escalation.  I recently had my wing mirror knocked off by another car (thank you dashcam).  It was going to be 8 weeks to get the exact part replaced. My insurance company outsources hire cars to a third party.  Third party literally called me 20 times trying to get me to have a hire car when then body shop had alrready fitted a temporary mirror that was fine.  I declined the hire, saving the insurance company possibly thousands but did I get any thanks or lower premium?  No, it went up, even with a no fault claim !!