Cars for new drivers

Running a car is an expensive necessity for many of us and new drivers feel the pinch more than most. Car insurance alone has risen by 40 per cent in the last year and petrol prices are sky high! This means that cutting costs where we can is more important than ever. Let’s take car insurance as a start…

Car insurance comparison websites allow you to compare insurance quotes from over 120 car insurers across the market in one quick search, getting the best policy for your money. The premium will be calculated considering the car as well as the driver’s perceived risk.

But saving money on car insurance can begin far before purchasing insurance. It should start when you’re car shopping; some cars are cheaper to insure than others…

The Association of British Insurers categorise cars into insurance groups one to fifty based on their engine size and the availability of spare parts. Cars with small engines and a large circulation are usually cheapest to insure. Small engines are seen as lower risk as their acceleration speed is low and popular cars are relatively cheap to insure due to spare parts being readily available.

The cheapest cars to insure are also relatively cheap to purchase in the beginning. These cars are also relatively new, between 3 and 4 years old on average, and so carry less risk of breaking down.

These cars to insure fall into categories one to three and are often sold as ideal cars for new drivers. Examples of such cars include:

Category 1
Citroën C1 (from 2005 onwards)
Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback (from 2006 onwards)
Fiat Panda (from 2004 onwards)

Category 2
Toyota Yaris Hatchback (from 2006 onwards)
Ford Fiesta (from 2008 onwards)
Nissan Pixo (from 2009 onwards)

Category 3
Volvo C70 Coupé Convertible (from 2006 onwards)
Toyota Aygo (from 2005 onwards)
Peugeot 107 (from 2005 onwards)

But of course it’s not just the car make and model that affects insurance premiums, how the car is driven has a powerful influence too!

If you are a model driver- and as a new driver, the rules of the road will be fresh in your mind so there’s no excuse- you may want to consider opting for performance based insurance. Performance based insurance is calculated using a telematics box which is a small box installed under the dashboard of the car. It uses GPS technology to determine a driver’s speed in comparison to the speed limit of the road they’re travelling on. The telematics box also measures g-force, the force exerted on the car when a driver breaks, turns corners and accelerates. This data is sent to the insurance company who in term use this data to determine how well the policyholder drives. The insurance premium is then calculated appropriately.  

In addition, if you’re a new driver and want to cut the cost of insurance, pay-as-you-drive insurance may be one insurance option to consider. The telematics box monitors distances travelled and the times at which the car is driven. Pay-as-you-drive insurance rewards those with small mileages, those who make short journeys and those who do not drive late at night or during rush hours. Good drivers will often receive bonuses such as free miles. But those who break the conditions of insurance stated by the insurer, such as driving between 11pm and 5am, may receive increases on their premium.

And if, despite your model driving, an accident or breakdown were to occur, avoiding small claims can help lower the insurance premium when it comes to renewal time. When repair work is likely to cost little more than the excess contribution, it may not be worth claiming. Claims will cancel out any no claims bonus built up (unless the driver has paid to protect these) and so next year’s premium is likely to rise as a result (no matter what size). But remember: don’t simply accept your existing insurer’s renewal price. Contrary to popular opinion, loyalty is not rewarded when it comes to insurance; new customers get the best deal. So shop around for the best deal for you and transfer your no claims bonus across to the best policy.

blankRelated information:
dotLearner driver help and tutorials