How much is insurance for a new driver?

Get the ins and outs of insurance for new drivers.

If you’ve just passed your driving test, you might have a long list of car insurance-related questions to answer before you can officially hit the road. Questions like: How much is insurance for a new driver? What’s the best insurance for new drivers? And what are the cheapest cars to insure for new drivers? 

Well, you’re in luck. Here, we explore the ins and outs of insurance for new drivers, including what affects the price and how to get the best deal. 

How much is insurance for a new driver in the UK?

Whether new or experienced, every single driver needs to be insured before they can legally drive on UK roads — and it’s your level of experience that will often dictate how much you pay for it.

New drivers are deemed “high risk” due to their lack of driving experience, and will usually be charged higher insurance premiums (a monthly or yearly insurance cost) to offset that risk. 

So, how much is car insurance for a new driver per month? It depends on a range of factors, which we’ll look at next, but it can cost around £170 a month, on average.

However, it’s worth noting that car insurance can be cheaper if you choose to pay for the entire policy as a one-off, yearly cost. New drivers can expect to pay anywhere from £1,200 to £1,800 (and sometimes higher) a year, within 12 months of passing their test. 

What else affects the average insurance for new drivers?

In addition to your experience behind the wheel, insurers will look at several different factors when calculating car insurance for first-time drivers. Your age, gender, where you live, your job, the type of car you drive, and whether you’ve made any modifications to your vehicle can all influence the cost of your premium. 

Let’s take a look at each of these in a little more detail:

  • Age: While it’s true that new drivers can be any age, younger drivers will typically have to pay more than older drivers. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average cost of car insurance for drivers aged 17 to 24 in the UK is significantly higher than the average cost for drivers over the age of 25. This is because of other risk factors associated with age, such as driving style and types of vehicles being driven by younger motorists. 
  • Gender: By law, car insurance providers cannot discriminate based on gender. However, women often end up paying less than men for car insurance. Again, this comes down to related factors that tend to affect men more than women, such as vehicle choice and occupation. If you drive a fast, powerful car or work in a high-risk job category, such as a fast food delivery driver, you may end up paying more for car insurance. 
  • Postcode: Where you live (and how you store your vehicle overnight) can also significantly affect your car insurance costs. If you live somewhere with a high crime rate, or you park your vehicle on the street rather than in a garage, it could push up your premium.
  • Job: Certain professions, such as bookkeeping, teaching, and civil service jobs, are considered low-risk by insurance providers and attract lower premiums. On the other hand, if you need to drive a lot for work, or you’re in a high-risk job category, you may be charged a higher premium.
  • Vehicle type: Alongside your personal details, insurers will consider the make and model of your car, including its engine size and overall value. 
  • Vehicle modifications: If you’ve made changes to your car, this can positively or negatively affect your car insurance premium. Tinted windows or changes to the exhaust or engine could result in higher premiums as your car might seem riskier to an insurer. On the other hand, if you’ve made safety and security changes, such as adding a GPS tracker or using an immobiliser, it could lower your insurance costs. 

What’s the cheapest insurance for new drivers?

When you start shopping around for car insurance as a new driver, you’ll often have a choice between comprehensive and third-party cover. 

  • Comprehensive car insurance (also referred to as “fully comprehensive” or “fully comp”) is the broadest level of coverage you can get for your vehicle. It pays out if you damage your car or someone else’s car or injure someone in an accident. 
  • Third-party car insurance is the minimum level of coverage required to drive in the UK. As the name suggests, it only covers third parties (other drivers or passengers, including your own) in the event of an accident. However, unlike comprehensive cover, it doesn’t cover damage to your vehicle or the cost of your medical expenses following an accident.

Because it’s the minimum required, third-party insurance can be popular with younger drivers. However, it’s not always the cheapest. Younger drivers often fall into higher-risk categories, which means insurers may be more likely to have to make payouts following an accident. As a result, third-party policies can sometimes be more expensive than comprehensive coverage. 

So, it’s always a good idea to compare quotes from different providers and across varying levels of coverage to find one that works for you. Note: an insurance broker can help here! 

5 ways to lower insurance costs for new drivers

There are several ways that new or younger drivers can lower their first insurance premiums and get cheaper car insurance. Let’s take a look at five of the best:

  1. Complete a Pass Plus course: The Pass Plus Scheme is a training course for people who want to build their experience so they can drive safely in challenging situations. During the course, a registered driving instructor will take you through some scenarios you might not have experienced during your first set of lessons, such as driving on the motorway.

    In theory, the course could help you become an even better driver. This has led some car insurance companies to offer a reduced rate to people who complete Pass Plus. However, the discount isn’t automatic across the board, so you’ll need to check with the insurance provider if Pass Plus is considered. 
  1. Insure a car with a smaller engine: Generally speaking, the more powerful the car, the riskier it is to drive and the more expensive it is to insure. If you want to lower your first car insurance premium, consider buying a car with a smaller engine. In the next section, we share some suggestions for the cheapest cars to insure for new drivers. 
  1. Park your car somewhere safe: Where you park your car when it’s not being used can also affect your car insurance premium. If you park on the street, it could be a target for thieves or suffer damage from passing vehicles or vandals. But if you keep it in a secure garage or CCTV-covered car park, it could be considered lower risk by insurance providers.
  1. Sign up for named young driver insurance: This is a special type of insurance for drivers aged between 17 and 27. It allows them to be insured on their parent’s car and enables them to start earning their own no-claims discount. Learn more about Howden’s Named Young Driver Insurance here.
  1. Sign up for black box car insurance: Black box insurance (also known as “telematics insurance”) uses a special tracking device to monitor and record your driving habits. The technology allows insurers to assess your driving style and tailor the insurance premium based on your actual driving performance. In short, the more responsible you are behind the wheel, the better your chances of earning cheaper car insurance premiums. Learn more about Howden’s Black Box Car Insurance here.

What are the cheapest cars to insure for a new driver?

The cheapest cars to insure for new drivers all have the same thing in common: they tend to be small, affordable, safe, and reliable, with small engines and no outlandish modifications. Models like the Vauxhall Corsa, Nissan Micra, Citroën C1, and Ford Fiesta have all proven popular with new drivers over the years. 

Better yet, if you can pair a small engine with the latest security features and park your car somewhere safe overnight, you could lower your insurance costs further!

See our list of the top 20 best cars to insure for new drivers here.

In summary: How much is car insurance for a new driver?

To recap, how much can you expect to pay for car insurance as a new driver? Well, the short answer is it depends. Car insurance quotes will almost always differ from one driver to the next and any number of factors can push your premiums up or down. 

Being a new driver will make you seem a bit riskier in the eyes of some insurance providers, but if you follow our tips above, you could lower your first car insurance premiums. 

Looking for a competitive car insurance quote? 51% of our new car insurance clients saved an average of £196 between August 2023 and January 2024. Find out more here.

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