RAC Cars News


Young Drivers Put Premiums Up

By raccars Published

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The Association of British Insurers is calling for new regulations regarding younger drivers, with the aim of improving road safety and reducing the cost of insurance premiums. The ABI suggests that while targeting fraudulent personal injury claimants has had a positive effect on the price of insurance premiums, young drivers are still largely responsible for high insurance costs.

The Association recommends that a graduated licence scheme could be an important step when it comes to making young drivers safer on the road. A graduated driving licence would carry limits on the number of passengers allowed in a car with a young driver, for a certain period of time after passing their test. Similarly, there could be restrictions on the time of day young drivers are allowed to get behind the wheel, such as a curfew from 11pm.

The ABI has also suggested enforcing a minimum learning period for young drivers, giving them time to grow accustomed to different driving conditions before going solo.

The Association has developed the idea after studying what steps have been taken in other countries to make roads safer from young drivers. While only 1.5% of drivers fall into the 17-19 years age group, the same group is involved in 12% of serious road accidents.

Recent investigations revealed that a 17 to 22 year old driver pays on average £1,216.96 for their motor insurance premium. The overall average cost of a comprehensive insurance policy for all age groups was less than half that, at £540.26.

The ABI is calling on the government to take meaningful action to ensure improved training and testing of young drivers, not only to make roads safer but also because it believes insurance premiums have been inflated to artificial levels to compensate for young driver behaviour. Similarly, the ABI would like to see government action taken to prevent nuisance calls and trivial claims from claims management firms.

Three years ago, the government met with insurance industry representatives and agreed to take action on issues affecting motorists and insurance companies. The result has been a reduction in the average insurance premium, thanks mostly to stricter regulation of the civil justice system, which has made it more difficult to make fraudulent or exaggerated personal injury claims. However, measures to promote young driver safety have stalled and insurance premiums remain higher than the ABI believes they should be.

The ABI also believes that while steps have been taken, more can be done to crack down on claims management companies and that the limit on small claims should be increased from £1,000 to £5,000, for road traffic accidents.

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