Owning a car comes with a lot of expenses, from general running costs to unexpected repairs. This is especially true if you are a young driver, as the cost of car insurance is a lot more expensive until you reach the age of 25. This is because young drivers are classed as inexperienced and therefore more likely to have an accident and file a claim within two years of passing their driving test. But there are ways to save money when it comes to insuring your vehicle.

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Why do I need insurance?

It is a legal requirement under the Road Traffic Act 1961, to protect other road users and yourself (depending on the level of cover you choose). Third Party Only is the minimum level of cover available, and covers your liability to others in connection with the vehicle only. In other words, if you have a collision with another vehicle, the policy will pay for the damage to the other car – but not to yours. Fully Comprehensive insurance protects both you and the other injured party, but is more expensive and may not make financial sense if your car is of a low value.

Will the type of car I choose make a difference to the insurance cost?

It’s crucial that you choose the right vehicle if you are looking to keep your premiums low. Larger cars with larger engines tend to attract – you guessed it – larger premiums, compared to vehicles with small engines. It’s also advisable to steer clear of modified cars, as you will definitely pay extra for insurance. Also older cars tend to be more expensive to insure, so look for a vehicle

that is under ten years old (if your budget allows). Finally, price your insurance before purchasing your car – make sure you can afford the running costs before you buy.

Is adding security measures to the car important?

Yes! Improving your car’s security reduces the likelihood of accidents or theft. Car immobilisers and steering wheel locks are good options to begin with, and also consider more sophisticated solutions such as car tracking systems.

Should I only have my name on the policy?

Not necessarily – adding a driver with more experience can reduce your insurance cost. So if a member of your family has a full driver’s license with many years of driving experience, consider naming them on your policy. Sharing your car with them indicates that you will be driving less, thus reducing the risk of accidents, bringing down your overall premium cost.

I am a named driver on my parents’ policy – when do I need to take out my own?

If you have your own vehicle, you’ll need your own insurance. This isn’t a bad thing, as as soon as you take out a policy in your own name, you start to build up your no claims bonus, accumulating savings year on year. Some insurers offer a named driver discount for the number of whole years you were named on your parent’s policy without any claim. Incidentally, insuring a car in your parents’ name when you own the vehicle is called ‘fronting’ and could invalidate your policy.

I’d like to take long road trips – is this a bad idea?

It could be, as the more miles you drive, the more likely you are to have an accident (as far as the insurance company is concerned). The best advice is to avoid making needless journeys, as lowering the number of miles you drive can have a huge impact on your insurance premium. When taking out your insurance policy you will be asked to outline your year mileage, so be sure to give a realistic estimate.

I’m confused by all the options available. Where can I find help?

As a first-time car owner, getting insurance can be bewildering. An insurance broker can guide you through the process of finding the right insurance policy for you. A broker compares multiple insurance policies to help find the best young driver car insurance available to them in Ireland. Click here and call 074 9721 304 for a quick quote.