When you're leaving home for college or university, car insurance may not be at the top of your 'to do' list. But you'll soon find that insurance for young drivers can be expensive.
So here are some tips for finding the right cover for your car, and how you could save money.
Levels of car insurance cover
- Third party only is the basic level of cover, and insures you for claims made against you by other people. So if you're in an accident, it covers your liability for injury to others and damage to their property – but it won't cover damage to your own car or any injuries you suffer.
- Third party, fire and theft gives you the same level of protection as third party only, but also covers your vehicle against fire damage or theft.
- Comprehensive gives you all of the above, but also includes accidental damage cover for your own car, plus other benefits such as cover for personal possessions or medical expenses.
Third party, fire and theft is usually not much more expensive than third party only, but it provides important cover against fire and car theft. If you're a student in a large city then cover against theft is worth considering.
Your no claims discount
The insurers of your parent's car may not continue to provide cover if you take their car with you to university. So leaving home to become a student could be the point where you switch from being insured as an additional driver of a parent's car to insuring your own car.
Once you have your own insurance policy, aim to earn a no claims discount. By following the Highway Code and staying within the speed limit you can avoid making claims, which could earn a reduction in your premium when you renew your policy.
The car you drive
The age, model and engine size of your car will all affect the cost of your motor insurance. Generally, the smaller and less powerful the car, the cheaper the policy should be. When buying a car, look for a vehicle in a low car insurance group.
Think about your mileage
By reducing your annual mileage, or living closer to the college or university campus, then you're likely to receive cheaper car insurance quotes.
Keeping your car off the roadside at night – or better still in a locked garage – could bring down your premium. If you have to park on the street outside your student accommodation, make sure you park in a well-lit area, and remember not to leave any valuables in the vehicle that could attract thieves.
If you're living off campus in an area where you're concerned about car theft, it may be worth installing extra security devices to your car. Tracking devices and immobilisers are likely to give a discount on your premium – check with your insurance provider.