For young and new drivers, the journey into the world of electric cars comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to electric car insurance.
Insurance is always more expensive when you have just passed your test, and with the higher cost of insuring a newer vehicle, young EV drivers could be faced with a real financial burden when it comes to insurance.
This guide aims to help young drivers approach the process of electric car insurance, offering clear insights and practical advice to reduce the high premium cost.
Can a New Driver Drive an Electric Car?
Legally, there are no restrictions that prevent a new driver from driving an electric car. As long as you hold a valid driving license, you can drive an electric car. The process of getting insured is also similar to that of traditional cars, though with some slight differences due to the nature of EVs.
Driving an electric car can be a different experience compared to conventional petrol or diesel vehicles. The instant torque, silent operation, and regenerative braking systems of EVs can take some getting used to. New drivers might want to get some additional training or practice to become comfortable with these differences.
Are Electric Cars Good for First-Time Drivers?
Electric cars can be an excellent choice for first-time drivers, there are a number of things that new drivers should think about if considering an electric car:
- Ease of Driving
EVs have automatic transmission and smooth handling, which is ideal for new drivers giving them one less thing to worry about when driving (dreaded gear changes!).
- Environmental Benefits
Zero emissions align with sustainable living trends for young drivers.
- Advanced Safety Features
EVs are equipped with state-of-the-art safety features like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance.
- Financial Considerations
EVs have a higher initial purchase price but lower running costs. Electricity is currently cheaper than petrol or diesel in the UK.
- Lower Maintenance Needs
Fewer moving parts, less maintenance required.
Can Young Drivers Get Insured on Electric Cars?
One of the first questions that young drivers in the UK often ask is whether they can actually get insured on electric cars. The answer is a resounding yes but with some caveats. The best electric car insurance policies will cover young drivers on electric cars, but there are several factors that come into play.
Insurance companies assess risk based on a variety of factors, including the driver’s age, driving experience, and the type of vehicle being insured. Electric cars can be seen as a higher risk for insurers. This is especially true for young drivers who are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents.
The make and model of the electric car also play a significant role in determining insurance eligibility and cost. Some models, particularly high-performance EVs, are more expensive to insure for a young driver. On the other hand, smaller, less powerful electric vehicles will be more insurance-friendly for younger drivers.
The cost of repairing electric cars can be higher than traditional vehicles due to the complexity of their components, which also influences insurance premiums. Batteries, in particular, are costly to replace, and the technology involved in EVs requires specialised skills to repair, which can drive up costs. As a result, young drivers might face higher premiums when insuring electric cars compared to petrol cars. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t get insured on electric cars.
The key is to research and find those models that are more economical and therefore easier EVs to insure, also try to understand the factors that affect the insurance premiums of EVs, then young drivers can at least try to get the costs down!
Can Young Drivers Get Electric Car Insurance on a Parents’ Policy?
The possibility of being added to a parents’ electric car insurance policy is a common idea explored by young drivers in the UK. This approach is indeed feasible and, in many cases, can be more cost-effective than obtaining a separate policy.
When a young driver is added to a parent’s policy, the insurance premiums will increase, reflecting the added risk associated with insuring a less experienced driver.
Despite this potential increase, the overall cost might still be lower than what a young driver would face when taking out a policy independently. This is because the young driver can benefit from the parent’s established insurance history, if for example, they are in the over 60s car insurance category, they may have a significant no-claims bonus.
There are some potential downsides to consider. Any claims made on the policy could affect the parent’s no-claims bonus and increase future premiums.
Parents and young drivers should discuss their options with their insurance provider because each provider will have different terms and conditions for adding young drivers onto a parent’s policy.
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How New Drivers Can Get Cheaper Electric Car Insurance
For new drivers in the UK, insuring an electric car is expensive. However, there are several strategies that can help reduce these costs:
- Consider EV Insurance Groups
The choice of EV and its insurance group will significantly impact insurance premiums. Electric Car insurance groups range from 1 to 50 with costs increasing as you get higher up the groups. Opting for an EV in a lower insurance group, typically with less power and more safety features, can translate to cheap EV insurance.
- Increase Excess
Agreeing to a higher excess (the amount you pay in the event of a claim) can lower your premium. However, it’s important to ensure the excess is affordable in case of an accident.
- Take Advantage of Telematics Insurance
Many insurers offer EV black box insurance policies, where a device is installed in your car to monitor driving habits. Safe driving can lead to lower premiums. This option is particularly beneficial for new drivers as it provides an opportunity to prove their driving skills and responsibility.
- Shop Around for Insurance
Don’t settle for the first quote. Comparing insurance offers from different companies can uncover more affordable options.
- Pay Annually not Monthly
If you can afford to pay for your insurance in a one-off lump sum you may save money overall. This is because the monthly payment plans include interest, they are effectively a borrowing arrangement that requires you to have a credit check. So, if you can afford to pay in one go (or if you have bad credit that may impact your insurance quote), then paying for your car insurance annually could work out cheaper for young drivers.
Cheapest Electric Car Insurance Group for Young Drivers
For young drivers in the UK, selecting an electric vehicle from a lower insurance group is a key strategy for getting the cheapest car insurance. Cars in groups 1 to 25 are typically the most affordable in terms of insurance. However, not many EVs can be found in these groups.
EVs are assigned to insurance groups, which range from 1 (the cheapest) to 50 (the most expensive), based on factors like cost, performance, repair times, and safety features. Typically, EVs that are less expensive to buy, cheaper to repair, and have better safety records fall into the lower electric car insurance groups. For young drivers, the most affordable electric cars in terms of insurance are usually those in groups 1 to 25.
For example, electric cars like the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, and some models of the Volkswagen e-Up tend to fall into these lower groups. These vehicles strike a balance between being practical for daily use and economical to insure.
It’s essential for young drivers to research specific models to determine their exact insurance group. This information can often be found on car manufacturer websites, insurance comparison sites, or through direct inquiries with insurance companies. Knowing the insurance group of an EV help’s in budgeting for the overall costs of ownership.
Black Box Policies for Young Electric Car Drivers
Black box policies, also known as telematics insurance, have become a game-changer for young drivers of electric cars in the UK, particularly in terms of managing insurance costs. These policies involve installing a small device in the car, which monitors various aspects of driving behaviour such as speed, acceleration, braking, and the time of day when the vehicle is used. This data is then used by insurance companies to assess the risk profile of the driver, potentially leading to lower premiums for safer drivers.
For young drivers, who are typically charged higher premiums due to a perceived lack of experience, black box policies offer a unique opportunity. By allowing their driving habits to be monitored, these drivers can demonstrate responsible behaviour behind the wheel. Black Box policies also allow young drivers to take out Pay per mile car insurance, which can help keep costs down if you do not use the car very often.
One of the key advantages of black box policies, beyond the potential for reduced premiums, is the encouragement of safer driving practices. These policies incentivise drivers to maintain good driving habits, which can lead to fewer accidents and a better driving record over time.
The Final Word on Electric Car Insurance for Young Drivers
While electric car insurance can be more expensive for young drivers, there are several strategies to manage these costs. Choosing the right vehicle, understanding the nuances of insurance policies, and adopting safe driving habits are all crucial.
Additionally, leveraging telematics-based insurance options and being savvy about insurance group ratings can help young drivers find reasonable insurance quotes.
As the EV insurance market continues to evolve in the UK, and insurers learn more about EVs and how to assess the risk factors, electric cars will likely become increasingly more affordable for young drivers.
This article is intended solely for informational purposes and should not be considered as advice. It is important to consult the specific terms and conditions of an insurer before making any commitments to financial products.
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John is the Editor and Spokesperson for Electric Car Guide.
With over 20 years of writing experience, he has written for titles such as City AM, FE News and NerdWallet.com, covering various automotive and personal finance topics.
John’s market commentary has been covered by the likes of The Express, The Independent, Yahoo Finance and The Evening Standard.