As the latest batch of students leaves the family nest in order to take up degrees around the country, maintaining an affordable lifestyle is sure to be at the forefront of parents’ minds. Here are five things that prospective students can do to keep the cost of their car insurance down – freeing up some much-needed beer money.
Set a higher excess
By upping the cost of the excess to be paid in the event of an accident, the cost of premiums will fall. Be careful to make this an amount that’s still affordable, however – even in the unlikely event of a claim, an excess could wipe out the whole term’s student loan if it’s set too high.
No mods and lots of security
As well as proving very unpopular on the road, the boy racer could also affect the cost of his insurance premium simply by making modifications to the car like racing mesh or neon lights. The latter is frowned upon anyway, and apart from being expensive to install, can also really hike up premiums. However, adding such mods as an immobiliser and a tracking device to your car will make it more secure, and as a result cheaper to insure due to the lower risk of theft.
Name other drivers on your policy
Naming other drivers on your policy, such as your parents who might use the car while you’re back home for the summer, can dramatically reduce your premiums, as companies will see a shared risk between older, more experienced drivers, and therefore a lower one. However, you must ensure that you are still named as the main driver – ‘fronting’ as a named driver on your own car is illegal and could cost you a lot more than an increased premium if you get caught.
Get a low grouped car
The Association of British Insurers provides car insurance companies with regular data by assigning it to a group numbered from 1 to 50. Insurers use this data to cost up a particular car’s premium costs. New drivers who want to save money are advised to keep the grouping of their new car at the lower end of the spectrum – this is affected by factors such as a vehicle’s make and model, its cubic capacity and fuel type. A rather extreme example would be to assume that a Fiat 500 is in a lower grouping than a Ferrari!
New drivers would do particularly well to study a PassPlus course; a scheme for new drivers that would give them added confidence on the road. It’s taught through both practical and theory, with the ultimate aim to “achieve” or “exceed” each of the six modules. It isn’t too time-consuming either; most students could probably take it on their days off from lectures. Best of all, most major insurance companies recognise the PassPlus qualification as a valid discount on a young driver’s policy, on a case-by-case basis.