Insurance companies often charge dearly for inexperience behind the wheel. Here are some tips to see more clearly and optimize your budget.
Getting your driver’s license is complicated, but as a young driver it’s just a step before you can go on vacation in your brand new car. Once it is off the hook, you have to look at auto insurance. Short guide to navigate the different conditions and save money.
Know the different formulas of Insurance companies
It’s a fact that a young driver – that is, someone with less than three years of license – is four times more likely to be killed on the road than a seasoned driver, according to the ‘Association of road safety . With such a high risk of accident, some companies refuse to insure them.
The others compensate for this risk by an “additional premium” which can go as far as doubling the price of the monthly payments compared to an experienced driver. This additional premium is regulated by the Insurance Code and limited to 100% increase in the first year, 50% the following year and 25% in the third year.
Companies that reduce this additional premium sometimes compensate by increasing the deductibles, this minimum amount that you must pay in the event of an accident, regardless of the amount of repairs. Thus, you can pay small monthly payments but have to pay a large sum of money in the event of broken glass or scratched bodywork.
The “third party” formulas are cheaper but protect you less: the deductibles are higher and many situations are not taken care of. “All-risk” insurances protect you better, with smaller deductibles, offer assistance or vehicle loan options, for example, but are more expensive throughout the year. The choice mainly depends on your budget and the value of your car.
Insurance companies: Use an insurance comparator
Start by consulting the websites of comparators. “This is an absolutely necessary first step , “ says Pascal Gonzalvez, general manager of L’olivier – auto insurance. There are several online comparators, such as insurify.com, which gives real quotes instead of estimations.
Since the criteria used are not the same according to the insurers and comparators, the results can vary greatly and are only indicative. We did the test with a standard profile: a young driver of 18 who had just obtained his license and would like to insure a third party a Renault Clio Campus petrol 4 CV from 2005. The lelynx.com site offers a first price at 987 euros per year for L’olivier – auto insurance, lesfurets.com at 1,217 euros for Direct assurance, and le-jeune-conducteur.com at 1,912 euros for Euro assurance.
Please note, to obtain a price, you must already know your vehicle model. And not all companies are taken into account. The best is therefore to get a first idea thanks to the comparators, then to ask for quotes from well-positioned companies in branch or by phone.
Play the competition, negotiate, anticipate
It’s tempting to look to your parents’ insurance to save time and hope for reductions, but that’s not necessarily a good calculation. “This usually saves less than 10% on the price. While by playing the competition, we can obtain more, especially as each insurer has a margin of negotiation on its own rates , indicates Manon Tenes, editor of the site Le-jeune-conductor. What we rarely know is that everything is negotiable in the formulas offered by insurance companies. From a basic contract, you can ask to increase the theft deductible in order to decrease the glass breakage deductible, for example. “
To escape the premium, some young drivers are tempted to trick by registering as the second driver of their car and appointing as the main driver a relative or friend who has a good bonus. This trick actually often lowers the overall price. Yet it is a bad idea: a “novice driver”, within the meaning of the insurance code , means someone “who has had his license for less than three years or who has never been insured . “ Three years later, you will still be considered a novice driver by insurance companies, and will have to pay the additional premium, even if you are no longer a “young driver” within the meaning of the highway code.“In addition, you take the risk of not being compensated in the event of an accident if the insurer manages to prove the fraud,” warns Pascal Gonzalvez.
This one offers you another trick, legal this time: “As soon as you get your license, register as the second driver of your parents’ car. So when it comes time to insure your own car, you can say you have already been insured, which significantly reduces the base price. “
Aim for tailor-made insurance
As a general rule, the special “young drivers” formulas are less expensive but they can hide very high deductibles. “Insurance per kilometer can be worth it if you drive little, they are generally 10% to 30% cheaper,” says Manon Tenes.
More surprising: these tailor-made insurances offer to lower their insurance premiums if you drive well. This insurance launched in April and still in the test phase offers drivers who have had their license for less than seven years to embed a box in their car. This measures driving in real time according to four criteria: forced acceleration, hard braking, cornering at high speed and speed. Thanks to a geolocation system, the software is even able to “differentiate a dangerous acceleration in the city center from an acceleration required on a motorway insertion lane”, specifies the website.
All of these criteria determine a score that will lower or increase your rate from one month to the next, from + 10% to – 40%. If we take the example of our young license holder who owns a Clio Campus, the starting price for You Drive insurance will be 1,673 dollars per year. This will only prove to be interesting if you drive well, and if you have nothing against having a “snitch” which tracks you permanently.
Choosing the right car
To pay less, you can act upstream, choosing a petrol car that is not very powerful, unmodified and not too recent. “Horsepower comes into play, because big cars potentially cause more serious accidents,” explains Manon Tenes. Likewise, diesel cars are more expensive to insure because they are often more powerful than gasoline cars. Finally, it is better to avoid tuning: in the event of an accident, if the car is modified, the insurer may refuse to cover you. “
Skip accompanied driving
For those who have gone through accompanied driving, the maximum premium is only 50% the first year, 25% the second and disappears the third year. “In practice, these drivers generally pay between 25 and 30% less than the others. » , Specifies Pascal Gonzalvez, of L’olivier. Insurers consider that the risk of accident is lower, although the association of Prévention Routière recalls that “to date, there is no study which proves that the driver in accompanied driving has less accidents than others ”.
Some insurers also offer driving courses, paid or free, which can lower your premium. To do this, you need to get information directly from your insurer.