Insurers Target Changes to Young Driver Training

Radical measures, such as a minimum one year learning period,  restrictions on night time driving and lowering the alcohol limit for driving, are now needed to reduce the high crash risk young drivers face and to lower their motor insurance costs according to published by the Association of British Insurers.

Arguing that these reforms are the way ahead if we want to reduce the numbers of young people involved as casualties, the ABI contends that it will have a positive affect for all by lowering insurance premiums too.

Setting out very specific proposals based on their review of efforts to tackle the same issue in places like the USA, Canada and Australia, the ABI is recommending the following 4 steps should be implemented:

  • A minimum 12-month learning period before taking the driving test to enable young learner drivers to gain more supervised practice.
  • A ban on taking an intensive driving course as the sole means of learning drive.
  • The lowering of the age at which young people can start learning to drive to age 16 and a half.
  • Graduated driver licensing. This would include restrictions on the number of young drivers that can be carried by a young driver in the first six months after passing their driving test, reflecting the fact that the crash risk increases significantly with young passengers in the car.

Motoring groups and even some insurers are not necessarily supportive of the proposals, Edmund King of The AA speaking to Radio 4 argued that the proposals were flawed and unworkable suggesting that other solutions such as driver training from a very young age (such as that offered by the Under17 Car Club) and the use of black box technology were much more viable.  The latter system allows information on your driving to be fed back to your insurer so that you pay a premium that is based on how risky your driving is.

Given that the average insurance premium for a young driver is now around £2,500 and that around a quarter of road deaths are in this age group, something has to be done – what would you do?

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