By ROSANNA SPERO
YOUNG drivers account for a quarter of all accidents, so it is not surprising that they pay the highest insurance premiums – typically more than Pounds 1,000 a year.
Indeed, some insurers will not touch them until they reach the age of 21.
Now one insurer aims to give teenagers a better deal on car insurance if they agree not to drive at night, when young drivers are at their most dangerous.
More Than’s DriveTime gives 40pc off its standard premium as long as the motorist does not drive between 11pm and 6am.
To qualify, youngsters must have a black box fitted to their car which will monitor when they are driving.
If they drive overnight then they will be charged Pounds 25 per night.
More Than will fit the box for free and is running a one-year trial of the new scheme before making it widely available. It is aimed at drivers aged from 18 to 25 and the insurer is looking for 2,000 young drivers to take part.
It’s the second insurer to target night driving in an attempt to cut premiums and avert accidents.
Last year, Norwich Union launched a trial Pay as You Drive scheme, pioneering ‘black box’ insurance that monitors when and how far a car travels.
Under the scheme, NU offered 1,500 drivers aged between 18 and 21 the chance to pay car insurance based on their mileage and the time they drive as well as their personal circumstances.
Drivers pay a basic monthly premium and can drive 100 miles during the day at no extra cost, but are then charged from 6p a mile for extra mileage, depending on their car, where they live and their driving record.
The sting comes for night-time driving; between 11pm and 6am the charge jumps to Pounds 1 a mile.
But will these restrictions really mean cheaper premiums? An 18- year-old man who lives in Bristol and had just passed his test, and drives a Peugeot 206, would pay Pounds 1,720.45 for a standard More Than policy and Pounds 1,032.27 for a DriveTime one.
In the wider market, he would pay Pounds 1,425 through Endsleigh and Pounds 2,955.76 through Direct Line.
Young women pay lower premiums because they are far less likely to have accidents than young men, but even here they can save money, More Than claims.
A 20-year-old woman with two years’ no claims bonus, driving a VW Polo and living in North London, would pay Pounds 599.87 for its standard comprehensive policy, but Pounds 353.93 for DriveTime.
The Pounds 25 charge would then be added each time the car was used ‘after hours’.
The same woman would pay Pounds 876, but be able to use her car at all hours, through young person insurer Endsleigh and Pounds 754.95 through Direct Line.
Norwich Union has found that imposing these restrictions can really help safer drivers. ‘We have found that a typical driver aged from 18 to 21, who drives less than five miles a day at the peak accident time (11pm to 6am), could save up to 30pc off their premiums over a year and some have halved the premiums,’ a spokesman says.
Norwich Union hopes to roll the scheme out more widely later this year.
Other ways to cut premiums include taking an additional test, called Pass Plus, which costs around Pounds 30. This gives discounts of up to 35 pc from insurers such as Direct Line, AA, Norwich Union, Swinton and Churchill.
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