Why are Young Drivers Stigmatised by Car Insurance Providers?
For anyone much over about 30, it can be difficult to remember back to the sheer frustration of trying to find sensible car insurance when you were perhaps 18 or 20.
Not only that but you also forget all the heartache of trying to get jobs involving driving, where certain minimum age/experience conditions immediately ruled you out of contention.
What’s the issue and why are you, as a skilled and sensible younger driver, being hammered by all these forces seemingly stacked up against you?
Typically insurance premiums for younger drivers are massively more expensive than for those for older and more experienced individuals. It may be shocking and strike you as being unfair but it’s based on a sound statistical fact — younger drivers are far more likely to be involved in an accident than older more experience road users.
Now this is sometimes controversial because it has connotations of all younger drivers being ‘frustrated racers out to make a point’. Actually, that’s not necessarily the case.
In many instances, accidents involving younger drivers arise because of the fault of other drivers but in situations where a more experienced driver might have anticipated a problem ahead and reacted earlier. That’s called ‘experience’ and it’s something that you just can’t teach. It needs to be accumulated over time and virtually no young driver has it aplenty during the first few years of their driving.
It’s sad but insurance companies have to react to these facts through their premiums. To ask them to do otherwise would be unrealistic and unfair to other policyholders too, as their premiums would have to rise to cross-subsidise younger drivers’ inexperience.
Job Applications for Driving Positions
Another area that is often a cause for complaint with younger drivers is that of driving jobs that are effectively closed to them.
This boils down again into two categories:
· Jobs where further licence qualifications may be required by law and/or the vehicle types you can drive are limited by legislation. For example, at 17 you typically can’t just get your driving licence and the next day climb into a 15metre 55 tonne wagon then shoot off down the road. What your potential employer thinks won’t count — what the law does will.
· Jobs where the carriage of passengers is involved — examples might include buses, coaches or luxury limousines used for hire purposes.
In the first case, the law typically just doesn’t accept that young inexperienced drivers are safe behind the wheel of specialist vehicles that demand unique driving skills and an experienced head behind the wheel. It also doesn’t accept that driving many types of vehicle is just the same as driving a car.
Not too many of us would want to share the road with a huge truck being driven by a young man or woman who only passed their general driving test last week. So, yet again, you’ll need to be patient and get those additional licence permissions and get some age/experience before starting down this career path.
In the case of luxury limousines and other passenger carrying services, there may well be licence type issues in some cases but the really big issue will be experience. Very few limousine rental companies, for example, are going to entrust a $100,000 limo to a young person with only six months driving experience. It’s just a reality of life and if you think it’s tough — would you entrust such a vehicle of yours to a very young and inexperienced driver?
The bottom line is simple if a little sad. You’ll need a few years ‘under your belt’ before you’ll get low insurance premiums or be able to take on certain driving-based jobs.