Young drivers pay price of points

Motoring lawyer Richard Wood of Keep Your Licence

Motoring lawyer Richard Wood of Keep Your Licence - Credit: supplied

Motoring lawyer Richard Wood on the the real cost of motoring for young drivers.

At Keep Your Licence, we hear from a lot of young drivers prosecuted for a variety of motoring offences such as careless driving and speeding.

Most common is driving without insurance. Whether they could not afford it or misunderstood the scope of their policy, many young and inexperienced drivers can find themselves in difficulties. And it can have expensive consequences.

By law, the DVLA must revoke the licences of drivers with less than two years experience if they get six penalty points or more. The licence will not be returned until the successful passing of the driving test – it’s expensive and time-consuming so revocation is often a more serious ‘penalty’ than a ban.

The average cost of getting on the road has gone up 18% over the last five years to almost £6,800. Insurance is a third of the total at an average of £2,232 for a 17-year-old. Premiums are forecast to rise further this year.

Learning to drive costs around £600 with the cost of a provisional licence, lessons and test fees. New drivers typically need 20 lessons – a cost of around £480. Hopefully, second time round, fewer lessons might suffice.

Parents often bear these costs. It is often cheaper to have offspring on parent’s insurance policy and means you can ensure it is being administered efficiently. A telematics policy, where a GPS transmitter is fitted to your car, or your driving is monitored via a smart phone app can give a lower premium. If you prove a safe driver your premiums may fall quicker than with a traditional policy.

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Some insurers discount up to 12.5% for drivers who use a dashcam. It must be recording in the car at all times and, if in an incident, you will be expected to produce footage.

By being careful on the road you will avoid accidents, fines and penalty points, all of which affect your insurance premium. Most of all, make sure you have an up-to-date policy covering the vehicle you are driving. The court’s view is that it is the driver’s responsibility to have insurance, even if a young or an inexperienced motorist.

If you wish to discuss issues raised in this article, of have any questions on motoring matters, telephone Keep Your Licence on 0800 707 6004 for free advice from an expert motoring lawyer.

Column sponsored by Keep Your Licence.