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Y - Young driver

05 June 2006
happy punter

Young driver - If you're young and have only just torn up your L-plates, congratulations.

A word of warning, though: one in five newly qualified drivers has an accident in their first year behind the wheel, and insurance costs are high.

There are steps you can take to minimise the financial burden of putting your first car on the road, though. You could consider enrolling in the Pass Plus scheme (0115 901 2633), backed by the Government, insurance industry and Driving Standards Agency. These extra lessons should improve your driving and help push down your premium by around 30%.

Pick your first car carefully, too. Unless your pockets are deep, pick a car with a low insurance grouping and wait until you have a few years' no-claims bonus before buying a faster car.

Even if you've taken extra lessons, an accident could be just around the corner, so look for a car with anti-lock brakes, airbags and a strong Euro NCAP crash-test rating.

Choosing Third Party, Fire and Theft insurance rather than Fully Comprehensive will drive down premiums further as you wait for that no-claims bonus to accumulate. You might face a hefty bill to put your car straight if you're at fault in an accident, however, so belt-and-braces cover should be your first choice if there's enough cash in the kitty.

What Car? Checklist: Cut your insurance bill

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