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8 Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance — Before and After Your Driving Test

Getting on the road as a learner driver or new driver is an exciting rite of passage, but it can be daunting, not to mention, expensive. Fear not, Marmalade, a leading provider of insurance for young drivers, is here to help make getting insured easy and more affordable with their smart tips on how to save money on car insurance.

How to make a saving on your car insurance

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Share a parent’s car

As we write this in 2021, second-hand car prices are increasing by unprecedented rates*, so why not save money by sharing a family car instead of forking out for your own car? If it’s flexibility you need, Marmalade’s Named Young Driver Insurance lets you do just that, without risking your parents’ precious No Claims Discount. The best news is you can start earning your own no claims discount — which should save you money when you insure your own car in the future!

Get covered as a learner driver

Getting insurance as a learner driver to help you practice ahead of your driving test is beneficial to help prepare you for the driving test as well as gain confidence and experience in a range of driving situations. But, did you know that buying a policy as a learner driver can actually be cheaper than buying it just after you pass? No to mention the fact that you’ll start earning your No Claims Discount sooner.

Learner drivers could pay up to £373¹ less than full licence holders with an annual young driver policy with Marmalade – and the best news is that the price won’t increase on passing the driving test during the policy term! Marmalade offers this seamless annual cover from learner to full licence on both a young driver’s own car or on a parent’s car — so all you need to do is choose one that suits you and get a quote. If you’re happy with the price — you could even get covered straight away!

It’s worth bearing in mind that not all insurers will keep the price the same for a learner driver once they have passed their test. So, if you’re shopping around, check the terms of the insurer.

Opt for short term cover while learning

If you’re learning to drive and you’re not sure what car you’ll be driving after you pass, or may not continue driving once you’ve got your licence, it may be more cost-effective to buy short-term learner driver insurance rather than forking out for a full year’s cover. The great news is that it’s super easy to arrange online and you can be covered to start your driving practice straight away!

Choose cover from 1 month to 6 months — and then top up from as little as a week at a time until you pass your driving test. Comprehensive cover is available from £1.23 per day² and your parents will be happy as their No Claims Discount won’t be affected if you need to make a claim (which we hope you won’t!).

Choose a black box policy

Insurance prices are based on the risk of you having to make a claim. Unfortunately, young drivers have an increased risk of having a claim due to inexperience. Don’t worry though, choosing a Black Box policy is a way to help combat these high prices — as they are proven to reduce the risk of an accident and help young drivers develop safe driving skills. A device in your car will measure how you drive, and you can view your journeys and driving score in an app.

You may be pleased to know that you can be covered instantly with Marmalade’s black box insurance, on a full or provisional licence, and there are no curfews or night-time driving restrictions. Drive well, and you could see your insurance premium come down at renewal by earning your No Claims Discount and an additional safe driving discount of up to 25%³.

Consider paying by the mile

If you’re not driving regularly or your mileage is likely to be low it may be more cost-effective to choose a policy that allows you just to pay for the miles you drive. If you’re a student that just needs to borrow a car during the holidays or weekends, Pay As You Go Insurance from Marmalade allows you to pay by the mile. Purchase 500 miles upfront and top up as and when you need more miles. Miles purchased are valid for 12 months, and you will start to earn your own No Claims Discount, without affecting your parents’ NCD. When you no longer need cover, you’ll receive a refund for any unused miles.

Look out for discounts

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a discount? Marmalade offers a range of loyalty and seasonal discounts. If you hold a Learner Driver Insurance policy with Marmalade, you’ll get 10% off any of their car-sharing policies and 5% off policies on your own car in the future⁴.

It’s worth knowing that when you obtain a quote, certain factors can increase or decrease the price. These are called rating factors and will be different from insurer to insurer.

For example, if you’re insuring your own car, adding an experienced named driver to your policy who has a clean full licence may reduce the price quoted. Don’t be tempted to lie on your insurance quote to get a cheaper premium, as this could invalidate your insurance!

Choose the right car

cars parking in bays in a car park

The price of insurance is based on the risk of a car being stolen or involved in an accident. Put simply, the more powerful, expensive and desirable the car is, the more expensive the insurance. As the first few years of insurance are likely to be the most expensive, you can keep costs down by choosing a car in a low insurance group. Every car is put into an insurance group from 1–50, the lower the insurance group, the cheaper the insurance. Many online car selling sites will highlight the insurance group in the vehicle specification, so it’s worth checking this and obtaining an insurance quote for the car to check that the insurance is affordable before you commit to buying a car.

Avoid modifications

While a flashy set of alloys and fancy styling kit may be tempting — they’ll also probably drive up the cost of your insurance. This is because modifications make the car more appealing to thieves and can affect the way the car handles on the road. Either way, sadly, it can increase the risk of a claim.

To keep costs down, go for a car that hasn’t been changed from the manufacturer’s spec. Luckily, most modern cars enjoy great safety features and in-car tech. Plus they come in a range of colours, so sticking to the manufacturer’s spec doesn’t need to be boring!


* https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58993851

¹ The average quote for provisional licence holders aged 17-24 was £1137.52 versus £1535.52 for full licence holders. Based on Black Box Insurance quotes from 1.01.2020–31.12.2020.

² Price based on £221.76 for a 180-day policy. This amount is currently achievable by drivers from over 440,000 households in the UK. Price and cover dependent on location

³ This is based on current driving behaviour discount rates (2.11.2021) and is subject to change by the underwriter at any time. The discount is applied to the premium at renewal as well as any No Claims Discount you have earned and is not a discount from this year’s premium. In the future, if your driving deteriorates, you have a claim or changes are made to your policy your renewal premium may be affected.

⁴ Terms and conditions apply. Please see wearemarmalade.co.uk for details.

By Alex Johnson

Alex is Brand Manager for Marmalade — a leading provider of insurance for young drivers. She's a parent to two learner drivers, so has a particular interest helping young drivers get on the road in a safe and affordable way, for both personal and professional reasons!

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