17th century Scottish writer William Shenstone once said, “nothing is certain in London but expense.” He should be lucky there weren’t cars back in his era, or he would have spit out his haggis: the average cost of insuring a new driver in Ol’ Blighty is around $10,000 a year.
That’s money that could go towards, well, Junior’s second car, or a year’s worth of college tuition, or a lot of gummi worms. The math breaks down like so: young drivers between the ages of 17 to 22 are charged as much as £546 per month while they have their bright red Learners tags. This converts to $891.72 per month, and multiplied over the course of a year brings the figure to $10,700.64 per year, enough to make Pops seriously angry if Junior’s out joyriding the Jaguar.
Why so pricey? While it’s no surprise that young drivers are more prone to get into accidents, insurance providers assign exorbitant premiums to beginners, leaving many drivers to go about without coverage or have their vehicle insured by their parents. Around 41% of British families do the latter; unfortunately, it’s illegal and insurance companies can forfeit an entire family’s policy if they do find out.
To bring prices down, some insurance companies are considering a plan to install automotive “black boxes” into the cars of beginning drivers, in order to measure sudden acceleration, braking, cornering, and other ne’er-do-well driving shenanigans. This would allow them to customize an insurance policy to a wide range of drivers. Some companies in America are considering the same plan.