Uninsured young driver numbers 'fall by half' says MIB
The number of 17 to 20 year-old drivers without insurance has dropped by more than half in three years, claims the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).
It believes a new law allowing it to cross-check its database against DVLA records has helped it track down more uninsured drivers.
There are thought to be about 1.2m uninsured drivers on the road of which one in 10 are aged between 17 and 20.
AA figures suggest a 20% premium hike for that group over the last year.
The MIB says the new law means it can see which vehicles are registered with the DVLA and then send out a warning letter if that vehicle is not listed as insured on its own database.
For some young drivers though, increasing premiums mean passing their test but not being able to afford to drive.
Andy Blyther, a trainee engineer from Lincoln, found that £2,000 was the cheapest quote for his 1.4 litre hatchback.
He says he understands why other people drive without insurance: "I don't blame them because of the amount fuel is and the amount insurance is.
"Nobody can afford anything - I think there are only a few of my friends that do drive and there are always five people in a car."
'£1500 a year'
Andy's mate, Will Butcher, is 17 and the 'chauffeur' of their group of friends: "They need to look at it from our point of view," he says.
" [We are] 17, still in education and can't afford £8,000 for insurance."
He says he's done everything to get his costs down, including getting a black box fitted - which records his driving speeds and sends them to his insurer.
Tips for cheaper insurance
- Black boxes - record data proving you stick to speed limits
- Shop around - Use a price comparison site
- Security - An alarm or immobiliser can cut premiums
- Time based policy - Limits driving overnight, when many young drivers have accidents
- Be a named driver on parents' car - but only if you're not the car's main user
Will's also limited his driving times and been named as a driver on his dad's insurance. But he still pays over £1,500 a year.
Figures suggest that the percentage of young drivers on the roads has dropped by 3% over the past three years.
It's thought that could increase in December when a European ruling comes in meaning insurers can no longer offer female drivers lower premiums.
One in 10 drivers between 17 and 20 still drives without insurance and the MIB - which provides compensation to people involved in accidents - says that adds £30 to other drivers' premiums.
The insurance companies say it's not just the uninsured that are pushing premiums up, but also whiplash claims and personal injury pay-outs.
Malcolm Tarling from the Association of British Insurers - which represents the insurance companies - says the cost of insurance is "based on the risk young drivers represent, and although they are only representing 12% of licences they are responsible for 25% of all road accidents".