Teenage drivers looking for cheap car insurance will have to pay at least £7,000 a year for cover, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
Searching the market for insurance quotes for young drivers revealed the cheapest annual premium for a 17-year-old was £7,091, while the most expensive was £9,700 – making the average cost a year around £8,400 or £700 per month.
The IAM invented a fictional teenage driver and fed the details in to popular online car insurance comparison web sites.
IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “Young drivers can only learn safer driving by practising, but huge insurance premiums risk pricing them off the road. The challenge for the government, the insurance industry and road safety experts is how to balance the need for experience with the very real risk that young drivers pose to themselves and other road users.
“When an insurance premium is matching university tuition fees, innovative thinking is needed to reward the safest young drivers or spread the cost in a more manageable way.
“Many young people will need a car to get to work and there are serious implications to the economy of young people who are unable to afford to drive, and to road safety if drivers simply choose to forgo insurance.”
Car insurers are looking technology solutions to make cover cheaper for young drivers.
Several are testing ‘black box’ trackers that rate younger motorists by monitoring speed, handling and time of day the car is on the road. The rating influences the cost of car insurance – lowering the premium to reward good drivers and increasing the cost for the worst drivers.
The Co-Op offers insurance through technology firm Young Marmalade which fits the boxes to cars that lets drivers look at their on-the-road performance online.
Car maker Ford is to introduce MyKey technology to the Ford Fiesta range imminently. The key lets parents set warnings and limits, for instance chimes sound if the car is driven too fast.