Young people would see the cost of their car insurance slashed by a fifth, or around £370 a year, if the government set new standards to turn them into safer drivers, insurers said yesterday.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said that the way in which youngsters learn to drive is “not fit for purpose” and estimates that young drivers’ premiums could be cut by up to 20 per cent if standards were raised.
The ABI said that making younger people drive more safely is the “only way” that young drivers will be able to receive more affordable insurance.
It said that extra measures which would cut accident rates and therefore bring down insurance costs include introducing a one-year minimum learning period, limiting the number of young passengers that young drivers can carry and restricting night time driving for a set period after the driving test.
It is also calling for a zero blood alcohol driving limit for an initial period after someone has passed their test.
The ABI wants to see a “firm commitment” from government to consult on changes to the driver training and testing regime and said similar restrictions have worked in countries like the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The ABI said that 40 per cent of 17-year-old men have an accident in their first six months of driving and the single biggest cause of accidental death of young people aged 15-24 is dying in a crash.
Otto Thoresen, the ABI’s director general, said: “Sadly, young newly-qualified drivers are at a much higher risk of having a serious crash which is reflected in the cost of their car insurance.