Size Matters - Savvy New Drivers Plump for Smaller for their First Car to Drive Down Premiums

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In light of new research, Confused.com offer advice to first time buyers.

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The best way to keep the costs down is by shopping around for cover, as not all insurance providers rate age the same way and some companies specialise in covering younger drivers. Price comparison is the ideal solution to getting the best price for the most suitable cover.

Confused.com has revealed that the Vauxhall Corsa(1) is the most popular first car for new drivers, in a top 10 entirely dominated by little hatchbacks. The research suggests most new drivers select vehicles of a smaller engine size with 20% choosing a modest 1.2 engine and 75% choosing engines of 1.4 or under.

New drivers tend to buy their first car using their own savings; with 40%(2) of those polled saying this was how they funded their new ride. A worrying 16% admit they took out a personal loan or credit card to afford the vehicle they wanted. A surprising number were sponsored by the Bank of mum & dad with 14% admitting to this method of funding. Ladies had the most generous parents, being 3% more likely to be given a car than men, with spoilt first drivers mainly located in Wales, East Anglia & London.

The choice of vehicle for new drivers suggests awareness that smaller, less powerful cars represent a smaller risk when it comes to car insurance, which is especially pertinent for new drivers who are deemed a much higher, and therefore more expensive, risk when it comes to the premiums they have to pay. A 17 year old girl selecting a first car would do well to note that a 1996 Vauxhall Corsa is more than £10003 cheaper to insure than 2006 VW Golf and almost £200 more could be shaved off by opting for Third Party Fire & Theft cover. Smaller cars are also a lot cheaper to buy, which may also account for some of their popularity.

Will Thomas, head of car insurance quotes says "Corsa may well top the charts due to its status as a popular learner car but parents looking to buy a car for kids flying the nest to go to university this September would do well to remember these tips:

  • Start with the classic small-engine run-around in order to build driving experience
  • If the car is low-value drivers might wish to consider a TPFT policy, as young driver excesses may make the comprehensive cover a pointless exercise
  • Typically, premiums will dip in price when drivers hit 25 but whilst they're waiting, building no claims bonus can lead to valuable discounts

"The best way to keep the costs down is by shopping around for cover, as not all insurance providers rate age the same way and some companies specialise in covering younger drivers. Price comparison is the ideal solution to getting the best price for the most suitable cover."

For further information please contact:
Victoria Leyton, Confused.com: 02920 434 357

Notes to editors
1 Based on research conducted through Onepoll with 2000 Participants in June 2009
2 Top 10 calculated on Customer Quotes 01-Jan - 31-July 2009 searching for drivers who are aged between 17-21, driving on a provisional licence or only holding their licence for less than 12 months.

About Confused.com:
Confused.com is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.

Confused.com has a panel of 83 motor insurance providers and could save customers over £205* on their annual car insurance policy.

Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com's service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators.

Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Confused.com is regulated by the FSA.

*12% of customers who received a car insurance quote between 1st January and 30th June 2009 and provided a best alternative price saved over £206.65

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Victoria Leyton
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