Safe Young Drivers Must be Rewarded Says IAM

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The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) is calling on the government to work with insurers to offer discounts on premiums for young drivers who take further driver training, ahead of the Transport Select Committee’s report on the cost of motor insurance, published tomorrow.

The simplest way to reduce insurance premiums is to prevent accidents. This is especially true for young male drivers who are most at risk of being involved in an accident.

The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) is calling on the government to work with insurers to offer discounts on premiums for young drivers who take further driver training, ahead of the Transport Select Committee’s report on the cost of motor insurance, published tomorrow. The IAM also wants to see a review of the driving test, to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

The committee of MPs has been investigating the high cost of motor insurance. Premiums have risen significantly over the last few years and this is having a big impact on young drivers.

The average car insurance premium for young males aged 17-22 is £2,977*, more than three times the average premium of £907. For young females the average premium is almost twice as much as the average at £1,682. The figure for females will rise further in December when new gender equality laws come into effect.

A survey commissioned for the committee found that 21 per cent of young drivers had considered driving without insurance*1, and nearly a third (30 per cent) have considered altering the information they provide to insurance firms in order to secure a lower quote.

A recent IAM survey of 2,000 novice young drivers*2 found that only half reported positively on feeling fully prepared for driving on their own. There is a real need to ensure that young drivers are fully prepared for driving on their own, with reasonable insurance premiums to discourage them from breaking the law by driving uninsured.

Seventy four per cent of novice drivers said that they would definitely take further training if it saved them money on their car insurance. The driving test needs to be reviewed, and a system of post test training, linked to cheaper insurance, introduced.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “The simplest way to reduce insurance premiums is to prevent accidents. This is especially true for young male drivers who are most at risk of being involved in an accident. We need to start rewarding good drivers by encouraging further driver training through cheaper insurance.

“Pass Plus no longer provides a respected or effective training offering. The government, insurance and road safety industries need to work closely together to develop a better, universally recognised option – a partnership which the IAM is keen to be a part of.”

Notes to editors:
1.    The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.
2.    *Car insurance premium estimates are based on Q3 2011 figures from the AA British Insurance Premium Index (BIPI)
3.    *1The full results from the transport select committee’s survey of young drivers can be found on the committee’s website. The survey was conducted by young marmalade in October 2011 http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/news/cmi---survey/
4.    *2 The full results from the IAM’s survey on young drivers are covered in our report ‘The Fast and the Curious: young people’s attitudes to driver training’ http://www.iam.org.uk/images/stories/Policy_Research/14395%20Young%20Drivers%20Booklet.pdf

Media contacts:
IAM Press Office – 020 8996 9777
press.office(at)iam(dot)org(dot)uk
ISDN broadcast lines available
iam.org.uk

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Caroline Holmes - Communications officer
IAM
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Ben Schofield - Communications manager
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