One of the more momentous days in our lives is when we get our drivers licence. It signals the beginning of freedom to travel and roam the country’s roads and motorways to our heart’s content. We can go anywhere, nothing can stop us now.
But there is a process in place in order for us to obtain this traveling freedom, and for some it can be a costly and challenging effort.
First there are the costs just to get a provisional licence and to take the tests; both the theory test and the practical, while not expensive, are not to cheap either.
But before you can even think about taking the practical test, you’ll need driving lessons. Not many of us are born with an innate ability to just hop in a car and drive like a pro. And driving lessons can be expensive, depending on how many you require to get the confidence needed to take the practical test.
One young lad I know spent around £500 for his driving lessons. He took some crash course (no pun intended) intensive two (2) week driving lessons, cram session.
Then he failed his practical test, took another few lessons, and passed the test on his second attempt. More on my young friend and his licence and insurance experience in a moment.
When finding a driving instructor many of us may know someone who knows someone who is an instructor and will offer us a deal. But more and more the police are warning learner drivers to make sure that their instructors are properly qualified. This after roadside checks are finding out more and more instructors are not qualified. In the past four (4) years, 123 suspected illegal driving instructors have been arrested, and out of those, 39 were convicted.
So we need to be sure that the person teaching us to drive is qualified and legal to do so.
Now back to my young friend who just recently passed his practical test on the second attempt.
Naturally once you pass your driving test you want to drive, and so did my young friend. In fact he had worked and saved up enough to buy himself a car. He thought he was ready to go, until he hit the insurance wall.
He could not find an affordable insurance policy to cover him and the car(s) he wished to buy. One company quoted him something in the range of £8,000 a year! When he questioned the insurer they said the quote was indeed high and they placed it this way to dissuade him from taking out a policy with them.
Well they did a good job because there is no way he can take out that policy.
This young man looked at every option available to try and get insurance so he could drive. The cheapest policy he could find was still in the range of £1800 to £2000 a year. And this was having his parents put him on a car as an added driver. The insurance companies stated that due to his being a newly licenced driver and the area he lived in, he was high risk and the premiums would be expensive.
You have to thank them for pointing out the obvious.
Unfortunately there is no happy ending to this little tale of newly licenced driver’s woe. My young friend is still not driving and still hoofing it around. BUt he is hopeful that there may be some changes in the insurance industry that may help him, or he’ll just have to wait until he has had his licence a year or two and see if this helps to reduce the expense.