Safe cars help new driver premiums

Published: September 18, 2015

Updated: May 15, 2018

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New drivers are subject to higher per average premiums across all demographics, their inexperience is something insurers want to cover themselves against. So, you have passed your test and are now looking for a vehicle to embark on your new driving life with, what car do you get?

Presumably keeping insurance premiums down is a priority, so that means choosing your car wisely is important. While there are many criteria used by insurance companies to calculate a premium (age among them), the car you drive can play a major part in having reduced rates. The location of the vehicle, where you live, and even how much you use it will be considered by the insurance provider, but the safety record of your car is also important.

Car safety is becoming a bigger priority for many new drivers, especially if you are an older driver getting a new car then you are likely to have a family where safety could be the defining factor for you. Of course, not all new drivers want a car that is all about safety, and certainly manufacturers hardly market their vehicles as such, with looks, performance, and fuel efficiency usually taking precedent in promotional materials.

However, many modern cars are built to cover all aspects, so it is now possible have a new car that is aesthetically appealing, performs well, is affordable to run, and is very safe. Overall safety has improved vastly even over the last decade, so much so that most brand new cars these days have a level of safety that could not be matched 20 years ago.

Each year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) takes every new car and put if through rigorous tests, using crash test dummies to put the vehicle through an array of metrics. This allows the Institute to list some of the key features to look for when buying a car and to name some of the safest vehicles on the road. Some of the basic features you should expect include:

Antilock brakes.

Side airbags.

Electronic stability control.

Roof strength.

Head injury prevention devices.

All-wheel drive.

Traction control.

Although, it is worth noting that there are still cars today that fit into the top bracket in terms of safety, and these cars can appeal to insurance providers.