For many people in the late teens or even in their twenties, learning to drive is probably on their check-list of things to do. But it's one thing affording to learn and take the lessons and another thing when you actually pass your test! Rather than a congratulations, you just get sky high insurance quotes in the thousands!
So what's going on?
As a young driver (I passed in October last year ... so about 4 months now) I was upset to learn that my £600 on driving lessons has still left me unable to drive. I have access to a car but just can't afford to insure myself, let alone afford the petrol! My parents have agreed to help me out as best they can, but one look at the insurance quote and they realised it's not possible for either of us to afford. If I go on my Mum's insurance (that means I can't build up my own no claims and instead I'd affect my Mum's spotless record of no claims if I had an accident) then it'd be around the £600 - £800 mark. Getting on my own insurance ... well, let's just not go there! Add an extra "0" on the end of those quotes and you're about right!
I appreciate that insurance rates for younger / newer drivers are more because of the amount of accidents that young people are in, but surely all of us shouldn't have to suffer for others stupid mistakes? Personally, the longer I'm not driving I can feel my confidence behind the wheel slipping. What's the point in me passing now to not be able to drive?
One of the reasons why I learnt was because it was better for my job prospects. Going into radio, it's a must-have really to be able to drive to get to sites and do live reporting / interviews. Though I don't own a car myself, I might be able to use a company car, but even then, that'll affect their insurance rates too! It's prejudice really. They should only put the price up for those who are involved in accidents / bad drivers.
Anyway, to end my rant, I would just like to say that I don't think I'm a bad driver. (I passed first time with no minors or majors!) I'd quite like the opportunity to drive regularly now that I worked so hard to pass the test in the first place, but thanks to greedy insurance companies I'm still having to walk everywhere and rely on lifts or public transport! It'd be nice if insurance prices could come down a little, just to help us poorer folk afford the insurance, let alone a car!
Oh well, at least I can add "full clean driving license" to my CV!