What Do I Do Now I Have Passed My Driving Test?
Just passed your driving test? Here's what you need to do next.
As a young person getting your driving licence means freedom, but there are various things to take into account before you can get on the road. Whether it’s insurance for Young Drivers, the car you’re going to drive or even something as simple as how to get home after your test if you haven’t passed it already, we’ve outlined our thoughts below.
Getting Home & Getting Your Full Licence
How you’re getting home after your Practical Test is a factor you must consider, particularly if you have a policy from another insurance broker, and not with Think. While our Learner Insurance policies cover you from being a learner driver through to passing your practical test and beyond without any change in cost, many learner driver policies with other insurance brokers will cover just that – learner drivers.
Therefore, it’s important that you check exactly what you are / are not covered for before taking your test. Some Learner Driver only policies can expire instantly once you’ve passed your test, meaning you won’t even be covered to drive your own car home after passing (though it may cover someone else to drive it for a brief period so you can get home!), while others may give you a short window after passing to drive yourself back. Our Learner / Young Driver policies however are continuous, and whether you pass or fail your Practical Test, your policy just continues as normal for the duration of your cover.
Now, as for your full licence, you won’t receive this immediately after the test has concluded. If you’ve not changed your name between applying for your Provisional Licence and passing your Practical Test, then your instructor will take your Provisional Licence from you and send it to the DVLA on your behalf, and you should receive your new licence within 3 weeks. If you have, for whatever reason, changed your name then you will need to send off for your new licence yourself via the post. According to the Government you must provide a passport photograph, provide original documents to confirm your identity, fill in a D1 Application for a driving licence and fill in the declaration on your driving test pass certificate. Everyone must send their driving test pass certificate and documents to the DVLA within 2 years after passing the test or you must retake it.
Picking Your First Car
For some young drivers, your first car is all you’ve been thinking about for months, whist for others, it’s not so important, and just needs to be a vehicle that can give you the freedom to get from A to B whilst you are getting used to driving and perfecting your skills. However you view it, there are a few things to take into account when you’re searching for your first car. One thing you need to be aware of, is that insurance will be a contributing factor in what car you will be able to afford/should have. Insurers section cars off into groups, and these number from 1 to 50.
Cars in group 1 are the cheapest to insure but aren’t usually amazingly fast or stylish, while cars in group 50 are generally the opposite. You should avoid cars in groups 10 and above, but not forever; once you wrack up a No Claims Bonus and you get older, you will be considered less of a risk to insurers and as such it will open you up to getting relatively cheap insurance for the subjectively better cars. Amongst the cheapest cars to insure for young drivers are the Volkswagen Up!, the Fiat 500 (variant dependant), the Citroen C1, the Vauxhall Adam, and the Peugeot 107.
On top of what to avoid when looking for a car, don’t consider a modified car. Many insurers will increase the price of your premium exponentially or even flat out refuse to cover your car. At Think we do not provide cover for young drivers on any modified cars except for those who’ve only modified the alloys.
Things to Know About Insurance
Insurance can be the biggest hurdle to get over after finishing your driving test, especially for Young Drivers. According to Brake.org.uk (A road safety charity) drivers aged 16-19 are a third more likely to die in a crash compared to 40-49-year-old drivers. Their research also suggests that a quarter of all 18-24 year olds crash within 2 years of passing their test, and Young Male Drivers are far more likely to crash than a Young Female Driver. This tells insurers that Young Drivers are overall more of a risk than their older peers (leading to the increase in premiums for Young Drivers).
There are various types of cover but finding the right level of cover for you can be a difficult task to achieve. The first thing you should do is look at the various types of cover applicable for Young Drivers. The next is for you to look for Brokers that specialise in Young Driver Insurance, and look at what they specifically offer. For example, at Think Insurance we only provide Comprehensive cover and Black Box policies to our Young Drivers.
What Is Black Box Insurance?
A Black Box Policy aims to provide Young Drivers and Safe Drivers alike with a cheaper insurance premium in return for having your driving performance monitored. The black box (or Telematics device) is a small piece of equipment that is fitted to a vehicle letting you, your insurer, and your parents (if you give them permission), monitor and measure your driving habits. By measuring how harshly you brake, how fast you accelerate, and other things such as whether you are keeping within the speed limits, this is a good way of seeing where you are succeeding and where you need to improve. Some policies offered by other brokers may include a curfew, restricting when you can drive at night, while other providers might just alter your scoring depending upon the time of day you are driving. This is to reduce your overall risk factors (driving at night makes a young driver more likely to be involved in an accident and thus making a claim).
At Think, we provide Telematics cover with no curfews. Our policies are mileage based so you only buy the miles you need. If you get close to running out of miles, then you will need to top them up to ensure you are still insured to continue driving, otherwise your policy may be cancelled. The Telematics device can also act as a safety net in the event your car is stolen or you have an accident. The black box can help police find your vehicle if it is stolen, and it can also send an alert to insurers if you have a collision. What’s more, it can also provide details of what happened in that collision to help prove you weren’t at fault if this is being disputed.
Advanced Driving Courses
For the Young Driver who wants to be as prepared as possible for driving on their own, you can take an advanced driving course after passing your test. These courses will provide you with training in areas not touched on by your driving lessons, leaving you better prepared to face life on the roads in the UK. There are 4 well-known courses you can take, each with differing areas of expertise, time of training and cost.
- Pass Plus – This course gives you practice in areas such as differing weather conditions, motorway driving, night-time driving and driving in traffic. It takes 6 hours to complete and can cost around £180 but this is dependent on the driving instructor.
- IAM RoadSmart – This course is accredited by the DVSA because this is widely viewed as the most reputable course due to over half a million people enrolling since its beginning. There area various packages you can take which are intended for use with cars and motorcycles. It takes 3-6 months to complete and can cost around £140.
- RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders – Whilst not widely acknowledged by insurance companies it offers similar training as the IAM RoadSmart but starting at a cheaper rate, costing around £57 for under 25’s and £62 for over 25’s.
- The AA Advanced Driving Courses – Unlike the other course there is not a maximum limit on how many hours you can do with this course, but the set minimum is 2 hours. It covers the same areas as RoSPA and IAM RoadSmart.
In some instances, completion of these courses may provide you with a cheaper premium if your insurer recognises them but not all insurers will provide this. They will however improve your driving ability which in turn should result in good driving scores and reduced chance of a claim or accident which means longer term you could benefit from cheaper premiums. Our Telematics Policies already include significant discounts for having a black box monitor your driving, so while no extra discount is given for passing one of these courses, you could benefit at renewal with bigger discounts for achieving high driving scores.
Building Your Confidence
Getting behind the wheel of your car is an exhilarating and daunting experience. It can take a little bit of time to get used to driving, and your first few journeys may be filled with mistakes while you get settled. Take your time and make your first journeys short ones. Don’t start taking passengers everywhere until you’re feeling comfortable and confident enough to do so, and don’t get distracted by your phone or music choice; you’ll need to focus on just getting used to driving! The more comfortable you feel, the longer the journeys you can take. For the more nervous drivers out there, invest in P plates. These tell other drivers that you have recently passed and they will give you more breathing room.
Choosing Think Insurance
If you’re looking for a Young Driver insurance quote, why not choose Think? Here are some of the benefits for choosing Think;
- No price change when you pass your Practical Test
- No curfews!
- Only buy the miles you need
- Flexible payment and instalment options for under 21-year olds
- Free 24/7 Claims Helpline provided by Kingsway
- We are one of the UK’s leading specialist insurance brokers
Give us a call on 0800 221 8077 and speak with one of our Young Driver specialists who are dedicated to finding you the best cover at the lowest cost for you.