Our brokers have hailed changes to the driving test as good news for new drivers – and for the companies they work for.
Anthony Hughes, of Henshalls Insurance Brokers in Newport and Shrewsbury, said although learner drivers may initially feel the changes introduced this week were daunting, they would help them to prepare for a much safer future.
“Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people and account for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19. The new driving test rules will help to make sure that training and the driving test itself will mean drivers are better prepared and so hopefully, the number of young people killed in collisions will be reduced.”
Mr Hughes said most fatal accidents happened on high-speed roads (not including motorways) and so the new format will allow more of these types of highways included in driving test routes.
Learner drivers will also be trained how to use a satellite navigation system safely, which is crucial given that the vast majority of cars now include the equipment.
“And it’s not just the drivers themselves who will benefit from the extended driving test – employers who need to include young staff members on their motor insurance policies will reap the rewards too. Ensuring that your staff are trained to the very highest standard will help to reduce the number of accidents, and so keep the cost of your cover at a more reasonable level.”
Mr Hughes said any business considering putting someone under 25 on their company insurance was very likely to see a real increase in their premium. “They will also attract an additional excess, on top of your standard excess, so the financial considerations are very expensive for just one employee.”
He said there were several alternative options that employers could look into, including using low-powered vehicles. “If possible, don’t give younger drivers access to powerful vehicles, and restrict any vehicle they do use to business use only, because if you allow them to use it for social, domestic and pleasure purposes, the premium will increase even further.
“Ask your broker for advice too as some insurers penalise young drivers more than others. But don’t just buy on price, and you must check exactly what the cover includes, particularly if you’re buying online. The new driving test is good news for new drivers – and their employers – and they should equip new drivers with the skills they need to use the roads more safely.”