By Graham Cutbill-White – Head of Insurance Content
Students and generally young people under 25 are a wonderful example of how a generation can totally adapt to a new way of doing things in a short amount of time.
Within the past 10-15 years, a whole new economy based on using products and services as and when required without the obsession with ownership has sprung up. The idea of access rather than ownership means that everything from entertainment (Spotify, Netflix) to travel (Airbnb, Uber) has a shared version that consumers can access as and when needed without long term responsibility.
The sharing economy is expected to be worth an eye-watering £266 billion by 2025 by which point millennials and members of Generation Z are going to make up the majority of the workforce, these newly established buying habits are set to become the norm across all industries.
This new approach has already revolutionised a number of industries, not least the world of insurance.
The cost of car insurance, in particular, has created a real and often insurmountable barrier for many young drivers. In the first quarter of 2019, the cost of an annual policy was more than £2,000 on average for 18-year-olds – an amount few teenagers can afford.
A way for many to avoid having to pay these large amounts is to forgo actually owning a car and therefore removing the need for an annual policy. Instead, they’re looking for more flexible and affordable options and thanks to modern forward-thinking insurance providers, are finding the cover they need without having to pay for insurance they don’t want.
Whether this is with a pay as you go model which calculates your premium depending on the amount you drive or a temporary car insurance policy which allows you to drive whenever, wherever in the UK for the duration you need, there are now more insurance options than ever.
If you just need an hourly policy to pop to the shops, a daily policy for a road trip with friends, or a longer, 28 day policy when you’re home from university for the holidays, you get the duration you need with all the same level of protection as regular insurance.
Uni students are one group of young drivers that can hugely benefit from a more flexible, temporary approach to insurance.
Alongside the countless things you will need to take when you go off to uni, one thing you definitely won’t need as a student is your car. You’d need a pretty big box to pack it in, but that’s not the main reason you shouldn’t take your car to uni, the cost of keeping a vehicle taxed and insured when you might only use it a few weeks a year is just not worth it.
There are a few other reasons you shouldn’t take your car to uni – you’ll be a guaranteed taxi service and without fail the designated driver. You’ll also struggle to park it at most university campuses.
You will, however, want to make sure you have temporary car insurance. It’s the ideal way to ensure you can still get around when you’re home for the holidays or if you’re planning a road trip.
University can be incredibly expensive, and your student loan is only going to stretch so far. Without a car, you can save yourself the cost of parking, fuel, tax as well as annual insurance. You could save hundreds of pounds a year but ditching your car and insuring yourself as and when you need it with temporary car insurance.
Another positive of going car-free at university is the huge benefit for the environment. We’re at a very important time in the future of this planet and any change that can help stem the tide of climate change can only be a good thing.
A study in the US by researchers at UC Berkeley found that during an 18-month car sharing scheme which followed hundreds of car-sharing members, there were daily savings of:
- 13,000 miles of vehicle travel
- Over 3000 litres of petrol
- 20,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
These cost savings and positive environmental impact will result in huge benefits for young people’s futures.
On a more immediate level, this type of insurance also provides the peace of mind that is often lacking when letting a young driver borrow a vehicle. Not only do you get the same, comprehensive level of insurance as annual but because temporary cover is a separate, standalone policy, it won’t impact the owner’s No Claims Discount.
As more and more young drivers and eventually drivers of all ages adopt a more flexible approach to car ownership and insurance, expect to see plenty of new and innovative insurance schemes come to market.
Thankfully though, for university students and young drivers in general there are insurance options currently available to suit their ever-changing needs while keeping the costs manageable.
‘£266 billion by 2025’ – https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeslacouncil/2019/03/04/the-sharing-economy-is-still-growing-and-businesses-should-take-note/
‘£2,000 average car insurance cost’ – https://www.confused.com/car-insurance/price-index
‘A study in the US by researchers at UC Berkeley’ – http://www.urbanecology.org/environmental-benefits-car-sharing-revealed/