Can you get cheap car insurance? That depends....

My grandson has been looking for some cheap car insurance. It really opened my eyes to see what expensive quotes he was getting. They were all well into four figures; some companies were asking for a five figure sum! Even the lowest quotes we got from a cheap car insurance comparison site called prudent plus were well outside his price range. I was very relieved; it means that for a while he won't be able to go on the road at all.

The hard simple fact is that he is 19 years of age and like most of his contemporaries he is completely irresponsible. Sometimes I think it is insane of the government to allow anybody under the age of 25 out on the roads at all. If I ever get cut up by a nutter who is clearly just about able to control his machine, or if I have to brake hard because the lunatic in front of me doesn't know what indicators are, let alone how to use them, it is invariably some young man or even (less often admittedly) some young woman behind the wheel. More often than not they have other people in the car who they are just showing off to.

It is no wonder that their insurance companies charge them so much. They are a danger to themselves and every other road user, and a lot of them drive untaxed and uninsured cars too so they are very likely to end up disqualified from driving, or having their uninsured car impounded, and the sooner the better.

Then again we have the opposite side of the coin. An old lady down our road is 90 if she is a day. She still drives an ancient Mini Clubman to the shops, which fortunately are just around the corner otherwise she would probably stop the traffic in the entire town. She is invariably to be seen crawling down the road at around half the legal speed limit, deep in conversation with her equally ancient friend about knitting, the dreadful state of the world, old Mrs Jones' arthritis or what that horrible woman at number 10 said to her last week. I doubt very much indeed if she has ever taken a driving test let alone passed one and yet I understand that for people in her circumstances insurance is fairly cheap.

This is probably because they don't actually have accidents themselves; they just cause other people to have them. Unlike the 17 to 25-year-olds who statistically are virtually guaranteed to not only have an accident before they reach their 26th birthday but also it is likely to be one at high speed causing a great deal of damage and injury. Perhaps those insurance premiums that they have to pay are not all that expensive after all.

I made the mistake last month of telling my grandson about the £240 a year or so I pay for insuring my old 2.5 litre Rover 75. He was not happy. I had to explain to him, as patiently as I could, that I had been driving for more than 35 years with not a single accident and just one minor speeding conviction - and that was on a 125cc BSA Bantam motorbike in 1954. He has a year's experience as a learner in my car with me watching him like a hawk. And that is why I can get cheap car insurance but he can't.

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