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Youngest Driver and Your Obligations

Driver age is an important risk factor

When you purchase your greenslip, you are required to advise the age of the youngest driver of your vehicle.

The age of the driver is a factor which insurers use to assess risk and determine the price they will charge for CTP green slips. If the youngest driver is a learner driver, you are still obliged to advise the insurer.

Two Acts apply:

  • Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017 applies from 1 December 2017
  • Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999 applied before 1 December 2017.

Under the 2017 Act:

  • The fact the correct premium has not been paid on a greenslip does not affect the validity or operation of that greenslip
  • If an incorrect greenslip premium has been paid, insurers are entitled to claim the difference between what was paid and what should have been paid
  • If there is a claim on a greenslip and the person who purchased the greenslip avoided paying the correct premium by making a statement which they knew was false, then the insurer may claim up to $5,000 ($2,000 under the 1999 Act) from that person.

Green slips are more expensive

The main reason green slips are more expensive for younger drivers is because they are more likely to be involved in an accident. Young people are more likely to drive in riskier ways, such as travelling at high speeds or driving too close to the vehicle in front.

L-plate drivers are among the safest because they are under adult supervision.

P1-plate drivers are only 3% of all drivers but represent 20% of deaths and die at twice the rate of all drivers. The first month of driving with P-plates is the riskiest time.

Young drivers are covered by the green slip of the vehicle they are driving, provided the vehicle registration is up to date. If they are involved in a collision, the price of the green slip may increase.

Comprehensive insurance may be affected by younger drivers:

  • Young drivers may not be included in comprehensive insurance of the vehicle they drive
  • If they are covered by comprehensive insurance, a higher age-based excess may apply
  • Check for other comprehensive insurance terms and restrictions that may apply to younger drivers.

How to reduce young driver premiums

Younger drivers are likely to want to reduce their premiums as much as possible. Primary factors used by insurers that affect greenslip prices are:

  • Geographic region
  • Type and age of vehicle
  • Age and gender of vehicle owner and driver
  • Driving history (offences, demerit points, years licensed)
  • Claims history (insurance level and no claim bonus, at-fault claims).

Young people cannot help being young, but could be encouraged to drive a safer vehicle. They also need to work towards a clean driving history with no offences, loss of points, or insurance claims.

Safer Drivers Course

The Safer Drivers Course is one way to improve driving. It combines theory and practice for learner drivers under 25 who have completed 50 logbook hours, including night driving. The aim is to equip learners with the skills and knowledge to prepare them for P-Plates.

The course has two modules to complete within one month:

  1. A 3-hour group discussion with other L-platers about how to manage risks on the road
  2. A 2-hour in-vehicle session with a coach and another L-plater to learn practical, safe driving.

Call 13 2213 or go online to find the closest course provider.

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