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Younger drivers are more at risk and pay more insurance

The main reason green slips are more expensive for younger drivers is because they are more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Drivers 17 to 25 hold 16% of licences
  • More drivers 15-24 die in a road crash than any other age group
  • Drivers 17-20 are three times more likely than drivers over 21 and over to be involved in a serious crash
  • Far more males than females die in road crashes.

Young people are more likely to drive in riskier ways, such as high speeds, close following distances, or ignoring red lights.
Most road crashes involving young people occur over the weekend, in the late afternoon and night. These crashes are more often single-vehicle crashes, head-on, overtaking and rear-end crashes.

Mobile phone use

The ‘Don’t Drive Blind, Get Your Hand Off It’ and ‘Get Your Hand Off It’ campaigns were used to raise driver awareness of the risks of using mobile phones while driving.

According to Transport for NSW, while the warning message applies to all drivers, the campaigns were aimed at younger drivers from 17 to 39.

Young people tend to underestimate the dangers of talking on the phone while driving and, in fact, any dangers inside the car. Young drivers also have a greater risk of crashing when they have two or more friends in the car, especially male passengers.

Dangers inside the car

Slater & Gordon research with 2,000 participants found just how much younger drivers underestimate dangers inside their vehicle.
Young people 16 to 24 were less likely to identify these factors inside the car as a safety hazard for P-plate drivers:
  • Talking on the phone while driving – 25% of young people (compared to 40% of drivers of other ages)
  • Speeding – 22% (29% of other drivers)
  • Distracting passengers – 14% (17% of other drivers)
  • Drug driving – 26% (28% of other drivers)
  • Texting while driving – 44% (47%).
The research also showed younger drivers were more likely to blame factors outside their own vehicle as the biggest dangers. This included drivers who hoon, other motorists driving dangerously or being a victim of another driver’s road rage.


NSW has a very comprehensive licensing program, designed to limit the chances of young drivers being involved in a serious crash.

Young drivers are subject to a number of licence conditions. These special conditions include speed, the type of vehicle and mobile phone use as well as restrictions on passenger numbers.

For example, P1 licensed drivers under 25 cannot carry more than one passenger under 21 between 11pm and 5am.

Young drivers can also do a Safer Drivers Course.

Safer Drivers Course

The Safer Drivers Course is a combined theoretical and practical course for learner drivers under 25 years old who have completed 50 logbook hours.
The aim of the Safe Drivers Course is to equip learners with the skills and knowledge to better prepare them for P-Plates.
The Safer Drivers Course has two modules:
  • A 3 hour group discussion with other L-platers to learn how to manage risks on the road
  • A 2 hour in-vehicle coaching session with a coach and another learner to learn practical, safe driving.

You don’t have to do both of these sessions in one day, but it is better to complete both sessions within one month.

Here is the Safer Drivers Course Providers list. Or you can call 13 2213 to find out where your closest course provider is.

Insurance matters

  • Young drivers are covered by the green slip of the vehicle they are driving, provided the vehicle registration is up to date
  • If any kind of distracted driving causes a collision, the price of the green slip may go up
  • Young drivers may not be included in the comprehensive insurance of the vehicle they are driving
  • 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 get your premium down

If you are a younger driver, you want to get the cheapest green slip possible. Primary factors used by the insurers and which affect the price of your green slip prices are:
  • Geographic region
  • Type and age of vehicle
  • Vehicle performance
  • Age of vehicle owner and driver
  • Driving history (offences, demerit points, years licensed)
  • Claims history (insurance level and no claim bonus, at-fault claims).
You can’t do much about being young, but you may be able to change your vehicle (type, age and performance). You can also work on creating a clean driving history with no offences, loss of points, or insurance claims.
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Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 8 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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