Car insurance what to consider for novice drivers?

Every year, millions of new and used cars are registered in Germany. For 2016, for example, the Federal Motor Transport Authority registered 3.35 million new registrations. The market for used cars is about twice as high. The total number of vehicle owners in Germany is around 45 million. The Federal Motor Transport Authority not only records the number of cars on German roads. The age of the owner is also recorded. And here's where some surprises pop up. The number of owners between the ages of 18 and 29 is around three million. How can young adults afford their own car??

No-claims classes: Older benefit

The purchase of a small car is one of the first big expenses. Not only the purchase price becomes a challenge, because through us you get high discounts as a novice driver. Especially the maintenance is sometimes a surprise for young drivers. In addition to a full tank of gas, it is the car insurance that can become quite expensive. Depending on the vehicle and place of residence, the rates are expensive for novice drivers, especially due to the classification in a no-claims class – compared to their parents. What legal tricks are there to make car insurance cheaper? One thing in advance: Sometimes grandchildren can even benefit from the SF classes of their grandparents. In addition, you can find the 10 best cars for novice drivers with cheap insurance here.

Novice drivers first dig deep into their pockets at the beginning of their "career" as a motorist. Background: Driving license and car – if the expenses are added up – quickly cost a high four-digit euro amount. 2.000 euros can cost a driver's license and 5.000 euros are quickly spent, even on a modern used car. The fact that the motor vehicle insurance should cost then again several hundred euro in the year, provides sometimes fast for lack of understanding. New drivers are particularly asked to pay for this. Background: the no-claims class (SF) system benefits drivers who drive accident-free for many years. For the novice driver clearly a disadvantage.

Amount of the no-claims bonus

What exactly is the no-claims bonus system?? In the SF system, the claim-free years are set in relation to the premium. In practice, this means that those who drive accident-free for a long time can hope for successively increasing savings on premiums. By the way, the system does not start with SF class 0, but with no-claims class M (malus class). How high the allocation of a premium discount for a certain SF class is, regulates each insurer for some years for itself. For example, SF class 10 with insurer A can lead to a premium rate of 37 percent, and with insurer B to a premium rate of 35 percent.

In this way, differences arise between the individual insurances, which in the end become noticeable in the wallet.

Excerpt of SF classes VBK (Versicherungskammer Bayern):


claim-free years SF class premium rate

2 SF 2 64 percent
3 SF 3 58 percent
4 SF 4 52 percent
5 SF 5 46 percent
6 SF 6 44 percent
7 SF 7 42 percent
8 SF 8 40 percent


Attention: The SF-discounts are calculated separately for comprehensive and motor liability insurance. Many insurers base their SF classes on the Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V. GDV.

Tip: Use the no-claims classes of the family

Young novice drivers have various options to avoid the classification in a low SF class – and the associated financial disadvantages. In practice, two options have become established:

  1. Registration of the vehicle with parents/grandparents: This variant is very common. In this case, the vehicle is registered to the parents or grandparents, who then take out a car insurance policy. This means that the car is usually subject to the better conditions from the SF classes. The advantage is the resulting premium savings. However, the whole thing has disadvantages, namely:
  2. New drivers do not collect their own SF discount
  3. Damage affects the SF class of the parents/grandparents.
  4. Assumption of SF discounts: Alternatively, it remains to take over the no-claims bonuses. Here the advantage would be that damage of the driving novice does not affect the SF classes of third parties disadvantageously. However, the requirements of the insurers for the takeover are such that this option is hardly worthwhile for novice drivers.
    Background: Only SF years can be taken over that correspond to the number of driving licenses held by the taker. In addition, it may be a condition with some insurance companies that the taker has already driven the car previously.

Tips for a cheap car insurance

The takeover of SF years usually only pays off when a few years of driving experience have been gained. In order to avoid having to dig too deep into your wallet as a novice driver, there is only one thing left to do in the end: comparison. Especially if the 30. November approaches (deadline for changing car insurance), the insurers usually roll over with offers.

Here you should always look very carefully. In the end, the premium is only one piece of the puzzle. The small print must also play a role in the decision. The fact that the conclusion of a new motor vehicle insurance does not always run smoothly can also be due to the SCHUFA. Some insurers screen applicants in this direction as well. What to look out for?

  • Annual data query: credit agencies must disclose stored data once a year upon request. Every consumer should take advantage of this opportunity to identify errors.
  • Always have errors deleted: Incorrectly entered data becomes a problem. Cancellation must be worked towards immediately. However, this can be quite time-consuming and costly.
  • Take out motor vehicle liability insurance: Motor vehicle liability is a mandatory insurance policy. A negative entry with credit agencies alone is not sufficient for a rejection by the insurer. At least basic protection can thus be insured.

However, even with negative SCHUFA information, there is often the possibility to conclude a favorable car insurance policy. The premium must often be paid in advance. However, the annual payment method also has the advantage that the insurer grants a discount.

Conclusion: novice drivers need practical experience

For young adults, the first car fulfills a dream, but also quickly becomes a nightmare – at least in terms of finances. Being placed in a low SF class makes car insurance expensive. And there are few ways to get around this fact. It is possible, for example, to drive the second car of the parents and take it over after a few years. Because then the assumption of SF classes in the motor insurance is also worthwhile.