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The companies that insure young drivers in Spain

The Local Spain
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The companies that insure young drivers in Spain
Photo: Pixabay.

Like in many countries, insuring new drivers can be expensive in Spain and some companies even refuse to take the risk on younger people behind the wheel. Here are the different types of cover and companies that insure young drivers in Spain.

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Learning to drive and hitting the road for the first time can be an exciting time for many young people.

Finding car insurance as a new or learner driver, however, can be pretty difficult and often incredibly pricey. This is true the world over, and in Spain it is no different.

In fact, some insurers simply won't take the risk and refuse to offer coverage to drivers under 25 years of age. For those that do, premiums are almost always much more expensive and can make driving unaffordable. 

But perhaps this is with good reason. The data shows that novice drivers behind the wheel are more likely to suffer an accident - in some cases twice as likely.

READ ALSO - UK driving licence deal: How to exchange yours for a Spanish one 

According to a study by PONLE FRENO-AXA Road Safety Study Centre, the very youngest drivers in Spain are twice as likely to have an accident compared to the average driver. Drivers under the age of 22 have an accident frequency of 29 percent and young people aged 22 between 25 have a frequency of 25 percent, compared to 14.2 percent among other drivers.

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It is worth noting that in Spain, the only place to (legally) learn to drive is with an official instructor at the 'autoescuela'. That is to say, unlike in other countries, learning to drive with a parent or older sibling is actually illegal, so there's no 'learner's insurance' available.

You can drive from age 18 in Spain, but last year, the DGT also announced a new type of licence for those from age 16. This is the B1 driving licence for electric vehicles with a maximum speed of 90 km/h and a maximum weight of 400 kg.

Insurance

There are different types of insurance in Spain, ranging from the basic third-party to fully-comprehensive insurance, and then there's the question of whether you want to be the named driver on the policy or simply added to someone else's (likely your parent's).

Of course, prices vary between companies, ranging from third-party insurance for less than €400 a year, whereas fully-comprehensive cover can cost more than €2,000 per year for a new driver.

Finding a fair (and affordable) policy can be a real head-scratcher, especially in a foreign language.

The Local has broken down everything you need to know below.

Different types of insurance 

Among the types of car insurance for new drivers in Spain, there are generally three types that you're more than likely already familiar with - third party (terceros básico), extended third party (terceros ampliado) and fully comprehensive cover (seguro a todo riesgo).

  • Third-party insurance (terceros básico): this is the cheapest type and therefore often the most popular with learners and new drivers. This is the most basic type of cover and insures you against damage caused and against other people and cars.
  • Extended third-party (terceros ampliado): offers the same basic cover as third-party insurance, but is usually extended with protection against glass breakage, fire and theft. 
  • Fully comprehensive (seguro a todo riesgo): the most complete type of car insurance, with damage to your own vehicle covered. However, it is rarely suitable for novice drivers as premiums can be pretty pricey. 

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Regular or occasional driver?

As a new driver, you have two fundamental options when it comes to taking out your car insurance in Spain.

The first is to be named as the regular or main driver (conductor principal) on your own insurance policy. This is undoubtedly the most expensive option, but also offers the most complete coverage since you will be fully protected against any type of mishap you may have at the wheel, however big or small, and you'll be able to accrue your own no-claims bonuses and reduce your insurance premium over time.

The second is to be named as an 'occasional driver' (conductor occasional) on someone else's insurance policy. This is incredibly common in Spain, as it is in many other countries. In this case, usually, an older relative with experience behind the wheel (and several years of no-claims bonuses) will be listed as the regular driver of the car, so the price of the policy will be lower.

Despite this, finding an insurer willing to cover a younger driver isn't always easy.

Companies that insure younger drivers

Here's a list we've put together of some of the cheapest companies that insure new drivers in Spain on both terceros básico and terceros ampliado offers.

Third-party insurance (terceros básico) 

  • Balumba: For around €300 a year you get basic coverage for Compulsory Civil Liability, free garage choice and travel assistance.
  • Drive & Win: For around €500 a year, Drive & Win offers Compulsory Civil Liability and travel assistance. 
  • Qualitas Auto: for less than €300 a year, it is possible to take out this insurance with the basic coverage of one to third parties, in addition to the free choice of a garage for repairs. 

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Extended third-party (terceros ampliado)

According to price comparison site Kelisto.es, the best companies (approximate price estimates) for extended third-party coverage are:

  • Qualitas Auto: €321
  • Balumba: €337
  • MAPFRE: €608

What if nobody will insure me?

It is possible that nobody will insure a newly qualified driver.

But fear not, there is another option. You can get coverage with Spain's Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros (Insurance Compensation Consortium), which is part of the Ministry of Economy and offers civil liability coverage.

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