TEENAGER Jonathan Elson was excited to get behind the wheel after passing his test.
But the Milnsbridge lad was shocked when a company demanded nearly £50,000 to insure his £500 car.
“I thought it was ridiculous,” said the 19-year-old. “The quote was nearly 100 times what the car is worth.
“How are young people supposed to be able to pay such extortionate insurance premiums?
“These companies are effectively pricing the next generation of drivers out of the market.”
Jonathan found the quote after passing his test two weeks ago.
“Ever since I got my provisional licence I couldn’t wait to have a car,” he said.
“I was happy when I passed my test because having a car means I can go where I want without having to worry about catching four buses to get there.”
Jonathan’s father bought him an 11-year-old green Fiat Brava 1.4 for £500 after he passed his test.
But he was shocked with the insurance quotes from a comparison website.
Jonathan said: “I put the car details in and put my mum and dad down as named drivers.
“The worst figure it came up with was £47,414. Even the cheapest quote was for more than £8,000.”
Jonathan’s father then sold the Brava and bought an older, less powerful car – a 1996 Fiat Punto 1.1.
But even this vehicle is expensive to insure.
“The cheapest quote we got for the Punto was about £5,000 and I can’t afford that.”
Jonathan is considering getting an insurance smartbox from the Co-op to get his quote down to an affordable level.
The new devices are designed to reduce premiums for drivers aged 17 to 24 and make sure young motorists drive safely by monitoring their speed and braking as well as checking the time of day they are on the road.
Drivers who keep within the rules get a discount on their premiums – but those who don’t must pay more.
Jonathan said: “The Co-op said if I got a smartbox fitted I could be insured for £2,700.
“You’re not allowed to drive for long periods and you can’t drive between 11pm and 6am.”
Jonathan, who works as an apprentice engineer at Syngenta, added: “If my boss asked me to come in early that might be a problem.”
Jonathan added that his friends were having similar problems.
“Most people I’ve spoken to have sky-high premiums – but not at the level I’ve been quoted.”