Hatchbacks a hit with SA's youth

File: Hatchbacks, particularly Volkswagens, are very popular with South Africa's youth. Photo: Cars.co.za

JOHANNESBURG – The majority of young drivers preferred hatchbacks.

These were among statistics from Alexander Forbes Insurance Company revealed on Monday.

About 70 percent of young drivers aged 18-25 were driving hatchbacks, 30 percent of these being Volkswagens.

Figures also showed that the value of claims by drivers in this age category had gone up in the past financial year, from an average of R36,055 in 2016 to R40,976.

Colin Mchunu, senior manager at Alexander Forbes Insurance, said 87 percent of youth-driven vehicles were insured on policies where the main policyholders were older than 32 years of age.

READ: Who are South Africa's fairest insurers?

But, he said it was better for young drivers to take out insurance in their own names, even though it might cost more at the start.

“The benefits are that the young driver builds their own safe driving history sooner and accidents would not be on the parent’s record,” said Mchunu.

He explained that insurance companies generally classified young drivers as high-risk due to their lack of motoring experience.

On average under 25s pay about 30 percent more than drivers over the age of 25.

“Because youth are more likely to have an accident in the first year after getting their driver’s licence than at any other time in their motoring career, this results in this category being charged higher premiums," said Mchunu.

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“The likelihood of a young, relatively inexperienced driver being involved in accidents is high owing to among other factors, driving at higher than the regulated speed limit and risky driving behaviour.”

Mchunu suggested that for young people to reduce car insurance premiums they needed to, among others things, drive a vehicle with a small engine, upgrade safety features, limit their mileage, instal a tracking device for stolen recovery purposes, and build up a good claims track record.

And for those who wanted to pimp their cars with the latest rims or funky paint jobs, Mchunu advised that aftermarket changes to the engine or body could end up costing you.

“In addition, another good way to keep risk down is to enhance the security features of your car, and consider taking defensive driving courses,” Mchunu said.

African News Agency

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