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Whether you’re practising in your parents’ car or learning with the help of a friend, having the appropriate provisional insurance is essential for learner drivers.

To assist you in finding a suitable and cost-effective insurance option, we have compiled an easy-to-follow guide.

This guide is designed to simplify the process and ensure that you’re adequately covered as you learn to drive.

Do Learner Drivers Need Insurance?

Legal Requirements

Learner drivers in the UK are legally required to have car insurance. This is essential before you can drive on public roads. Alongside insurance, having a valid UK provisional driving licence is also a must.

Insurance with Driving Schools

When you take lessons with a professional driving school, the cost typically includes insurance cover. This is a convenient option as it ensures you’re covered without the need for a separate policy.

Do Learner Drivers Need Insurance

Practising in Personal or Family Cars

If you choose to practise in your own car, or in a vehicle belonging to a friend or relative, you will need to arrange your own insurance. This is crucial for ensuring you’re legally covered while driving.

Insurance for Lessons in Personal Cars

Should you wish to have driving lessons with an instructor in your own car, it’s important to check if your insurance policy includes this. Some policies might not offer cover for this specific situation.

For those looking for insurance options, Comparoo provides car insurance quotes for drivers aged 17 and over.

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How Does Learner Driver Insurance Work?

Separate Cover for Learner Drivers

Learner driver insurance is designed to provide separate cover from the vehicle owner’s existing car insurance policy. This is particularly beneficial as it means that any accidents you might have while learning won’t affect the vehicle owner’s no claims discount.

How Does Learner Driver Insurance Work

Process of Getting Insured

Obtaining insurance as a learner driver is quite similar to the process for a fully qualified driver. Key requirements include being a UK resident and ensuring the vehicle you intend to drive is registered and has a valid MOT. This ensures that both you and the vehicle meet the legal standards for driving in the UK.

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Types of Car Insurance Policy for Learner Drivers

Basic Levels of Cover

When choosing car insurance as a learner driver, there are three levels of cover to consider:

  • Third-party only: This is the minimum cover required by law in the UK. It covers you for any damage or injury you might cause to other people, but does not cover damage to your own vehicle.
  • Third-party, fire and theft: In addition to the cover provided by third-party only, this policy also protects against theft of your vehicle and damage caused by fire.
  • Comprehensive: This level includes all the benefits of the previous two, but also covers injuries or damages to you and your car. It’s the most extensive form of insurance.

Types Of Car Insurance Policy For Learner Drivers

Deciding on Policy Length

As a learner driver, you need to consider the length of the policy that suits your needs. According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the average learner requires 45 hours of professional instruction and 22 hours of private practice.

Based on this, you should assess how many lessons you’ll likely need. The options include:

  • Annual cover: This is a common choice, providing cover for an entire year with the option to renew at the end of the term.
  • Short-term cover: Some insurers offer policies that last a day, a week, or a month. This might be ideal if you’re close to your test date and need temporary insurance. However, it’s worth noting that short-term rates can be more costly compared to annual cover.

Being a Named Driver

Another option is to be added as a named driver on a friend or family member’s policy. This permits you to drive their car under supervision. However, this may result in higher premiums for them, and any accidents could affect their no claims discount, unlike a separate learner driver insurance policy.

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What Does Learner Driver Insurance Typically Cover?

Cover for Practice Sessions

A learner driver insurance policy is designed to cover you during practice sessions outside of professional lessons. To be insured, you must be accompanied by a qualified and eligible supervisor, who can be a friend or family member.

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What Does Learner Driver Insurance Typically Cover

Supervisor Requirements

The supervisor typically needs to be at least 21 years old, although some insurance providers may require them to be 25. Importantly, they must have held a full driving licence for a minimum of three years.

Including them as a named driver on the policy is advisable, especially if there’s a need for them to take control of the vehicle during practice.

For more detailed information, it’s recommended to refer to the government guidance on supervising learner drivers.

Insurance Cover During the Driving Test

Cover During the Test

Learner driver insurance will indeed cover you when you take your test in your own car. However, it’s crucial to note that the moment you pass your test, this cover ceases. You will need to arrange a new, separate policy before you can legally drive again as a qualified driver.

In Case of Test Failure

Should you fail your test, your current insurance should still allow you to continue practising. However, it’s important to verify this with your insurer. Additionally, if your learner insurance was set to expire on the day of your test, you will need to extend the policy to continue driving legally.

Using an Instructor’s Car for the Test

Most professional driving instructors and driving schools provide vehicles for the test that are fully insured for this purpose. If you’re planning to take your test in a driving school’s car, it’s always wise to confirm they have the necessary insurance cover in place.

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When Is the Best Time to Take My Driving Test?

Choosing the Right Month

While you can take your driving test at any time of the year, certain months show a higher pass rate for learner drivers in the UK. Research indicates that the time of year can influence your chances of passing.

When Is The Best Time To Take My Driving Test

  • April emerges as the top month, boasting the highest pass rate at 52.4%.
  • The summer months, particularly July (52.1%) and August (51.4%), also offer favourable pass rates.
  • Conversely, February presents the lowest pass rate, at just 49.4%. This suggests that the warmer and drier months might provide better conditions for passing your test, particularly if you’re aiming to pass on your first attempt.

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What’s the Most Suitable Type of Car Insurance for Learner Drivers?

Comprehensive Cover

For learner drivers, comprehensive car insurance is often considered the most suitable option. It offers the most extensive cover, protecting against a wide range of incidents. This can be particularly beneficial when you’re still getting accustomed to driving.

What’s The Most Suitable Type Of Car Insurance For Learner Drivers

Personal Circumstances and Affordability

However, the best policy for you will largely depend on your personal circumstances and budget. It’s important to assess your specific needs and financial capacity when choosing an insurance policy. This ensures that you get the right level of cover without overstretching your finances.

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How Can Learner Drivers Get Cheap Car Insurance?

Choosing the Right Car

Selecting your car with insurance costs in mind can significantly impact the premium. The insurance group of the car is a key factor – the lower the group, the cheaper the insurance.

Be mindful that even different models within the same range can fall into higher insurance groups, particularly if they have larger engines or are high-performance versions like GTi models.

How Can Learner Drivers Get Cheap Car Insurance

Black Box or Telematics Insurance

Black box or telematics insurance policies involve installing a device in your car or using an app to monitor your driving habits.

This includes tracking aspects like speed, steering, and braking, as well as the distances and locations you drive. Demonstrating safe and careful driving through this technology can lead to lower insurance costs.

Adding an Experienced Named Driver

Including an experienced named driver on your policy can also reduce the cost. Insurance providers consider the risk profiles of all drivers sharing the car, which can bring down the premium.

However, it’s crucial to be honest about the usage of the car. The named driver must genuinely use the vehicle; misrepresenting this is known as ‘fronting‘ and is considered insurance fraud.

Opting for a Higher Voluntary Excess

Agreeing to a higher voluntary excess – the amount you pay towards a claim – can lower your insurance premium.

While this means potential higher costs in the event of a claim, it can make your regular insurance payments more affordable. It’s important to ensure that the total excess is within your financial means should you need to claim.

Shopping Around for Quotes

Finally, comparing car insurance quotes from various insurers is a crucial step. Using comparison websites allows you to see a range of options and find the most competitive rates for your circumstances.

This can help you find a balance between cover and cost that suits your needs as a learner driver.

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Frequently asked questions

The duration of learner driver insurance depends on the policy and provider you choose. It can be short-term for a few months, weeks, or even days, or you could opt for an annual policy.

Yes, you can add a learner driver to your car insurance policy. Contact your insurer and request to add them to your policy. However, it may be expensive, so it’s best to compare the cost with learner driver insurance options.

No, learner driver insurance is not valid after passing your driving test. To drive after passing, you’ll need a standard car insurance policy.

Dual insurance means having the same level of cover for your car or yourself on two different policies, which can be a waste of money. This is different from learner driver insurance, which is a separate policy from the main car insurance policy.

If a learner driver is added to the car owner’s insurance policy and needs to make a claim, it will affect the car owner’s No Claims Discount (NCD).

This can increase the cost of the car owner’s annual premium, making it more expensive. It is advisable to take out a standalone learner driver policy instead.

If you have an annual learner driver insurance policy and do not make any claims within the first year, you can earn a No Claims Discount (NCD).

You can’t drive abroad using a provisional driving licence. It’s important to check the policy details and wait until you get a full licence before driving abroad.

If you want to be insured on more than one car, such as your parent’s vehicles, you’ll need to be added separately to each policy or take out separate learner driver policies for each car.

Yes, if your learner driver insurance allows it, you can drive at night with a provisional licence as long as you’re accompanied by a qualified driver.

However, it’s important to read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully to avoid invalidating it.

Yes, a learner driver can drive on the motorway, but only with an approved driving instructor and in a car equipped with dual controls.

Learner driver insurance will cover you for your driving test if you are using your own car.

However, once you pass your test, you will need to have a regular car insurance policy in place to drive home from the test centre. If you’re taking the test in your driving instructor’s car, they will have insurance to cover you.

Yes, you can accumulate points on your provisional licence, just like with a full licence.

Speeding, using your phone, or driving alone could result in points on your licence, which can carry over to your full licence once you pass the test.

Changing cars during the term of your learner driver policy may be possible, but it could come with a fee.

Car insurance for 16-year-olds is possible, but our service only offers comparisons for drivers who are 17 years old or older.

At the age of 16, you are legally allowed to drive if you are receiving the higher rate of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for mobility purposes.

In cases where you have a vehicle provided by the Motability scheme, insurance is included in the package. However, if you need insurance for a car that is not part of the Motability scheme, you may find it more challenging.

Most car insurance providers typically do not cover drivers under 17 years of age, so you might have to seek a specialist provider for insurance. Consulting an insurance broker could be beneficial in this situation.

As a learner driver, there are several types of additional cover you might consider:

  • Personal accident cover: This provides a payout in the event that you or a passenger suffer injuries or fatalities during an accident.
  • Motor legal protection: This helps with the expenses related to legal fees that you might incur following an accident.
  • Breakdown cover: This ensures you receive roadside assistance to help you resume your journey promptly if your car breaks down.
  • Courtesy car cover: This is useful if your car is being repaired and you need another vehicle to maintain your mobility.

Should you need to retake your driving test due to a prior conviction or ban, it’s improbable that a regular learner driver insurance policy will be suitable for your situation. In this case, you’ll require a specialist policy specifically designed for convicted drivers.

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