Provisional licence car insurance

You’ve got your provisional licence and you’re ready to hit the road. But what about car insurance? Here’s what you need to know.

You’ve got your provisional licence and you’re ready to hit the road. But what about car insurance? Here’s what you need to know.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
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Posted 4 FEBRUARY 2021

What is provisional licence car insurance?

Provisional licence car insurance is insurance that provides you with the coverage that you need during the period that you’re learning to drive.

Do I need car insurance to drive on a provisional licence?

The short answer is yes. Before you get behind the wheel, you’ll need to have valid insurance in place. Having said that, getting provisional insurance will depend on how you’re learning to drive.

Are you learning through an approved driving school/instructor?

If you’re learning to drive with an approved driving school or instructor, they will have arranged your insurance. You don’t need to worry about getting insurance until you pass your test.

Be aware that it’s illegal for someone to charge for driving lessons if they aren’t qualified or registered, or don’t have a trainee driving instructor licence.

Are you learning in a friend or relative’s car?

Some insurance providers offer ‘learner driver insurance’, which the car owner can add to their policy. You’ll have to sort out who pays for it between you…

Are you learning with another driver in your own car?

You’ll need to arrange your own insurance policy and add the person who’ll be taking you out in the car as a named driver. If you take out cover while you’re driving with a provisional licence, you’ll start to build up your no claims discount, which can reduce your car insurance premium going forwards.

Find out more about learner driver insurance with our useful guide here.

How much does provisional licence car insurance cost?

50% of learner drivers between 17-24 years old could achieve a quote of up to £547 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020.

What does provisional licence car insurance cover?

The cover that your provisional insurance policy offers will depend on the type of policy you opt for. It will also vary among insurance providers. You’ll be able to choose from:

  • Third party insurance: This is the minimum level of cover required by law. It can provide you with cover for causing damage to another person’s car or property, or to the person themselves. It won’t cover any costs associated with damage to your own car.
  • Third party, fire and theft: This is one step up from third party insurance and can cover you for any damage to your car caused by fire. It can also cover your car if it’s stolen or damaged as a result of attempted theft.
  • Fully comprehensive: Along with all of the above, fully comprehensive provisional licence insurance can offer cover for damage to you and your car.

What does a provisional licence let me do?

Your provisional license gives you the right to drive a vehicle, provided you’re accompanied by someone over 21 who’s had a full licence for at least three years. What it won’t do is insure you to drive on your own.

How to reduce the cost of provisional licence insurance

If you can share your car with an experienced driver, adding them to your policy could reduce the price of your premium.

But make sure you’re not fronting. That’s when you claim another, more experienced driver is the car’s main user to save money. It’s illegal and you could be prosecuted if you’re caught.

What else can I do to reduce the cost of provisional insurance cover?

If you’re keen to potentially save money on your provisional insurance premiums, here are some tips:

  • Choose your car wisely: large cars with powerful engines cost more to insure, especially when they’re being driven by  young drivers. Opting for a smaller, slower model could help to push costs down.
  • Increase your voluntary excess: in some cases, increasing your voluntary excess can have a positive effect on premium price.
  • Only buy the cover you need: there’ll be plenty of opportunity to add extras to your policy once you’ve passed your test. So, if you want to keep costs to a minimum now, it’s worth considering keeping your policy to the bare minimum.
  • Consider telematics insurance: some insurance providers offer telematics or  black box insurance  to learner drivers. This involves the use of a device installed in your car to monitor your driving. The better and safer you drive, the lower your premiums are likely to be.
  • Become a named driver: adding yourself as a named driver on someone else’s policy is often cheaper than taking out a new policy on your own. However, as mentioned above, it’s important that you only do this if you’re learning in someone else’s car. 

Will passing my driving test affect my insurance?

If you pass your driving test in the middle of the insurance year, you may have to pay an extra premium. That’s because provisional licence holders, who are always driving under supervision, are a much lower risk than newly qualified drivers. Once you pass your test, you’re still learning, but you’re on your own.

Learn how to save money as a new driver. Or start a quote today and find out how much your cover could be.

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