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Learner driver insurance

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Get a Limited Editions Sleepy Oleg toy plus a whole year of Meerkat Meals & Meerkat Movies*

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  • Compare learner drivers insurance from £618/year** & get a Limited Editions Sleepy Oleg toy*
  • Plus a whole year of Meerkat Meals & Meerkat Movies* when you buy through us

**50% of learner drivers between 17-24 years old could achieve a quote of up to £618.00 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in May 2020.

A handy guide to learner driver car insurance

It’s an exciting time if you’ve just got your provisional license and are about to take to the road. But it can be a confusing and expensive time, too. Fear not – we’re here to help.

Whether you’re learning to drive in your parents’ car or getting your friend to teach you, you’re going to need the right car insurance. To help you find a good deal, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide answering your most pressing questions.

Plus, check out our Young Drivers report, which will give you an idea of all the other costs involved in running your own car, information on the cheapest cars to insure and our guide for new drivers that’s full of practical help for newbies.

Find out all you need to know about young driver's car insurance, including car insurance for 21-year-olds.

Do learner drivers need insurance?

If you’re having lessons with a professional driving school, then most of them include insurance in the price of the lessons. But if you want to practice in your own car, or in a friend’s or relative’s car, then you’ll need insurance.

Types of car insurance policy for learner drivers

Getting cover for a learner driver isn’t too dissimilar from insuring a qualified driver, with several options to choose from:

  • Third-party only – this is the minimum cover required by law. It covers you for damage or injury you cause to other people
  • Third-party, fire and theft – as well as the benefits from third-party only, this type of policy also includes cover for your car being stolen, or damaged by fire
  • Comprehensive – includes the benefits of all of the above, but also provides cover for injuries or damage sustained to you and your car

As a learner driver, you should also consider the length of policy you need:

  • Annual cover – this is the most common form of car insurance, providing you cover for the whole year, and is automatically renewed at the end of the term
  • Short-term or temporary cover – this covers you for a specified period. This could be from as little as an afternoon, up to 30 days. This may be ideal if you’re only looking to take private lessons with a friend or family member as you approach your test date, but it’s more expensive as a daily rate compare to annual cover

If you’re going to be taking regular lessons with one friend or family member in particular, you should consider being added as a named driver on their policy. This will afford you the same level of cover as they do, and allows you to drive their vehicle whenever you need a lesson. However, this will usually increase your friend or family member’s premiums, so they should be aware of this before agreeing to adding you to their policy.

What does learner driver insurance typically cover?

A dedicated learner driver insurance policy will cover you for your practice lessons in your own time as long as you’re with a qualified and eligible supervisor. This can be a friend or family member, but they must be at least 21-years-old and have a full driving licence of their own. However, some insurance providers may have their own limits, such as a minimum supervisor age of 25, so you should check for any limits to your cover. Other limits could include the time of day you’re allowed to drive. 
 
It’s important to know that, while learner driver insurance can cover you for your driving test, if you then pass the test, you’ll no longer be covered to drive the car home as a qualified driver.  
 
A learner driver insurance policy acts as a separate policy to your supervisor’s insurance. This means that you don’t need to worry about their policy and potential no claims bonus being affected, if you get into an accident while driving their car.

What’s the most suitable type of car insurance for learner drivers?

Comprehensive car insurance may be the ideal type of insurance for you as a learner driver, as it provides the most cover. However, finding the most suitable policy as a learner driver will depend on your personal circumstances and how much you can afford. There are three main types of cover available:

  • third party only  – this covers you for any injury you cause to other people and any damage to their property
  • third party fire and theft  – similar to a third-party policy, except that it also includes cover for the theft of your vehicle or damage by fire
  • comprehensive  – includes all the cover of a third-party fire and theft policy, but also protects you as a driver and can pay out for damage you cause to your own car. You might think this would be the most expensive type of policy but that’s not always the case, so it’s worth comparing your options to get the right cover for you

How can I reduce the cost of learner driver insurance? 

While cheap insurance for learner drivers can seem hard to find, there are some things you can do to make it cheaper: 
 
Share your car with an experienced driver - you could reduce the cost of your premium by adding them to your insurance policy. The insurance provider takes both drivers’ information into consideration and creates a price based on each of you sharing the car. 
 
Offer to pay a higher voluntary excess - although this could cost you more in the event of a claim, as you’ll need to pay the  voluntary excess  you choose, as well as the compulsory excess set by the provider, it could mean a cheaper monthly premium in the short term. Just make sure you could afford the total in the event of needing to make a claim.

Black box insurance for learner drivers

Yes – black box, or telematics, policies come with a little device or an app that monitors your driving habits. These are particularly good for learner drivers without a long record of driving safely, because insurance providers perceive learner drivers to pose a greater risk. A black box monitors your speed, steering and braking, as well as where, and how far, you drive. If you can prove that you’re a safe driver, you could save on your insurance.

How has the driving test changed?

While you’ve probably been asking friends and family about their driving test experiences, you should know that things have likely changed since they took their test. In 2017, several changes were introduced, including:

  • The independent driving section was extended to 20 minutes, up from 10
  • A section following directions from a sat nav was introduced
  • The reverse around a corner maneuver was removed
  • The turn in the road maneuver was removed

Learner driver insurance FAQs

Are there typically any eligibility criteria to get a policy?

While criteria may vary slightly between providers, here are some basic requirements which are applicable to most insurance providers:

  • You must hold a valid, clean UK provisional driving licence
  • You must be aged between 17-35 
  • You’re a permanent UK resident 
  • You’re insuring a vehicle which is registered and legally eligible to drive with a valid MOT 
  • Have made no previous claims 
  • Have no previous driving offences or convictions 
  • The car is under a specified value (this may vary between providers)

Why is learner driver insurance so expensive?

Simply put, it’s because younger drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident than older drivers. Insurance providers keep a close eye on statistics, and teens (17 and 18 year olds) and early twenty-somethings of student age tend to be involved in more accidents (and worse accidents, for that matter) than older and more experienced drivers. In fact, 17.88% of all car accident casualties across the UK in 2018 were between the ages of 17 to 24.

How long does learner driver insurance last?

Learner driver insurance can last until the moment you pass your test. Once you’ve passed your driving test, you’ll need to get in touch with your insurance provider and get them to cancel your learner insurance policy. As soon as you’re fully qualified, you’ll need to take out a new car insurance policy.

Does learner driver insurance cover me for my driving test?

Yes, learner driver insurance should cover you for your driving test. However, many professional driving instructors will allow you to take your test in their car, which should be fully insured for tests. If you’re learning through a driving school, they’ll likely have similar cover, but it’s always best to check if unsure. 
 
If you’re using your own car, learner driver insurance will cover you for your test. However, the moment you pass the test, you’ll no longer be insured, and will need to take out a new, separate policy before you’re able to legally drive again.

Who can supervise me when I drive?

The minimum legal requirement for a driving supervisor is someone aged 21 and over, with a full driving licence. However, some insurance providers may have different criteria, so it’s important to check carefully before taking out a policy. It’s not uncommon for insurance providers to require supervisors to be aged 25 and over. 

How does learner driver insurance affect the car owner’s no claims bonus?

A learner driver insurance policy, while allowing you to drive another person’s car, acts as a separate policy. Because the cover is separate, if you were to have an accident while driving their car, you’ll be able to claim on your learner policy. The owner of the car will not need to claim on their policy, leaving any no claims bonus intact. 
 
If you were instead listed as a named driver on their vehicle, any accidents would affect your supervisor’s insurance and no claims bonus.

Will taking Pass Plus courses help me get cheaper car insurance?

Probably, yes. Once you’ve passed your driving test and you’re no longer a learner, you’ll still probably pay a higher premium.  Taking  Pass Plus courses  could help to increase your experience as a new driver and could decrease your car insurance premium as a result.

Why compare learner drivers’ insurance with Compare the Market?

We independently compare a wide range of trusted UK car insurance providers to offer provisional licence drivers great car insurance deals. 
 
We’ll show you policies based on price, policy cover level, add-ons or annual or monthly payment terms – helping you compare based on your needs.

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