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Last updated: 10 September 2021
Learning to drive can be confusing and expensive, but also exciting! You need to make sure that you’d insured whilst you learn, whether you are driving your family car or a friend’s car. Read our useful guide which should cover all the questions you have about car insurance for those learning to drive.
Do I need car insurance with a provisional licence?
Yes. The legal requirements for car insurance do not change depending on whether you have a provisional driving licence or a regular licence. If you have driving lessons with a professional driving school or a qualified instructor, then your insurance should be covered in the cost of the lessons. However, if you want any extra practice driving with family or friends then you will need to be insured.
How do I notify other drivers that I am a learner?
In addition to ensuring you are insured on your car, you are legally required to put L plates on your car (or D plates if you are in Wales) when you are at the wheel. If you get caught driving without them, you could get a six-point penalty on your licence.
Can I drive even if my instructor isn’t in the car?
As a learner driver you are only insured if an experienced and qualified driver is supervising you. If this person is not a qualified driving instructor then they must have held a valid driving licence for at least three years, sit in the front passenger seat, not be intoxicated, and be qualified to drive the car you are in.
You are not allowed to drive on a motorway as a learner unless you are in a car with dual controls with a driving instructor. If you drive without the correct supervision you could be fined up to £1000 and have six penalty points added to your licence.
Types of car insurance for learner drivers
Before you take out a policy you need to consider what level of cover you want. Often learner drivers will want to go for the most comprehensive cover, but these are often very expensive. You might want to consider the following other types of insurance:
- Third party – covers you for any injury you cause to other people or any damage to other people's property
- Third party, fire and theft – third party cover as well as cover for the theft of or any fire damage to your vehicle
- Comprehensive – third party fire and theft cover as well as cover for any injury to yourself or any damage to your vehicle.
An alternative approach to taking out a new insurance policy is to add yourself as a named driver to someone else's insurance policy. This can be cheaper than taking out your own insurance policy, but the car's main driver will have to pay higher premiums as a result.
When deciding upon an insurance policy you will likely be given extra cover options that you can add to the policy. You don't necessarily need extra cover, but it can be worth considering useful add-ons such as:
- Breakdown cover – if your car breaks down then a this policy will make sure you have access to free roadside assistance.
- Legal cover – if you have to make a car insurance claim then you will be covered for the cost of any legal fees you may have had to pay.
- Personal accident cover – if you are injured or killed in a road accident then personal accident cover will pay out on claims made for medical costs.
How much does learner driver insurance cost?
Car insurance is more expensive for younger drivers as they are statistically more likely to be involved in a road accident, and a worse accident, than older drivers. Around 20% of all road accidents involve a driver between 17 and 25.
However, car insurance for learner drivers is much lower than insurance for young drivers who have just passed their driving test. This is because the policies require you to name an experienced driver on the policy. The actual costs of the insurance policy will depend on a number of factors, such as the vehicle type, the security and safety of the vehicle, and the area where the vehicle is stored.
How can I reduce my insurance as a learner driver?
Whilst looking for a learner insurance policy consider the following advice in order to reduce the cost of your cover:
- Become a named driver – as mentioned above, it is generally cheaper to be a named driver on someone else's insurance than it is to take out your own insurance policy.
- Consider a black box – insurers will often offer a black box insurance policy to learner drivers. A black box will be fitted to your car which sends your insurance provider information about your driving. If you driving safely and sensibly you will be rewarded by cheaper premiums.
- Choose the right car – if you are looking to buy a car around the same time as taking out insurance, remember that the model, power and safety of the car will affect the price of the insurance premium.
- Compare – the more research you do into the different insurance providers, the more likely you are to find the cheapest and best policy that is right for you. Use our website to compare car insurance and find the best deal for your learner driver insurance.