Learning to drive is exciting! But it can also be an expensive experience if you haven’t planned for the cost of both lessons and car insurance.
Car insurance for learner drivers can be a costly affair. The simple reason: learner drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident or make a claim on their policy due to lack of experience on the road.
So, 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. We’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide answering all your top questions to help you find the best deal.
Table of Contents
Which is the best learner driver insurance?
The following table compares the cheapest learner driver insurance policies offered by some of the most popular providers:
What is learner driver insurance?
Think of it as your ticket to additional, stress free driving practice.
This type of policy is designed specifically for a learner driver as it offers flexible, short term options ranging from 2 hours up to 90 days. The idea is to offer you the right amount of coverage you would need while learning to drive or passing your practical driving test.
For example If you’re planning to use your parent’s or relative’s car for some extra hours of driving practice, you would need to get Learner Driver Car Insurance to cover you during this period. This is why it is important to know in advance how much practice time you would require.
Learner driver insurance is therefore an additional policy which acts as a complement to the existing insurance on the car that the learner driver will be practising in. Typically, it provides fully comprehensive cover throughout the practice time as well as during the driving test if the learner driver plans to use the same car.
This is crucial for the main policyholder as it means that if the learner gets into an accident while practicing, a claim would be made on this policy leaving the car owner’s main policy unaffected and any no claims bonus protected.
Can a provisional licence holder drive without insurance?
As a provisional driver you need your own insurance if you’re practising in a car you own.
Anyone you practise your driving with (without paying them) must:
- Be over 21
- Be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you want to learn in, for example, they must have a manual car licence if they’re supervising you in a manual car
- Have had their full driving licence for 3 years.
You can be fined up to £1,000 and get up to 6 penalty points on your provisional licence if you drive without the right supervision.
You can get an unlimited fine, be banned from driving and get up to 8 penalty points for driving without insurance.
You can drive with as many passengers as the vehicle can legally hold.
If you’re practising in someone else’s car, you need to make sure their insurance policy covers you as a learner driver.
Can a learner driver be insured on his own car?
The quick answer is yes, but there’s a bit more to it.
There are different options available to you depending on who’s car you’re driving:
- Your own vehicle: if you’ve bought your own car you would need to get learner driver insurance for your own car.
- Someone else’s car: if you’re using a relative or a friend’s car to learn in you could either be added to their policy as a named driver or take out your own learner driving insurance on that car.
- Instructor’s car: if you’re learning to drive in your instructor’s car, it is most likely he will have his own policy in place for his students.
Next we need to know is if it really makes sense to buy your own car if you are learning to drive. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of owning your own vehicle:
Once you’ve decided that owning a car while learning is for you, you will find that some insurance companies provide special short term policies for provisional drivers, which they can cancel once they pass their test. You might need to shop around to find those that specifically cover drivers looking for learner driver insurance for their own vehicles.
Most providers don’t reimburse you for the provisional car insurance cover you haven’t used, but there’s usually no cancellation fee to pay. So make sure to update your insurance provider as soon as you pass your driving test to be able to either cancel your policy or upgrade your Provisional Licence Insurance to Full Licence Insurance.
Are provisional licence holders covered by my insurance?
Typically most insurance companies let you add a provisional licence holder as a ‘named driver’ to an existing annual policy.
That depends on your insurance provider and existing annual policy.
However, adding a provisional driver to an existing policy is likely to increase the price of the premium for the remainder of the policy year, as well as attract an administration fee. Any changes to an existing policy should be discussed with the existing insurance provider.
It may be wise to consider adding a provisional driver as a named driver to your existing car insurance policy ONLY if you are planning to be the accompanying driver.
Can I supervise a learner driver?
Yes, but ONLY if you fit the criteria required to qualify as an accompanying driver.
It also goes without saying that you need to have sufficient car insurance for both the learner and yourself for the vehicle you are driving.
Private practice can hugely benefit a learner driver and is an excellent way to develop their driving skills, allowing them to experience different road conditions and driving situations.
However, we all know that supervising a learner driver can be very stressful and tensions can run high, but it’s essential that you stay calm and follow these rules:
- Be at least 21 years old;
- Have a full driving licence (for the type of vehicle they are supervising in – manual or automatic), which must have been held for a minimum of three years;
- Ensure the car is in a safe and legal condition;
- Meet the minimum eyesight standards;
- Ensure the car displays L Plates (or D Plates in Wales) if a learner is driving;
- It is also advisable to take a driver assessment or advanced driving course to refresh your own skills and knowledge before you start supervising a learner.
You must also follow general driving rules such as:
- Ensure that you are fully up to date with the latest edition of The Highway Code;
- Ensure you aren’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Do not use a mobile phone while supervising;
- Have lots of patience.
There are a number of insurance companies that offer competitive learner driver insurance. They tend to offer short-term insurance policies (7 days – 24 weeks) that can cover either your own vehicle or someone else’s.
How can a Learner Driver affect my No-Claim Bonus?
Adding a friend or family members as a learner driver can be very costly and could affect your No Claims Bonus if they get into an accident.
Your No-Claim Bonus usually “steps back” by two years for each claim. So, for example, a three year bonus would reduce to one at your next renewal. If the learner driver made another claim, the resulting step-back would result in you losing your no claim bonus altogether.
This is why some insurers such as RAC, Marmalade, Veygo by Admiral and others provide special, short-term Learner Driver Car insurance from 2 hours up to 5 months. Learner Driver Insurance provides you with your own separate policy for the car. Any claims you make won’t affect the car owner’s No Claims Bonus. As such, they don’t need to declare it to their insurers.
The cover is only valid if the learner driver is accompanied by a full UK driving licence holder and will end once they pass the test.
How much does a Learner Driver Insurance policy cost?
How much a learner driver insurance is will depend on a bunch of factors such as:
- Your age: the cost to insure a first time driver who is at least 25 years old is much less than the cost of insuring a 17 year old;
- Your car model: your parents’ Nissan Note for example, would cost much less to insure than a brand new Audi;
- Car insurance duration: if you only need cover for a few hours on the day of your exam it could cost you a lot less than a 30 day package.
Let’s take a look at some quotes from a few companies for a 17-year-old living in North-east London, who intends to drive his parents’ car, a three-year-old Nissan Note. We found Admiral to be the cheapest with a quote of £71.32 for 1 month, £115.94 for two months and £151.60 for 3 months. Followed by Marmalade which offered quotes of £85.88, £151.14 and £205.01 for the same time periods, and finally, Aviva which offered quotes of £126.98, £211 and £280.70 respectively.
There are many more companies with a variety of options so the best thing is to sit down and give several of the websites a spin.
Why is a learner driver insurance so expensive?
Insure a learner driver is often quite expensive. This is because learner drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents and make insurance claims, so car insurers charge them more.
But there’s some good news.
There are now dozens of companies offering short term learner driver insurance policies that are flexible and can often be bought by the day, the week or the month, and, in some cases, even by the hour.
This could prove to be the least expensive option because you only buy as much as you need.
5 tips to get the cheapest Learner Driver insurance quotes
It’s worth considering the following before looking for a car insurance quote:
- Choose the right car: the car make and model you choose to cover is a big factor in insurance premiums, so using a smaller and less powerful car will help keep costs down.
- Become a named driver: being a named driver on another person’s car insurance policy is generally cheaper than taking out your own. On the experienced drivers’ side, it will be important to check how much it can be to add a learner driver on their car insurance.
- Ask about black box: many insurers now offer black box or telematics cover for learner drivers and provisional licence holders. It works by monitoring your driving habits and rewarding good driving with lower premiums.
- Opt for flexible short term policies: many insurers provide flexible, short-term coverage for learner drivers from 2 hours up to 5-6 months. Take only as much as you need to cover yourself during your training period or your driving test.
- Trim your policy: as you’re only insuring yourself while you learn to drive, you probably won’t need too many extras added to your policy. Stripping down your insurance to the most necessary aspects of cover can help reduce your premiums, and you can always add the cover again once you’ve passed.
Top 10 cheapest cars to insure for learner drivers
Learner drivers often have to bear the brunt of high insurance costs as they are considered more risky due to their inexperience.
However, here’s a handy list of the top 10 cheapest cars to insure for learner drivers between the ages of 17-25:
|Rank||Model||Monthly average insurance cost|