Learner drivers: a guide to your car insurance options

Learning to drive can be exciting, but it can also be expensive. So do you need to fork out for learner driver insurance as well as professional driving lessons?

Car insurance premiums for young people tend to be sky high. The simple reason for this is that they are more likely to be involved in an accident and make a claim on their policy. So can you imagine the cost of cover if you have not even passed your driving test? Learner drivers typically combine youth with inexperience, which is an expensive combination when it comes to insurance.

Do you need learner driver insurance?

If you have signed up for lessons with a professional driving school, you don't need to worry about insurance as it will be included in the cost of the lessons, along with any fuel.

But the Driving Standards Agency recommends that learners should also practice for about 20 hours, alongside the typical 47 hours of professional tuition necessary to pass a test. And if you practice in your own car, or the car of a friend or relative, you will need insurance.

Of course, if you take to the road in your dad's car, he can always add you to his insurance policy as a named driver. But he might be in for a nasty surprise. The additional premium could be high - and any accident could jeopardise his no claims bonus. You might also be unable to build up your own no claims discount as a named driver.

What does learner driver insurance cover?

A number of firms therefore offer car insurance for learner drivers. The policies normally give you comprehensive cover to drive someone else's car. The flexibility of learner driver insurance makes it easier for you to hone your driving skills when and where you choose. And anyone can take you out for a practice spin, as long as they are at least 25 years old and have held a full UK licence for at least three years.

If you take out learner driver insurance, you might also earn a discount on a standard policy when you have passed your test and need full insurance, as long as you stick with the same firm. You can find out other ways to save money on your car insurance by reading our money saving tips.

Policies featuring learner drivers are normally far higher than the norm, but comparing quotes available through over 139 different providers on MoneySupermarket.com could help ensure that you find the cheapest deal available to you given your current circumstances.

†82% of shoppers obtained a quote in 5 minutes or less. Source eDigitalResearch December 2012.