The first car insurance policy you need...

Learning to drive is often daunting, but the often hefty cost of car insurance for provisional licence holders premiums can make it a real financial challenge too.

Provisional licence drivers often face some of the steepest car insurance costs because they are considered high risk by insurance companies.

This is hardly surprising. Car insurance companies calculate premiums based on risk, so those who have very limited experience behind the wheel are considered to be among the most likely to be involved in an accident and to make a claim, which is why they have to pay expensive premiums.

However, there are things that can help bring down the cost of car insurance for provisional licence drivers...

How learners can drive down the cost of cover 

If you are a provisional licence holder, your car insurance premiums will be much cheaper if a more experienced and older motorist is a 'named' driver on the policy.

This can either be a parent or relation, or the person who is teaching sits alongside the provisional licence-holder when they are practising in the car. They must be over the age of 21 and have at least 3 years' driving experience in order to be legally able to teach you to drive.

Learner drivers who are being taught to drive in their parents' car, or someone else's car, should also be able to benefit from cheaper car insurance premiums because they won't be the main driver on the policy. If you are only a named driver alongside a more experienced motorist, then your premiums will be much cheaper than if it is your own car you are learning to drive in.

That said, whoever is adding you to their policy should be prepared to see their premiums increase substantially as a result.

Remember, however, that it is illegal to put someone else as the main driver on your car insurance policy if you are in fact the main driver. This is known as 'fronting' and can result in your car insurance company refusing any claims. It could also lead to points on your licence and much steeper insurance costs in the future.

Bear in mind too, that some insurers offer short-term car insurance for provisional licence drivers which can be taken out from between one and 28 days, which could work out to be much cheaper than adding a learner driver to an existing annual policy.

If costs are still too steep for you to afford, then rather than learning to driving in your own car, it may be more cost effective to sign up for lessons with a professional driving school. Car insurance will be included in the cost of lessons, along with any fuel. 

You will a better chance of finding the cheapest car insurance for provisional licence drivers available if you compare deals available through multiple insurers. MoneySupermarket will do the leg work for you, comparing deals available through over 139 car insurance providers in the hope of finding the best deals on the market. 

Pick the right car

The model of car you choose can have a major bearing on the cost of car insurance for provisional licence holders.  Every car is assigned to a car insurance group numbered between one and fifty with cars in group one generally being the cheapest to insure.

This is calculated by looking at the overall performance and security features on the vehicle and hence the likelihood of accidents or theft occurring. The cost of repairs will also be taken into account. You should therefore check the car insurance group of any car you are considering buying to ensure that cover will be affordable.

Try to keep any modifications to a minimum too. Making performance enhancing modifications such as the addition of spoilers or alloy wheels could substantially bump up the cost of car insurance cover, and so should be avoided wherever possible.

Security-enhancing modifications, however, such as alarms and immobilisers can make premiums cheaper, as they reduce the chances of your car
being stolen.  

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