What is provisional licence car insurance?
Provisional licence car insurance covers you for driving during the course of the lessons you take to get your full licence.
Do I need car insurance if I have a provisional licence?
You’ll always need to be insured to drive, even if you only have a provisional driving licence and you’re taking lessons. However you might not need to take out cover yourself, depending on how you’re being taught:
- Driving instructor: If you’re receiving lessons from a driving school or instructor, they’ll almost always have insurance in place already – and the cost of cover will be included in the overall price of the driving lesson
- Private lessons: Private lessons are a different story, and you’ll generally need to take out a car insurance policy to cover you for driving a car owned by you or another person
What type of car insurance do I need if I’m learning to drive?
You should also consider the type of policy you’ll need before taking cover out:
- Short-term cover: You might prefer a short-term car insurance policy if you’re using a car just for your driving lessons – you’ll be able to drive your own vehicle or someone else’s as long as you’re accompanied by a full-licence holder. You should ideally aim for a policy lasting between three and six months, which is the normal time it takes most people to pass
- Full annual cover: You could also take out a full car insurance policy lasting a whole year, and when you pass your test you’ll be able to update the policy or cancel it completely. However you should be aware of any cancellation fees you might have to pay, and bear in mind that the premiums on a full policy are almost always very high if you’re aged between 18 and 24
- Named driver cover: An alternative to taking out your own policy is to add yourself as a named driver to someone else’s car insurance, such as a parent or partner. This is usually cheaper than taking out your own policy, but it does also mean the car’s main driver will have to pay higher premiums – and even more so if you stay on as a named driver after passing your test
What does provisional licence car insurance cover?
The cover you’ll get from your provisional licence car insurance policy will vary between insurers, which might offer various levels of protection as standard, for an extra cost or not at all. It’ll also depend on the level of cover you take out – you’ll be able to choose from three different options.
What levels of car insurance can I get as a learner driver?
As a learner driver with a provisional licence you’ll be able to take out the same levels of insurance as full licence holders, including:
- Third-party: Third-party car insurance is the minimum legal requirement for drivers taking out car insurance. It’ll cover you for damage you do to another person, their vehicle or their property, but it won’t pay out for any costs relating to your own car
- Third-party, fire and theft: Third-party, fire and theft is the next step up, and adds cover for your own car if it’s stolen or damaged as a result of an attempted theft or fire
- Fully comprehensive: Fully comprehensive policies also cover damage done to your car in an accident you have caused
What extra cover might I need as a learner driver?
When you take out car insurance you’ll normally have the option of adding extra cover to your policy. However some aspects of cover will not be so useful if you’re only learning to drive –you probably won’t need cover for a sat-nav or stereo equipment. Extra policies that might come in useful include:
- Legal cover: Legal cover as part of your car insurance policy pays out for any legal fees you might face as a result of a car insurance claim
- Breakdown cover: A breakdown policy covers you for the cost of any roadside assistance you might need if your car breaks down during your journey
- Courtesy car cover: With courtesy car cover you’ll get a replacement car to drive while yours is being repaired
- Personal accident cover: Personal accident cover pays out if you’re injured or killed in a road incident
How much does provisional licence car insurance cost?
Car insurance is generally more expensive for younger drivers as they are more likely to be involved in road accidents. However car insurance premiums for provisional licence holders are on average 40% lower than for people with a full licence – mostly because if you’re a learner driver you’ll always need a more experienced driver on your policy.
If you’re looking for a policy to cover you while you learn to drive, there are things you can do to get an even cheaper quote.
How can I reduce the cost of car insurance as a learner driver?
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: As mentioned above, being a named driver on another person’s car insurance policy is generally cheaper than taking out your own
- Ask about black box: Some insurers offer black box or telematics cover for learner drivers as well as new drivers. It works by monitoring your driving habits and rewarding good driving with lower premiums
- Pay more excess: Excess is what you pay towards the cost of a claim before your insurer picks up the remaining amount. Paying a higher voluntary excess tells insurers you’re only likely to claim when it’s worth the extra cost, and they’ll reward you with lower premiums as a result
- 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
Data collected by MoneySuperMarket between September 2018 and August 2019, accurate as of September 2019
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Comparing car insurance quotes on MoneySuperMarket is the easiest way to find affordable cover. All you need to do is tell us a little about yourself, your driving history (if you have one) and the car you want to insure, and we’ll show you a list of quotes tailored to your requirements.
You can compare deals by the overall cost of the policy, the cover you’ll get and the excess you’ll have to pay to make a claim. Once you’ve found the deal you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.
As with all insurance products the cheapest available policy might not be the best for you. We recommend you try to balance the overall cost with the level of cover you’ll get so you can make sure you don’t end up over- or underinsured.
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Compare insurance with MoneySuperMarket
You will have a better chance of finding the cheapest car insurance for provisional licence drivers available if you compare deals available through multiple insurers.
MoneySuperMarket does the leg work for you, comparing deals available through over 120 car insurance providers in the hope of finding the best deals on the market.
When you fill in the form, give your personal details alongside your address and occupation. Different postcodes unfortunately have an effect on car insurance as you could live in a rural area with winding roads, or equally in a city hotspot for thieves.
Your job also affects your cover, because you might use your car more than someone who just commutes to and from the office and the more time spent on the road, the more risk to the insurer.
When you buy provisional licence insurance, make sure you compare different providers to get the best deal for you. When you pass your test, you will need to update your insurance, and you can either stick with the company you choose for your provisional insurance, or compare again and pick a new provider.