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Learner Driver Insurance

PROVISIONAL LICENCE CAR INSURANCE

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What is provisional licence insurance?

Provisional licence insurance, also commonly known as learner driver insurance, provides coverage while you are practising to pass your test. Everyone driving on UK roads must be insured and that includes learner drivers.

Most driving schools will cover you with their own policy, but if you’re taking private lessons in your car, or using a friend's or relative's car, getting provisional licence insurance is a must.

Learner driver with driving examiner

Do I need car insurance when I'm learning to drive?

Yes, learner drivers need to be insured when driving on UK roads, just like any other driver; and this applies whether you have a provisional licence or your full driving licence. If you’re driving with an instructor, then they likely have the correct insurance already. However, if you’re practising outside your lessons or in a parent’s or friend’s car, then you’ll need insurance for learners.

How does learner driver insurance work?

Learner driver insurance works in a similar way to standard car insurance policies – it provides financial protection should you be involved in an accident. But learner insurance is specifically designed for provisional licence holders and is separate to standard policies, so it protects the vehicle owner’s no claims bonus.

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We compare some the best providers in the market to find you the cheapest car insurance quotes, which makes it quick and easy to find personalised cover in minutes.

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Compare car insurance for learner drivers from 163 providers1

We do the hard work for you, comparing deals from the biggest providers in the UK so you can get the right cover.

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1Accurate as of October 2023.

What do you need to get a quote?

  • Tick

    Details of the car

    The car’s registration number, the car’s age and any modifications you’ve made.

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    What you'll use the car for

    Social, commuting or business, how many miles you’ll do in a year and where you’ll keep the car at night.

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    Your details and your licence

    Including your job, age and your address, what type of licence you have, how long you've had it, your claims and driving history.

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    No-claims discount (NCD) history

    Details of your no-claims discount will help lower the prices you get.

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What type of car insurance do learner drivers need?

There are three main types of car insurance newly-qualified drivers can choose from:

  • 1

    Comprehensive

    Covers damage to your own or other people's vehicle, medical expenses, fire damage, and theft of your vehicle

  • 2

    Third-party, fire, and theft 

    Covers property damage and injury to third-parties, fire damage to your vehicle, and theft of your vehicle

  • 3

    Third-party insurance

    The minimum level of cover legally required, it only covers third-party property damage and injury

What does car insurance cover?

Fully Comprehensive

Third Party, Fire and Theft

Third-Party Only

Damage to your vehicle

Yes

No

No

Damage caused by your vehicle

Yes

Yes

Yes

Theft

Yes

Yes

No

Damage caused by fire

Yes

Yes

No

Injury to the driver of your car

Yes

No

No

Injury to a third-party, including other drivers and passengers

Yes

Yes

Yes

How long do I need provisional licence insurance?

Learner driver insurance can last anywhere from a few hours to a whole year. If you plan to keep using the same car once you’ve got your licence, annual cover might be best. If you’re using a car solely for lessons, consider short-term cover – just make sure it’ll keep you covered until you pass your test. 

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    Annual cover

    Annual cover lasts a whole year. You can update your policy once you've finished learning to drive, or cancel it – but cancellation might come with extra fees

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    Short-term or temporary cover

    Short-term cover usually costs more per day than annual cover. It insures you on any car, as long as the licence holder is with you when you're driving.

Sara Newell

Our expert says

According to our latest survey, 95% of people underestimate the cost of learning to drive. The MoneySuperMarket Household Money Index has recently revealed that the average 17-20 year-old pays £7,609 to get on the road. The three biggest costs contributing to that figure are buying a car (£2,987.45), paying for driving lessons (£1,690.59), and the cost of insuring a car if you’re 17-20 years-old (£1,699.69). If you have children who are approaching 17, knowing the breakdown of the £7,609 total average cost means you can prepare and discuss early on how much you might be able to help.

- Sara Newell, Car & Van Insurance Expert

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What extra cover might I need if I’m learning to drive?

After picking your base level of cover from the three options above, you might consider some optional extras. Really think about which ones you need if you're learning to drive as they’ll likely increase the cost of cover. Some useful extras include:

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    Legal cover

    Legal cover helps you in court and can help with settlements if you're sued over an insurance claim.

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    Breakdown cover

    If the car you're driving breaks down, breakdown cover insures you for the cost of roadside repairs.

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    Courtesy car

    If your repairs will take a while, you will have replacement car you can drive until your car is fixed.

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    Personal accident over

    If you're injured in an incident on the road, this cover keeps you protected from any extra costs.

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Hands on the wheel while driving

Every insurer has different criteria, but you’re likely to be offered learner driver insurance if you meet all the following:

 - You have a valid provisional licence

 - You’re a UK resident aged between 17 and 35

 - You don’t have any previous driving offences or convictions 

 - The car you’re driving is registered and has an MOT

 - The car isn’t worth more than a certain amount – but this varies between providers

If you’re driving with a provisional licence, there are some things you’re not allowed to do.

 - You can’t legally drive unless you’re supervised by another driver aged 21 or older who’s had their licence for at least three years.

 - You mustn’t drive on the motorway unless you’re with a certified driving instructor and the car has dual controls

 - You need ‘L’ plates on the car whenever you’re behind the wheel – or ‘D’ plates is Wales

Usually, your supervisor can be anyone – a friend, a family member, or a private teacher. They just need to be over the age of 21 with at least three years’ driving experience. However, some insurers might have extra criteria, so make sure you check the small print before you buy

Once you’re a fully licensed driver, your learner driver insurance policy is no longer valid. You’ll need to update your policy or get a new one, don't worry, there are ways to make your policy cheaper. Remember, it’s illegal to drive without valid insurance – even if you’re just driving back from your test.

Fronting is an illegal practice in which a less experienced motorist is added as a secondary driver on a car’s insurance policy, when they’re actually the main driver. Fronting is always against the law, and if you’re caught you could end up in court – better to be honest with your insurer about who’ll be doing most of the driving.

If you’re a fully qualified driver and you add a learner driver (such as your child) to your policy, your premiums are likely to go up. But the increase will actually be smaller than if you’d added a newly qualified driver, since insurers assume that learners won’t be using the car as much – lowering the risk of an accident.

This varies across insurers, but it's likely you will have to have the policy registered under your own name as a learner driver in order to start building a no-claims bonus.

You can add a learner driver to your existing car insurance policy, but it may be better for learner drivers to take their own cover out so they can start building a no-claims bonus,

It’s a legal requirement for everyone driving on UK roads to have car insurance. You will need provisional licence car insurance if you are:

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