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What do I need to know about learner driver car insurance?

When you're learning to drive, you or the person teaching you will need some sort of car insurance before you get behind the wheel.

If you own your car then you have the option to insure it for 12 months on a provisional licence. Once you pass your test, you’ll need to contact your insurer to tell them you’ve passed, and you’ve now got your full licence. Your insurer will update your policy with these details.

If you’re learning to drive with a professional driving instructor, they should have insurance in place, which is included in the price of your lesson. You don’t need to take out a policy yourself for these lessons.

If you're driving someone else's car while learning, short-term learner driver car insurance from Tempcover is a suitable option. It’s different to other car insurance policies because it can be used alongside an existing policy the car owner might have without affecting it. Even if you have an accident and make a claim, it shouldn’t affect the owner’s policy or existing no-claims bonus. Cover is available for up to 90 days.

Learning to drive in a family or friends’ car is straightforward, they’ll just need to add you to their existing policy as a named driver. This can often work out cheaper than taking out your own policy but it can affect the owner’s premium and no-claims bonus if you have an accident.

Who needs learner driver insurance?

You’ll need learner driver insurance if you have a provisional driver licence and:

  • You’re driving your own car
  • You’re driving a friend or family member’s car and they haven’t added you as a named driver to their policy.

This applies whether you are having all your lessons in this car, or just practice sessions outside of lessons with a driving school or driving instructor.

Who doesn’t need learner driver insurance?

You won’t need learner driver insurance if:

  • You’re only driving in the car provided by your driving school or professional driving instructor. They should have insurance included as part of your lesson price.
  • You’re insured as a named driver on somebody else’s car insurance policy, for example your parents.

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How do I get cheap learner driver insurance?

Learning to drive should be a new and exciting experience but the reality is that passing your test and getting your licence can be stressful and expensive. The cost of a provisional licence and professional lessons alone can cost over £1,00021.

Insurance companies base their policy prices on risk. That’s why learner drivers with little driving experience who are looking for an annual 12-month policy often struggle to find competitive insurance prices.

But there are ways that could help you save some money:

  • Consider the car you drive
  • Black box, or telematics
  • Increase your voluntary excess

Consider the car you drive. All cars are grouped from 1-50 for insurance purposes. Generally, the higher the car insurance group, the more expensive your insurance will be. Cars with a more powerful engines, for example, are generally in higher insurance groups.

Black box, or telematics, is a type of policy that changes the price of your insurance based on how and when you drive. Your insurer will track how you drive using an app or a device that’s plugged or installed in your car. Safer driving is rewarded with cheaper insurance. Telematics can be a great way to make car insurance more affordable for young and inexperienced drivers.

Increase your voluntary excess to help reduce the price of your insurance. But remember not to go for more than you could realistically afford to pay if you needed to make a claim.

1Based on an average of 45 hours of lessons at £24 + a provisional licence cost at £34.

What is short-term learner driver car insurance from Tempcover?

Tempcover offer learner drivers aged between 17 - 27, flexible, short-term car insurance. If you only need car insurance for a month or a week, then just paying for what you need could save you money.

Tempcover's policies include comprehensive cover and are available from 7 - 28 days or if you need longer, 30, 60 or 90 day policies are also available. The average cost for short-term cover is £116.772, based on 14-days cover.

With Tempcover you get:

  • Instant cover is available, or if you’d prefer you can arrange cover for up to 28 days in advance.
  • Policy documents delivered straight to your email. As soon as you’ve purchased the policy you’ll receive your policy documents by email moments later.
  • If you’re driving someone else’s car then the car owner’s no claims bonus won’t be affected if you need to claim.
  • Provided you’re not using your instructor’s car, you can use this policy to take your practical driving test .Cover ends if you successfully pass your test and gain your full driving licence.

You can get a Tempcover quote to get started.

2Based on Tempcover data. 14 days average duration, average premium is £116.77 (inc. Admin fee). Prices correct Jan - Dec 2020.

What do I need to get a quote?

If you’re looking to get a quote for a standard 12-month policy, it takes about 5 minutes. You’ll need the following details to hand:

  • Details of the car you want to insure
  • Details of any other drivers you want on the policy
  • Your provisional driving licence number

Or, if you want short-term cover, you can get started now. You’ll need the same details as above to get a quote.

Compare car insurance for learner drivers with a provisional licence

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What levels of cover are available with provisional learner driver insurance?

Provisional learner driver insurance works in the same way as car insurance for drivers with a full licence.

As with standard car insurance, there are three levels of cover available.

  • Comprehensive car insurance offers the highest level of protection, covering you and your car as well as other people and their property. Although it offers the most protection, comprehensive car insurance can sometimes be the cheapest option.
  • Third-party, fire and theft (TPFT) protects you against damage caused to someone else’s property, but also includes cover for your car against fire or theft.
  • Third-party is the minimum amount of cover you legally need to drive. It covers damage caused to someone else’s property, but doesn't cover repairs, theft or fire damage to your own car.

How many lessons do I need before I take my driving test?

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), you don't need a specific number of lessons or driving hours with a professional instructor before you can take your test.

Instead, you should book your test when you and your instructor think you are ready. The average learner driver needs 45 hours of lessons plus 20 hours practice according to the RAC.

Need more help?

Can I add a learner driver to my insurance?

Qualified drivers can add learner drivers to their own insurance policy. It’s usually cheaper to add a learner driver than it is to add a newly qualified driver. This is because they will never be driving without supervision and will not be using the car as frequently.

Can more than one learner driver be on the same insurance policy?

Most policies will let you add up to three or four named drivers to your insurance policy. If you have two children that are learning to drive at the same time check whether your policy will allow you to add two learners to your policy.

Does learner driver insurance cover me for my driving test?

Yes. If you need to take your test in your own car, or a friend or family member’s car, you’ll be covered by your learner driver insurance.

How has the driving test changed?

The driving test is continuously being updated to adapt to changes in driving technology and habits. In 2017, changes to the driving test included following directions from a sat nav. The independent driving part of the test also increased from 10ten to 20 minutes.

Reversing around a corner will no longer be part of the test, along with 'turn-in-the-road'. Instead you could be asked to do one of the following:

  • Parallel park at the side of the road
  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic
  • Park in a bay - driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out

Since June 2018, learner drivers can now take lessons on motorways but must be accompanied by a professional driving instructor. Any motorway lessons are voluntary and it’s up to the driving instructor to decide whether their learner driver is ready for them.

How much does learner driver insurance cost?

Insurance for young and inexperienced drivers is never cheap, but the good news is that it’s cheaper than insurance for newly qualified drivers. This is because you will always have an experienced driver in the passenger seat. The cost will also be influenced by the car you are driving and factors such as where you live.

How often can named drivers use somebody else’s car?

It’s up to the owner of the car how often named drivers can use their car. However from an insurance point of view it is important that they drive the car more. Insuring a younger inexperienced driver as a named driver and letting them drive it more than you is called fronting. This is an illegal practice and may invalidate your policy.

Is learner driver insurance compulsory?

It’s a legal requirement for all drivers to have a minimum level of insurance before they start driving. If you’re learning to drive with a driving school or a professional driving instructor their car should be insured. If you’re having lessons or practice sessions in someone else’s car you must either be a named driver on their insurance policy or buy your own learner driver insurance. Learner driver insurance is the only option if you own the car you are learning in.

Is learner insurance the same as dual insurance?

No. Dual insurance is when you have two or more people insured separately on the same car. An example might be two people being insured to drive the same car on two policies, instead of one policy being used to insure two drivers of the same car, one as the main driver, the other as a named driver.

What are the benefits of learner driver insurance on my own car?

If you have a provisional licence you will need learner driver insurance to drive your own car.

What are the benefits of learner driver insurance on a family car?

Access to a family car will give you more opportunity to practice driving and may reduce the number of lessons you need to shell out for. By using your own policy on a family member’s car, their all-important no claims bonus won’t be affected if you need to claim.

What documents do I need to get a quote?

You won’t need to supply your insurer with specific documents, however you will need the details of your provisional driving licence to hand.

What happens with my learner driver insurance when I pass my driving test?

Your learner driver insurance won’t be valid once you have passed your test and have a full licence. You will either need to get your insurer to update your policy or cancel it and get a new one. If you’ve taken your test in your own car, check that your instructor or another driver is covered to drive you home.

What’s the difference between learner driver insurance and provisional insurance?

These are two different names for the same policy. They cover learner drivers with provisional licences while they practice driving with a family member or friend.

Who can supervise a learner driver other than a driving instructor?

Anyone can supervise a learner driver, so long as they are over the age of 21 and have held a full licence for three years.

Will it affect the car owner’s no claim bonus if I claim?

No. One of the key benefits of taking out your own insurance to drive somebody else’s car (as opposed to being added to their insurance policy) is that their no claims bonus won’t be affected if you need to claim.
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Short term learner driver insurance is arranged and administered by Tempcover.com, a broker of KGM Motor which is a brand name for business written by KGM Underwriting Services Limited. KGM Underwriting Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA Firm Reference Number 799643. Registered in England & Wales, No: 10581020. Registered Office: 2nd Floor St James House, 27-43 Eastern Road, Romford, Essex, RM1 3NH. Our service is free and provided by Tempcover. We are an intermediary and we receive commission from Tempcover, which is based on a percentage of the premium if you decide to purchase through our website.