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What is learner driver insurance?

Published 7 March 2016 by

As a learner driver, there’s no escaping all of the costs you have to pay. There’s paying for your provisional licence, driving lessons, both theory and practical tests (and that’s assuming you pass first time), not forgetting the high premiums that could be waiting for you once you set about insuring our first car.

On top of this, you might also be thinking about insuring yourself to drive while you’re still learning. If you’re considering this, then we’re going to take you through whether this insurance is necessary and how to get the best deal possible.

Learner driver insurance

Learner driver insurance is exactly what it sounds like: insurance for provisional drivers. This type of insurance is available for young drivers who want to practice in their own car or the car of a friend or relative while they’re learning.

You will only need this type of insurance if you plan to drive in any car other than with a paid professional driving instructor. Otherwise, the cost of insurance and fuel will already be factored into the price of your driving lessons.

This type of learner driver insurance can either be for the short-term (typically between one and three months) or in the form of a full 12-month policy which will update to a standard insurance policy once you’ve passed your test and notified your insurer.

You’ll generally be given comprehensive cover to drive someone else’s car under a learner driver policy but you’ll need to be accompanied by a full driving licence holder who’s over the age of 21, and has had their licence for a minimum of 3 years.

Do you need it?

Whether or not you need learner driver insurance will generally depend on whether you have a parent, family member or friend that is willing to let you use their car (unless you have your own) and accompany you when driving.

It also depends on how much practice you feel you’re going to need. The Driving Standards Agency recommends an additional 20 hours of practice for new drivers alongside 47 hours of professional tuition before taking a test, but you and your instructor may agree that you’re ready before this.

This type of insurance isn’t your only option, of course – you could be added to one of your parents’ policies as a named driver while you’re still a learner driver. But the additional premiums could be high for this and if you have an accident whilst driving their car, this could jeopardise their no claims bonus – so make sure you think about this carefully.

Where to get the best deal

As you would do with any other type of insurance, the best approach to save money is to shop around. Price comparison sites Gocompare, and comparethemarket all feature this type of insurance, so they could be a good place to start.

Alternatively, there are some specific providers who gear their insurance policies for learner and young drivers, and one of the most popular of these is Marmalade. The insurer offers an incentive of a £100 discount if after taking out learner driver insurance, you move to their new driver policy once you’ve passed your test. Do bear in mind though that Marmalade’s policies come with telematics included.

Not sure what telematics is? You can read about black box insurance in our blog.