Learning to drive can be expensive, but it’s a real investment for the long term. Find out how to get suitable insurance cover while you’re driving on a provisional licence.
Getting your provisional driving licence is the first step to learning to drive. To apply for your provisional licence, you can either go online or apply by post. You can apply online at a fixed cost of £34, or by post at a cost of £43.
Driving lessons are a significant investment for new drivers – with many experts recommending 47 hours of driving lessons at an average price of £24 per hour, that’s a total of £1,128 before you’ve even paid for your licence, insurance, or the car itself. You can find out more about the overall cost of learning to drive in our guide here.
With the cost of driving lessons so high, many new drivers choose to get in some practice in a friend’s or relative’s car. If you can find someone to teach you in their car, or even if you’ve bought your own car prior to passing your test, you can easily cut the cost of learning to drive as you will only need to cover the cost of your insurance (and any extras like fuel or parking).
If you’re planning to practice in a friend’s or relative’s car, one option is to get added to the policyholder’s insurance as a named driver. This may seem to be the most cost-effective approach initially, but in the long term it’s likely you will save more by taking out your own provisional car insurance policy.
The best way to achieve long-term savings on your car insurance is to take out your own policy while you’re still driving on a provisional licence. By doing so you will be able to start building your no-claims bonus even before you’ve passed your driving test. Once you start building your no-claims bonus your premium should drop steadily each year as long as you don’t make any claims.
By taking out an insurance policy in your own name, you will also avoid the risk of damaging your friend’s or relative’s no-claims bonus as you might if you had to make a claim as a named driver on their policy. If you take out your own insurance policy, there should be no effect on the main driver’s insurance premium.
The type of car you drive will often have an impact on the amount you pay for insurance – but with provisional driver’s insurance most policies will cover you for any car up to a certain value or insurance group (usually a value of £20,000 or around insurance group 30). This is great if you want to learn in your parents’ car, for example, and then you can choose a cheaper car to insure once you’ve passed your test. Read our guide on the cheapest cars to insure.
Make sure you’ve ticked the box for provisional rather than full licence if you’re buying or comparing policies online. Then when you pass your test you can inform your insurer and they will amend your policy as necessary to reflect your new licence. It’s important to bear in mind that the cost can go up or down at this point – once you’ve passed your test you may be considered as more of a risk as you’re no longer required to be accompanied at all times by an experienced driver, and there’s the added risk of driving on motorways.
By shopping around it’s possible to get learner driver cover for the equivalent of a couple of pounds per day. The best chance of finding a good deal is by comparing prices from a number of insurers, which you can do using the search tool below.