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Temporary learner driver insurance

Written by Kasey Cassells, Senior content editor

Edited by Samantha Downes, Freelance writer, 22 September 2020

Find out how temporary learner driver insurance can be used to help a provisional driver pass their driving test

Car insurance for provisional drivers - how much does it cost?

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Temporary learner driver car insurance can insure a provisional driver on a friend’s or family member’s car while they gain valuable driving experience.

What is temporary learner driver insurance?

Most people learn to drive in a car owned by an approved driving instructor.

But many will also choose to supplement their lessons with independent practice in a friend’s or family member’s car. 

  • learner drivers will be automatically covered by their approved driving instructor’s insurance.

  • they will need to take out additional insurance, known as temporary learner driver insurance, to drive in a friend or family member’s car

Extra driving practice can save money on lessons — many experts recommend at least 47 hours’ driving practice, with professional lessons costing an average of £24 per hour

If you are able to get some practice in a friend’s car you may be able to reduce the number of professional lessons needed, gaining valuable real-life driving experience as well as saving money on tuition.

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Do I need temporary learner driver insurance?

To take to the road, every driver needs to be covered by an adequate insurance policy. 

You don’t need to buy learner driver insurance to take lessons in an approved driving instructor’s car, as your cover will be included in the cost of your lessons

However, if you want to practise in a friend’s or family member’s car, you will need to arrange your own insurance.

Can my parents take out temporary learner driver insurance?

Some learner drivers choose to be added as a named driver on someone else’s policy, commonly a parent’s, but this is not always the cheapest option. 

This can also put the policyholder’s no claims bonus at risk, as they will need to claim on their policy if the learner driver is involved in an accident in their car. 

The benefits of temporary learner driver insurance

Taking out learner driver insurance is a great alternative as it’s completely separate from the main driver’s policy. 

  • if you have an accident, it will not affect their policy 

  • the car owner won’t lose their no claims bonus

What if I need to claim on my temporary learner driver insurance?

If you do have an accident you claim through your temporary insurance company who will arrange any repairs or payouts required. 

Can I claim on my temporary learner driver insurance affect me?

If you do have to make a claim on a temporary learner driver insurance policy, you will need to declare this to insurers in the future, which may make it difficult to get a cheap quote.

Where can I get temporary learner driver insurance?

While learner drivers will be accepted by some standard temporary insurance providers, there is also specialist temporary insurance just for provisional drivers. 

How long does temporary learner driver insurance last?

It covers you for longer than a standard temporary insurance policy 

  • you can choose cover for 30, 60 or 90 days, or longer

  • you can take out a policy to take you up to the day of your driving test so you can get as much private practice as possible with an experienced driver. 

  • if you don’t pass your test and need more practice in your friend’s or family member’s car, you can simply take out another short-term policy

Taking out temporary learner driver insurance

Remember that if you’re borrowing someone’s car, you can’t drive on your own until you have your full licence. You need to be accompanied by someone over the age of 21 (or 25 in order to be covered by some insurers) who has had their licence for three years or more. 

You’ll also need to display L plates on the front and back of the car, and avoid driving on motorways.

What does temporary learner driver insurance cover?

Most temporary insurance policies for learner drivers offer comprehensive cover. 

This means that in the case of an accident your insurer will pay out for damage to the car you are driving, not just for other vehicles involved (which is the case in third party cover).

Temporary learner driver insurance policies are usually limited to cars up to a certain value — usually £30,000 or in insurance group 30. 

You may find it difficult to get temporary insurance cover for a modified car or if you have previously made a claim on a car insurance policy (such as a previous temporary policy).

How much does temporary learner driver insurance cost?

Taking out a learner driver insurance policy can be an affordable alternative to being added to a friend’s or family member’s policy. 

The cost of your cover will depend on your postcode and how long you want to be covered for, but it can cost less than £2 per day with a specialist provider.

Like a standard car insurance policy, you’ll have to pay an excess if you do need to make a claim, which is usually set at £250 for learner drivers.

To purchase a temporary learner driver insurance policy you’ll need to know the car’s registration number (or details of make and model if you don’t know this), details of your licence and driving history, and personal details including your name and address.

Do I need to own a car to take out learner driver car insurance? 

No, temporary learner driver insurance is designed to cover drivers who have not yet passed their driving test, so have not got their full driving licence. 

If you're looking for provisional driver vehicle insurance it pays to compare learner driver car insurance quotes to see what deals are on offer.

Is learner driver insurance more expensive than other car insurance?

It will be, pro rata, more expensive than standard car insurance.

  • this is because learner drivers are considered more risky – accidents are more likely when you are learning to drive

  • the excess – the amount you have to pay before any insurance claim is paid – can also be high

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Compare learner driver insurance policies with our partner money.co.uk*

How does learner driver insurance work?

It will depend how long it takes you to learn to drive. Learning to drive can be a long and intensive process.

Some experts recommend you take around 45 hours of professional driving lessons before you take your test, and the cost of these can add up as lessons can be £25 or more per session.

  • you can keep costs down by practising in a friend’s or parent’s car – which is when you will need insurance

  • when taking lessons with a registered ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) you will be automatically insured as part of the cost of your lessons

  • most car insurance policies will let you take out provisional driver insurance for any period between 1 and 140 days, which should generally be cheaper than an annual policy on someone else's insurance.

What are the cheapest ways of learning to drive?

Learning to drive can be costly, so here are some ways to cut the cost of learning to drive a car.

Paying a professional driving instructor

Pro: if you have regular lessons you can cut out the need for learner driver insurance, as the lesson fees cover the cost of them being insured on your behalf.

Con: the cost of getting professional lessons can add up quickly, with many instructors charging between £25 and £35 per hour.

Learning with friends and family

Pro: if you have family or friends willing to accompany you in their car on a regular basis, you could save on driving lessons.

Con: you will need to be added as a named driver on their insurance policy, and you may take longer to pass your test.

You may need to plan a few months in advance where you know you'll be available to take all of your lessons. Otherwise, there is the risk that if you don't keep up your driving lessons regularly, you'll fall behind in some of the things you've learnt.

What is the cheapest way to insure a learner driver?

Some car insurance providers are more willing to take on provisional drivers. If you have family or friends willing to help you, first check how much insurance might charge to add you as a named driver.

As well as increasing their premiums the policyholder may also lose their no claims bonus if you have an accident

Warning – provisional car insurance and fronting

Some parents take out a car insurance policy and declare themselves as the main driver, adding a young driver as a named driver. This is despite the fact that the child will be driving the car more than the parent, this is known as 'fronting' and is illegal.

Can I get learner driver insurance on my own car?

Yes you can, although you will need to drive the car with someone who has passed their test and has been driving for more than three years. You will need to check with your insurer first.

How does learner insurance work?

If you're lucky enough to have your own car and want to get insured as a learner driver, you can simply take out an insurance policy as normal, making sure to inform your provider that you are yet to gain your full licence.

  • this will cover you for up to 12 months while you prepare to take your test.

  • if you pass within this time you will need to inform your insurer as they will amend your policy to reflect this – you premium is likely to rise once you have passed your test

  • the cover is normally fully comprehensive which will cover accidents as well as theft, fire and malicious damage.

  • you may even be able to build up your own no claims bonus while driving on a provisional licence.

How can I save on provisional driver’s insurance?

The best way to achieve long-term savings on your car insurance is to take out your own policy while you are still driving on a provisional licence.

  • you will be able to start building your no-claims bonus even before you have 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

  • taking out an insurance policy in your own name means 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.

How can I find the cheapest provisional driver’s insurance?

If you're looking for learner driver insurance for your own car and need a provisional driver insurance quote, there are a couple of issues to consider.

What kind of car you drive

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 and then you can choose a cheaper car to insure once you’ve passed your test.

Can I buy a car without a licence?

You can buy a car, but you won’t be able to drive it, without a provisional licence. You will have to insure it but you will be an excluded driver until you have a licence.

Ticking the right box

When you are looking for cheap learner driver insurance, make sure you have ticked the box for provisional rather than full licence if you’re buying or comparing policies online.

Be prepared to pay more for learner driver insurance

Once you’ve passed your test you may be considered as more of a risk as you are no longer required to be accompanied at all times by an experienced driver, and there’s the added risk of driving on motorways.

Always shop around

By shopping around it's possible to get learner driver cover for the equivalent of a couple of pounds per day. The best learner driver insurance is one that offers good value and sufficient cover for your needs, without too large an excess.

When you don’t own a car

When you get your full driving licence you may not immediately want, or be able to afford, to buy a car.

This doesn’t mean you can’t drive at all. You can choose to take out a temporary car insurance policy using someone else’s car, as long as you have their permission. If you are only planning on borrowing a car you can also compare quotes for short-term or temporary car insurance

When you do come to buy your first car it may be worth taking out a group car insurance policy if people in your family drive and own cars

This is called multi-car insurance and might also be suitable:

  • if you own more than one car

  • if you’re a family with more than one driver

  • if you’re a couple with more than one vehicle

Get learner driver insurance

Compare learner driver insurance policies with our partner money.co.uk*

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