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Learner driver insurance

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What is learner driver insurance?

Whether a family member or friend takes you out in their car to practise driving or you’re learning in your own car, it’s a legal requirement for you to have learner driver insurance in case you’re involved in a road traffic incident. You won’t need to worry, however, if you only practise with a driving instructor, as they’ll have their own car insurance.

Insurance for learner drivers covers accidents that cause harm or damage to their car or other vehicles and road users where the learner driver is at fault. One major benefit of having this type of insurance is that any claim you make as a learner will not impact the vehicle owner’s no-claims bonus.

Types of learner insurance

Third party only

Third party car insurance is the lowest level of insurance required to legally drive on UK roads. It provides cover if you accidentally damage another person’s property, or injure or kill someone in a motor accident. 

Third party fire and theft

Third party, fire and theft car insurance is the next level of cover. Besides covering damage you cause to another driver or their property, it covers costs associated with the theft or attempted theft of your vehicle and accidental or criminal fire damage.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive car insurance is the highest level of car insurance a driver can buy. It includes everything at the lower levels of cover, as well as accidental damage to your own vehicle. You’ll also likely have a number of additional benefits, depending on the provider, including courtesy car cover and personal accident benefits. 

Learner driver insurance eligibility

As the driver

  • Be aged between 17 and 50 (the specific age range will vary)
  • Be a permanent UK resident
  • Hold a provisional driving licence
  • Have no penalty points on your licence, any motoring offences, or other unspent criminal convictions
  • Be supervised at all times by a qualified driver, over the age of 21 (or 25 for some providers), who has held their full driving licence for at least three years

When choosing your vehicle

  • Drive a car with a market value of less than £40,000, that is registered in the UK
  • Drive a car less than 40 years old
  • Drive a car that is not a hired, rented, or under a lease that is less than 12 months’ long
  • Drive a car with seven seats or fewer
  • Drive a car that has no engine modifications

Do I need learner driver insurance?

While you won’t need to take out learner driver insurance if you intend to use a driving instructor, there are a number of scenarios where it would be a legal requirement for you to take out cover:

  • If you intend to primarily learn to drive in your own car, or that of a family member or friend, rather than with a driving instructor
  • If you want to use your car, or someone else’s, to supplement your lessons with a driving instructor
  • Whether you need a few refresher drives before re-taking your test, and don’t want to use an instructor
  • If you intend to take your driving test in your own car, or one owned by friends or family

How much does learner driver insurance cost?

Learning to drive is already expensive; paying for lessons, booking a test and buying your own car can be costly. So, when getting learner insurance, you’ll want the best deal you can get. We found that the average learner driver insurance quote is £707.28 for an annual comprehensive policy.[1]

Interestingly, the age at which it’s most expensive to get learner driver insurance differs slightly from standard car insurance. 

While typically younger drivers pay more for traditional cover, at £662.88, the average annual comprehensive provisional insurance policy for a 17-year-old learner driver was notably cheaper than the £853.99 paid by a 22-year-old learner.

Prices do then start falling, to £687.01 for a 27-year-old and a low of £649.47 for a 32-year-old. Average costs surprisingly start to climb again after that point, however, rising to £717.96 for a 42-year-old learner. 

Age Average annual learner driver insurance (£) Difference (%)
17 £662.88 N/A
22 £853.99 +28.83%
27 £687.01 -19.55%
32 £649.47 -5.46%
37 £672.36 +3.53%
42 £717.96 +6.78%

What affects the cost of learner driver insurance?

Of course, it’s not just age that affects the cost of your learner driver insurance. Other factors include:

  • Make of car: bigger, faster and more powerful cars cost more to insure because insurers view them as more likely to be involved in accidents and to cost more to repair 
  • Type of policy: third party-only cover or third party, fire and theft policies tend to be priced higher than comprehensive insurance because insurers think learner drivers who take them out are a higher risk on the road
  • Length of cover: the cost of learner insurance varies greatly depending on the length of cover you take out, whether that’s an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly policy. Typically, the longer your policy, the cheaper it’ll be on a per unit (ie, hour, day, or week) basis
Did you know?
When taking into consideration everything from tests and lessons to buying a car and getting insurance, it costs on average £7,609.46 to learn to drive and get on the road for 12 months, according to MoneySuperMarket’s Household Money Index.[2]

How long do I need learner driver insurance for?

How long you take learner driver insurance for will depend on why you are taking it out. Typically you’ll have two options: annual and temporary cover.

Annual cover

Annual learner driver car insurance covers you to drive your vehicle or a family member’s or friend’s car for up to 12 months while you’re still learning. 

This may be enough time to learn how to drive fully and pass your practical driving test, so you may want to get this type of insurance at the start of your learning process.

Short-term cover

Short-term learner driver insurance is more common than annual insurance. You can get learner insurance for a single day if you wish. Typically, the length of short-term cover will range from one day up to five months. Some insurers offer even shorter terms, with temporary car insurance from one hour to 30 days.

This type of limited-term cover can be most useful if you are quite close to sitting, and hopefully passing, your driving test and don’t need to pay for a year’s worth of learner driver cover.

What is and isn’t covered by learner driver insurance?

Provisional insurance for learner drivers, like all types of insurance, comes with certain exclusions (things the policy won’t cover). For example, a comprehensive learner driver insurance policy would likely include or exclude the following:

Covered 

  • Accidental damage, fire, theft or attempted theft
  • Windscreen glass and window repair
  • Legal liability if another person is injured, dies or their property is damaged in an accident you’re involved in
  • Taking your driving test in the car

Not covered

  • Claims if you’re not accompanied by a driver aged between 21 and 75 who has held a full UK licence for at least three years
  • Time restrictions, often excluding coverage between 10pm and 6am
  • If the car you’re driving isn’t also insured under the main driver’s annual policy
  • Driving home from the test centre after passing your test

Best learner driver insurance providers

Below are some notable providers of learner driver insurance:

A Choice

Offers learner driver insurance for 17 to 24-year-olds practising in their own car, allowing you to build your no-claims bonus. Cover starts from 70p a day. Your car must be worth less than £20,000.[4]

Adrian Flux

Offers cover for learner drivers aged 16 and over that can be renewed on a month-by-month basis. Policies start from 65p a day, with a 50 per cent discount on a second vehicle if you insure two cars.[5]

Collingwood Insurance Services

Offers learner driver insurance from 28 days to 12 months. Annual learner driver insurance starts from 72p per day.[6] Can also be purchased as flexible short-term learner driver insurance from 28 days to 24 weeks – you can have gaps in your cover and top up when required.

Cuvva

Offers learner driver insurance in hourly increments for a maximum of six hours a day for provisional licence holders between 17 and 40 years old.[7]

Marmalade

Offers cover to provisional licence holders between the ages of 17 and 34. The policy can last from 30 to 240 days, and learner driver customers who pass their test can get 10 per cent off their next Marmalade car insurance policy.[8]

RAC

Offers learner driver insurance from one day (for cars already insured with an annual policy) to five months. The cost of cover starts at £17.47 a day, £33.64 per week, and £105.82 for two months.[9]

Sterling Insurance

Offers learner driver insurance in one, two, three, six and 12-month periods. Prices start from 77p a day. Car must be worth less than £20,000, and be listed up to insurance group 30. Includes free FourFive Learner Drive app.[10]

Veygo by Admiral

Provides cover for learner drivers aged between 17 and 75 years old. Policies can be purchased on both an annual and pay-as-you-go basis.[11]

5 tips for getting cheap learner driver insurance

Cheap learner insurance is a bit like a unicorn – a myth. However, there are ways to reduce costs when looking for a learner insurance quote:

1 Choose a car in the right insurance group

Every car in the UK belongs to a car insurance group that dictates how much it costs to insure. The lower the group, i.e. the smaller its engine, the cheaper it is to insure. So learning to drive in something like a Volkswagen Polo Hatchback or Nissan Micra will be cheaper than in a Ford Focus or Toyota Prius.

2 Consider black box insurance

With telematics insurance, a device is installed in your car that tracks how you drive. This can make your policy cheaper, as you can actively prove to your insurer that you are a safe driver.

3 Add a more experienced driver to your policy

If you are learning to drive in your own car, adding a more experienced motorist as a named driver can bring down your premium. This is because providers will take this to mean a less risky drive will be behind the wheel at least some of the time.

4 Pay a higher voluntary excess

The more you pay as a voluntary excess, the cheaper your car insurance will cost. However, only commit to a voluntary excess you can realistically afford in the event of a car insurance claim.

5 Make sure to shop around and do your research

Comparing the widest range of learner driver insurance quotes possible will ensure that you find not only the cheapest policy, but the right fit as well.

Start searching now

Additional cover for learner drivers

Additional cover – also known as add-ons – can be a good idea when buying insurance for learner drivers. If things go wrong, it can offer extra protection beyond what a standard policy covers.

This extra cover will increase the cost of your learner driver insurance, though. Before buying it, check to ensure you’re not already covered under your main learner driver insurance policy.

Breakdown cover

If you’re not already signed up with a roadside breakdown service, this add-on will cover you should the car you’re driving break down and need repairs. Before adding breakdown cover as an optional extra, check to see if you can get a better deal buying cover directly from a breakdown service.

Legal cover

Legal cover, also known as motor legal protection, insures against the costs you might face if someone takes you to court over an insurance claim, including any damages you may have to pay.

Personal accident cover

Personal accident cover pays out to you or your family if you’re injured or killed in an accident. While a comprehensive learner driver policy should include some level of personal accident cover, you may be able to increase the cover limits for an extra cost 

Hire car cover

The courtesy car cover that comes with most comprehensive policies will only kick-in if you’re in an accident, and your car can be repaired. Hire car cover, on the other hand, will also apply if your vehicle is stolen or written-off. And you may even be able to get a similar-sized car, rather than the small hatchbacks typical of courtesy car policies.  

Road safety as a new or learner driver

Your relationship with the Highway Code shouldn’t end once you pass your theory test as a learner driver. For example, since 2015 there have been 24 updates to the motoring bible – updates you could miss if you don’t keep on top of the rules. 

Yet 50 per cent of drivers admitted they hadn’t revisited the Highway Code since passing their test, according to our survey of 2,010 UK motorists. 

Even worse, we found that more than half (51 per cent) of the drivers we surveyed would fail their theory test today, based on a sample of five basic road safety questions.[12]

Alarmingly, the weakest age group was 17 to 24-year-olds. Despite taking their theory test more recently, less than a third (32 per cent) of younger drivers would pass today.

So don’t assume that once you have your full licence the learning stops. Refreshing your knowledge of the Highway Code will not only keep you on the right side of the law, it could reduce the likelihood of you having an accident.

Could you answer these five common theory questions?

Below we have the five questions we asked, the percentage of correct responses, and the most common incorrect answers:

Q1. What do you think triangular road signs indicate?

A. Warnings (78.46 per cent)

Most common wrong answers:

  • Information: 9.75 per cent
  • Orders: 4.53 per cent
  • Directions: 3.83 per cent

Q2. What lights, if any, do you think are appropriate to turn on when driving on the motorway at night, when there are cars ahead of you?

A. Dipped headlights (69.15 per cent)

Most common wrong answers:

  • Main beam headlights: 20.75 per cent
  • Front fog lights: 4.23 per cent
  • Fog lights only: 2.74 per cent

Q3. What, if anything, do you think the legal speed limit on a motorway is, if no signs indicate otherwise?

A. 61mph (79.00 per cent)

Most common wrong answers:

  • 51mph to 60mph: 6.62 per cent
  • 41mph to 50mph: 4.38 per cent
  • 31mph to 40mph: 3.53 per cent

Q4. When driving on a wet road, what time gap, if any, do you think you need to leave between your car and the car in front of you?

A. 4 to 5 seconds (26.17 per cent)

Most common wrong answers:

  • 9 to 10 seconds: 22.04 per cent
  • 6 to 8 seconds: 18.91 per cent
  • 11 to 12 seconds: 17.81 per cent

Q5. What, if anything, do you think you should you do if you have to quickly slow down when driving on the motorway?

A. Turn on your hazard lights (71.14 per cent)

Most common wrong answers:

  • Indicate left: 8.26 per cent
  • Nothing in particular: 7.11 per cent
  • Not sure: 4.33 per cent

Additional information

We have put together a list of popular questions that you may have, to help you along in your car insurance purchasing journey

FAQ
Related articles
Methodology
How much is learner driver insurance on average?

Through our research, we found that the cost of annual comprehensive learner driver insurance taken on a parent’s car ranges from £649.97 to £853.99, depending on your age. On average, the cost is £707.17.[13]

How much is insurance for a new driver in the UK at 17-years-old?

Once you’ve got your licence, car insurance for a 17-year-old new driver is very expensive. We found that the average policy costs £5,371.07, based on the five cheapest options.[14]

What insurance do I need as a learner driver?

If you are learning to drive in a car you own, you’ll need to take out learner driver insurance. If you are learning to drive in someone else’s car, you can either take out learner driver insurance on their vehicle or be added as a named driver on the car owner’s policy. 

If you take out learner driver insurance, it’s up to you whether you take out third party-only, third party, fire and theft, or comprehensive cover. Fully comprehensive insurance will give you the most cover.

Do I need a provisional driving licence to get learner driver insurance?

You can apply for a provisional licence when you’re 15 years and nine months old. However, you can only start driving a car from your 17th birthday. A provisional licence costs £34 as of March 2024. Be sure to only use the official government website to apply. Once you have your provisional licence and have turned 17, you can apply for learner driver insurance.

How long does learner driver insurance last?

Learner driver insurance can last as long as you need it to. For example, you could take out a policy for a few hours, so you can have a refresher lesson. Or, you could take it out for a few months, if you are just at the start of your learning journey.  

What are the rules for learning to drive?

When learning to drive, you must:

  • Always be supervised, either by a driving instructor or a friend/family member who is over the age of 21 and has held a full licence for at least three years
  • Only drive on the motorway with a driving instructor in England, Scotland and Wales
  • Always display your ‘L’ plates on the vehicle you’re driving
  • In Northern Ireland, not go above 45 miles per hour or drive on the motorway
How long does it take to learn to drive?

There’s no minimum number of lessons, or hours of practice, you need to have completed before passing your test.

However, the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) estimates that it takes around 45 hours of lessons, and an additional 22 hours of practise, for people to then pass their test.

Can I start to build a no-claims bonus as a learner driver?

It is possible to build your no-claims bonus as a learner driver, but only if you hold an annual policy for 12 months, and don’t make any claims on that policy. 

Can I get learner driver insurance on more than one car?

If you want to learn to drive in more than one vehicle, you’d need to take out separate learner driver insurance policies on each car. 

Can a learner drive on the motorway?

You can only drive on the motorway in England, Scotland and Wales if:

  • You’re being supervised by an approved driving instructor
  • The car has been fitted with dual controls

You cannot drive on the motorway as a learner in Northern Ireland. 

Do driving schools have learner insurance cover?

You don’t need learner driver insurance to drive during lessons with a qualified driving instructor because they have their own insurance cover for that. However, learner driver insurance is required for informal driving lessons with a friend or family member.

Does learner driver insurance cover me for my test?

Your learner driver insurance will cover you for your test, but only if you are taking the test in the car the policy was taken out on. 

If you are taking your test in your instructor’s car, you’ll be covered by their insurance.

If I pass my driving test, do I need to change my learner insurance?

When you have passed your test, driving alone requires regular car insurance. You’re not even legally allowed to drive alone back from the test centre without it. 

The cost of your car insurance will most likely increase once you pass your test and qualify for a regular policy. This is because you will be driving alone as an inexperienced driver rather than under the supervision of a more experienced driver, so insurers consider you at a higher risk of accidents.

Can I add a learner to my insurance?

It is possible to add a learner driver as a named driver to your car insurance policy. If you choose this option, any claims made by the learner driver will affect your no-claims bonus.

Will adding a learner as a named driver increase my premium?

Adding a learner driver as a named driver will normally make your premium more expensive, as you are flagging to your insurer that a higher risk driver will be behind the wheel some of the time.

It may, therefore, be cheaper to take out a specific learner driver policy on your vehicle, rather than adding the learner to your insurance. Plus, if the learner has their own policy, they can potentially start to build their own no-claims bonus. 

Can more than one learner driver be insured on the same car?

If you have two people in your life learning to drive at the same time, and they both want to use your car, it’s possible to take out two separate learner driver insurance policies on the same vehicle. 

Choosing car insurance can be overwhelming. From which level of cover to pick, to figuring out what is included as standard, there can be a lot of information to wade through.

That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve combed through the policy documents of some of the biggest providers, as well as all the latest data, in order to gauge just exactly what is on offer and how you can get cheaper car insurance.

We consider the most important factors that determine the quality of a car insurance policy to be:

  • Level of cover
  • Range of policies on offer
  • Additional extras
  • How you make a claim
  • Customer service availability
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Industry recognition

Find out more about how we review car insurance.

Emma Lunn

Finance Writer

Emma Lunn is a multi-award winning journalist who specialises in personal finance and consumer issues.

With more than 18 years’ experience in personal finance, Emma has covered topics including mortgages, first-time buyers, leasehold, banking, debt, budgeting, broadband, energy, pensions and investments.

Emma’s one of the most prolific freelance personal finance journalists with a back catalogue of work in newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday, and the Mirror.

As a freelancer she has also completed various in-house contracts at The Guardian, The Independent, Mortgage Solutions, Orange, and Moneywise. She also writes regularly for specialist magazines and websites such as Property Hub, Mortgage Strategy and YourMoney.com.

She has a real passion for helping people learn about money – especially when many people are struggling to get by in today’s challenging economic climate – and prides herself on simplifying complex subjects.

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade.
Now writing for the Independent Advisor, Connor is our personal finance expert, helping readers navigate everything from insurance and bank accounts, to energy and loans.

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs.

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, Reuters and the Evening Standard.

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.