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Learner driver insurance quotes

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If 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.

From the eligibility requirements you need to meet, to how you can get a cheaper policy, our guide has you covered when it comes to everything learner driver insurance.

What is learner driver insurance?

Learner driver insurance is a type of temporary cover for drivers learning to drive by spending some time behind the wheel of a car that is not their driving instructor’s. This could be their own car or that of a friend or family member.

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.

Learner driver insurance eligibility 

While the eligibility requirements will differ from provider to provider, to take out learner driver insurance you’ll likely need to:

As the driverWhen choosing your vehicle
Be aged between 17 and 50 (the specific age range will vary)Drive a car with a market value of less than £40,000, that is registered in the UK
Be a permanent UK residentDrive a car less than 40 years old
Hold a provisional driving licenceDrive a car that is not a hired, rented, or under a lease that is less than 12 months’ long
Have no penalty points on your licence, any motoring offences, or other unspent criminal convictionsDrive a car with seven seats or fewer
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 yearsDrive a car that has no engine modifications
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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 can I get a quote for learner driver insurance?

When you’re looking to get learner driver insurance, you’ll likely need to have the following to hand to compare quotes:

  1. Gather your details 
    You’ll need:
    The vehicle registration number (number plate)
    Your name, DOB and address
    Your provisional driving licence number
  2. Choose your policy
    You’ll need to decide on:
    What level of cover you want
    How long you need the cover for
    Any additional extras
  3. Compare learner driver insurance quotes
    Once you have put in the relevant information, you can compare learner car insurance. Alongside price, make sure to pay attention to any policy exclusions.

Types of learner insurance

There are different types of learner insurance, depending on the range of coverage you want:

Third party only

Third party only 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.

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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.

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Did you know?

In October to December 2023, the car theory pass rate was 44.2 per cent, while the car practical test pass rate was 47.4 per cent.[1]

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:

CoveredNot covered
Accidental damage, fire, theft or attempted theftClaims 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
Windscreen glass and window repairTime restrictions, often excluding coverage between 10pm and 6am
Legal liability if another person is injured, dies or their property is damaged in an accident you’re involved inIf the car you’re driving isn’t also insured under the main driver’s annual policy
Taking your driving test in the carDriving home from the test centre after passing your test

Best learner driver insurance providers

Below are some notable providers of learner driver insurance:

ProviderWhat it offers
Adrian FluxOffers 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.[2] 
Collingwood Insurance ServicesOffers learner driver insurance from 28 days to 12 months. Annual learner driver insurance starts from 71p per day.[3] 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. 
CuvvaOffers learner driver insurance in hourly increments for a maximum of six hours a day for provisional licence holders between 17 and 40 years old. On average, it costs £14.02 for an hour, £16.93 for two hours, £19.77 for three hours, and £27.60 for six hours.[4] 
MarmaladeOffers 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.[5] 
RACOffers 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.[6]
Veygo by AdmiralProvides 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. 

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 a learner insurance quote, you’ll want the best deal you can get.

Learner driver insurance is typically more expensive than regular insurance because insurers consider inexperienced drivers at a higher risk of having an accident. Some other factors can affect the cost of learner driver insurance, such as:

  • Age: young drivers are considered higher risk by insurers, so they face higher premiums than older learner drivers
  • 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
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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.[7]

5 tips for getting cheaper 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
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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.

Frequently asked questions about 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Laura Miller round image

Laura Miller

Money Writer

Laura Miller is a freelance journalist, editor, and producer. She has a wealth of consumer finance experience, having written about money matters and business for over 15 years.

During her tenure as a freelance writer, she has worked for ITN, Wired, and The Sunday Times, as well as financial institutions such as Aegon, the Chartered Insurance Institute, and Pension Bee, where she’s presenter of the Pension Confident Podcast.

Laura has previously held roles at The Times, where she was the Acting Editor of Times Money Mentor, The Telegraph as a senior finance reporter and was the co-host of the It’s Your Money Podcast, which was renowned for making complex finance issues accessible, and The Financial Times, where she worked as a News Editor. Laura has also worked at CNN, Politics.co.uk, and as a producer at Radio 5 Live.

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade. 

Connor is the personal finance expert for Independent Advisor, guiding readers through everything they need to know about car insurance and home insurance. From how much it costs to the best insurance providers in the UK, he’s here to help you find the right policy for your needs. 

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. His commentary was featured in sites such as The Mirror, the Daily Express and Business Insider

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.