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Learner driver insurance

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Do learner drivers need insurance?

Yes, it's a legal requirement to have insurance to drive on UK roads. Regardless of who's car you're driving, you need insurance in place before you get behind the wheel. If you’re caught driving without insurance, you could get a £300 fine and 6 points on your licence.

  • If you’re only learning with a private driving instructor, their car should be insured, so you don’t need to buy provisional insurance
  • If you’re learning - or doing any practice - in your own car, you need provisional driver insurance
  • If you’re practising in someone else’s car you can either buy provisional insurance for yourself or ask them to add you as a named driver to their car insurance policy

What are the options for learner driver insurance?

As a learner driver with a provisional licence, you have a few options available to you when it comes to getting insured. The best way to figure out what policy is most suited to you is by considering your personal situation. If you expect to pass your test and get your full licence within a few months, then temporary insurance might be more suited to you. But if you think you'll need a longer learner period, an annual policy could be the way to go. 

Other factors influence your decision too, such as budget, age or licence restrictions.

Temporary car insurance

Temporary or short-term car insurance offers cover from 12 hours to 28 days, and can run alongside an existing annual policy without affecting it. This could be useful if you're learning in someone else's car.

Annual car insurance

Annual car insurance - this is a 12-month car insurance policy that allows you to build your no-claims bonus if you stay claim free. Once you've passed your test you can let the insurer know your licence has changed.

Named driver

Named driver - you can be added as a named driver to an existing family or friend's policy. This can be a good option if you don't have your own car yet.

Temporary vs annual policies for learners

Each insurer has its own eligibility criteria, so you may not be offered prices from all the insurers we work with.

Temporary car insurance

  • Cover from 12 hours to 28 days
  • No impact on no-claims bonus for existing policies
  • Comprehensive cover as standard

Annual car insurance

  • Build your own no-claims bonus
  • Choose from 3 levels of cover
  • Optional extras available to enhance your cover


How much is learner driver insurance?

The cost of your policy depends on your personal circumstances. It's commonly thought that comprehensive cover is the most expensive because it offers the highest protection, but more often than not it works out to be the cheapest. It's worth keeping this in mind when getting your quote.

Level of cover Licence type Average policy cost¹
Third-party, fire & theft

The cost of your insurance is based on many factors, including:

  • Your job
  • How old you are
  • Where you keep your car
  • Where you live
  • Your car security

It's important you answer honestly when you buy car insurance, even if costs more. If you leave things out, or lie, your insurance could be invalid and you could be convicted of insurance fraud.

1Confused.com data August - October 2023.

Temporary car insurance for learner drivers

If you're driving someone else's car while learning, a short-term car insurance policy might suit your needs. Cover starts from £32 per day, or £65 for 22 days2, if you're looking for a longer period.

You can use a temporary policy alongside any existing policy the car owner might have. Even if you have an accident and make a claim, it shouldn't affect the owner's policy or existing no-claims bonus.

2Average cost to insure a learner driver based on Tempcover data, December 2023. 

Our trusted partner Tempcover is a leading provider of short-term car insurance. They compare comprehensive insurance policies from a range of insurers to help you find the cover you need.

Flexible, short-term car insurance is available from 12 hours to 28 days, for drivers aged between 17 and 75.

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Optional extras or add-ons

Whichever level of cover your choose for your annual policy, you have the option to enhance that cover with add-ons. These extras come at an additional cost, so think about what you need before adding them to your policy. Some of the most popular extras include:

  • Breakdown cover helps you if your car breaks down at the roadside. There are different levels of cover available to choose from, depending on what you need.
  • Personal accident cover pays compensation if you suffer an injury in a road accident, even if you’re at fault. It also pays a lump sum if you die in a car accident.
  • Legal cover could help you recover certain uninsured losses. Depending on the policy, it can include the cost of a solicitor, medical treatment or travel costs.
  • Windscreen cover pays for the repair or replacement of your windscreen, rear window or side windows following an accident.

If you choose to buy a short-term policy, you have less options for additional cover. But you can still choose to add breakdown cover, legal expenses cover and excess reduction cover. Excess reduction reduces your policy excess to £100 or as close to £100 as possible.

How can I get cheaper provisional insurance?

Finding affordable insurance while holding a provisional licence can be a struggle, but there are things you can do to help keep your costs down:

  • Consider the car you drive
  • Black box, or telematics
  • Increase your voluntary excess
  • Be accurate when estimating your mileage

Consider the car you drive, if possible. Car insurance companies group all cars from 1-50 for insurance purposes. Generally, the higher the car insurance group, the more expensive your insurance is. Cars with more powerful engines, for example, are generally in higher insurance groups.

Black box, or telematics insurance, adjusts the price of your insurance based on your driving habits. The insurer uses an app or a device installed in your car to monitor your driving. The idea is to reward safer drivers with cheaper prices, meaning telematics car insurance can be more affordable for young and inexperienced drivers.

Increase your voluntary excess. Voluntary excess is the amount you’re willing to pay towards repairs in event of a claim, this can help reduce the price of your insurance. But remember not to go for more than you could realistically afford to pay if you needed to make a claim.

Be accurate when estimating your mileage so you’re only paying for miles you’re driving. The average yearly mileage is around 6,5001.

1Based on Confused.com data, October - December 2023.

What do I need to get a learner driver insurance quote?

If you’re looking to get a quote for a standard 12-month policy, it takes about 5 minutes. You need the following details to hand:

  • Details of the car you want to insure
  • Details of any other drivers you want on the policy
  • Your provisional driving licence number

Or, if you want short-term cover, you can get a Tempcover quote. You need the same details to get a quote.

Compare car insurance for learner drivers with a provisional licence

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What our expert says

"If you're practicing your driving with a parent or friend then you'll need to arrange insurance before you start. As a new driver, navigating the world of insurance for the first time can be overwhelming. But we're here to help you choose the option that best suits your needs, and your budget of course!"

Louise Thomas, Motor Insurance Expert at Confused.com
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Page last reviewed: 08 February 2024

Reviewed by: Louise Thomas

Short term learner driver insurance is arranged and administered by Tempcover.com, a broker of KGM Motor which is a brand name for business written by KGM Underwriting Services Limited. KGM Underwriting Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA Firm Reference Number 799643. Registered in England & Wales, No: 10581020. Registered Office: 2nd Floor St James House, 27-43 Eastern Road, Romford, Essex, RM1 3NH. Our service is free and provided by Tempcover. We are an intermediary and we receive commission from Tempcover, which is based on a percentage of the premium if you decide to purchase through our website.