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Do learner drivers need insurance?

Yes. All drivers need a valid car insurance policy before they get behind the wheel. This includes learner drivers. If you’re caught driving without insurance, you could get a £300 fine and 6 points on your licence.

If you own your car then you have the option to insure it for 12 months on a provisional licence. Once you pass your test, you'll need to contact your insurer to tell them you've now got your full licence. Your insurer will update your policy with these details.

If you're learning to drive with a professional driving instructor, they should have insurance in place, which is included in the price of your lesson. You don't need to take out a policy yourself for these lessons.

If you're driving someone else's car while learning, short-term learner driver car insurance is another option.

Temporary car insurance for learner drivers

If you're driving someone else's car while learning, temporary or short-term car insurance policy is another option that might suit your needs.

If you only need car insurance for a month or a week, then just paying for what you need could save you money. 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.

Our trusted partner Tempcover is a leading provider of short-term car insurance. They compare fully comprehensive insurance policies from a range of insurers to help you find the cover you need. Flexible, short-term car insurance is available to drivers aged between 17 and 27.

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How much is learner driver insurance?

Insurance for young and inexperienced drivers is never cheap, but it’s often less expensive than insurance for newly-qualified drivers. This is because you should have an experienced driver in the passenger seat at all times.

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

  • The car you drive
  • 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 this ends up in a higher premium. If you leave things out, or lie, your insurance could be invalid and you could be convicted of insurance fraud.

How do I get cheap learner driver insurance?

The cost of a provisional licence and professional lessons can be an expensive commitment.

Insurance companies base their policy prices on risk. That’s why learner drivers with little driving experience often struggle to find competitive insurance prices.

But there are ways that could help you save some money:

  • Consider the car you drive
  • Black box, or telematics
  • Increase your voluntary excess
  • Drive less miles

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,is a type of policy that changes the price of your insurance based on how and when you drive. Your insurer tracks how you drive using an app or a device that’s plugged or installed in your car. They should reward safer driving with cheaper insurance. 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.

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Who needs learner driver insurance?

You’ll need learner driver insurance if you have a provisional driver's licence and:

  • You’re driving your own car
  • You’re driving a friend or family member’s car and they haven’t added you as a named driver to their policy.

This applies whether you are having all your lessons in this car, or just practice sessions outside of lessons with a driving school or driving instructor.

Who doesn’t need learner driver insurance?

You don't need learner driver insurance if:

  • You’re only driving in the car provided by your driving school or professional driving instructor.
  • You’re already insured as a named driver on somebody else’s car insurance policy, for example your parents.

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 levels of cover are available with provisional learner driver insurance?

Provisional learner driver insurance works in the same way as car insurance for drivers with a full licence.

As with standard car insurance, there are three levels of cover available.

  • Comprehensive car insurance offers the highest level of protection, covering you and your car as well as other people and their property. Although it offers the most protection, comprehensive car insurance can sometimes be a less expensive option.
  • Third-party, fire and theft (TPFT) protects you against damage caused to someone else’s property, and also includes cover for your car against fire or theft.
  • Third-party is the minimum amount of cover you legally have to have before you can drive. It covers damage caused to someone else’s property, but doesn't cover repairs, theft or fire damage to your own car.

How many lessons do I need before I take my driving test?

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), there’s no required minimum number of lessons with a professional instructor before you can take your test.

Instead, you should book your test when you and your instructor think you’re ready. The average learner driver needs 45 hours of lessons plus 20 hours practice according to the RAC.

Can learner drivers drive on the motorway?

Since June 2018, learner drivers have been able to take lessons on motorways but they must be accompanied by a professional driving instructor. Any motorway lessons are voluntary and it’s up to the driving instructor to decide whether their learner driver is ready for them.

Learner drivers can take lessons on the motorway as long as:

  • They’re accompanied by a driving instructor
  • The car has L or D plates
  • The car has dual controls

Can a learner driver have passengers?

Yes, you can have passengers in the car if you’re a learner. As long as someone in the car meets the criteria to supervise your driving, you can fill the car with mates if you so wish.

But it’s worth bearing in mind the potential for distraction with a car full of passengers. If you’re not fully confident on the road, having more people watching you drive could do more harm than good.

Need more help?

Can I add a learner driver to my insurance?

Drivers with a full licence can add learner drivers to their own insurance policy. It’s usually cheaper to add a learner driver than it is to add a newly-qualified driver. This is because they shouldn’t drive without supervision and aren’t using the car as frequently.

Can more than one learner driver be on the same insurance policy?

Most policies let you add up to 3 or 4 named drivers to your insurance policy. If you have 2 children who are learning to drive at the same time check whether your policy allows you to add 2 learners to your policy.

Does learner driver insurance cover me for my driving test?

Yes. If you need to take your test in your own car, or a friend or family member’s car, you should be covered by your learner driver insurance.

How has the driving test changed?

The driving test is regularly being updated to adapt to changes in driving technology and habits. In 2017, changes to the driving test included following directions from a sat nav. The independent driving part of the test also increased from 10 to 20 minutes.

Reversing around a corner is no longer part of the test, along with 'turn-in-the-road'. Instead you could be asked to do one of the following:

  • Parallel park at the side of the road
  • Pull up on the right-hand side of the road reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin traffic
  • Park in a bay- driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out

The Highway Code is also under regular scrutiny. In January 2022, several Highway Code rules were changed including:

  • Changes to the hierarchy of road users
  • New rules around giving way to pedestrians
  • Updated rules around overtaking cyclists and vulnerable road users

Can learner drivers drive at night?

Yes, learners can drive at night as long as you’ve got a qualified driver with you in the car. Some advanced driving courses like Pass Plus provide extra training for night driving. But it’s perfectly legal to do so while you’re still learning.

How often can named drivers use somebody else’s car?

It’s up to the owner of the car how often named drivers can use their car. From an insurance point of view, it’s important that the owner is the one who drives more. Insuring a younger inexperienced driver as a named driver and letting them drive it more than you is called car insurance fronting. This is illegal and could invalidate your policy.

Is learner driver insurance compulsory?

It’s a legal requirement for all drivers to have a minimum level of insurance before they start driving. If you’re learning to drive with a driving school or a professional driving instructor their car should be insured. If you’re having lessons or practice sessions in someone else’s car you must either be a named driver on their insurance policy or buy your own learner driver insurance. Learner driver insurance is the only option if you own the car you are learning in.

Is learner insurance the same as dual insurance?

No. Dual insurance is when you have 2 people being insured to drive the same car on 2 policies. This could be someone taking out a temporary car insurance policy instead of a single policy being used to insure a main driver and a named driver.

What are the benefits of learner driver insurance on my own car?

If you have a provisional licence you need learner driver insurance to drive your own car. The benefit is that you get to drive your car legally and aren’t at risk of being caught driving without insurance.

What are the benefits of learner driver insurance on a family car?

Access to a family car gives you more opportunity to practice driving and could reduce the number of lessons you need to shell out for. By using your own policy on a family member’s car, their all-important no-claims bonus isn’t affected if you need to claim.

What documents do I need to get a quote?

You won’t need to supply your insurer with specific documents to get a learner driver insurance quote. But you do need the details of your provisional driving licence to hand.

What happens with my learner driver insurance when I pass my driving test?

Your learner driver insurance isn’t valid once you’ve passed your test and have a full licence. You either need to get your insurer to update your policy or cancel it and get a new one. If you’ve taken your test in your own car, check that your instructor or another driver is covered to drive you home.

What’s the difference between learner driver insurance and provisional insurance?

These are 2 different names for the same policy. They cover learner drivers with provisional licences while they practice driving with a family member or friend.

Who can supervise a learner driver other than a driving instructor?

Anyone can supervise a learner driver, so long as:

  • They’re over the age of 21
  • They’ve held a full licence for at least 3 years

Will it affect the car owner’s no claim bonus if I claim?

No. One of the key benefits of taking out your own insurance to drive somebody else’s car is that their no-claims bonus isn’t affected if you need to claim.

What happens if a learner driver is caught driving alone?

It’s illegal for a learner driver to be alone on the road. You must be with a qualified driver at all times while you’ve still got your provisional licence.

If you’re caught driving alone, you could get a fine and points on your licence.

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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.