Do I need car insurance when learning to drive?

Before you start learning to drive you will need to make sure you have car insurance cover when you practise on the roads. Here is what you need to know.

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What is learner car insurance?

It is a car insurance policy designed for learner drivers with a provisional licence.

Learner driver insurance will cover you to drive your car, or a friend or parent's car, when you practice driving.

Do I need learner car insurance for driving lessons with a qualified instructor?

No. If you only drive with a professional instructor you do not need to worry about learner car insurance.

The fee you pay for your driving lessons will include the cost of car insurance cover, which should be arranged by your instructor.

How do I get learner car insurance?

In order to get a learner car insurance policy you will need:

You must also have a qualified driver with you when you drive. They must be over the age of 21, with at least three years driving experience. Some insurers, however, specify the qualified driver must be at least 25 years old.

Do I need learner car insurance to learn in my own car?

Yes. If you have bought your own car to learn in, you will need to take out a learner car insurance policy.

You can take out a learner policy for:

  • a short period of one day up to five months

  • a year with annual learner car insurance

The length of cover you choose will depend on how long you think it will take you to pass your test. The shorter periods of cover are likely to cost more per day than annual cover but may work out cheaper over the period it takes to pass your test – if you pass first time.


Remember: You must display 'L' plates on the front and back of the vehicle when you are driving as a learner driver.

Immediately upon passing your driving test, you must contact your insurance company which will cancel your learner cover.

Most providers will not reimburse you for any cover you have not used but there is usually no cancellation fee to pay.

You should then compare car insurance quotes to make sure you get the best cover to drive as a fully qualified driver. Consider the many “black box” telematics schemes that monitor driving behaviour, which are aimed at rewarding young and inexperienced drivers for safe motoring.

Read more about black box car insurance here

Do you need it to learn in someone else's car?

Yes. If you do not have a car of your own, you still need cover to drive a friend or parent's vehicle.

To get insured on someone else's car you have two options:

  • Take out a learner car insurance policy: if you choose this option the car owner must have their own car insurance policy in place

  • Get someone to add you to their policy: this can be expensive for the policyholder, and if you have an accident it may affect their no claims bonus. Find out more about driving on someone else's policy here.

Putting your child on your car insurance policy

Do you need it for driving lessons?

Typically, learner car insurance costs between £2 and £5 per day, but the exact cost will depend on factors such as the car you drive and where you live. 

Most car insurers will only offer you cover if you have passed your driving test, so make sure you shop around and look at companies that specialise in car insurance for learner drivers.

Once you’ve passed your test you must get car insurance as a qualified driver.

This can be expensive, so find out how to get the best possible deal on new driver car insurance.

Compare learner car insurance

Whatever car you drive, make sure you find insurance that covers everything you need as cheaply as possible by comparing policies.

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