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Last updated: March 2021
Car insurance is a legal requirement for anyone driving on a UK public road, so learner driver insurance lets people get behind the wheel of a private vehicle before they get their full licence.
You do not need learner driver insurance if all your lessons are with a registered driving instructor, as their insurance will cover you to drive their car
But if you have a provisional driving licence and you want to get in extra driving practice outside of formal lessons before you take your driving test then you may need to take out learner driver insurance.
If you want to drive another car, your own or family member’s or friend’s car for example, then you’ll need to take out learner driver car insurance.
Once you pass your driving test, and receive a full driving licence, you will need to change your car insurance cover.
What learner driver insurance does:
Covers drivers who have not yet passed their driving test
Allows holders of a government-issued provisional driving licence to drive on the road legally
Not all learner drivers need car insurance, it depends how you’re learning to drive.
There are four ways you can learn to drive and that will determine whether you need to take out learner driver insurance:
In your own car: you will need to have a learner driver insurance policy in place
In someone else's car: you must either get a provisional insurance policy, or ask the main driver to add you to their policy
If you are learning with an instructor: you won’t need provision or learner driver insurance because you’ll be covered by your instructor as the provisional insurance costs are included in the fee you pay them
In an under-17 or similar driving school where lessons take place on private land that the public do not have access to (driving your parents’ car in a car parks, for example, is out)
To get provisional driver insurance for a car, you normally need to be at least 17 years old and you will also have to have a valid provisional driving licence.
It’s illegal to drive on public roads in the UK without insurance so find out more about how learner insurance works and what to do if you need cheap learner insurance
You can also drive a car when you are 16, but this only applies to people who have the enhanced rate of the mobility component of the Personal Independent Payment (PIP), which offers support to people with long-term ill-health or disability
Someone who is learning to drive is considered more likely to have an accident than a more experienced driver, or even someone who has just passed their test.
This means insurance companies are likely to charge learner drivers more. However, once you pass your driving test you will be able to build up a no claims bonus, which reduce the cost of your insurance.
There are ways of making sure you don’t pay too much for your insurance, for example Black Box insurance.
If you’ve bought your own car to learn in, you’ll definitely need learner car insurance.
You can buy a car but you can only start driving as a provisional or learner driver if you're accompanied by a full driving licence holder aged over 21.
This adult must also have had their full licence for at least three years
You must have 'L' plates on the front and back of the vehicle
Remember learner drivers are not allowed to drive on the motorway
Most providers don’t reimburse you for the provisional car insurance cover you haven’t used, but there’s usually no cancellation fee to pay. Once that’s sorted, you’ll need to compare car insurance policies to make sure you get the best cover for a fully qualified driver.
Most learner car insurance policies have a maximum value limit for the cars they’ll cover.
When you’re getting learner drivers car insurance quotes, you’ll need to check the maximum vehicle value of each policy to make sure it’ll cover your car
If want to learn in your parents' or a friend's car, or even your own car, you'll either need to be a named driver on their policy or take out temporary learner driver insurance
It depends how long you take to pass your driving test. You can either get short-term learner driver insurance or an annual policy.
You’ll be able to find temporary learner insurance policies that give you learner insurance for a day, right up to five months
If you’ve already booked your driving test, make sure you’re covered up until that date
When you pass your test you will need to compare insurance for young drivers
When you pass your test you can arrange short term car insurance, which will cover you until you pass your test
If you’re looking for cheap learner driver insurance, it’s really important to make sure you get the right type for your needs.
Cheap learner insurance can be tricky to find because young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents and make insurance claims, so car insurers charge them more.
If you’re learning to drive in your own car, you’ll need your own policy, which might make it a little harder to find learner driver insurance.
If you’re learning to drive in someone else’s car, you can either get your own policy or ask the person whose car it is to add you to their policy as a named driver.
This will likely see their premiums increase, but it could be by less than the cost of you taking out your own policy separately.
Be aware that while being a named driver can be a good way to get cheap learner insurance, if you have an accident while driving it will affect their premiums in the future.
If you’re having driving lessons with an instructor, you won’t need your own provisional driver insurance at all.
The best way to find cheap learner insurance is to compare learner car insurance policies.
If you have your own car the best way to achieve long-term savings on your car insurance is to take out your own policy while you are still driving on a provisional licence.
You will be able to start building your no-claims bonus even before you have passed your driving test. Once you start building your no-claims bonus your premium should drop steadily each year as long as you don’t make any claims
You will avoid the risk of damaging your friend’s or relative’s no-claims bonus as you might if you had to make a claim as a named driver on their policy. If you take out your own insurance policy, there should be no effect on the main driver’s insurance premium.
Most car insurers will only offer you cover if you’ve already passed your driving test. Make sure you shop around and look at companies that specialise in car insurance for learner drivers.
Use our comparison service at the top of this page to find the best young driver insurance from the best-known providers. We’ll show you some of the best learner driver insurance policies from smaller insurance companies, too.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to contact your insurance company to ask them to cancel your learner car insurance or convert it to a standard policy. Your premium is likely to rise once you can legally drive unaccompanied.
Car insurance for new drivers can be expensive, so find out how to get the best possible deal on new drivers car insurance.
You can also get temporary insurance for younger drivers.
Learn to drive a car from gov.uk
You must be insured if learning in your car or someone else's on publicly accessible roads. Find out how to get learner drivers cover here.
It is illegal to drive in the UK without insurance and you could face a fixed fine, six points on your licence and your car being seized and destroyed.
You will need to have a UK Provisional driving licence and be at least 17 years old. You will also need a qualified driver to accompany you when you drive.
Contact your insurer to cancel your learner policy. They can upgrade your cover to a qualified policy, if not you can find car insurance quotes here.