Learner driver insurance – also known as provisional license car insurance – is designed to:
cover drivers who have not yet passed their driving test
allow holders of a government-issued provisional driving license to drive on the road legally
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.
However, if you have a provisional driving license and want to get in extra driving practice in a private car, you need to take out learner driver insurance unless the owner has added you as a named driver to their policy.
If you take out learner driver insurance, you need to change it to a different type of insurance once you pass your driving test and receive a full driving license.
Do I need learner driver insurance?
Not all learner drivers need car insurance. It depends on how you’re learning to drive.
There are four ways you can learn to drive, and these determine whether you need to take out learner driver insurance.
|Where you’re learning||Insurance required|
|Your own car||Learner driver insurance policy|
|Someone else’s car||Provisional insurance policy or Named driver on the owner’s policy|
|In a driving instructor’s car||None – you’re covered by your instructor|
|Driving school for under 17s (or similar)||None if lessons take place on private land|
Remember, it’s illegal to drive on public roads – or even on a deserted car park – in the UK without insurance,
Find out more about how learner insurance works and what to do if you need cheap learner insurance.
How old do I have to be to get UK learner driver insurance?
To get provisional driver insurance for a car, you normally need to be at least 17 years old. You’ll also need a valid provisional driving license.
However, there is one exception: you can drive a car when you are 16 if you 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.
Is learner driver insurance expensive?
Insurance companies are likely to charge learner drivers more. That’s because someone who’s 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.
However, once you pass your driving test you’ll be able to build up a no-claims discount, which will reduce the cost of your insurance.
What learner driver car insurance may not include
Most learner car insurance policies have a maximum value limit for the cars they’ll cover – you need to check that this will cover the cost of replacing your car.
How long do I need learner driver insurance for?
It depends on 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 over a short-term period – from a single day to a maximum of five months, depending on the insurer
If you’ve already booked your driving test, make sure you’re covered up until that date if you’re driving a private car
When you pass your test, you will need to compare insurance for young drivers or arrange short-term car insurance, which will cover you until you’re able to purchase a full policy
How can I find a cheap learner driver insurance policy?
If you’re looking for cheap learner driver insurance, it’s important to make sure you get the right policy for your needs.
Cheap learner insurance can be tricky to find because young drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents and make insurance claims, which means insurers charge them more.
If you’re learning to drive in your own car, you need your own policy, which might make it a little harder to find learner driver insurance.
There are ways of making sure you don’t pay over the odds for your insurance – for example, by getting black box insurance.
What is the cheapest way to insure a learner driver?
The best way to find cheap learner insurance is to compare learner car insurance policies.
If you’re learning to drive in someone else’s car, you can either get your own policy or ask them – the owner – to add you to their policy as a named driver.
This will likely see their premiums increase, but the added cost may still be less than the cost of taking out your own separate policy.
Be aware that while being a named driver can be a good way to get cheap learner insurance, it will affect the other person’s premiums in the future if you have an accident while driving.
Can I take out learner driver insurance on my own car?
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 still driving on a provisional licence.
You can start building your no-claims bonus even before you’ve 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 won’t risk damaging your friend’s or relative’s no-claims bonus by being a named driver on their policy, plus their insurance premiums will be unaffected.
Car insurance for new drivers
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 largest and best-known providers. We’ll show you some of the best learner driver insurance policies from smaller insurance companies, too.
I passed my test! What now?
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. Be prepared for your premium to rise once you can legally drive unaccompanied.
Most providers won’t reimburse you for any provisional car insurance cover you haven’t used, but there’s usually no cancellation fee to pay. Once that’s sorted, you need to compare car insurance policies to make sure you get the best cover for a fully qualified driver.
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.