Learner driver car insurance explained

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Learning to drive can be expensive, but there are ways to cut costs. By learning to drive in your own car or a parent’s car, or at least using it to practice more between regular driving lessons with an instructor, you can save a lot of money. However, before hitting the road with your provisional driving licence, you should ensure that you have the correct learner driver insurance policy to cover you.

You can drive a car on public roads as a learner driver provided you are accompanied by an experienced driver over the age of 21 who has held a full driving license for more than three years. Like any driver, you must also have valid insurance. The good thing for learners is that there are special learner driver insurance policies (often called provisional driver insurance) which can be cheaper than conventional insurance cover. This is because insurers know that learners will be coached and will likely drive mostly for short periods of time to hone their skills and practice for their tests.

How does learner driver insurance differ from conventional cover?

A number of insurance companies, including Veygo and DayInsure, offer these special car insurance policies for learner drivers. They are available at an annual rate like a regular policy but some learner driver policies can also be taken out for a shorter term – you can even take them out on a daily or hourly rate.

Another advantage of taking out a specific learner driver insurance policy on your parents’ car is that their no-claims discount (NCD) will be protected in the event of a claim. Many learner driver insurance policies also have no cancellation fees, which is great if you pass your test earlier than expected and no longer need the policy.

If you’re considering learning to drive in a parent’s car, it’s always worth exploring the possibility of being added as a named driver on their existing insurance policy. While this will likely increase the price of their insurance and put their claim reduction on hold, it could be cheaper than taking out a full learner driver policy under your name in some cases. Separate learner driver insurance will still be required if you use your own car.

It is important to note that if you are learning to drive with a driving instructor, their insurance should already cover you. The instructor will have already factored their insurance costs into the rate they charge for the lessons, so you won’t need to take out a policy to cover this yourself.

How do learner driver auto insurance policies work?

You can get an annual learner’s car insurance policy for 12 months, or opt for a shorter-term one – the latter might be the better option if you’re confident enough that you’ll be successful in a few months. You will find companies offering insurance on an hourly or daily basis up to a maximum of 180 days.

Since learner driver insurance policies tend not to have cancellation fees, you won’t be bound by the deal if you switch early, but you should let your insurer know when you switch for make sure you are always covered.

As with any insurance policy, it’s important to check the fine print. Some learner driver policies will only cover you for driving at certain times of the day, while others require your supervising driver to be over 25, rather than over 21, as required by law.

Other than that, the main elements of a learner driver car insurance policy are similar to those of conventional car insurance policies. Coverage is generally offered on third party, third party, fire and theft or on a comprehensive basis.

On third party policies, your policy will only cover damage or injury you cause to any other driver involved in an accident and is the minimum level of cover that every driver must have by law. Liability, fire, and theft insurance covers damage or injury to others, and your car will be covered if it’s stolen or damaged by fire. Comprehensive policies include all of these benefits, plus coverage for damage or injury to yourself and your car.

What happens after you pass your driving test?

While most learner driver insurance policies cover you while you pass your test, if you pass your coverage will expire. Some companies may allow you to upgrade and convert to a conventional car insurance policy once you are fully qualified, but the price will likely increase once you are fully licensed and no longer have need to be accompanied to drive.

From the moment you pass your driving test, you will no longer be covered, which means that you will have to settle your insurance cover, even if it is only to return home from the test center driving. If you want time to shop around for a cheap deal, you might find it easier to take the driving test in your instructor’s car using their insurance.

It should be mentioned that those who drive with a provisional license can also accumulate penalty points if they do not respect the rules of the road. These points can be transferred to your full license as soon as you pass if they have not yet expired. If you get more than six points on your license in the first two years after passing your test, your license will be revoked. You will then have to reapply for a provisional license and retake your theoretical and practical driving test.

Now that you know how learner driver insurance works, check out our guide to get cheaper car insurance as a young driverand how to get your driver’s license

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