When you are learning to drive, you need to be covered by insurance. That’s easy when you’re sat next to a professional driving instructor, as their insurance will cover you. It gets more complicated when practising between lessons, either in your own car or someone else’s. There are two main options. One is to be a named driver on someone else’s insurance policy. The second is to take out learner driver insurance. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but for most new drivers we’d recommend learner driver insurance.
What is learner driver insurance?
Learner driver insurance covers you to practise in someone else’s car, most likely your parents. Instead of being added to their insurance and bumping up their premium, you’re covered by your own policy.
Why do I need it?
Well, insurance is a legal requirement, so you need to be covered one way or the other. But there are advantages to having your own learner driver policy. Being added as a named driver to your parents’ insurance can be expensive compared with having your own cover. Plus if you do have a mishap, you can claim on your policy not your parents’, which will help keep the peace if you damage the family car.
How much does it cost?
You should be able to find learner driver insurance for around £70 month, or less than £2 per day.
How long does cover last?
It varies. Some insurers will ask you to sign up for at least 30 days, others offer daily policies or will even cover you for just a few hours at a time.
Can I practise in any car?
Don’t expect to borrow the keys to your rich uncle’s Range Rover. Policies will place restrictions on the insurance group total value of the car you drive. Typically the highest insurance group allowed will be around group 30-35, and the maximum value of the car in the region of £20-£30,000.
Anything else I should know?
Learner driver insurance policies usually cover you do drive in one specific vehicle – expect to take out another policy if you want to practise in a second car. There may also be restrictions on the age of whoever is supervising you and their driving experience, so an older brother or sister may not have been behind the wheel for long enough. Also, if you’ve already made a claim due to a crash while learning, you may not be eligible for cover.
Isn’t it easier to be a named driver?
If you are practising in a family members car, they can add you to their existing insurance policy. But this will push up their premium.
Mishaps do happen when learning to drive, and if you crash the car they will have to claim on their policy, which will increase the cost of renewing next time.
Even if you don’t have a bump it’s useful to be covered by your own learner driver insurance policy as you can start to build up your own no-claims discount, which should cut the cost of regular insurance cover once you pass your driving test.