Whenever you get behind the wheel, you need insurance cover. As a learner driver, you could choose to be a named driver on someone else’s car. But for most new drivers, provisional insurance is a better option. Also known as learner driver insurance, these policies cover you to drive while you still have a provisional driving licence.
Let’s go through the different insurance options…
Should I be a named driver on a parent’s car?
One the face of it, being a named driver on a parent’s car is a simple way of finding insurance. Mum or dad add you to their policy, so you can practise between lessons in the family car.
There are some big downsides, though. If you have a crash while driving the family car, your parents will have to make a claim, losing any no-claims bonus. Even if you don’t have an accident, simply adding a learner drive will push up the cost of their policy.
What about arranging learner driver insurance on a parent’s car?
An alternative form of provisional insurance is to arrange learner driver cover on someone else’s car, usually your parents’. Lots of insurers offer this type of policy, including our provisional insurance partner, Adrian Flux.
With this type of insurance, your parents keep their main policy, and you have your own separate policy which covers you while you are practising between lessons. This can often be cheaper than being a named driver, and it means your mum and dad’s no-claims bonus is protected. If you have a crash, you’ll claim on your policy.
You’ll need to have someone with you while you are practising. By law they must be 21 and have held a full driving licence for the type of car you are driving for three years. Check with your insurer, though, as they may insist on the superviser being older or having more driving experience than the letter of the law demands.
Some learner driver insurance policies can be arranged for short periods (for example, 30, 60, or 90 days) or a certain number of miles. Others are year-long policies which can be updated when you pass your practical test and have a full driving licence.
Can I have learner driver insurance on my own car?
If you are lucky enough to have your own car even though you haven’t passed the practical test yet, you can arrange provisional insurance to cover you while you learn.
Again, you can choose between short-term policies and ones that last for a year. As with a policy that covers you to drive in someone else’s car, you’ll need to have a supervising driver with you whenever you drive.
Can I build a no-claims bonus?
Some provisional insurance policies allow you to build a no-claims bonus as you learn. As a rule, this applies when you take out year-long policies, which you convert to a regular qualified driver policy when you pass the test.
What happens when I pass the test?
The majority of provisional insurance policies end when you pass. You can phone your insurer to change your policy when pass the practical test. It should only take a few moments as they will have all your details on file.
It’s really important to remember to make the call if you take the test in your own car, otherwise you won’t be insured when you drive home. If you take the practical in an instructor’s car it’s less urgent, but don’t forget to do it before your first solo drive!
Generally speaking, you can expect the cost of the policy to go up when you pass, as you won’t have the safety net of a supervising driver next to you.
However, there are policies from the likes of Marmalade that convert into cover for a fully qualified driver without any increase in your premium. But even with this type of policy you will still need to call your insurer to tell them that you have passed your driving test.