To really make the most of your lessons, it pays to practice regularly. That means hitting the road in a friend or family member’s car under their supervision. You can’t just jump in anyone’s car, you’ll need to arrange insurance. Broadly speaking there are two options to consider…
How can I keep learning outside of my driving lessons?
Professional driving tuition is expensive, and it’s this cost which can easily limit the amount of time you get behind the wheel. However, if you’re able to practise independently you’ll build experience and confidence that much faster. Your parents may well have suitable cars, but affordable cover may be elusive – which is where temporary learner insurance comes in.
Temporary learner driver insurance allows you to practise in somebody’s car, and instead of you having to be covered by their insurance, you’re covered by your own. You’re comprehensively insured, too, which means that if you prang your mum’s car, she won’t have to claim on her policy.
There are lots of these schemes available, with prices typically starting at around £70 per month. These policies generally allow you to learn in pretty much any type of car, as long as it’s under supervision, and with the owner’s permission. Policies generally range from a month to a whole year, but once you’ve paid for that initial period, you can normally top up just a week at a time.
When you pass your test you’ll usually need to arrange normal insurance cover or you’ll be driving uninsured. If you’re lucky enough to own your own car before you’ve swapped your provisional licence for a full one, there are companies who will cover you while learning in your own car, too.
As with any insurance cover, you have to read the small print. One thing that tends to upset insurance companies is young drivers piloting something expensive and powerful, so you’ll need to make some checks. For example, there may be an insurance group limit, while a car’s value may be another obstacle. Whoever supervises you is probably going to have to be at least 25 years old, and should have had a licence for at least three years.
There may be other restrictions, too, such as driving at night, and any car you learn in must already be covered on a conventional annual policy. Also, the chances are you’ll have to buy a separate policy for each car, if you practise in more than one.
Many learner drivers are added to someone else’s insurance policy as a ‘named driver’. This saves on the need to set up your own policy, but it can be expensive. As well as bumping up your parents’ insurance premium, if you have a mishap they could lose their no claims bonus. And that could make things pretty tense at home!
Learner Driver Insurance
Alternatively, you could arrange your own learner driver insurance cover. This means that if you do put a dent in mum or dad’s motor, you won’t put a dent in their bank balance – you’ll claim on your own policy. There are usually restrictions on the insurance group and value of the car you can drive, but it’s a simple way to find cover without putting anyone else’s no claims bonus at risk, while starting to build up your own.