Car insurance guide for learner drivers


Learning to drive can be both exciting and daunting in equal measures. It can also become very expensive, very quickly, especially when lessons with a qualified driving instructor can cost up to £30 per hour.

With that in mind, it often makes financial sense to ask a friend or family member to supervise while you’re practising. If you do, it’s important to know what is and isn’t allowed. To ensure you stay within the rules, here’s advice from comparison site for cheap car insurance in the UK,

When can I learn to drive?

You must be 17 to learn to drive, you’ll also need a provisional driving licence which you can apply for when you’re 15 years and 9 months old.

However, you can start to drive at 16 if you receive (or have applied for) the enhanced payment of the mobility element of the personal independent payment (PIP).

Who can supervise me when I practise?

If you’re asking friends and family to supervise you while you practise, you must ensure they:

  • Are over 21 years old.
  • Are entitled to drive the type of car you are practising in, for example if it’s a manual car, they must be able to drive one.
  • Have had a full driving licence for at least three years, the licence must be from the UK, the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Do learner drivers need car insurance?

Yes, all drivers must have appropriate insurance that reflects their needs and the activities they use their car for. As a learner driver that means you’ll need suitable learner driver insurance which is also called provisional driver insurance.

If you have your own car and are practising in this, you can arrange your own policy. The person supervising you doesn’t have to be insured on this policy but it’s something worth considering just in case they need to take over the driving at any point.

If you’re using someone else’s car (for instance, the one belonging to the person supervising you), you have two main options:

  • Be added as a named driver to the car owner’s policy.
  • Take out your own learner policy to drive their car.

Being added as a named driver can work out cheaper depending on your specific circumstances. But if you have an accident and make a claim on the policy, it will affect the policyholder’s no claims bonus (unless they have protected it).

On the flip side, taking out your own policy can be much more expensive. But if you have an accident and make a claim, it won’t affect the car owner’s no claims. It also means you can start building up your own no claims bonus. 

Are learner drivers responsible for accidents?

Learner drivers have the same duty of care and responsibility as everyone else. That means, if you’re involved in an accident and considered to be at fault, you can expect to face the same consequences as any other driver.

The person supervising you is also expected to behave responsibly, which means they must:

  • Meet the minimum eyesight requirements for drivers.
  • Not use a mobile phone while supervising you.
  • Not be over the legal alcohol limit.

If they aren’t and you have an accident, they may also be held accountable for what happened.  

Will I need different insurance after passing my practical driving test?

Yes, learner driver insurance is only suitable while you’re learning to drive. So, that means if you pass your test, you cannot drive home with just a learner driver policy in place. You’ll need to get someone with the correct insurance to drive you home instead.

As soon as you pass your practical test, let your insurer know and find a standard car insurance policy instead.

What’s the best car insurance for new drivers?

When it comes to insurance, there really isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ model and what’s right for you will depend on your circumstances.

As a new and especially young driver, the one thing you will notice is that premiums are typically much higher compared to those for other age groups. This is because drivers under 25 are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident.

To keep costs as low as possible, consider a telematics policy which bases your premium according to how well you drive (based on accelerating, braking and cornering). If you can pay for your policy annually instead of monthly as this will help you avoid interest fees. Don’t forget that smaller, less powerful cars are also cheaper to insure.

At sites like, you can also save money by comparing policies from a range of insurers. You can start a quote online right now or speak to an expert on 0330 022 8825.


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