One of the big questions that driving instructors get asked on a regular basis by learner drivers carrying out their driving lessons is whether it is possible for them to be insured on their parent’s car, to undertake further private practice.
Thankfully, learner driver insurance, otherwise known as provisional licence insurance, is both straightforward and inexpensive to arrange.
What is provisional licence insurance?
By law, all drivers in the UK are required to have some form of insurance on the vehicles they use on roads and public places. This legal requirement ensures that drivers, other road users and property owners are protected against severe financial implications in the event of a collision.
Provisional licence insurance is flexible and can cover students who are learning to drive on your car throughout their driving lessons all the way through until they have qualified.
The main way that this insurance differs from your typical driving insurance, is that it is specifically tailored to cover students to drive someone else’s car without them needing to be directly added to a car owner’s insurance policy.
Pupils should be aware that they will not need to take out any additional insurance if they are solely learning to drive in a driving instructor’s vehicle, as their instructor’s insurance will cover them to learn to drive in their tuition vehicle.
However, learners will need to take out learner driver insurance if they are being taught by a driver instructor in their own car or if they are undertaking private practice with a friend or family member.
The benefits of learner driving insurance
One of the major benefits of a learner driver taking out their own provisional licence insurance instead of being placed as a named driver on your personal insurance policy is that it is much more cost-effective. This is particularly important in the unfortunate event of an accident.
If you insure a learner driver on your car and they were subsequently involved in a collision, it would affect your no claims discount as you would be the named policyholder. However, separate learner driver insurance would not affect your premium at all, as the learner driver acts as the policyholder.
Having a learner driver insured on your car enables them to get vital additional private practice and raise their driving experience. This can have the effect of reducing their overall costs of learning to drive in that fewer driving lessons may be required for them to pass.
A further advantage of this approach is if the learner driver will be using the car you are insuring them on once they pass, they will naturally feel more comfortable on the road having gained some experience driving it.
Finally, learner drivers can start earning their no claims discount from the moment they take out the policy, which could potentially lead to their following year’s policy premium decreasing by thirty to fifty per cent!
How much does it cost to insure a learner driver?
The average cost to insure a learner driver is around two to five pounds per day, however this will differ from person to person. Insurers will look at several factors including age, gender and location to determine how much to charge for learner driver insurance.
The cost will also depend on whether as a student you are taking out your own provisional licence insurance or if you are being added to someone else’s pre-existing insurance, for example a parent’s.
A lot of insurers that do not specialise in learner driver insurance are reluctant to put young drivers as additional drivers on other’s car insurance policies as they feel that they are too high risk. In some cases, they will decline to put them on the insurance at all!
What is the cheapest way to insure a learner driver?
In our view, the cheapest way to insure yourself as a learner driver is, if you have your own car, to insure it on a ‘hybrid policy’ which is a combination of learner driver insurance and full insurance.
This way, you’ll build up your no claims discount (a reduction in the cost of your car insurance if you don’t make a claim) which can be incredibly valuable when you are a young driver, as it makes your annual renewals a lot cheaper.
You can also add experienced drivers to this insurance policy, which can bring down the price significantly!
Is provisional insurance cheaper than full licence insurance?
On average, you can save £350 annually on learner driver insurance versus full licence insurance. This is mainly because of the fact that learners must be accompanied by a full licence holder with a few years of driving experience, which should in theory make them much safer than a newly qualified driver that is driving independently.
Learners may be able to find very cheap insurance online, however, it is worth understanding that there are potential concerns with taking out insurance without clearly understanding the terms of the policy first. For example, you could be quoted a sum for annual learner cover but if you pass your driving test within that year then the insurer may choose to hike the price up midterm.
This is because they believe that you are at higher risk, due to you now driving on your own without a parent or driving instructor in the car with you. When you are first taking out a policy, insurers may not tell you a price for your premium for once you’ve passed unless you ask them directly in advance, so we strongly recommend understanding this prior to committing.
Read our guide on the best cars for learner drivers to find the perfect vehicle to learn in.