Learner Driver Insurance: Key Things To Know Before Your Teen Hits The Road

As soon as they reach their 17th birthday most teens will be clamouring for driving lessons. I remember learning in my dad’s Ford Fiesta which was a pretty nerve-wracking experience for both of us.  A few shouty Sunday expeditions led to him investing in driving lessons with a qualified instructor! Caitlin and Ieuan have 4 and 5 years to go before they can have a provisional licence but they are already looking forward to getting behind the wheel.

For parents though, it isn’t just the cost of the driving lessons (or a car!) to take into account.  Just as important is taking out temporary learner insurance.  If you’re looking for the cheapest way to insure a learner driver, read on to learn the key things you need to know about protecting your teen, your car and your No Claims Bonus!

What is learner driver insurance?

Learner driver insurance is short-term car insurance designed to cover your teen while they practise either in your own car or that of a friend or relative without a qualified driving instructor or with an instructor in your own vehicle.

It is designed to help a learner get that vital extra driving experience as they learn and prepare for their driving test.

When does my teen need learner driver insurance?

These are the instances where you will need cover for your teen

  • when they will be learning to drive in your own car with an instructor, friend or family member
  • when they will be having private instruction from a friend or family member in their own car
  • when they want to practise driving outside their lesson time in a car that is not their instructor’s

Basically, if your teen is practising in any car that is not insured by their driving instructor, then it is your responsibility to ensure that you have learner driver insurance.

Is my teen eligible for learner driver insurance?

Your teen must be 17 years old and hold a current provisional UK driving licence. They must be a permanent UK resident.

Can I get learner driver insurance on my own car?

Assuming that you are brave enough to give your teen permission to drive your vehicle, your car must:

  • be registered in the UK
  • have a current market value of less than £40,000
  • have no more than 7 seats including the driver’s
  • have no modifications
  • and must not be a hire or rental vehicle

How much is learner driver insurance?

Short-term learner driver insurance can start from just £8 for 2 hours and as little as £28 for a week’s cover. One-day car insurance policies are also available – although speaking from experience it took me months to learn!  The cost will vary depending on the vehicle to be insured and who will be instructing the learner.

Things to know about learner driver insurance policies

This type of insurance does not give the learner free rein to get behind the wheel whenever they choose – and especially not without a qualified driver.

Be aware that:

  • driving is only permitted between the hours of 6 am and midnight
  • your teen must be accompanied by a qualified driver aged between 25 and 75 who has held a full UK licence for at least 3 years.
  • all provisional driver insurance ceases the moment they pass their test.
  • a learner driver can drive with passengers on a provisional licence but the instructor / supervisor must be present.  Passengers are generally discouraged due to the risk of distraction.

Can a learner driver be added to an existing annual policy?

Yes they can.  A provisional licence holder can be added as a ‘named driver’ to an existing annual policy but note that you will need to inform your insurer once your teen has passed their test to update their cover.

Can my teen have driving lessons on a motorway?

If you are teaching your teen to drive then the answer to this is no.  Learners can have driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales if they are:

  • supervised by a qualified driving instructor
  • in a dual-controlled learner driver car

Full guidance on the current law can be found here.

What to look for in a learner driver insurance policy

As with any insurance policy, make sure you do your research and compare quotes on a like-for-like basis but look for policies which offer protection for your No Claims Discount and pay-as-you-go cover so that you only pay for what you need.  Some insurers will also refund your unused premium if your teen passes their test ahead of schedule.

What do I need to get a quote?

To apply for a quote, you will need to supply

  • Your teen’s name, address and date of birth
  • Their provisional driving licence number
  • Details of the registered vehicle and the vehicle’s owner

And before you consider allowing your teen to practise in your own car, here are a few tips to avoid a stressful hour or two in your car.  I remember my dad shouting “keep to the left” as I happily drove down the middle of the road.

So, to be on the safe side:-

  • Wait until the instructor says your teen is ready to go out with you.
  • Practise on roads you know very well.
  • Give clear instructions in plenty of time.
  • Practise the same things they learn in their lesson.

and, most importantly of all – stay calm and patient!

Good luck!

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