Learner Drivers

Making sure you get the right car insurance for learner drivers

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When it comes to car insurance for learner drivers, to enable them to practice outside of professional lessons, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind in order to choose the most appropriate cover should the unexpected happen.

The need for car insurance for learner drivers

While undertaking driving lessons with a registered instructor, a learner doesn’t need insurance as the school or individual will have insurance to cover their pupils. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) proposes that 47 hours of professional instruction and 20 hours of private practice are generally required for new drivers. Outside of professional practice, a learner will need their own coverage for driving a car belonging to a friend or relative.

Between October and December 2017, there were 553,351 theory and 461,055 practical driving tests undertaken in the UK. With changes affecting learner drivers coming into force in 2018, such as with voluntary lessons on motorways, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the law and ensure you are protected with the correct level of insurance.

Types of learner insurance

There are different ways to obtain car insurance for learner drivers, though the premiums can be notoriously high, so it’s important to ensure the most suitable, appropriate cover is sought. The first involves being added to a family member’s or friend’s existing insurance policy. This route can, however, be expensive, and may affect their no claims bonus should a claim be raised. It will also mean that the learner driver will be unable to build up their own no claims bonus whilst they are on that policy. The popular alternative route is for individual learner insurance, which will work in tandem with an existing policy on the car in question, for when the learner is practicing. Having this separate to the main policyholder’s insurance means that any claim made by the learner is on their own policy – the main policy is therefore not at risk and any no claims bonus will be unaffected. Learner insurance can often be purchased by the month, week or even the day or hour.

Considerations for learner driver insurance

Car insurance for learner drivers will vary, but in general, policies will have a few things in common. For instance, a policy will typically provide comprehensive cover for the learner to drive that car while accompanied by a driver aged between 25 and 75 years of age who has held a full UK licence for a minimum of three years.

Typical exclusions may include time restrictions on some policies, such as the driver not being covered between 10pm and 6am. Payout of any claims will be dependent on the criteria being met, such as the car also being covered on an annual insurance policy and the learner being accompanied by an appropriate driver. There will often be an excess on such policies for each claim made.

Most importantly, the insurance needs to be best suited to the situation and the needs of the learner. While price is a consideration, safety and peace of mind are paramount. Learner drivers should be insured for any and all eventualities, ensuring the learner and any other passengers are well protected whatever happens.

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