Collingwood Car Insurance Review: Learner and Young Driver Specialist

Collingwood
Collingwood

Collingwood Car Insurance Review: Learner and Young Driver Specialist

Specialist cover for learners and convicted drivers. See our price analysis of the learner short-term vs. annual policies to see which is a better deal for you.

Good for

  • Annual or short-term learner driver policies
  • Convicted drivers
  • Over 50's

Bad for

  • Fewer features

Editor's Rating

3.5/5.0

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Collingwood Insurance is a specialist in learner driver insurance, as well as young drivers, over 50's and some business vehicle cover. Read what we think of their negative reviews and see how prices compare. Quickly compare quotes from Collingwood against 100+ other car insurance brands by clicking the blue "Get Quotes" button below to see how much you can save.

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In This Review

Collingwood Car Insurance Overall Review

Collingwood car insurance can be an excellent option for learner and new drivers looking for specialised car insurance, due to their impressive customer reviews and plans designed specially to be flexible for the needs of a learner driver (i.e., an annual plan you can cancel without penalty and a short-term plan you can extend as you need).

Not only that, but Collingwood was an Insurance Choice Awards 2019 Winner as a Customer Service Champion and Highly Commended as Best Specialist Insurance Provider.

While Collingwood excels at learner driver cover, and that's what we're focusing on in this review. Collingwood also specialises in other product areas:

  • Annual Learner Driver Insurance
  • Short-Term Learner Driver Insurance
  • Young Driver Insurance
  • Van Insurance
  • Taxi Insurance
  • Professionals
  • Collingwood Plus (for convictions, driving bans, etc.)
  • Over 50's

Collingwood Car Insurance for Learner Drivers

Collingwood learner driver policies have some excellent features and you can choose between Third Party, Third Party Fire and Theft or Fully Comprehensive to suit your provisional insurance needs. Remember that Third Party cover only pays for damage or loss to other people or property. If you want to protect your car in the event of damage (e.g., from fire or an accident) or theft you'll need Comprehensive cover.

And as you can see in our pricing analysis below, it seems that Comprehensive cover comes out as cheap or cheaper than lower levels of coverage (i.e., TPFT and TPO) anyway. With Collingwood, learner drivers have the option of buying an annual policy or a short-term learner policy:

Types of Collingwood Learn Driver Policies

  • Annual Learner Policy: Get cover for a year and when you pass, Collingwood will give you a pro-rata refund for the remaining cover you didn't use. There are no cancellation charges, and you can pay monthly or annually.
  • Short Term Learner Policy: Get cover from 28 days and you can top up from just 7 days if you need to extend your cover.

What we like about Collingwood learner driver cover

  • Policy options: Drivers have the option of an annual learner policy or a short-term learner policy—but either way you have flexibility in the length of cover without paying astronomical change fees like you'll find on many other plans. And you can cancel as soon as you've passed and get a refund (if you have the annual policy)
  • Instant cover: You can get cover instantly (on the date and time you select), which is great because young drivers in particular can't wait to get behind the wheel. Quotes can be saved or you can "buy now" to purchase your cover once you're happy with everything. Your documents can be accessed immediately to read or download via your online account.
  • Lots of information: Collingwood has a very thorough set of FAQs on their website to answer the many questions you'll probably have. Here are the FAQs for annual learner policies and short-term learner policies.
  • Customer reviews: Great customer reviews.
  • For parents: If your child is learning on your car, a Collingwood "separate named driver learner policy" is supplemental to your car insurance policy. That means if your child has an accident and needs to make a claim, this won't affect the no claims bonus on your insurance.

What to be aware of

  • You can't add any extras after the policy has been purchased so if you want optional add ons like breakdown cover, be sure to include them upfront.
  • Your insurance might not show up on the MID immediately, but that's ok—while Collingwood sends new policies to the DVLA daily, the DVLA might take a few days to upload the information. Check online for your Certificate of Insurance to confirm you are covered to drive legally.
  • The Collingwood learner driver policy does not offer cover to drive on a Motorway at any time.
  • Report any incidents that lead to damage to your car within 24 hours or your excess may go up.

Collingwood Car Insurance Customer Service Reviews

Collingwood Ratings & Customer Reviews
Trustpilot customer service rating4.9 out of 5
Reviews.co.uk3.3 out of 5
Defaqto2 star

Collingwood generally have fantastic customer reviews, in particular the learner driver policies. We read through hundreds of online reviews to find any common complaints and also what customers like about Collingwood. Here's what we found:

Collingwood Trustpilot

Nearly 6,000 customers have rated Collingwood learner driver insurance with a remarkable 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot—as of the time of writing, this is the highest Trust score we've seen for a car insurance company! More than 9 out of 10 customers gave Collingwood a 5-star "Excellent" rating, and fewer than 1 in a hundred reviews rated Collingwood learner policies as "bad."

The vast majority of Collingwood customers report an excellent service on Trustpilot. Here are a few samples from Truspilot of positive customer reviews for Collingwood to give you a feel for what people like:

"Insured my car while learning to drive at an affordable price."

"Very helpful with getting my learner insurance and also cancelling it."

"... It took her three tests to pass and even after that time she was still entitled to a refund. This was easy too, a quick call to say she had passed her test and they were so happy for her, congratulating her, and said how much money she will be getting returned to her account. Easy as that. Definitely use again for my other children."

"By far the cheapest price for learner driver insurance that I could find. Good communication. Easy to work with this company."

There aren't very many negative customer reviews, and after reading them we have to say that not much jumped out as being problematic. There are some older complaints about the website, but they've long been fixed. Here are a few negative customer reviews of Collingwood car insurance from Trustpilot to give you an idea of challenges faced by existing policyholders:

"Collingwood learners insurance told me i was not insured at all due to the vehicle database showing my car was a coupe when in fact it is a coupe/convertible!! they then told me they do not insure convertibles and should have never accepted the policy but by this time they had already taken the £95.10 payment from me and issued a certificate etc so thought i was covered, and was told that policy should have never been accepted in the first place and i was never insured!!!"

"Yesterday I phoned Collingwood and gave a change of vehicle for my daughter. They took the payment and told me I was covered but no email came through. Today I have checked on the AskMID database and the car is not insured so I cannot use it. It is a Sunday so I can't contact them. This is really shoddy service and a total disgrace!"

Let's dig into the negative reviews. Regarding the first negative comment, keep in mind that while Collingwood sends new policies over to the DVLA on a daily basis, it's the DVLA that is responsible for uploading the details to the MID. This can take a few days. To see if you're insured check the Certificate of Insurance in the online customer portal.

The only "common" complaint (but not very common—we saw 2 such complaints) was when Collingwood cancelled a new policy after it was discovered that the car was not insurable by Collingwood—they don't cover all types of vehicle, for instance convertibles, cabriolets, SUVs, vans or cars fitted with dual controls (or cars worth more than £20,000). As a result the driver had to pay cancellation charges and was without insurance. It seems the two instances of this problem were caused by user error and could have been avoided by the driver properly filling out the application with the correct car "body type" (e.g., Coupe, Coupe/Convertable or Cabriolet).

Collingwood takes the time to look into complaints, even listening to recorded calls if necessary, to see if there was a real problem that should be addressed or not. For example, one woman complained "Very rude call centre people—There are far better companies that supply the same cover, avoid all costs." Collingwood looked into the situation and discovered that a non-authorised caller requested a change to the policyholder's data. According to their duty under the Data Protection Act, Collingwood did not allow the non-authorised caller to make a change to the policy. (A policyholder can add a "Third Party Authority" to act on their behalf, but this was never asked for). So in the end, Collingwood acted in the policyholder's best interest and under FCA regulation. And apparently, they ultimately resolved the situation in a pleasant manner anyway—so not nearly as negative as the comment first appears.

Collingwood Reviews.co.uk

On Reviews.co.uk, Collingwood gets 3.3 out of 5 stars by around 50 customers. Here there was a higher proportion of negative comments. We've included a few below to help you get the most out of your policy.

"They will charge you 30 pounds if you miss a direct debit, even if you call them and pay the same day."

"... my car was stolen and recovered but vandalised. i was covered for hire car i thought then found... there was a clause in the policy no car hire"

"Good until you have a claim. They will not accept indemnity and make excuses that you've not reported on time. Record all calls and make a note of names."

Collingwood supplies a courtesy car on comprehensive annual learner policies for damage resulting from a claim, but not in the case of a write off or theft. Many insurance companies have a similar policy.

Collingwood Defaqto

Finally, Collingwood car insurance has earned only 2 out of 5 stars from Defaqto for features. Why? We don't know the Defaqto algorithm, but let take a look at the features to see if we can figure it out.

Collingwood Features

We couldn't do a full analysis of features on Collingwood learner policies, because the Policy Wording documents are not available on their website and they wouldn't send up a copy to review. However, it appears based on information we found elsewhere on the site that comprehensive, annual learner policies include windscreen and a courtesy car (for repairs by an approved repairer that are related to a claim). We suspect these policies are generally quite light when it comes to other features like repair guarantees, onward travel, etc. but cannot say for certain without the docs—hence the low Defaqto rating.

Optional Extras

  • AA Breakdown Cover: two levels of cover including Roadside Assistance and Roadside Assistance and Relay.
  • Accidental Death Benefit and Personal Accident: will pay a benefit to the insured in the event of loss, death or bodily injury caused by a road traffic accident whilst driving or travelling in the insured vehicle.
  • Claims Assist Service: should you need to pursue your legal rights following a non-fault road traffic accident; benefits include pursuing a claim for death or personal injury, recovering uninsured losses and legal advice (terms, conditions and success fee apply).
  • Excess Protection Cover: covers the policyholder and named driver to recover some or all of the Excess in the event it's not recovered from a liable third party.
  • Key Cover: up to £500 towards the replacement of a car key or replacement locks.

Collingwood Car Insurance Quote Comparison

Collingwood is known for offering flexible policies to learner drivers at competitive prices—but how much does learner insurance really cost? We obtained sample quotes for a 17-year-old learner driver who owns a 1.0L 2015 Ford Fiesta to get an idea of how much the annual and short-term learner policies cost from Collingwood. Here's what we found:

How Much is Collingwood Learner Insurance?DurationComprehensiveThird Party, Fire and TheftTPO
Short-Term Learner Insurance
4 weeks£114.78£133.03n/a
8 weeks£206.06£242.58n/a
12 weeks£235.96£278.45n/a
16 weeks£308.07£364.99n/a
20 weeks£363.54£431.55n/a
24 weeks£396.82£471.49n/a
Annual Learner Insurance
52 weeks£300£300£300

FYI these prices are generally a lot lower than a new driver will pay once they've passed their test.

We noticed two interesting points from our test sample:

  • Comprehensive cover is the best deal: For short-term policies, Comprehensive cover costs less than Third Party, Fire and Theft or even TPO only plans; for annual plans, all three types cost the same. In that case, it always makes the most sense to get Comprehensive cover since you get the most cover, and for the lowest price. Win win!
  • Annual policies are better value for money: Considering that Collingwood says you can cancel an annual policy without any fees, it sure seems like most people will be better off buying the annual policy and then cancelling it when they pass their test. One caveat is that the Intermediary Service Fees are higher with the annual policy and you don't get these back when you cancel.

Short-Term vs. Annual Learner Policy: Which is Cheaper?

In the table below, we calculated the cost to you of buying a short-term learner policy of a certain length vs. buying an annual policy and cancelling it at the same number of weeks (at which point you get a pro-rata refund on the unused premium). Below are the all-in costs of both (including Insurance Premium Tax and the non-refundable Intermediary Service Fees).

As far as we can tell, getting cover with an annual policy ends up costing less than a short-term policy would—even though the non-refundable Intermediary Service Fees are higher with an annual policy (£68.50) than a short-term policy (£23.50). This is due to a much lower "per day" cost on the annual policy.

Your Cost for Learner CoverShort TermAnnual
4 weeks£114.78£86.31
8 weeks£206.06£104.12
12 weeks£235.96£121.92
16 weeks£308.07£139.73
20 weeks£363.54£157.54
24 weeks£396.82£175.35

It's always a good idea to compare the market before you buy a policy, however, especially when it comes to learner or new driver policies to make sure you'll getting a good deal. You can get a quote from Collingwood Insurance from our car insurance partner QuoteZone, a comparison website that works with over 100 brands in the UK car insurance market.

Poll

Which type of cover are you considering from Collingwood? We'd like to know what types of plans are most popular with motorists. Let us know which plans you're leaning towards and you can see what other people prefer, too.

Admin and Cancellation Fees

Cancellation fees vary depending on the type of policy you have. According to the Collingwood terms of business, here are their standard car insurance fees:

Collingwood Administration Fees
New Business and Renewal Insurance services processing Fee£68.50 (£23.50 for short-term learner policies)
Card processing fee (all card payments)£-
Mid-term adjustment administration fee£25
Hard copy of policy documentation£25
Cancellation fee£30 (no cancellation fee for learner policies)

What's the Collingwood Insurance cancellation policy?

Annual Learner Policy Cancellation: When cancelling an annual learner policy you would receive a pro-rata refund. This deducts the days on cover and the non-refundable intermediary fee of £68.50 which is included in the price. Any days not used would be refunded.

Short-Term Learner Cancellation: When cancelling a short-term learner policy you won't get any refund on policies less than 30 days in duration. For policies longer than 30 days, you can cancel in the first 14 days from the date you receive your policy documentation and receive a refund (unless you have made a total loss claim), which is subject to a charge for the period of cover you have received. However where cover has not started during this 14 day period, you will get a full refund of the premium you paid. After the 14 day cancellation period you can cancel your policy at any time, however you will receive no refund. The intermediary fee is not refundable.

Important Collingwood Car Insurance Phone Numbers

Collingwood customer service is open on Monday – Friday: 9am – 7pm and Saturday: 9am – 1pm. They're closed on Sunday.

Collingwood Car Insurance Contact Numbers
Learners Insurance0345 470 0014
Young Driver Insurance0345 470 2550
Collingwood Plus0345 470 0010
Car Insurance0345 646 0107
Over 50's Insurance0345 646 5050
Claims0345 370 0008

Collingwood Car Insurance Finance and Underwriting

Collingwood underwriters and partners
Close Brothers Premium Finance (CBPF)arranging credit to be repaid by direct debit
Collingwood Insurance Company LimitedCollingwood Motor Insurance Policy
Motorplus Limited and UK General Insurance Limited on behalf of Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) SEAccidental Death Benefit and Personal Accident cover
Motorplus Limited and UK General Insurance Limited on behalf of Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) SEExcess Protection Cover
Collingwood Insurance Company LimitedKey Cover
AA (Automobile Association)vehicle breakdown cover
Claims Assist ServiceWinn Solicitors

Policy Documents

To find out more about the conditions and exclusions, read the policy document that's applicable to your policy.

FAQs

Collingwood can offer competitive prices on flexible car insurance for learner drivers (and convicted drivers). The policies offer fewer features but are highly rated by customers.
To get a Collingwood quote you can either go directly to their website or use a comparison site like our partner NimbleFins.
Policyholders will be charged a £30 fee to cancel a car insurance policy; but there is no cancellation fee for the learner policies. (You will need to pay for the days you had cover and the intermediary service fee is non refundable.)
'Collingwood Insurance' is a trading style of Collingwood Insurance Company Limited, which underwrites the car insurance policies. The Registered Office of Collingwood Insurance Company Limited (Reg. No. 89988) is: Montagu Pavilion, 8-10 Queensway, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA.
You can upload documents (e.g., your Provisional Driving Licence) through you online account or email to [email protected]
Congratulations on passing! As soon as you've passed your practical driving test, you need to notify Collingwood and your learner policy will be cancelled. They'll refund the unused premium to you. And you will need to set up a new driver car insurance policy.
Yes, Collingwood covers lessons and sitting your test in the insured car.
Collingwood won't insure cars valued at more than £20,000 or any convertibles, cabriolets, SUVs, vans or cars fitted with dual controls.
To help you decide, consider how long you expect to have tuition before taking (and passing) your test. Also, remember that the short-term learner policy will require you to actively top up the coverage as you need more.
Collingwood sends new policies over to the DVLA every day, but the DVLA might now upload it immediately. New policyholders should check documents and confirm the correct vehicle registration, but be aware that it can take up to 72 hours to show as "insured" on the Motor Insurance Database. To make sure you are insured, check your Certificate of Insurance, which can be found in your online account or via the Collingwood Insurance app.

Other Car Insurance Reviews

If you'd like to compare Collingwood to other car insurance companies for learners, see our other learner car insurance reviews below:

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in the case writing team at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.

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