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Is it better for learner drivers to have their own car insurance policy?

If you’re learning to drive and practising in between lessons in someone else’s car, insurance can be a confusing topic to navigate. For example, is it better to be added as a named driver on an existing policy or should you take out your own learner driver insurance? Here, we take a look at each option and their pros and cons, so that you can decide what’s best for you.

What is learner driver insurance?

Learner driver cover is suitable for anyone that has a provisional licence (it’s sometimes called provisional insurance). Policies enable you to drive in your own car or in someone else’s if you’re practising in between lessons.

Car insurance for learner drivers covers the same risks as standard policies so you can choose from:

  • Third Party Only—this compensates other people for injuries and damage you cause.
  • Third Party, Fire and Theft—includes Third Party Only and will also compensate you if your car is stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Comprehensive—this is the highest level of cover you can buy, it includes Third Party, Fire and Theft and will also pay to repair or replace the car you’re driving if you’re involved in an accident.

What are my car insurance options when learning to drive?

If you’re learning to drive with a driving school, your lessons will be covered by their insurance, so you won’t need to worry about it. But, if you’re practising outside of lessons in a friend or family member’s car or you’re learning to drive in your own vehicle, you’ll need suitable insurance.

As a learner driver, you have two main options depending on your circumstances:

Be added as a named driver on an existing policy

This only applies if you’re using someone else’s car to practise in and where there is existing insurance in place. In this instance, the main policyholder can have you added as a named driver on their policy.

Being added as a named driver is probably the easiest way to get yourself insured but it will increase the policyholder’s premium significantly. It also means that if you have an accident and make a claim, it will affect the policyholder’s no claims bonus. When it comes to renewal, this will also drive up their premium.

Take out your own learner driver insurance

You can choose this option whether you’re borrowing a car or if you have your own. One big advantage of arranging your own insurance is that there are a number of insurers that specialise in learner driver and young driver cover. As a result, their quotes are often competitively priced compared to other, mainstream providers.

Taking out your own policy also means it stands alone but can sit alongside someone else’s insurance plan. For example, if you’re borrowing the family car to practise in, your learner policy will be in addition to your parents’ policy. So, if you have an accident and make a claim, it won’t affect your parents’ insurance or their no claims bonus.

Another advantage is that learner driver car insurance tends to be very flexible and you can get cover for as long (or as little) as you need. Some insurers even offer learner driver cover for as little as two hours which is perfect if you’re just brushing up before your test. Otherwise, you can opt for policies that last for days, weeks or months. This type of short-term car insurance can work out as the most cost-effective option.

Bear in mind that if you have your own car, your best option may be to have an annual car insurance policy.

Is it cheaper to have your own learner driver car insurance?

Whether you’ve got a provisional licence or have just passed your test, car insurance for young drivers is expensive however you look at it. This is because younger drivers under 25 are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident. This increased risk is reflected in premiums and the reason why policies cost considerably more than the average.

That said, having your own insurance can work out better value in the sense that any claims you make won’t impact anyone else’s policy (if you’re borrowing someone’s car). Plus, if you have an annual policy you’ll have the opportunity of building up your own no claims bonus which can help lower your premiums at renewal.

Is it better to take out learner driver insurance or be added as a named driver?

In truth, no one option is better than another. Ultimately, when it comes to choosing car insurance, there is no right or wrong and what’s best for you will depend on your own situation.

If cost is your main consideration, remember that premiums are affected by a range of factors. For example, the make and model of the car you’re driving, the length of the policy and where you live. As a learner driver borrowing a car, a lot of these factors will be out of your control so getting the best deal is really a question of comparing different quotes. How can I lower the cost of learner driver insurance?

You can help keep costs as low as possible by taking out a telematics (or black box) insurance policy. If you choose this, a telematics device will be fitted to your car. This will monitor your driving and assess you on things like cornering, braking and speed. If you drive consistently well according to those measures, your insurer could reduce your premium as a result.

Alternatively, you can make sure you get value for money by comparing insurers right here. We’ve teamed up with Quotezone to bring you quotes from a wide range of providers so that you can find a policy that fits your needs and your budget.