Marmalade Car Insurance Review: the Best Young Driver Cover for You?

Marmalade Car Insurance Review: the Best Young Driver Cover for You?

Providing specialist cover for learner drivers, young drivers, student drivers and drivers who are a named driver on their parent's or grandparent's car, Marmalade seems to offer good prices and a solid customer experience.

Good for

  • Specialist cover for learners, young drivers, black box, named drivers and student drivers
  • Good customer reviews

Bad for

  • No repairs guarantee
  • Only minimum liability cover in EU
  • No courtesy car for theft or write off

Editor's Rating


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.

Marmalade specialises in cover for those with a learner's permit, short-term cover for students when they're home, black box cover for young drivers and named drivers on a parent's or grandparent's car. Solid customer reviews are encouraging and clear rules for black box driving keep you in the driver seat, however potential customer should be aware of a few missing features before signing up, such as no guarantee on repairs.

If you're ready to get quotes or buy a policy, compare Marmalade to over 100 brands including RAC, Admiral and Hastings in under 2 minutes—click the blue "Get Quotes" button below. Remember not to wait too long—the best time to buy car insurance is 3 weeks before the start date and prices get more expensive the longer you wait.

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51% of consumers could save £264 on their car insurance. The saving was calculated by comparing the cheapest price found with the average of the next four cheapest prices quoted by insurance providers on QuoteZone/Seopa Ltd’s insurance comparison website (based on representative cost savings data for November 2019). The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances.

In This Review

Marmalade Car Insurance Overall Review

Marmalade is a specialist provider of car insurance policies for young drivers who want a black box policy, learner drivers who don't have their full licence yet, student drivers and young drivers driving their parent's or grandparent's car. Marmalade accepts drivers up to 34 years of age and has policies aimed at 4 different types of young driver:

Type of Marmalade CoverDetails
Learner Driver
  • For provisional licence holders only
  • Learner drivers aged 17-34
  • Cover to practice in someone else’s car
Student Driver
  • Short term cover for full licence holders
  • Fully comprehensive cover for 7, 14, 21 or 28 days
  • Ages 18 - 27
  • For driving someone else's car
Named Driver
  • Suitable for both learner and qualified drivers
  • Drivers aged 17-27
  • For driving a parent's or grandparent's car
  • Only for cars valued under £30,000
Young Driver Black Box
  • Suitable for both learners and full licence holders
  • Drivers aged 17-30
  • Cover for driving your own car

Customers of Marmalade will have their policy underwritten by one of the biggest UK car insurance companies, LV= or ageas:

Who underwrites Marmalade policies?As of November 2019
New, Young Driver Black Boxhighway (part of LV=)
Learner Driverageas
Student Driverageas
Named Driverageas

Marmalade Black Box: How Restrictive Is It?

A black box policy can save a young driver hundreds of pounds a year or more, because it encourages safe driving while a new driver is gaining valuable experience behind the wheel. Many black box policies are quite restrictive, imposing curfews and cancelling policies if you get a speeding ticket. How tough is Marmalade's policy?

For starters, there's no curfew so you can drive at any time and there's no mileage limit.

Marmalade tracks your driving through a black box which you can fit (or you can hire a professional from Marmalade for £50 - £100 to install it for you—call 01733 207960). The black box will track data including but not limited to the time of day/date of travel, location, distance driven, speed, braking frequency and force, acceleration and time spent stationary. This data will be used to develop a profile of your driving habits and patterns, as well as "driving behaviour scores" for each journey:

  • Green journeys: Driving score over 75%; no premium increase or cancellation.
  • Amber journeys: Driving score between 55% and 75%; no premium increase or cancellation but you and your named drivers can review these journeys on the secure Internet portal.
  • Red journeys: High risk. A driving behaviour score of less than 55%; may result in increased premiums or cancellation of your policy.

Named drivers are altogether allowed one red journey, at which point you'll receive a caution notice by email and SMS. You have 24 hours to review this caution—after the 24 hours are up then an additional red journey will see you entering "Stage 1". You'll be in Stage 1 for 30 days, during which time a third red journey will cost you £125 and moving to stage 2, and so on:

Red ZoneTime PeriodConsequence of a Red Journey during this stage
Stage 130 daysAdditional premium of £125 and move to stage 2
Stage 260 daysAdditional premium of £250 and move to stage 3
Stage 390 daysPolicy cancellation


As you'll see in the features table below, Marmalade black box policies offer most of the "must have" features one should look for in a policy according to the Money Advice Service, with a few exceptions. For example, Marmalade doesn't offer a guarantee on insured damage repairs carried out by their approved repairers (most car insurance will offer some form of guarantee). Also, the optional NCD protection only allows for 2 claims in 5 years, while many other insurers cover you for 2 claims in just 3 years.

If these aren't important to you then Marmalade might still be a great option for you.

Here is a high-level summary of Marmalade comprehensive cover features for black box policies bought direct from Marmalade—remember, these are always subject to conditions and exclusions, which you can read about in the policy documents.

How Good is Marmalade Car Insurance?A Good Policy IncludesDoes Marmalade Deliver?Marmalade Comprehensive Black Box Coverage
"Must Have" Features
WindscreenFull repair or replacement
thumbs up
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Up to £250
question mark
Up to £1,000 if lost or stolen provided they think whoever has them knows the identity and location of your car.
Protected NCD2 times in 3 years (standard or optional extra)
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If you buy the add on
Car recovery after accidentIncluded
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Courtesy car (repairs)Minimum 14 days
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Included for duration of repairs
Repairs guaranteed12-month guarantee
red x
Not included
"Should Have" Features
New car replacementTheft or damage at least 60% of list price; cars up to 12 months old
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Stereo and satellite navMarket value for manufactur fitted
question mark
Up to the limit on your schedule
Alternative transport & Hotel after accident£250+
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Up to £300
24-hour emergency helplineStandard
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Courtesy car (total loss or theft)Standard or add-on extra
red x
Not included
Motor legal expensesStandard or add-on extra
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Breakdown coverStandard or add-on extra
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If you buy the add on
"Could Have" Features
Same cover in EUStandard or add-on extra
red x
Minimum cover only (see terms)
Child car seat replacement after accident, theft, fireIdeally replaced even if no visible damage
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Included, so long as you provide the purchase receipt for the original item
Larger/premium courtesy carStandard or add-on extra
red x
Not available
No fault NCD protectionStandard
red x
Not included
Uninsured driver NCD protectionStandard
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Cancellation feeNo more than £50
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£25 (plus tax, of course)

Marmalade Car Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings

Is Marmalade any good? Marmalade has really good customer reviews, achieving 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot from over 4,000 customers—this is a relatively high customer rating. However, Marmalade car insurance only gets 2 out of 5 stars from defaqto for features, which is not a surprise considering some of the missing features mentioned above.

Marmalade Ratings & Customer Reviews
Trustpilot customer service rating4.6 out of 5
defaqto2 out of 5

Sample of positive customer reviews of Marmalade

Here is a sample of some of the positive comments left by Marmalade customers online, so you can get a feel for what works well:

"Really good insurance also covers driving practical test."

"Really good to be able to talk to someone direct. Quick to answer the phone. Information emails confirming conversations and insurance very prompt."

"A fantastic insurance company for learner drivers! So easy to arrange and options for how long you want to insure the learner driver for. Thank you for making this experience from a parents point of view really stress free"

"fab service value for money"

"This is an excellent insurance company. Used them approx 3 years ago. Bought some more insurance again a couple of weeks ago for my daughter. Unfortunately there was a close family death the day after the insurance started so I wasn't able to take my daughter out. Spoke to the team leader who was very sympathetic and handled my call excellently. She cancelled the insurance and gave me the premium back then advised that when we were ready to re buy the learner driver insurance. A company that is this caring and understanding is definitely worth shouting about."

"Quick and easy to set up and goes towards your own no claims. Simply incredible and can get driving straight away"

"Great service and the cheapest quote for a new driver by about £200."

"Very helpful and easy to arrange and the price stays the same when my son passes totally recommend. Have also been using the app it’s great keeps on eye on how your doing had no problems."

Sample of negative customer reviews of Marmalade

Here is a sample of negative comments left by customers so you can see some common complaints:

"Customer service is a hit and miss..."

"Think it’s wrong that the additional adult has to be a parent. I don’t think it caters for every one with different family structures."

"... complained that it was a postcode lottery, I see your response was that sometimes you won’t insure people if their address is in a new build which I’m guessing is the reason you declined my daughter because she has her own home in a new build."

"Been trying to contact them for days to get my black box fitted and the only date available is 2 weeks from now!"

Marmalade Car Insurance Discounts

Marmalade offers a typical set of car insurance discounts, such as savings for good driving records, no claims discounts and paying in full at the start of each policy year.

DiscountWho qualifies?
No Claims DiscountEach year you don't make a claim should increase your NCD up to 9 years of no claims discount with iGO4, up to a limit
Pay upfrontPay your full premium at the start of the policy to save money (variable APR)
Buy your policy earlyBuying your policy a few weeks ahead of the start date can generally save you money
Safe drivingThe safest black box drivers will receive a discount upon renewal.

Cancellation & Admin Fees

Marmalade fees vary depending on the type of policy you have, but in most cases you should expect to pay a fee to the insurer (e.g., highway or ageas) and also to Marmalade if you want to cancel your policy.

Marmalade Cancellation Fees
Black Box policies
Cancel within 14 daysMarmalade charge: £10 (+ Insurer charge: Minimum of £25 + Insurance Premium Tax)
Cancel after 14 daysMarmalade charge: £25 (+ Insurer charge: Minimum of £25 + Insurance Premium Tax)
Learner policies
Cancel within 14 days30, 60, 90 or 180 day policy: £10 admin fee; 1 year policy: £20 admin fee
Cancel after 14 days30, 60, 90 or 180 day policy: no refund available; year policy: £50 admin fee
Named Young Driver
Cancel within 14 daysno fee
Cancel after 14 days£100

Important Marmalade Car Insurance Phone Numbers

Customers can reach Marmalade customer service 6 days a week, not on Sundays. There's an online live chat feature and phone customer service lines which are open Monday - Thursday: 9:00am - 6:30pm, Friday: 9:00am - 5:30pm and Saturday: 9:00am - 3:00pm.

Marmalade Car Insurance Contact Numbers
Customer Services0333 358 3441
24 Hour Helplines
Claims0333 358 0258
Glass Repair Helpline (Highway Glassline)0333 358 0028

Policy Documents & Claims

To find out more about the conditions and exclusions, read the policy documents. Below we supply links to the policy documents for each type of Marmalade insurance, as well as links for claiming.

Policy TypePolicy DocumentHow to Claim

Learner Driver

Policy documentMake a claim
Student DriverPolicy documentMake a claim
New, Young Driver with Black BoxPolicy documentMake a claim
Named DriverPolicy documentMake a claim


Marmalade may be missing a few features as we discuss in the features portion of our review—but if you're ok with the cover provided, Marmalade has excellent customer reviews.
It depends on your licence. If you have a provisional licence you're covered to drive straight away on your policy start date. You must send the required documentation within 24 hours of this date, and fit the black box to the car within 7 days. If you have a full licence then your policy will only start once Marmalade has received copies of your Policyholder Declaration, Driving Licence and V5C logbook; the box has been installed; and you've had your welcome call (policy documents will be sent and your policy will be activated).

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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 Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.