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

  • 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, and we like that they've improved their cover by now offering a guarantee on repairs (if you use an approved repairer).

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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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?
New, Young Driver Black Boxhighway (part of LV=)
Learner DriverAgeas Insurance or Markerstudy Insurance Services
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 (but you do need to be honest about the miles you plan on driving when you take out your policy).

Marmalade tracks your driving through a black box, which you fit yourself to your car (no waiting around for an engineer like you had to do a few years ago). The telematics tag will be posted to you after you have purchased your policy. The telematics tag is self-adhesive and you stick it on the side windscreen of your car. You also need to download the Marmalade Young Driver App. Once all that is done, you'll follow the instructions on the Young Driver app to pair the telematics tag with your smartphone.

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: A journey score of 3, 4 or 5; No premium increase or cancellation.
  • Amber journeys: A journey score of 2; no premium increases or cancellation but you and the insured driver will be requested to review your driving behaviour.
  • Red journeys: A journey score of 1. May result in increased premium 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 mean you enter "stage 1" and will be charged an additional premium or, subject to availability, you'll be given a choice of an on-road training session with the road safety organisation IAM RoadSmart.

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, 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.

But they've improved their cover—they now offer a guarantee (5 years) on insured damage repairs carried out by their approved repairers (they didn't used to offer a guarantee on this work).

Here is a high-level summary of Marmalade comprehensive cover features for Ageas-underwritten black box young driver 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 Coverage
"Must Have" Features
WindscreenFull repair or replacement
thumbs up
thumbs up
Up to £250
question mark
Up to £1,000 if lost or stolen provided they are satisfied that whoever has the keys, transmitter or entry card knows the identity or location of your insured car, and care is taken to safeguard the keys, transmitter or entry card from loss.
Protected NCD2 times in 3 years (standard or optional extra)
question mark
If you buy the add on
Car recovery after accidentIncluded
thumbs up
Courtesy car (repairs)Minimum 14 days
thumbs up
Included for duration of repairs
Repairs guaranteed (if use approved repairer)12-month guarantee
thumbs up
1 year for parts; years if you use their recommended repairer; workmanship guaranteed while you own the car (if use approved repairer)
"Should Have" Features
New car replacementTheft or damage at least 60% of list price; cars up to 12 months old; first owner
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Stereo and satellite navMarket value for manufacturer fitted
question mark
Unlimited for OEM fitted; £300 on other permanently fitted
Alternative transport & Hotel after accident£250+
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Up to £300
24-hour emergency helplineStandard
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24-hour claims line (0333 358 0258)
Courtesy car (total loss or theft)Standard or add-on extra
thumbs up add on
If you buy the add on
Motor legal expensesStandard or add-on extra
thumbs up add on
If you buy the add on
Breakdown coverStandard or add-on extra
thumbs up add on
If you buy the add on
"Could Have" Features
Same cover in EUStandard or add-on extra
thumbs up
Minimum cover only for 90 days (see terms)
Child car seat replacement after accident, theft, fireIdeally replaced even if no visible damage
question mark
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
Uninsured driver NCD protectionStandard
thumbs up
Cancellation feeNo more than £50
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£25+ to the insurer and £15 to Marmalade (plus tax, of course)

Marmalade Car Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings

Is Marmalade any good? Marmalade has really good customer reviews, achieving 4.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot from over 7,000 customers—this is a pretty high customer rating for this type of insurance, but their rating has slipped from 4.6 a year or two ago.

Marmalade Ratings & Customer Reviews
Trustpilot customer service rating4.3 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:

"Wouldn't use again go straight to a normal policy especially as driving test waiting list are so long had to renew twice and its a lot of money, as for Marmalade trying to get hold of someone is a nightmare i was on hold for 1hr 38mins then got cut off we sent a call back request and an email and a month later we are still waiting for a reply also still waiting for documentation email to say we are insured and the policy has now ran out and still waiting not impressed sorry."

"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 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 may 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. Here are some of the cancellation and admin fees to be aware of (but your terms of business document will explain more of them, and in full).

Marmalade Cancellation and Admin Fees
Black Box policies
CancellationRefund of the part of the premium not used, minus Marmalade charge of £15 and insurer charge of £25 + Insurance Premium Tax)
Policy Administration Fee (non-refundable; for new business and renewals)£100
Learner policies
Cancel within 14 days7 or 14 day policyNo refund
30, 60, 90 or 180 day policyPro-rata refund of the part of the premium not used, minus £10.00 cancellation fee
Cancel after 14 days7 or 14 day policyNo refund
30, 60, 90 or 180 day policyNo refund
Admin feePolicies over 14 days£30
Policies 14 days or less£7.50
Named Young Driver
CancellationUnused premium less £60 cancellation fee
Admin fee£15

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 booklet
New, Young Driver with Black BoxPolicy booklet available when you get a quote
Named DriverPolicy booklet


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.
Their policy booklet states, "In the event the telematics tag is not installed and paired as soon as you receive it, you may not be covered to drive the Insured Car and your policy may be cancelled" and "Should Marmalade identify that your telematics tag is not installed and paired with your smartphone, Marmalade will contact you to request that it is paired. In the event that the telematics tag is not paired and there is no valid reason why it should not be re-paired with your smartphone we may cancel your policy in line with our right to cancel under Cancelling Your Policy (Outside the -off Cancellation Right)." If you don't receive the tag within 7 days of buying the policy, the terms state that you must contact them. This all seems to imply to us that you should be covered to drive without the black box if you're within the first 7 days and you have not yet received the tag in the post. But we would ask to be sure if you find yourself in that situation.

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Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the 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.


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.

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