A Guide To Learner Driver Insurance
If you’ve got a provisional licence or are thinking of getting one, then you’ll need to give some thought to arranging insurance before you can get out driving. This article lays out your options, and their pros and cons.
Almost all driving instructors carry their own insurance which allows any driver to drive their vehicle for the purpose of instruction. This is done through a bespoke policy specifically designed for instructors, a standard private car insurance policy would not do the job.
So this means whilst you’re having a lesson with a registered driving instructor you don’t need to worry about having your own insurance, the instructor’s policy will provide the necessary cover.
But of course the more you can practise driving the more chance you stand of passing your test, so most people try to supplement driving lessons with other arrangements – this is where the insurance issues become a bit trickier.
Unofficial/Non-registered Driving Instructors
Here’s where you need to be really careful. If a friend or family member tells you that it’s ok for you to go out with them and practise in their car then you need to make sure that their policy allows you to do this, ideally by seeing the insurance certificate with your own eyes rather than just relying on their say so, before you get in the car. Most insurance policies are issued on a “Named Driver” basis, meaning that the insurance company only cover the driver who is named on the certificate. And even if the policy is one of the minority written on an “Any Driver” basis, there are still rules around who can drive – most Any Driver policies will exclude drivers under a certain age (often 21, sometimes 25) and will also exclude provisional licence holders. So the golden rule is to make sure you check with the insurance company before you drive.
Driving Your Own Car
If you’re lucky enough to have your own car, then it should be insured annually, and you need to make sure the insurance company are aware who the main driver of the vehicle will be. Insurers have been burnt in the past by an illegal practice called “fronting”, whereby in order to reduce the premium a young driver pretends to be a minor user of the car when they are in fact the major user. As a result insurers have tightened up considerably and now investigate claims involving young drivers particularly closely. Also, don’t forget if you have a provisional licence then it’s illegal to drive unaccompanied, even if the vehicle is your own.
Borrowing A Car To Practise Your Driving In
Here’s the good news! In the last few years a new type of standalone insurance policy has been created to allow learner drivers to get insured whilst they borrow a car to practise their driving. It could be your mum’s or dad’s car, elder brother’s or sister’s, grandparents’, or even a friend’s : as long as you’ve got the permission of the registered owner and you continue to observe the rules around being accompanied (see below) then you may be able to benefit from this new type of policy.
One such policy is Dayinsure Learner. This is a separate standalone policy which is issued in the name of the learner driver, allowing you to practice driving in a particular car. If you want to practise in a different car, then you can take out another standalone policy on that car – because you choose the length of the cover you’re buying, and the policies can be conveniently bought online using a credit or debit card, this isn’t as much hassle as it sounds. You must check the eligibility criteria very carefully before you buy though to make sure you qualify. For example whilst there are no age limits on the Aviva Dayinsure policy, it doesn’t allow you to have had any claims, points on your licence (eg for speeding) or convictions. Also you must make sure that the car is already insured on a separate annual policy, and that the annual policy remains in force all the time your Learner policy is in place.
Benefits of Standalone Learner Cover
Here are some of the benefits of the new Learner policies
- You can choose how long you want the policy to run for. So for example if you’ve got your test booked for 2 weeks’ time and you want to do some intensive practice in that fortnight then you only need to buy 2 weeks cover (don’t forget all cover under a Learner policy ceases as soon as you pass your test)
- The policy can be bought online in a couple of minutes, with the insurance certificate emailed to your inbox as soon as your booking is complete. So there’s no hanging about listening to telephone menus…
- Because you are buying a standalone policy which is completely separate from the annual insurance cover which is already in place on the car, if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident whilst you are driving then the No Claims Discount (NCD) on the annual policy will be unaffected NB. This can be a particularly handy argument in encouraging people to lend you their car to practice in!
- All motor insurance policies have an excess – this is the amount that you must pay yourself in the event of a claim. On an annual policy for a 17 year old driver then the excess will most likely be in the £600 – £1,000 range – but the excess on the Aviva Learner Dayinsure Learner policy is only £250.
Rules For The Supervising Driver
The supervising driver must be at least 25, have a full driving licence for the vehicle they are supervising, and have held it for at least 3 years. They must also ensure the car is in a safe and legal condition, and that L plates are displayed front and rear.
Whichever option you decide works best for you, good luck in your test and happy driving!