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How to get learner driver insurance

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Finding cost-effective learner driver insurance can be a challenge. Of course, you can’t drive uninsured.

If you are using a driving school and an approved driving instructor (ADI) then insurance will be included as part of the lesson package in their car. However, most learners need at least 20 hours of extra practice with a supervisor (according to the RAC) to prepare for the test, and that means driving in the family car.

There are several options.

Add a learner driver to your policy

This was the only way to do it even going back as recently as the mid-2000s. It can be expensive if the owner of the car has a powerful, expensive car. Some insurers don’t allow it and, if the learner has an accident, it can wipe a no-claims bonus making it costly to insure for the next few years.

Learner driver insurance

Learner driver insurance sits alongside existing car insurance as an add-on policy providing comprehensive cover when the learner is driving and during the driving test. If the learner has a prang, the main policyholder’s account and no-claims bonus aren’t affected.

The only downside is that if the learner passes the test, he or she ceases to be a learner and therefore the insurance is no longer valid, therefore other insurance will need to be arranged for them to drive home insured.

Pay-as-you-go learner insurance

Learner insurance can now be purchased from several suppliers for time periods as short as one hour, but usually by the week or month. It’s difficult to compare these types of insurance on price comparison sites, though. It’s also difficult to know exactly how long the learner will need the insurance for as they could fail their test and then the insurance runs out; some providers allow the policy to be extended a week or two if this is the case.

Limitations of learner driver insurance

Companies often impose a number of restrictions:

  • Learners must travel with a fully licenced driver over a certain age (usually 21 or 25)
  • Curfews are sometimes enforced (usually high-risk times such as 10pm to 5am)
  • The type of car could be restricted, e.g. no significant modifications
  • The maximum value of the car could be limited, e.g. to £25,000
  • There is an additional excess on the policy, e.g. £250.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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