Learner Driver Insurance: Types & Comparison

Explore the main features, best options and why provisional driver insurance is important.

Updated: June 5, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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As a learner driver, you might have come across learner driver insurance and have a brief idea of what it is. This insurance policy is critical for learner drivers, and you might want to take out a policy. However, navigating the different types of insurance can be confusing and challenging.

If you want to take a seat behind the wheel to get a few more hours of practice before the big test, learner insurance is unavoidable in many circumstances. 

So what types of learner insurance are available, which providers can you choose from, and how does each policy compare? We looked into all these factors and researched the crucial types you need to know. Check this article for all the key details.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Marmalade★★★★★Click Here
2. Sterling Insurance★★★★★Click Here
3. Ingenie★★★★★Click Here
4. RAC★★★★Click Here
5. LV★★★★Click Here
6. Veygo★★★★Click Here

What Is Learner Driver Insurance? Overview

In a nutshell, learner driver insurance is a policy that allows you to practice driving in a friend or family member's car while being insured or driving your own car you may have bought with a car loan as a provisional learner.

One of the great things we can say about this insurance policy is that you'll be able to practice for a driving test in a context outside of your lessons. 

If you apply for some types of learner insurance, such as applying in your name, this won't affect the car owner's no-claims bonus if you're unfortunately involved in a crash in a family member's car. It's ideal if you are a provisional licence holder and do not want to affect the car owner's insurance. 

On the other hand, you may want to join your family member's policy. Remember that if you are practising in a family member's car, the car owner must have a full UK driving licence for their policy to cover you legally. 

Why Do You Need Learner Driver Insurance?

You're going to need learner insurance for a few main reasons.

Here's why we recommend considering taking out this insurance policy as a learner driver.

👉 Legally, you cannot drive without insurance coverage. If you are practising in your own car, you need your own learner car insurance to insure the vehicle. If you are driving in the car a family member owns, the car owner may already have an insurance policy you can join that covers provisional licence holders.

👉 Financial protection and coverage are additional reasons to have learner driver insurance. If you are involved in a crash or an accident, if your car is damaged, you will have the financial protection to cover any large costs. 

👉 Finally, learner insurance offers you peace of mind. This reason is tied in with financial protection you will not be preoccupied with expense concerns as you practise driving and will put these concerns to the back of your mind as you hone your driving abilities with an insurance policy in place.

Not only is it a requirement to have this cover, but it makes sense to have learner driver insurance to remain protected.

How Does Learner Driver Insurance Work?

Learner insurance works when you fill out an application form from a selected insurance provider, which requires a few essential details about yourself. 

✅ When making your application, you will need to include whether you've got a provisional licence and have any experience on the road. 

✅ You'll also need to inform the issuer about the vehicle details, such as the registration number and the model.

✅ Don't forget to also provide information about how you intend to use the car, such as to practice for your test. Alongside this, it's important to provide details about the mileage you expect to build up. 

✅ Your insurance provider will want to know which additional drivers, if any, will be on the policy and which claims you have had to make.

✅ The policy will cover you as you practice with a provisional licence and typically work when you have an additional driver who can supervise a learner driver in the vehicle. Costs can vary, depending on the type of policy you apply for.

What Are the Different Types of Learner Driver Insurance?

You've got a choice of three main types of learner insurance available in the United Kingdom.

These types include pay-as-you-go, short-term car insurance and annual learner insurance. Let's dig deeper into these main insurance types.

Pay-As-You-Go Learner Insurance

Pay-as-you-go learner insurance is the in-depth coverage for learner drivers, so your vehicle stays insured from the moment you start the insurance until the moment you cancel the policy. 

You can pay per mile you drive in your own car you bought with car finance or your family member's car. This option means that if you don't drive frequently, you will never need to pay for the miles you don't use since you will use it when driving.

This insurance policy type is cost-effective because you can activate it when you require it, such as when you have a driving lesson with your family or need to practice.

Short-Term Car Insurance

With short-term car insurance, you can get coverage for a short timeframe, such as for a few days or weeks when you're learning or practising for a practical driving test. Whether you're practising in your own car or a relative's car, your policy will cover you against damage or theft for the short period you pay for.

Many short-term learner insurance options are available for just one day, but depending on the policy issuer, you can choose this cover for a six-month timeframe if you require it for longer.

Annual Learner Insurance

Select an annual policy, which is more of a traditional type of coverage, and it will cover you for 12 months from the day you take out the policy. It applies whether you're driving or not, meaning it differs from pay-as-you-go learner insurance coverage in its continuous cover feature; it's, therefore, ideal if you want coverage for the long term.

The main advantage of this type of insurance is the chance to drive without any restrictions and with the safety and peace of mind needed in an incident on the roads.

What Levels of Cover Are Available With UK Insurance for Learner Drivers?

Each type of insurance for learner drivers is available with various levels of coverage.

We provide the three levels of insurance policy cover below:

👉 Comprehensive: This insurance level covers you for injury and damage you cause to others, covers in cases a fire damages your car and covers if someone steals your car. It covers any damage your car may sustain.

👉 Third-party, fire and theft: This insurance level covers you when someone steals your car, or a fire damages it. It also covers the cost of any injuries or damage other people sustain.

👉 Third-party only: This insurance level covers injury and damage you or others sustain.

The costs of each type of cover you pay for from your account will vary, and the price will also depend on the specific provider you select.

Best Learner Driver Insurance Providers

After using multiple insurance policies, we gathered the best learner driver insurance providers and their key features.

Here's what we learned when trying these policies.

1. Marmalade

We used Marmalade's learner driver insurance and found that it offers three levels of cover; we could pick between comprehensive, third-party, fire and theft, and third-party only. When we selected the comprehensive cover, we found that there were a few eligibility criteria to consider.

For example, our car could not cost more than £40,000 or have more than seven seats. We also needed to ensure we had a visible L plate and a valid MOT certificate.

We were disappointed that the cover was not suitable for insuring our own car as young drivers but found that it was possible to drive our family member's car with our provisional driver insurance. When we looked at the service more closely, we found that we could use this cover with a full driver's licence.

Marmalade offers two main types of coverage: pay-as-you-go and an annual policy. With the annual insurance option, we had flexible payment options and insurance coverage for 10,000 miles. The cover was applied straight away, and we also had no restrictions. 

With the pay-as-you-go insurance policy, we only had to pay for the miles we used. The cover started with 500 miles; we could top it up when the miles were low. 

2. Sterling Insurance

Unlike Marmalade, Sterling Insurance offers just two levels of insurance coverage. We could apply for comprehensive coverage or third-party, fire and theft coverage. However, with this provider, it didn't matter whether we drove in our vehicle or a family or friend's car.

We got short-term coverage for the duration of time that specifically applied to practising for and passing our test, and we found we could choose from 30 or 90 days, six or 12 months. However, the value of the vehicle could not exceed £20,000.

One great factor we noted about Sterling Insurance was that the prices began from less than 77p per day. 

We were very pleased with the cost required for this insurance policy, and once the learner insurance had expired, it was possible to transition to a young driver's car insurance after we had passed our test. This feature was ideal since the learner insurance was invalid when we passed, and we required a standard car insurance policy.

With Sterling, making monthly payments and applying for month-by-month policies is possible. Alongside these policies, it's also possible to receive black box insurance options with Sterling. 

Also known as telematics insurance, the issuers of this policy will calculate your premiums in line with your driving style, which can reduce the price you pay. They will send you a black box that you must fit to begin tracking your driving style.

3. Ingenie

Ingenie offers black box insurance policy types that the issuer will tailor to your specific driving style. We could learn in our car or in a family member's car.

When learning in someone else's car, Ingenie offers the option to pay £1.49 a day and receive flexible cover, which ranged from one month to six months and even has no claims discount protection.

When learning in our own car, we were able to use a driving feedback app, which helped us track our performance behind the wheel by providing a driving score with a maximum of 100 points. We received feedback related to our breaking, acceleration, speed and more, which helped us gain confidence.

Like Sterling, we could call Ingenie to transition to a qualified driver insurance policy when we passed our test. The no-claims discount remained intact, and we did not need to waste time searching for an alternative insurance coverage provider.

The coverage allowed us to purchase more insurance when needed and gave us fully comprehensive coverage. 

A low excess of £250 would have applied in the event of an incident on the road, so we wouldn't have had to pay significant sums out of pocket if we needed to make a claim.

4. RAC

Provisional insurance is available from the RAC from one day to five months. We learned that if we had multiple drivers on the insurance policy, the policy issuers would protect the no-claims discount for the main driver. We were pleased that the insurance was fully comprehensive and easy to set up.

Top-up options were available, which we could do online when our insurance coverage ended. When we wanted to top up our weekly learner insurance, we paid £75.84 for four weeks.

We had to pass some eligibility criteria to qualify for this learner insurance policy; our vehicle needed to have a market value of less than £40,000 and couldn't have had more than seven seats. As well as a few other vehicle requirements, the policy issuer also expected us to have no penalty points, motoring convictions or claims.

RAC offers black box learner driver insurance policy options. Just like Sterling, this option helped us reduce the costs required to renew, while the black telematics box tracked our driving style and was easy to install. With high driver scores came low insurance premiums.

Coverage applied to us as learners in our own car and as learners in a family member's car. Once we passed our test, we needed to find a different type of insurance since the learner driver policy no longer matched our requirements.

5. LV

LV learner driver insurance offers windscreen repair cover, the chance to earn a no-claims discount, accidental damage cover, an uninsured driver promise, a vandalism promise and replacement costs for new locks and keys.

As learners with a provisional licence, we were eligible for LV's policy.

We had to provide information about our licence type, any motoring convictions, and any accidents or claims that had occurred in the previous five years. Once we had passed our test, we contacted LV for a new quote to update our cover. 

We noticed that LV offers a few optional extras with its policy. We got motor legal expense cover, a hire car guarantee, personal accident cover, and optional extra and breakdown cover.

From our research, after paying £25.99 per year, we would have had legal expenses covered, such as defending against prosecution or personal injury compensation. 

6. Veygo

With Veygo, we were able to get flexible learner driver coverage. The cover options we could choose from ranged from one hour to 180 days, which was ideal for our specific requirements as we needed to practice to pass our test.

What we liked about this policy was that even when we chose to join a family member's insurance policy, we noticed that any claim we might have made would not affect the owner's no-claims bonus.

We met Veygo's eligibility criteria, which included having a provisional licence without any penalty points or disqualifications in the past 18 months. It also required us to have a car less than 40 years old and UK-registered.

The learner insurance we received from Veygo cost us £54.43 for four weeks. We found this an affordable amount that gave us sufficient cover to prepare for our test.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Learner Insurance Policy

There are a couple of factors to consider when choosing a learner insurance policy.

Check the section below in which we share the main things to consider.

When Is Insurance Mandatory?

Insurance is mandatory in situations when you're driving in any other car other than your professional driving school's car. You might practice with a driving school's vehicle. In that case, their insurance will cover you. You won't need to set up your own. 

You might need to get a few additional hours of practice in. You may rely on a family member's car or a friend's. In that case, you're going to need to set up your insurance. You can take out a policy with your own details in your name. Alternatively, you can join the vehicle owner's policy.

How Is Your Own Policy Different From Joining Someone Else's?

The main difference in this case is the consequence of making a claim. Specifically, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to make a claim. Your policyholder might concurrently have a no-claims discount. In that case, they could lose this discount due to your claim.

You should also consider the fees involved. We suggest that researching the costs involved with these admin fees is important. It's the key to deciding which option to take. It'll help you decide if you should take out a policy in your name or join an existing policyholder's insurance.

How to Get Low-Cost Insurance as a Learner Driver

You can get low-cost insurance as a learner driver by considering a couple of factors.

The main factors to consider are the type of car you drive and the level of coverage you are considering. Here's more information on these factors

The Type of Car 

Keeping costs low is easier with a less powerful car. An expensive car's insurance quote will be higher. The main reason the cost is higher in this case is the high cost of replacing parts. It's also costly as the insurance company may consider the risk of opportunists targeting your car in robberies.

The Level of Cover

You may think that third-party insurance is always the cheapest level of coverage, but it's worth considering that your quote will depend on other factors.

Since insurers often consider that customers who select third-party cover present greater risk, they may charge you higher amounts on this policy. Therefore, comprehensive cover may be cheaper in some cases, so we emphasise the importance of shopping around.

Learner Driver Insurance: Key Takeaways

Insurance is obligatory if you want to drive a car, and learner insurance is available to help. Plenty of options are on the market, so we recommend shopping around to find coverage that suits your budget.

It's worth remembering that different coverage levels and types are available, so whether you need a short-term policy or pay-as-you-go insurance, it pays to consider each option.

Some of the perfect options to choose as a learner driver include RAC and Marmalade, but we recommend that you explore a full range of options to ensure they match your requirements. Take your seat behind the wheel with the best insurance policies for learner drivers. Practice with the peace of mind that you're covered until you pass your test.

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