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Learner driver insurance guide

Breaking down the basics for beginners

Learning to drive 

Gearing up to hit the open road for the first time? Or maybe it’s your teenager who’s learning to drive? Either way, you’ll need to start thinking about learner driver insurance soon. Get a head start with our guide.

Do learner drivers need insurance?

If you’re learning with a professional driving school, the cost of car insurance is typically covered in the price of lessons. Check when you book.

But if you’re using your own car, or a relative’s, for extra practice, you will. Not only is it law, but it’ll give you peace of mind. Learning to drive can be a nerve-wracking experience, so having the right insurance in place means one less thing to worry about.

Learning with family or friends

Practicing with someone you’re comfortable with is a great way to learn. Just remember to follow DVLA learner driver rules if you’re planning extra practice. Make sure the person you’re learning with is insured on the car too. They also need to be over 21 and have had their licence for at least three years and be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you want to learn in. For example, you must have a manual car license if you are supervising in a manual car. 

How does learner driver insurance work?

It offers protection on the road for provisional licence holders. But you must drive with the right supervision – it’s against the law otherwise. 

Your learner insurance options include:

  • Getting your own car insurance policy; ideal if it’s your own car. Some providers may also offer temporary, short-term cover.
  • Becoming a named driver on an existing insurance policy. This works well if you’re learning in someone else’s car.

Types of car insurance

If you’re taking out your own policy, there are three main types of car insurance to consider:

  • Third party: The legal minimum to be able to drive a car on the road in the UK. It covers you if you accidentally cause damage to someone or their car. 
  • Third party, fire and theft: The addition of fire and theft means your car will be covered if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Comprehensive: The highest level of cover available, which worth thinking about for inexperienced drivers. As well as cover for the above, you’ll also get the cover for loss or damage to your car. 

At Sainsbury’s Bank, we offer Comprehensive and Third Party, Fire and Theft car insurance policies.

How much is learner insurance?

Like young driver car insurance, it can be costly. As young and new drivers have less experience, insurers deem them as higher risk. And, unfortunately, the stats back this up.

One in five newly qualified drivers are involved in a collision within their first year of driving. But the Government are trying to do something about this. Their road safety action plan recommended that learner drivers should spend more time practising. They suggest driving on quiet country roads and in the dark. 

For more information about how to practice driving safely, the DVLA has a step-by-step guide to learning to drive

How to get cheaper learner driver insurance

Don’t worry, there are things you can do to try and bring the cost of insurance down:

  • Learning in your own car with the help of a friend or relative? You’ll need to add them to your policy anyway, and their experience should help bring the cost of insurance down.
  • If you’re learning in someone else’s car, becoming a named driver on their policy might be cheaper than taking out your own insurance. 
  • Shop around and compare deals. 
  • Be aware that the cost of insurance may increase when you pass your test and receive a full license. This is because you will be able to drive unsupervised.

Now you know how learner driver insurance works, you’ll have a better chance of finding a policy that suits you. 

For more tips on how to cut insurance costs, check out our young drivers’ insurance guide.

Ready to take the wheel?

With Sainsbury’s Bank Car Insurance, you can tailor your policy to suit your budget and needs. We offer Comprehensive and Third Party, Fire and Theft cover, plus a range of optional extras to choose from.

Sainsbury’s Bank Car Insurance is arranged and administered by Sainsbury’s Bank and is underwritten by a carefully selected range of insurers. When you get a quote we will tell you who the insurer is before you buy the policy. Cover limits, exclusions and excesses apply.

Handy guides

Car insurance explained

Now you know how it works for learners, why not find out a bit more about how car insurance works

Young driver insurance

Are you a young driver? Here’s all you need to know about how insurance works for you

More hints and tips

Get up to speed on car maintenance, insurance excess and more with our library of guides

Any questions?  

Our car insurance FAQs is a good place to start. If you’d like to talk to our friendly team, we’d be happy to help. It’s easy to get in touch