How to get the cheapest insurance for learner drivers

Last updated by mustard.co.uk on April 8th, 2021

When you’re learning to drive, car insurance can be expensive and working out the best way to get car cover can be confusing. To help you find the most cost effective option for your needs, here are some of the best ways to insure a learner driver.

 

Provisional driver insurance 

These policies (also known as learner driver insurance) are specifically geared towards anyone learning to drive.

Provisional driver insurance is usually very flexible and you can often buy short-term or temporary policies that last a few days, weeks or months depending on what you need. This flexibility also makes them very cost-effective so if you’re only borrowing a car in the run up to your test, it could be the right option for you.

As with any insurance policy, it’s important to double check the terms and conditions. Limitations to some learner driver insurance policies include: 

  • Age limits — a few policies have upper age limits in place so if you’re a mature learner driver, this is something to be aware of.
  • Car value limits — insurers may set a limit to the value of the car you can drive.
  • Level of cover — learner driver insurance usually provides comprehensive cover only. Third party policies are available but your choice may be limited. 

A number of factors will also affect the cost of provisional driver insurance. Typically, insurers will consider the length of time you need the policy for, and the car you’ll be using. 

Peugeot 108 in white with sport trim

Named driver

If you’re borrowing a friend or family member’s car for a longer period of time, being added as a named driver on their policy could be the cheapest option while you’re learning to drive (especially if they agree to pay the increase on your behalf). 

The biggest disadvantage of going down the named driver route, is that if you have an accident, it can influence the future cost of premiums for the main policyholder. For example, if a claim is made, it will reduce their no claims bonus.

You’ll also need to be careful about ‘fronting’ which is considered insurance fraud. This is where an experienced driver falsely says they’re the main driver for the purpose of getting cheap car cover on behalf of someone with less experience. 

It’s easy to fall into the fronting trap, especially if the main driver doesn’t actually use the car that much so just bear this in mind if you choose to be a named driver. 

 

Annual car insurance

If you’ve got your own car, an annual policy is another option to think about. Although short-term learner driver insurance is relatively cheap, annual policies are still the most cost-effective when it comes to longer term car cover.

One advantage of taking out your own annual policy is that you’ll benefit from building up your no claims bonus very early on. The more years of no claims you have, the bigger the discount off future premiums.

When you take out an annual policy, you’ll need to let your insurer know as soon as you’ve passed your driving test so they can update your policy to reflect your new-found driving status. 

 

Renault Twingo in side profile

How can I get the cheapest insurance for learner drivers?

Learner driver insurance can be expensive, there’s no getting around that. Finding the most competitive prices will mean shopping around and comparing quotes regardless of the type of policy. To make sure you get the lowest premiums on offer, you should also think about:

  • Black box insurance — also known as telematics insurance, these policies use a device fitted in your car to monitor your driving. If you drive consistently well (according to the Highway Code) then you could see your premiums fall quicker compared to someone without a telematics policy. 
  • Increasing your excess — this is the amount you pay towards an insurance claim and increasing it can lower your overall premium. Just remember, it still needs to be affordable because a claim can’t go ahead until it’s paid. 
  • Only buying what you need — whether you buy short-term provisional driver insurance or an annual policy, you’ll be able to add on optional extras. These can be tempting but will simply mean you end up paying more for features you might not really need (for example, breakdown and recovery or a courtesy car).
  • The car you drive — if you’re considering buying a car, remember that smaller cars are usually cheaper to insure. For some ideas, take a look at our guide to the best cars for new drivers

Also remember that the cheapest policy isn’t the same as the best value policy so think carefully before choosing a plan based on price alone — considerations include:

  • Extra charges — some insurers will charge you to amend or update your policy. To avoid expensive surprises, check to see what additional costs there are before you sign up. 
  • Level of cover — most learner driver policies offer fully comprehensive cover but if you choose a third party only policy because of price, think about whether you can afford to repair the car you’re driving yourself.
  • Length of time — it’s difficult to predict how long it might take you to learn to drive but being realistic can help you work out which is the best option for you. 

Search for the cheapest way to insure a learner driver

At mustard.co.uk, you can compare a range of leading UK insurers to find a policy that’s right for you. Plus with our Cheapest Price Guarantee, you can be confident about getting great value too. You can start an insurance quote right now online, or you can call an expert member of the team on 0330 022 8814.

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