Insurance with a provisional licence
Learner drivers with a provisional licence obviously pose a high risk for car insurance providers – because they are usually young, and they lack driving experience.
Statistically, inexperienced drivers are far more likely to be involved in an accident than those with more years of experience under their belt, so insurers have to cover their backs by charging a higher premium to offer the cover.
Factors that influence the premium
Many people learning to drive do so in someone else's car, in which case you will need to be added as a named driver on that car owner’s insurance policy. This is generally a very affordable way of learning to drive – if you know someone kind enough to let you use their car! If, on the other hand, you're insuring your own car whilst on a provisional licence, there are a number of factors that will influence your premium:
- A basic older car with a relatively small engine is perfect for learners: it will cost less to insure than a faster, newer model, and in fact you may find it hard to find insurance cover at all for a very sporty car if you only have a provisional licence.
- If you can agree a lower mileage this will help to bring down your premium. If you're learning to drive you are unlikely to be driving long distances in any case.
- Fit your car with approved safety devices such as immobilisers, alarms, tracking systems or steering wheel locks and try to find a secure place to keep your car overnight (either in a garage, or at least on your driveway).
- Consider adding a named driver with more experience to your insurance policy, as this reassures insurance companies and often helps to reduce the premium. While you learn to drive you always need someone sat in the passenger seat who is over 21 and has at least three years’ driving experience – so you could add them to your premium.
The three types of car insurance cover
There are three levels of car insurance cover to choose from:
- Third-party only covers you only if you cause damage to other people, their vehicles and their property. It does not cover you for damage you inflict on yourself or your own vehicle, or if your vehicle is stolen.
- Third-party, fire and theft is the same as Third-party except it adds protection against fire damage and theft.
- Fully comprehensive insurance includes all the elements of Third-party, fire and theft plus it offers accidental damage cover for your own car.