buying learner driver insurance

Last Updated on July 11, 2024

Purchasing learner driver insurance is a critical step for anyone embarking on the journey of learning to drive in the UK. It’s essential for ensuring you are legally covered and protected while practicing on the road. However, the process can be complex and overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. This guide will provide you with comprehensive information on what you need to know before buying learner driver insurance, helping you make an informed decision.

Understanding Learner Driver Insurance

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to understand what learner driver insurance entails. Learner driver insurance is a policy designed specifically for individuals who hold a provisional driving licence and would like to learn to drive in their own car, or a friend or family member’s.

Why You Need Learner Driver Insurance

Learner driver insurance is a legal requirement in the UK for provisional licence holders that are learning to drive in their own car, or in a friend or family members car i.e. outside of their driving instructors vehicle. It not only ensures you are covered in the event of an accident but also offers peace of mind for you and the vehicle owner.

10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Learner Driver Insurance

Duration of Coverage

Choosing the right duration for your learner driver insurance is crucial. While short-term learner policies might seem cheaper initially, they can end up costing more if you need multiple policies over time. For instance, a one-month policy could be more cost-effective than several two-day policies if you require extended practice periods. Assess your learning timeline and driving test schedule to select the most suitable policy duration.

    Level of Cover

      The level of cover you need should also be considered before purchasing learner driver insurance. If you own your own car i.e. you are the registered keeper, the insurance will need to be in your name (the policyholder), and the insurance added to the MID (Motor Insurance Database). You can then choose the level of cover you require from Comprehensive, Third Party Fire and Theft or Third Party Only (options will vary depending on the insurance chosen) this will alter the price as generally speaking the higher the level of cover the more expensive the policy price, but the greater the protection will be on your car. Here is more information on the main three types of coverage:

      • Comprehensive: This is the most extensive cover and includes everything that Third Party Fire and Theft does plus loss or damage to your vehicle. The exact cover varies between insurers, which is why it’s so important to compare quotes and policy details.
      • Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT): This covers everything that TPO does, plus fire damage; the theft of your own vehicle; damage to your car caused during a theft.
      • Third Party Only (TPO): This covers liability for injury to others (including passengers) and damage to third party property. It doesn’t cover you for accidental damage to your own vehicle.

      Additional Driver

      If you are insuring your own car and want to add an additional driver, then there can be costs associated with doing so. If it’s a parent or guardian that you want to add then check out Collingwood’s Annual Learner driver insurance which allows you to do this FREE of charge. Remember they cannot be the main driver of the vehicle and need to be added when you take out the policy. They will also need a full licence and have UK insurance in their own name on another vehicle.

      Accurate Personal Details

      Check your details, if you’re not sure of exact dates or details, its best to find out. If the insurance you purchase needs to be amended this can incur additional charges depending on the insurer and level of change needed. A change that affects the policy substantially could mean you have to cancel and take out new insurance as the broker’s underwriter may not cover the new changes. If the insurer finds incorrect data, it could also affect any claims you make, or in some cases mean your insurance is cancelled by the insurer. This can mean that other insurers will decline to quote you in future. It’s worth taking a little extra time to make sure your details are 100% correct.

      Vehicle Specifications

      The make, model, and age of the vehicle you will be driving can affect your insurance premium. Older or rare vehicles may incur higher costs due to expensive repairs or replacements. Choose a car with a lower insurance group to potentially reduce your premium. Research the insurance group of your vehicle before purchasing insurance.

      Payment Options

      How you pay for your insurance could make a difference to the total amount you pay overall. When paying monthly (on annual policies only) Collingwood offers Automatic Monthly Card Payments which allows you to pay over a period of 12 months, without interest charges or the need for a credit check.

      The second option is direct debit which is arranged via a finance company and is generally paid with interest added and payments made over 9 months rather than 12 months. It is important to consider both payment options and decide which option is best for you when buying learner insurance.

      Customer Service and Reviews

      Good customer service can save you time and frustration. Research insurance providers customer service reputation by reading reviews and checking their response times. Reliable and accessible customer service is crucial for handling any issues or queries efficiently. Look for insurers with high customer satisfaction ratings.

      No Claims Discount

      If you choose to take out annual learner driver insurance, then some providers (including Collingwood) offer an accelerated no-claims discount from just ten months of continual cover.  This means you could hit the ground running with a 5-15% discount (depending on the insurer) when taking out your first full licence insurance policy.

      Excess Fees

      Be aware of the excess fees associated with your policy. Excess is the amount you pay up front in the event of a claim. High excess fees can be a financial burden if you need to make a claim. Compare excess amounts across different policies and choose one that balances affordability with reasonable excess fees.

      Verifying Insurers

      Ensure the legitimacy of the insurance provider by checking their registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Verify your coverage on the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to avoid falling victim to fraud. Thoroughly researching and verifying insurers can protect you from potential scams and ensure you are adequately covered.

      Get a Learner Insurance Quote with Collingwood

      Terms and Conditions apply to Collingwood Insurance policies


      Purchasing learner driver insurance can be a critical step for learner drivers in the UK, ensuring both legal compliance and financial protection. To secure the right policy, consider key factors such as the duration of coverage, level of cover, and accuracy of personal details. Additionally, evaluate the specifics of your vehicle and payment options to find a plan that fits your budget. Choosing a car with a lower insurance group and deciding between annual or monthly payments can significantly impact your premium and overall costs.

      It’s also essential to prioritise customer service and verify the legitimacy of insurers through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Reading reviews and starting with a reputable insurer can provide peace of mind and lay the groundwork for future no-claims discounts. Always compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best deal and seek advice from experienced drivers or insurance experts. By following these guidelines, you can confidently select a learner driver insurance policy that meets your needs and supports your driving journey.


      1. Do I need learner driver insurance if I’m practicing in someone else’s car? Yes, even if you are practicing in someone else’s car, you need learner driver insurance. The car must have its own insurance, and the owner must approve the addition of a learner driver policy. The owner of the vehicle you are practicing in can add a learner driver as an additional driver however this can bring most costs.

      2. Can I add multiple cars to my learner driver insurance policy? No, you can only be insured to learn to drive on one vehicle per policy. If you wanted to learn to drive on multiple vehicles, you would need a learner driver insurance policy per vehicle.

      3. What happens if I fail to provide accurate details when purchasing insurance? Providing inaccurate details can lead to policy cancellation, denial of claims, and difficulty obtaining future insurance. Always ensure your details are correct and up-to-date.

      4. How can I lower my learner driver insurance premium? You can lower your premium by choosing a car in a lower insurance group, selecting a higher excess, and opting for a longer policy duration. Additionally, maintaining a good driving record can help reduce premiums over time.

      5. Is it possible to get a no-claims discount as a learner driver? Yes, some insurers offer a no-claims discount on annual learner driver policies. This can provide a discount on your first full licence insurance policy, helping you save money in the long run.