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Insuring Your Car as a Learner Driver

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 13 Jun 2013 | comments*Discuss
Insuring A Learner's Vehicle Learner

Before you begin to learn to drive you must make sure that you are legally allowed to be on the road (i.e. you have your provisional driving licence) and are insured to drive the vehicle you will learn in.

Learning in a Driving Instructor’s Vehicle

Many people cannot afford to have a vehicle of their own to learn how to drive in - and may not have access to a parent's vehicle to learn in - so they make do with the use of a driving instructor’s car during paid lessons. This is as good a way to learn as any, but many learner drivers find this something of a disadvantage especially if the driving instructor changes vehicles throughout the course of their lessons. Learner drivers become familiar with the layout and feel of a particular vehicle and become comfortable with it and change can upset the balance. If you are learning to drive and are doing so in a driving instructor’s vehicle then he or she will be fully insured for other drivers and there is no need to concern yourself about insurance.

Learning to Drive in Your Own Vehicle

If you are fortunate enough to have your own vehicle in which to learn to drive you must be insured before taking your car out on the road. Failure to have the correct insurance in place is a criminal offence and carries a hefty fine, plus points on your licence.

When purchasing a vehicle, the first thing you must do is acquire the appropriate insurance which will not only cover you against damage from others but also cover you against any damage you may cause to others whilst driving.

Fully Comprehensive Insurance

As the name suggests, fully comprehensive insurance cover will offer you the best protection, but can be expensive, especially for learner drivers. Comprehensive insurance will cover damage to your own vehicle (and to a 3rd party vehicle), whereas 3rd party insurance will only pay for damages to another party in the event of an accident. Fully comprehensive insurance often includes extras such as a courtesy car in the event of an accident and cover for medical bills should you need hospital treatment. Note that many insurance companies will not offer third party insurance on newer or higher value vehicles - so if you're lucky enough to have a newer car, you'll have to pay out extra for fully comprehensive insurance.

Third Party Insurance

Third party insurance is the lowest level of insurance you can legally take to drive on the roads in the UK. Third party insurance will cover injury or damage to other people (including your passengers) or property, but will not cover injury to you or damage to your own car. Third party, fire and theft insurance offers the same cover but will also compensate you if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire.

Shop around for your insurance policy, as you may be lucky enough to find a company giving a special discount or with specific policies for students for example. You will be asked to provide details of the vehicle you will be driving, details of your own driving experience including any endorsements - even though as a learner you will only have your provisional licence). You will also be asked for your address, date of birth and where the vehicle will be kept. You will be given a quote which can be paid as single payment or by monthly instalments. Bear in mind that it is often more expensive to pay an insurance company by monthly instalments - so you might save something by borrowing off your parents and paying them back monthly instead.

Failure to disclose any information which the insurance company later discovers - is viewed as fraud and will invalidate your insurance policy.

You can find information on the variety of different insurance policies available on most insurance company websites as well as the ability to produce an online quote. Alternatively any high street insurance broker will be able to help you find the best and most cost effective policy.

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