Do I need car insurance to learn how to drive?

Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car must be insured. Driving can help people to be more independent and get around quickly. However, learning to drive can be very expensive and takes a lot of time.

In the UK, you must be at least 17 years old to learn to drive, and you need a provisional driving license. You always need a qualified driver with you when you are learning to drive, and they must be over the age of 21 with at least three years of experience. Some insurers ask the qualified driver to be 25 years of age.

There are numerous ways you can learn how to drive – such as a crash course, driving instructor or by a friend or parent. Insurance policies can get a little confusing when you are learning to drive.

If you are paying for driving lessons with a professional instructor, the overall cost of the lessons includes the car insurance cover. However, you do need to get insurance on any other car you are learning in. For example, if you are having driving lessons with an instructor and practising in your parent’s car – you need to have insurance on your parent’s car.

You do not need a full-length insurance policy if you are a learner driving someone else’s car. You can get learner’s driving insurance to cover you before you take the test. Learner insurance goes alongside the qualified driver’s existing insurance policy. It offers comprehensive cover in case of an accident and protects the car owner’s no claim bonus.

Typically, learner drivers only need learner’s insurance for a few months. You can choose the length of the insurance cover, between 30, 60 and 90 days. Some insurance providers will offer you as little as one or two weeks of learner’s insurance. This is great for people opting to do a crash course in driving.

If you can’t afford to take driving lessons, you could ask a parent or older friend to teach you instead. However, remember that driving lessons provide a thorough knowledge of the road and how to operate a car. Friends and family may teach you some bad driving habits that could be dangerous later on. It takes an average learner 47 hours to drive at test standard, but some can take a little longer. Your driving instructor will know the test well and can tailor your classes to help you pass quickly.

Always research your car insurance policy thoroughly before signing up for anything. You need to make sure you have the best deal for yourself and your driving situation.

Try to enjoy the experience of learning to drive and remember that it is a vital life skill to have.