Learner Driver Insurance
You want to make the most of your driving lessons, and getting some extra private practise with friends or family can be incredibly useful! Let's look at how we can do that...
There are two main ways to get insurance;
Named driver insurance
This is where you add yourself to another driver's insurance policy. This means you don't have to set up your own policy, but this option can be expensive
Learner driver insurance
This is where you have your own policy, usually with a specialist learner insurance provider. As these types of insurers specialise in learner insurance, the cost can often be lower. This also helps you build up your own no claims bonus in your own name too
Can anyone supervise a learner driver?
A supervising driver must be over the age of 21 years, and must have held their licence for 3 years or more. They must also meet the minimum eyesight requirements, and must hold a valid UK full driving licence - this means that if they've had their licence revoked for driving offences, or revoked for medical reasons etc - they cannot supervise you. They must also follow the same rules as a driver must - such as, no drinking alcohol, no drugs, no using their mobile phone, not being distracted, etc.
You must also display L plates clearly on the front and back of your vehicle, and your vehicle must have insurance, an MOT certificate if necessary, and road tax. It must also be in a good, legal, and roadworthy condition.
YOU as the driver are responsible when driving a car - even if you are with your supervising driver, or even your driving instructor.
Check out our tips for private practise with your family member or friends - click HERE to go to our Facebook post about it!
What happens to my learner insurance policy when I pass my test?
It's very important to note that the second you pass your practical driving test, your learner driver insurance will become invalid. This means that if you've taken your car to your driving test, you are unable to drive home - so it's worth making sure the family member or friend with you is insured on your car. If you are with your driving instructor, some instructor's policies allow them to drive other vehicles - you would need to talk to your driving instructor before they decide to drive your car back to your home after your test.
The other option is for you to ring your insurance company the second you pass your test, and change your insurance to a full licence holder policy - you must make sure this has changed over before you drive home. Always double check with the insurance company as to when this will take effect from, as some insurers may tell you to wait 30 minutes for the change to take effect.
Should I get a black box?
Often, black boxes are seen as a bad thing - however they can be incredibly useful and reduce your insurance significantly. There are many misconceptions about black boxes, so lets have a look at them. They are very small, and the insurance company will fit it for you, under your dashboard.
How do black boxes work?
Black boxes often work on a 'points' system, so the more 'good things' you do whilst driving, the more points you get. The more 'bad things' you do whilst driving, you are likely to have points deducted.
I personally had a black box when I passed my driving test, and I could access my black box through a dashboard online. With this particular insurance company, you started off with 100/100 points. The insurers explained that if you got below 50/100 points, you would be sent a letter explaining that you need to improve your driving. If you got below 25/100 points, the insurers would consider cancelling your insurance.
If your insurance is cancelled for any reason (such as poor driving, excessively high number of claims, failure to make payments etc - regardless of if you have a black box), you may find it very tricky to get insurance from other insurers.
I often checked my black box dashboard online to see how I was doing, and I was actually surprised that even though I was doing some of the 'bad things' (like driving at night as I worked night shifts at the hospital), I didn't lose that many points! Admittedly I was even speeding occasionally (such as 75 in a 70), and even though it had a small effect on my points, it didn't affect my insurance dramatically.
After my first year of insurance, my insurance HALVED! I was really impressed, and I know that any normal insurance would never have halved my renewal quote - because they aren't able to see my driving. If you are a relatively good driver, you would be able to take advantage of better renewal quotes because the insurer can see your driving data, know that you are looking after your vehicle, and driving safely.
Black box considerations
Black boxes are often used to track your location, speed, acceleration, braking, and the time of day that you use your vehicle. Lets have a look at what can have a positive/negative impact on your black box points.
Location - Insurers like to know where you are driving, because statistically the safest roads to drive on, are motorways!
Positive impact - Driving on motorways
Negative impact - Driving on country roads
Speed - Insurers can see the speed limits for the roads you have been driving on, and can compare your speed on that road. If you have been speeding excessively, you may be sent a letter from your insurance. It's important to note that the insurance company can not report speeding offences to the police.
Positive impact - Driving within the speed limit
Negative impact - Driving over the speed limit
Acceleration - Insurers like to see smooth acceleration from you - harsh acceleration may indicate racing type or anti social behaviours, and this is not fuel efficient.
Positive impact - Smooth acceleration
Negative impact - Harsh acceleration
Braking - Insurers like to see smooth braking, rather than harsh/heavy braking. If you are braking harshly it may indicate you are not looking and planning ahead, and are seeing incidents or slow moving traffic very late, not leaving yourself enough time to slow down safely. Harsh/heavy braking can be a surprise to vehicles behind you, could cause an accident, could put unnecessary wear and tear on your brake pads, and is not fuel efficient.
Positive impact - Planning ahead, braking smoothly, and within good time
Negative impact - Late, harsh, heavy braking
Time of day - Statistically, the time of day you are most likely to have an accident is between 2200-0500. This is mainly due to it being dark and you may be more tired. Each insurer will have their own time frame of when they consider it most unsafe to be driving. This is not to say that you can't drive during this time, just that your insurers don't like to see you driving during this time frame for your own safety. Some insurers may also consider it unsafe to drive during rush hour, for example between 0600-0800 and 1630-1830.
Positive impact - Driving during the day, and not during rush hour if possible
Negative impact - Driving at night time, or during rush hour (depending on your insurer)
Where can I get learner driver insurance from?
DKM's personal favourites are;
The Marmalade Network
Use the code 778440 to get your discount
Use the code 338440 to get your discount
Use the code DKM Driving to get up to £100 discount
Click HERE to go to MyFirstUK
All three of the above offer learner driver insurance, and also offer new driver insurance - so if you've just passed, you can also use the same referral codes to get discounts on your insurance.
Other learner driver insurance companies
Veygo (Admiral) - Click HERE
Ingenie - Click HERE
Adrian Flux - Click HERE
Day Insure - Click HERE
Insure the box (new drivers, black box) - Click HERE
Wise driving (new drivers, black box) - Click HERE
What do I need to say when I call the insurance company?
It can be a little daunting having to call the insurance company, so it could be useful to know what they may ask, so you can have the information already prepared.
You MUST tell the truth to your insurance company. You could find your insurance invalidated if you have lied, or if you need to make a claim and your details/policy is incorrect. If you have a policy and your information changes, you must report this as well - such as a change of name, address, car, health conditions, motoring offences, etc. If you're ever unsure, it's best just to ring them and double check.
What your insurance company is likely to ask when you ring them;
Your personal details, such as your name, date of birth, addresses from the past 3 years, mobile number, occupation, national insurance number, and driving licence number
If you've passed your test, the date you passed
If you've had any motoring offences or insurance claims before
If you have any No Claims Bonus. For each year you have an insurance policy and don't make a claim, you will receive a 'no claims bonus' - so if you have 3 years of insurance with no claims being made, you will have '3 years No Claims Bonus'. You can also get your No Claims Bonus protected - ask your insurer about this. You can transfer your No Claims Bonus to another insurer if you decide to switch. Having No Claims Bonus can reduce your insurance price by quite a bit - the more years you have, the better!
If you have any health issues, and whether these have been declared to the DVLA
The type of insurance you want. Third party insurance is where your insurance will pay repairs costs and injury compensation to the 'other' person in the event of an accident - you will have to pay for your own repairs and injury costs. Third party, fire and theft is the same as third party, however your insurers will pay if your car has been damaged through fire, or has been stolen or broken into. Comprehensive insurance is where your insurer will pay for yours AND the 'other' person's repairs cost and injury compensation. Comprehensive insurance can be a little more expensive - but is a lot cheaper than having to pay for your own repairs in the event of an accident!
How much excess you are willing to pay. This means that in the event of an accident, this is how much you will have to pay, before your insurers will pay for the rest of the repairs costs or injury compensation. This could be anything from £50-£1000. Make sure that you can afford your excess, as you will have to pay this in the event of an accident. If your accident is a non fault accident, you will get your excess refunded to you. If your accident is a fault accident, you will not get your excess back.
The registration plate of your car, the make/model, and an approximate value
Who owns the car and when you bought it
Whether it has any anti theft devices such as an alarm or tracker installed
How many miles you will be doing in your car per month/year
What you will be using the car for - personal or business use
If you add your parents or another driver to your policy, you'll be asked for their name, address, date of birth, occupation, and details of any motoring offences or claims they've had in the past 5 years
How long you'd like the policy for. New driver and full licence holder policies are 12 months long, as standard. However learner driver policies can be anything from 1 day, to 6 months in length
If you'd like to pay for your policy monthly, or yearly. Monthly direct debit payments usually cost a little more, but is a great way to spread the cost. Be aware though - missing a direct debit may result in additional admin fees