Insurance 101 – Finding the right policy

Whether you are a learner driver and getting your own set of wheels, or a parent who wants to allow your fledgling motorist to use your car, finding the right insurance policy is essential.

Insurance 101 – Finding the right policy

There’s a lot to think about when you start learning to drive; which instructor to use, how to study for your theory, how to fit lessons in amongst school/college/work/life, how to pay for it all, which car you’d like. The list goes on but don't fret. Hannah from Marmalade, the leading provider of insurance and cars for young drivers, specialising in innovative policies for learner and new drivers, shares all the things you need to consider to find the right policy for you. 

Whether you are a learner driver and getting your own set of wheels, or a parent who wants to allow your fledgling motorist to use your car, finding the right insurance policy is essential. Not only is it a legal requirement, but it gives everyone peace of mind that even if you do need to make a claim (which we hope you won’t!), you’re all covered.

Driving a friend’s or family member’s car

This is an option that many people will consider as a way to get extra private practice in before test day comes around. There are a few different insurance policies to consider, but don’t forget that this doesn’t make you as the learner, the main driver of the car. Whether you’re a named driver or have a bolt-on policy to be covered on someone else’s vehicle, the basis for this is that you’re essentially borrowing the car for occasional use.

  • Being a named driver on another person’s policy is a common choice that people make. The learner driver is simply added to the main insurance policy and can drive the car (without being the main driver) for the remainder of the policy’s term. The down side to this is that if the named driver needs to make a claim, it can have an impact on the main driver’s No Claims Discount.
  • Short term insurance policies can give young drivers the chance to be covered on a friend’s or family member’s car for a set number of days, weeks, or months in the lead-up to driving test day. You’re often also then covered to use the car for your driving test if you wish. These policies are again, intended to sit alongside the main driver’s insurance, and don’t allow for the learner to be the main driver.
  • There are bolt-on policies which allow young drivers to use the family car before and after they pass their test. Like the short term insurance we’ve already mentioned, this means that the person using the car for occasional use – in this instance the learner – has their own insurance policy that gives them fully comprehensive cover and the chance to start earning a No Claims Discount, at no risk to the car owner’s insurance. You’re often also then covered to use the car for your driving test if you wish.

Driving your own car

Many learners get their own car before passing, to enable them to get used to driving that particular car ready for when they’re flying solo as a qualified driver. If you’ve got your own set of wheels, then you’ll still need a qualified driver with you when you are on the road, but you can be doing so on your own insurance policy as the main driver.

There has been plenty of coverage over the years about how expensive car insurance can be for young drivers, so a lot of focus has shifted towards black box - or telematics - technology. Having a black box insurance policy means that certain aspects of your driving are monitored to ensure that you’re driving as safely as we all know learners and young drivers can! If you are, your renewal price will reflect this, making the whole process much fairer for the many great young drivers on the UK’s roads.

Important Points

If you are driving someone else’s car then you are not the main driver and are only covered for occasional use. Being a named driver - or having a bolt-on policy - if you are actually the main driver, is called ‘fronting’ and can lead to points, fines, and an invalid policy – it’s not worth the risk!

If you’ve got your own car then you will need your own insurance policy as a main driver, and options such a black box insurance can really help to keep costs down and ensure a fair renewal price.

Whichever category you fit into, learner drivers cannot drive on a provisional licence without a supervisor next to them, in the passenger seat. - please check your insurance policy wording to see the specific details of how old this person needs to be, and their level of driving experience.

17/07/2017
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