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How to find the right car insurance if you are learning to drive

You're young, just learning to drive and you need insurance but the problem is that since you only hold a provisional licence a lot of insurers won't even offer you a quotation! The fact is that inexperienced drivers have more bumps than those who have been motoring for a while so many insurance companies see learner drivers as representing an unacceptable risk. And it doesn't stop there; after you've finally passed your driving test you may think that the premiums will drop but that usually simply isn't the case; whilst you were learning you always had an older, more experienced driver to accompany you; but with a full licence you are on your own, or carrying unqualified passengers, and until you have put a lot of miles on the clock (and added a few more years to your age!) you are, statistically, at pretty much the same risk of having an accident as a complete beginner. It is not unknown for premiums to actually increase substantially once a learner has passed a driving test so always look at the small print in the policy document.

Whilst you are a learner, insurance will only cover you as long as you are accompanied and supervised by someone who holds a full licence; that person is legally responsible for ensuring safe driving and must be capable of taking full control if necessary. If you were tempted to drive unaccompanied before passing your driving test don't even think about it; a conviction for driving without insurance would make it all but impossible to obtain cover, at any price, as well as six to nine points on your licence plus a substantial fine. It really isn't worth it.

One way of reducing the cost of learner driver insurance is to make sure that the vehicle you drive is as small as possible, as cheap as possible and insured for third party fire and theft only; that way, if you bent it a bit it wouldn't really matter too much! Another method is to be added as a named driver to someone else's policy but you have to be very careful with this. If it turns out that you, rather than the main policy holder, was the principal driver of the vehicle you could find that you had committed a criminal offence called 'fronting', and the insurers would be perfectly justified in refusing to meet a claim in the event of an accident. Also, adding a named learner driver to an expensive high-powered saloon could cost an astronomical sum. However, if your father had a cheap little banger, drove it regularly to and from work and taught you how to drive in it in his spare time then that would be a different matter altogether, provided that you had been completely open with the insurance company about your learner-driver status.

All is not lost though; some brokers specialise in finding cover exclusively for learner drivers or newly qualified ones and they can often find quite affordable policies whether fully comprehensive or third party only for drivers with provisional licences.

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