Getting Insured For Your Practical Test

Learning to drive can be an exciting experience. Before you can enjoy the full freedom of the road, however, you've still got a way to go. If you're taking lessons with a qualified instructor, but want to get some extra learning in your own time, you'll need to sort out insurance for the vehicle you'll be practicing in. The same is true if you're taking the test in your own car.

We're going to take a look at how you can sort out getting insured for your practical test—looking at the different types of insurance on offer and what it's really like taking the practical in your own car.

Direction sign with the words 'Car Insurance'

You can get an unlimited fine, be banned from driving and get up to 8 penalty points for driving without insurance.

How to get insurance

1 Driving lessons

As we've said, if you're learning to drive with a DVSA-approved instructor—which we certainly recommend—then you won't have to worry about getting insured for your practical test. The instructor will automatically apply the cost of insurance to the lesson cost. This is one of the biggest benefits to driving lessons—you don't have to bother searching for insurance deals, as it's all sorted out for you.

If you're looking to get some extra experience behind the wheel with a family member or friend, however, you'll need to sort out learner driver insurance. Additionally, if you want to take the test in your own car, your instructor's insurance won't cover you—you'll have to get your own cover.

Anyone you practice driving with must:
  • Be over 21
  • Be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you want to learn in, e.g. they must have a manual licence if they're supervising you in a manual car
  • Have had their full driving licence for 3 years

Fortunately, insurance is relatively straightforward for learner drivers to obtain. You can either get insured for driving in your own car (if you're lucky!) or someone else's. Policies will, of course, vary depending on the duration of the cover, the vehicle you're driving and so on—as you'll see below.

2 Temporary/short term cover

You can take a look at buying a short-term policy that allows you to drive your own car or someone else's, as long as you're accompanied by a full-licence holder. The duration of these policies can vary between 3 to 6 months, reflecting the average amount of time it can take some to learn how to drive. These policies will cover your practical test.

An example short-term policy:

Dayinsure offers Learner Driver Insurance from 2 hours (ideal for the practical test) to 5 months. It covers provisional drivers practising in their own, or a borrowed, car. As with any other policy, the learner must be supervised by a full licence holder of at least 2 years, aged between 25 and 75.

Its main features include:

  • Cover from 6am to midnight only
  • Pay-as-you-go flexibility, so you only have to pay for the cover you need
  • Low excess of only £250
  • Comprehensive cover, provided by Aviva
  • Competitive pricing from as low as £8 for 2 hours, £28 for a week and £222 for 5 months

3 Full annual car insurance

If you're looking at a long-term learning process, or you're thinking ahead to once you've qualified, a 12-month policy might be your best bet. It will cover you as a provisional licence holder and can usually be updated once you've passed your test.

An example annual policy:

Sky Insurance not only offer short-term policies for learners, but also annual comprehensive provisional driver policies. This policy provides a 12-month cover for learners driving in their own car.

Its main features include:

  • Flexible cover—you only pay for what you use
  • If you pass, you can convert the policy to a full licence holder policy, or get a partial refund
  • Black box/telematics based policies available
  • Start earning your own No Claims Bonus
  • Cover during your test
  • No restrictions on the amount of hours you can drive

4  Become a named driver on someone else's car

It's also possible for a family member or friend to add you as a named driver on their car insurance. More often than not, however, it can lead to a hike in the main driver's insurance premium. This premium can then end up increasing again once you've become a fully qualified driver—if you're still a named driver on the policy.

If you're only concerned with getting insured for your practical test, your best bet is a short-term policy. With how inexpensive they can be, this won't set you back too much. Additionally, you can get a bit of practice in before your test. Alternatively, if you're planning on spreading out your learning process, or you want to upgrade your learner insurance, an annual policy could be more cost-effective.

Taking the test in your own car

Road trip

As we've discussed in our blog post on taking the practical test in your own car, there are countless factors you need to consider. Not only do you have to sort out getting insured for your practical test, you also have to ensure that your car meets DVSA requirements. For starters, your car has to:

  • Be taxed
  • Be roadworthy with current MOT (if the vehicle's over 3 years old)
  • Have no tyre damage, and at least 1.6mm of tread on each tyre
  • Have no warning lights on the dashboard
  • Have 4 wheels
  • Be able to reach at least 62mph, with a speedometer that measures in mph
  • Have a Maximum Authorised Mass of no more than 3,500kg
  • Be smoke-free
  • Have an extra interior rear-view mirror for the examiner
  • Have L plates (make sure they're properly secured)
  • A passenger seatbelt

You also won't be able to take the test in any of the following car models:

  • BMW Mini convertible
  • Ford KA convertible
  • Toyota iQ
  • VW Beetle convertible

You can get more information and detail in the official DVSA advice.

Once you pass your test

Mortarboard and scroll cartoon

If you're successful in your endeavour, your learner driver insurance will no longer be valid—it only covers provisional licence holders. As such, you won't be able to drive home after your test. This can, of course, vary depending on the policy you've taken. If you're on an annual policy, you should be able to upgrade once you've spoken to your insurer.

Of course, we always recommend newly qualified drivers get their instructor to drive them back home afterwards. With all the distracting emotions involved, it's often safer.

Getting the right cover for you

As you can see, there's plenty on offer for learners when it comes to insurance. Whether you're looking to get insured so that you can get some extra practice in with a family member or friend (there's no such thing as too much driving experience!)—or just getting insured for your practical test—there's something for everyone.

Most learners will find that short-term policies are their best bet. They are flexible, inexpensive and can last for as little or as long as you need. When looking for a temporary cover, make sure you shop around for quotes to ensure you're getting the right policy to suit your needs. Comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket and Confused.com are perfect for finding what's right for you.

Learning with PassMeFast

For many learners, driving lessons end up being far too spaced out. This can result in learners forking out huge sums for insurance, so that they can build up their experience around the large gaps in their schedules. PassMeFast offers the perfect solution for this. Our crash courses are available in an intensive or semi-intensive format. So, if you're eager to get on the road ASAP, you most certainly won't need an annual cover! Additionally, if you opt to take the test in your instructor's car, you don't have to worry at all about getting insured for your practical test. Plus, they'll drive you back!

And if you're still eager to take the test in your own car, you now know how to go about getting insured for your practical test.

Comments

  1. Sam@PassMeFast

    Hi Harry,

    You will probably be asked to sign a declaration before your test, but I've never known the test centre to ask for physical proof of insurance.

    Good luck with your test!

    Thanks,

    Sam

    3 months ago

  2. Harry

    Hi, just to confirm the information above.

    I'm a provisional driver scheduled to do my test on the 21st of this month. I'm named on my wifes insurance, have called them and they confirmed I am insured as a learner and can do the test in my own car on the current policy.

    Will I need to provide evidence of this on the day of my test? If so, what? My insurer assures me I am covered but I don't want to show up with empty hands on the day and have my test cancelled.

    Many thanks,
    Harry

    3 months ago

  3. Andy@PassMeFast

    Hi Sahdev,

    You can find plenty of useful information regarding practical test insurance in the article above.

    Hope this helps

    Andy

    8 months ago

  4. Sahdev Kumar

    I need Practical Test insurance. Can you please help me on this ?

    9 months ago

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