ResourcesGet Test ReadyPractical TestGetting Insured for your Practical Test
Get Test Ready

Getting Insured for your Practical Test

January 31, 2024

5 min read

Leon McKenzie's avatar

Leon McKenzie

Content Writer

Want to get your licence ASAP?

Our driving courses have been rated 'Excellent' 6,000+ times on Trustpilot.

A sign with the words 'car insurance' on it

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 take the test in your own car, you'll need driving test insurance, or learner driver insurance. The same is true if you want to get some extra learning in your own time.

We're going to look at how you can sort out getting short-term insurance for your practical test—looking at the different types of insurance for learner drivers and what it's really like taking the practical test in your own car.

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

How to get learner insurance or driving test insurance

Learn to drive with an instructor

If you're learning to drive with a professional driving instructor—which we certainly recommend—then you won't need 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, learner driver insurance is relatively straightforward. You can either get insured for driving in your own car 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.

Take out temporary/short term cover

You can look at buying a short-term car insurance policy that allows you to drive your own car or someone else's, if 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:

GoShorty offers Learner Driver Insurance from one hour or one day car insurance policies (ideal for the practical test) through to 6-month policies and everything in-between. It covers provisional drivers practising in their own, or a borrowed, car. As with any other learner insurance policy, the learner must be supervised by a full licence holder of at least 2 years, aged between 25 and 75.

Some benefits of GoShorty are:

  • All policies are fully comprehensive 
  • Learner driver insurance available for drivers aged 17 to 25
  • Total flexibility of cover between 1 hour to 24 weeks
  • Low excess
  • Cover vehicles worth £1 to £50,000 (some limitations apply)
  • Easy to use online quote form—get short term cover in minutes
  • Protect the car owner’s No Claims Discount
  • Market Leading Panel of Insurers
  • Wide Acceptance Criteria
  • Competitive Pricing
  • 2-minute Quote and Buy Online
  • Documents delivered straight into your inbox
  • ‘Excellent’ Trustpilot Rating
In partnership with GoShorty: Learner Driver Practice Insurance made simple

Take out 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:

GoShorty not only offer short-term policies to learners, but also annual comprehensive provisional driver insurance policies. These provide up to 6 months of cover for learners driving in their own car.

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. Usually, 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 insurance 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.

Get driving test insurance for your own car

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 needs 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.

Insurance after you pass your test

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, comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket and are perfect for finding what's right for you.

A collage of pass pictures from PassMeFast learners

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.

Subscribe for driving advice, offers & more

We'd love to let you know about our courses, news and offers via email. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Star Genie Limited trading as PassMeFast. Company number 10093359

Copyright © 2024 owned by Star Genie Limited

PassMeFast, Blue Tower, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2ST