Are There Any Restrictions For Young Drivers’ Insurance?

Caeva O'Callaghan | June 12th, 2023

You might be aware that getting insured as a young driver is a bit different than when you have more experience – but what restrictions and conditions apply?

Like any type of insurance, there are some restrictions and conditions in place when you buy young drivers’ car insurance.

Learner drivers are subject to different rules than drivers with full licenses, yet they must be fully covered to be able to legally drive on the road.

In this article, we’ll cover these questions:

  • What can I do with a learner’s permit?
  • When I pass my test, are there any conditions?
  • Are there restrictions depending on my car insurance?

Even after you pass your test and are fully able to drive on your own, there may be some conditions you have to adhere to in order to remain fully covered. Read on to find out more.

What can I do with a learner’s permit?

If you are learning to drive, no matter if you’re a young driver or older, you must be accompanied by a full license holder who is not a novice driver.

Your learner permit allows you to drive on all public roads – except motorways – only for the purpose of learning to drive. All learner permit holders, with the exception of those who hold a learner permit in category A1, A2, A, AM, or W, must be accompanied at all times by a professional driving instructor, or someone who holds a full, valid driving licence. This means their license must be in the same category as yours, and they must have held it for more than two years.

Building up your driving experience is essential for getting a great insurance premium down the road. With more driving experience on your record, insurers will be able to see that you’ve been a safe driver for longer, which will lower your risk.

The best way to get driving experience is by asking an older adult, such as a parent, grandparent, guardian or trusted older friend, to add you to their policy. It’s less expensive than getting your own policy, but it works in your favour because insurance companies know that young drivers are less likely to mess around and take risks when there’s an older adult in the car.

Some insurance companies will even give you an introductory discount or no claims bonus for previous driving experience when you buy your own policy.

When I pass my test, are there any conditions?

When you pass your driving test, you’re fully qualified to drive on the road unaccompanied. Congratulations! However, this means you will be classed as what’s known as a “novice driver”, for two years after the anniversary of getting your license.

What is a novice driver? It means that while you’re fully qualified, you’re still new to the road. Being a novice means you don’t need to be accompanied in the car – but you’re still not ready to accompany another learner driver until two years have passed.

A novice driver is a driver who got their full license less than two years ago and must display two “N” plates on their car – front and back – until the second anniversary of passing the test. Where the vehicle is a motorcycle, the rider must wear an N tabard. This is to let other drivers know you haven’t got a lot of experience yet.

Non-display of N plates is an offence under traffic law. Not doing so will get you a fine not exceeding €1,000 for a first offence. If you keep driving without novice plates when you should, the failure to display an N-plate will carry 2 penalty points on payment of a fixed charge, or 4 on conviction. It’s really not worth it, and may impact your ability to get a competitive insurance quote later on.

If you find yourself with a few penalty points, give us a call, and our experts will happily give you some advice to move forward.

Are there restrictions depending on my car insurance?

If you have bought a car insurance policy that depends on a black box – telematics – then there will almost certainly be additional restrictions on when, where and how you can drive. The good news is, telematics boxes usually result in lower insurance premiums, and provide an excellent safe driving record when you look for new policies.

A black box, tracker, or telematics box is a small device which monitors your driving habits. When you take out a black box car insurance policy, your insurer will arrange for a third party to install the black box on your car. It’s pretty small – around the size of a mobile phone – and they’ll place it in a discreet location, so no one will be able to see the device.

Basically speaking, it keeps an eye on how you drive – your average speed, if you turn sharply or brake suddenly, and how far you go. Most insurers, such as AIG, offer cheaper car insurance because you have to choose the number of kilometres you expect to travel in a year. Some telematics policies allow driving only during daylight hours.

Chat to our insurance experts today

Are you a younger driver, or have a young driver in your household, and you want to learn more about car insurance options? Give us a call, and our friendly experts will be happy to help find the right policy for you.

We are contactable Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.