What Are the Different Types of Insurance for Learner Drivers?

Caeva O'Callaghan | May 15th, 2023

If you’re learning to drive, you’ll need to be insured. There are various forms of cover available, so choose the one that’s right for you and the person accompanying you whenever you drive.

Learning to drive is the perfect time to learn about car insurance. There are various rules which apply while you’re getting your licence, and making sure you have the right cover is important. The last thing you need is to find yourself in an accident unsure of what to do next.

In this article, we’ll answer questions like:

  • What level of car insurance do learner drivers need?
  • Which car insurance should I get as a learner?
  • Do I have to be a named driver on someone else’s policy as a learner?

Car insurance doesn’t have to be confusing, so we’ve outlined all the facts you need before you get on the road. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.

While you’re learning to drive

You can ask your parents or guardian to add you as a named driver on their policy. This is a great idea because it will help you when it’s time to get your own full policy. You’ll have a better chance of getting a reasonable car insurance quote, because the insurer will be able to see you have a period of sensible driving under your belt.

As a named driver, the insurance premium is likely to increase, meaning your parents will pay more per month. Still, it’s likely to be less expensive than getting your own policy.

Any person aged 17 years or older can be added as a named driver on a car insurance policy as long as they are not the main driver, hold a valid driving licence or learners permit, and only occasionally use the car.

Finally, if you hold a provisional driving licence, you must have a person with a full licence accompanying you driving. This is now the law in Ireland. If you are caught driving a car unaccompanied, the car will be impounded. The owner of the car will have to pay to have it released.

Your full licence

You passed your test, congratulations! Once you do so, you’ll get a full valid driving licence. But this means you need to replace your L (learner) plates with N (novice) plates for a minimum of 2 years following your test.

Non-display of N plates is an offence under traffic law and is punishable by a fine of up to €1,000 for a first offence. (And no, your insurance won’t cover this!)

When you get your full licence you no longer need an experienced driver accompanying you. Driving alone for the first time can be intimidating, so you can ease out this habit if you need to. However, as a novice driver, you are not allowed to be an accompanying driver for anyone else who only holds a learner permit. Once you have your full licence for 2 years, you can remove your N plates and act as an accompanying driver for a learner.

Getting a full licence means you need full car insurance. You can still be a named driver on your parents’ policy, but this kind of cover is really for emergencies only. If you’ll be regularly using the car, or using it without your parents’ permission every time you go out, you need your own insurance. Call us today and we’ll be able to help you find the right cover.

For parents and guardians

Are you teaching a younger person how to drive? There’s a few things you need to know.

Firstly, the full licence holder is expected to be sober and fit to drive the learner. So going to a party and getting your daughter to drive you home after a few bottles of wine is not a good idea.

Anyone accompanying your young learner driver while they’re in the car must have held a full driving licence for a continuous period of 2 years prior.

If your child drives unaccompanied or the accompanying driver does not meet the criteria above, the insurance may be invalid. Insurance companies have the right to reject a claim if a driver was driving outside the terms of their licence.

Also, if your child is driving the car more often than you, this could be considered ‘fronting’. Fronting is fraudulent. If your car insurance provider finds out, you could lose your cover.

There are insurance products specifically for helping young drivers build experience. Allianz’s Family Car Insurance is based on use of their Safe Driver App. The app is free to download to your child’s Android or iOS smartphone. Once downloaded, it monitors and scores their driving behaviour based on factors like braking, acceleration, and speed.

The safer your child drives the higher their score. If they achieve a driving score of 80 or more, you’ll get a 30% discount off their portion of your next renewal premium.

If you need any help choosing learner driver insurance, call us today and we can help!

If you are looking for learner driver insurance and have any questions at all, pick up the phone today and talk to our insurance agents and they can advise of the right cover for your needs. Our trained insurance experts understand all the options when it comes to first-time drivers. You can call us any weekday between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If you require a car insurance quote online, our system searches the Irish market to help you find the car insurance cover for your specific needs. Remember too, that 60% of our customers who call directly get a better price. So don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and talk!

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