Who is Considered a Young Driver in Ireland?

Caeva O'Callaghan | December 23rd, 2021

No matter if you’ve held your license for a while now, or if you’re a young driver, you might be confused about whether you qualify as a “young driver”.

Anyone under 25 is considered a young driver in Ireland, regardless of the type of license they hold. No matter if you have a provisional or full license, you will be classed as a young driver for insurance and other purposes.

Being a young driver comes with certain restrictions, so read carefully to know what you can or can’t do on the road, legally speaking.

In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:

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 if you are un

What is the difference between a learner driver and a young driver?

A young driver is someone with any type of driving insurance who is younger than 25. A learner driver is someone of any age who only has a learner’s permit.

Whenever someone passes their driving test they are fully qualified to drive on the road unaccompanied, no matter how old. However, this means they will be classed as what’s known as a “novice driver” for two years after the anniversary of getting their license.

Being a novice means that while they’re fully qualified, they’re still new to the road. Being a novice means they don’t need to be accompanied in the car, but they still aren’t ready to accompany another learner driver until two years have passed.

Meanwhile, a young driver is anyone under 25. They may have had their license for more than two years, or have just passed. But no matter what, there are restrictions on younger drivers purely due to their age.

This is because age comes associated with a certain level of risk according to insurance providers. After your 25th birthday, these risks no longer apply.

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.

What are the restrictions on young drivers?

One of the biggest restrictions on young drivers concerns renting a car. The rules around renting cars can be confusing, with limits on age varying from company to company.

According to Avis, the minimum age you can rent a car is 23, however, age restrictions will vary depending on the vehicle you are hiring. If you are under 25 when you hire a car, you may well have to pay a young driver’s surcharge.

This is because young drivers are perceived to be at a higher risk of having an accident and the surcharge covers the risks that come with younger age. When looking to hire a vehicle always check the terms and conditions of the company you are hiring from.

Drivers under the age of 25 will need to have held a full driving licence for at least one year before they can get on the road in a rental, and you may not be able to rent certain makes or models until you’re over 25.

Confused about car insurance as a young driver? Just pick up the phone and give one of our friendly experts a call.



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