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Can you get car insurance for learner drivers?

Mark Bristow avatar
Mark Bristow
- 4 min read
Can you get car insurance for learner drivers?

As a learner driver, it’s important to make sure you’re insured, even if it’s through someone else’s policy. Driving an uninsured vehicle is against the law, and there are serious consequences if you get into an accident.

Many comprehensive and third-party insurance packages cover learner drivers. You may find that adding yourself as a learner driver to another driver’s policy is easier than getting a new policy with a learner’s permit. This could mean paying a slightly higher premium, as well as an additional excess fee if you file a claim. But, if you are the registered owner of the vehicle, you may need to be insured individually.

Does my car insurance cover a learner driver?

Some insurance policies cover anyone driving your car, and learner drivers may be covered to drive your car under supervision without needing to be listed separately on your policy.

Other insurers may require you to list your car’s other drivers on your policy, and adding a learner driver could potentially increase the cost of your insurance premiums.

If you are a car owner wanting to add a learner driver to your insurance, you can contact your insurance provider for specific details of what’s required, as well as a quote for any new costs.

What’s the cost of adding a learner driver to an insurance policy?

The cost of adding a learner driver to an existing insurance policy is often lower than applying for a separate insurance policy. If you are the parent, spouse, or friend of a learner driver who will be learning in your car, it is always worth checking if a learner driver is covered by your insurance policy before they drive.

If you make a car insurance claim and a young (under 25) or inexperienced (less than 2 years driving experience) driver was behind the wheel, you may be required to pay one or more additional excesses depending on the situation and your policy, such as a learner driver excess, young driver excess, inexperienced driver excess, or undeclared driver excess. Each extra excess could leave you out of pocket by another $400 to $800, depending on the insurer.

Getting a quote from your insurer for adding a learner to your policy can help you understand the level of coverage. You may also use comparison tools to understand rates from various insurers and then choose the one that you feel provides the best protection at the best price.

Insurance for learners who own their car

If you own your car as a learner and will be the primary supervised driver, you usually need your own policy.

As a minimum, your car will need to carry Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance to be legally driven in Australia. While this is typically one of the cheapest options, it also offers the bare minimum of coverage.  

If your car has a low market value, a Third Party Property Only or Third Party Property, Fire and Theft policy may be sufficient.

A comprehensive policy offers the most insurance coverage, including coverage for damage to your car, as well as liability for damage to other people's property.

It comes down to what works for you, but when it comes to insurance, it’s always worth shopping around and reading the fine print to check what’s covered.

How can a learner driver get cheap car insurance for their own car?

When learning to drive, car insurance costs may be lower if the vehicle is a low-priced, well-known brand known for its safety. It can also help persuade insurers to charge a reduced rate if the car is always stored in a secure area and is not prone to theft. You can also enroll in a defensive driving course, which may get you a discount from the insurance company. 

Accepting a higher excess might also reduce the cost of auto insurance premiums. But if you submit a claim for damages in a car accident, the bigger the excess, the more you’ll need to pay out of pocket. Additional excesses may apply if you are a young or inexperienced driver, regardless of whether you’re a learner.

Should I buy short term car insurance for learner drivers?

Due to the usually higher costs, there are few circumstances in which buying a short-term car insurance policy is useful. As a learner driver, it’s unlikely you’ll face most of these circumstances.

An example of when you might consider buying short-term car insurance is before renting a car. However, you must be at least 21 years of age to rent a car in Australia, and while some learner drivers are over 21, most learner drivers are younger.

Even a ‘pay as you drive’ policy is likely to be more expensive than adding the learner driver to a parent’s car insurance policy.

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Product database updated 22 Jun, 2024

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Peter Terlato before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.