In Australia, new drivers need to successfully complete three stages before they become fully licenced drivers1. They are:
1. Learner’s permit
2. Provisional licence*
3. Full driver’s licence
*In many states, the provisional licencing stage is divided into P12 and P23, with stricter rules for P1 drivers.
You must meet certain criteria to gain a learner’s permit. These differ slightly for every state but, generally, a learner must4:
• Be between 15 and 16 years old
• Pass a written test before being allowed to drive
• Only drive with a fully licenced supervisor
• Display L-plates while driving
• Gain between 50 and 120 hours of driving practice
Before a learner gets behind the wheel of your car, it’s important to make sure they’re included in your insurance cover. Otherwise, you may find yourself liable for any damage they may cause.
Most insurers will happily add a learner to your policy, but there are usually extra costs involved. Young and inexperienced drivers usually cost more to insure because they are classed as high risk5.
You can usually get the right level of cover by following some key tips:
• Get a quote from your insurer for adding a learner to your policy
• Compare quotes from other insurers using our iSelect comparison tool
• Choose the option that offers the right cover
If you choose to add a learner to your current policy, make sure you’re aware of any extra costs involved. But, despite the increase in your premium, it’s important to tell your insurer when a learner begins using your car, as they may not cover you in an accident or may charge you extra excess if they weren’t aware6.
Learners are classed as young drivers and may incur an extra age excess in the case of a claim. Parents usually need to pay more on their premium to cover a learner driver5.
If a learner is the registered owner of the car, they may need to be separately insured. It pays to check this when they’re comparing policies, helping them to find the right cover at the right price.
P-platers are also usually classed as young drivers and the same rules and excesses may apply to them5. If they’re over 25, it’s a good idea to check with your insurer and see whether an inexperienced driver excess applies.
You should always check with your insurer about whether a learner or P-plater is covered by your policy. Otherwise, you run the risk of being without valid insurance if they’re in an accident5.
As young, inexperienced drivers, learners are naturally more expensive to insure5. One way to try and reduce your premium is by comparing policies to find the right deal for you in the market. With iSelect you can compare policies, prices, and inclusions side by side. That said, their premium may still sit on the pricier end.
Learners can potentially reduce their premiums by considering the following:
Earning an accident-free driving history usually translates into cheaper premiums6. Start early by driving with care, and you may begin to see your premium reduce.
An accident-free driving history really means a claim-free one. Many insurers offer a no-claim bonus, which may reduce your premium6.
If you’re in an accident, consider whether you can afford the repairs yourself before deciding to submit a claim. It may be worth keeping your accident-free record to keep your premiums down.
Not all no-claim bonuses equal premium discounts, so it’s worth checking with your insurer.
Making sure your car is as secure as possible may help to reduce the risk of theft. This includes parking it in a locked garage and installing a car alarm and immobiliser. By lowering the risk, insurers may offer you a cheaper premium6.
Insurers usually offer a choice of market and agreed value for your car if it’s written off. The agreed value is normally higher than the market value, which may increase your premium6. Opting for market value instead may help keep your premium down.
Many insurers offer extras, like windscreen cover, that usually increases your premium. By only opting for necessary extras, you may be able to reduce your premium.
Knowing what level of excess to choose can be hard. It’s tempting to choose a higher excess when it means you pay less for your premium. But it’s important to select an excess that you can afford, and that you’re able to manage if you have an accident where you’re at-fault. You may find that increasing it slightly gives you a better premium, while still being an affordable excess to pay.
Comparing policies is a great way to find the right deal for the insurance you need. Assuming it’s cheaper to insure a learner through your insurance may leave you paying more. iSelect makes it easy to compare policies online, and select cover that suits you.
Start today by comparing policies online, or calling us on 13 19 20.