Can you buy a car with a provisional licence?
Last updated: 24/03/2022 | Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes
Buying your first car can be a huge moment. It offers independence, flexibility, and freedom from unreliable public transport timetables.
Traditionally, people tend to purchase a vehicle after they’ve passed their test, as driving is somewhat limited as a learner. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t an option.c
There are certain situations where it actually makes sense to buy a car before you pass your test, and in this guide, we’ll be exploring what they are and what you need to do to make it happen.
There’s nothing technically stopping you purchasing a car as a learner. It might come as a surprise that you don’t even need to have a provisional licence, and there are no legal age requirements to do so.
Obviously, all this changes if you want to start driving your car around. This raises certain challenges if you want to test drive your car, or bring it back from the place you bought it.
So, although you could buy a car yourself at age 16 while still learning to drive, you will almost certainly want a fully qualified driver with you to fill in the gaps.
So, we’ve established that you can buy a car whenever you want, but does that mean you should? To keep things simple, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons to give an idea of whether it’s a smart move for you:
There are a few things that almost all learners will look for in a car.
The first of these will be price. While some learner drivers will be well into adulthood, most will be in their late teens and early twenties. Therefore, cheaper options will be ideal.
As well as the actual cost of the car, a cheaper vehicle will cost less to insure, with premiums for young drivers notoriously high. It’s also a good idea to get something a bit cheaper when you’re at your highest risk of damaging it due to inexperience.
If you want to see what cars have the cheapest insurance rates for young drivers, check out our helpful guide.
Easy-to-drive vehicles with helpful features such as active parking assist and cruise control are also smart things to look for as a learner. It will give you that little bit of help you need when you're still getting comfortable on the road. Car insurance providers will also be willing to offer cheaper premiums on vehicles that they see as being sensible, safe purchases.
Good options for learner drivers include:
Yes, you can get insurance with a provisional licence, and you will need to if you want to learn in a car that you’ve bought yourself. This doesn’t apply to those taking lessons with an instructor, however, as you will be covered by their policy.
Applying for learner insurance is in many ways similar to taking out a normal policy. However, there will of course be some big differences.
One of the main differences will be the rules around your supervisor. As you have not passed your test, an insurer will want to take extra care to minimise damage to the vehicle and a potential claim. Therefore, a lot of policies will come with a clause that the supervisor is 25 or over, despite the legal requirement being only 21.
It’s important to note that some policies are suitable for your own vehicle, while others only for one you are borrowing. So, make sure you’re checking what’s included before putting pen to paper.