Yes, you can buy car insurance with a learner’s permit, but you usually can’t register a car without a license. Additionally, many insurance companies only sell policies to drivers with learner's permits if they get a driver's license within 30 to 45 days after purchasing insurance.
You’ll learn why that is in this article, which also answers these related questions:
- Do you need insurance with a learner’s permit?
- How can you get car insurance without a license?
- What are the best car insurance companies for permit drivers?
- How much does learner driver insurance cost?
Does a permit driver need insurance?
All drivers need some form of insurance. However, learner drivers with permits often don’t need their own car insurance. This is because the car the permit driver uses should be insured — and that insurance should cover the car the permit driver is operating.
If you own the vehicle you’re using to learn how to drive and only your name is on its title, you’ll need to get a separate car insurance policy.
Most people who are learning to drive live with a parent, spouse or partner who has car insurance of their own. And that policy usually covers provisional drivers or drivers with learner’s permits.
You also might need to get your own car insurance policy after you graduate from your learner’s permit to a driver’s license. Another option is to have your parent or spouse add you to their policy as an included or covered driver.
How do you get car insurance with a learner’s permit?
To get car insurance with a permit, you have to either be added to someone else’s policy or you need to buy your own policy from an insurance company.
If you need to buy your own policy, shop around and compare quotes from different insurance companies. That will help you find an affordable policy from a reputable company.
While buying your own car insurance policy with a learner’s permit, though, keep the following in mind:
- Expect to pay a lot more for your policy than you will when you’re older and have more driving experience under your belt.
- Some insurance companies require you to get your full driver’s license shortly — such as within 30 to 45 days — after they sell you a policy.
- Also, some insurers require drivers under the age of 18 to have a parent or guardian sign their policy with or for them.
Compare quotes from top auto insurance companies for learner drivers
How do you add a learner driver to a car insurance policy?
Adding a driver with a learner’s permit to a car insurance policy is just as easy as adding any other kind of driver to a policy. You simply contact the insurance company and request to add a new driver to the policy.
In some cases, it’s easier to add a learner or permit driver to an auto policy than it is to add other types of drivers. The reason: many insurance companies and policies automatically cover provisional drivers.
Even if that’s not true of your parent’s, spouse’s or partner’s car insurance, adding you to their policy should be a simple process.
Being added to an existing policy will increase the policyholder's monthly premium, but is a much cheaper option than purchasing separate plans. The average teenage driver pays $335 a month for their own car insurance, but parents who have a joint policy with their teen pay a total of $350 a month.
Can you buy and register a car with a permit?
You can buy and finance a car with just a permit, but whether or not you'll be able to register that car varies from state to state. Most states require you to present proof of licensing when you register your car. When you register your name under your car's title, you are indicating that you bear financial and legal responsibility. If your vehicle is not registered, you can't legally operate it.
With or without a driver's license, you can purchase a car. But you won't be able to drive an unregistered vehicle anywhere with just a permit.
How much does it cost to insure a learner driver?
What you pay for car insurance as a driver with a learner’s permit depends on a few factors, with your age and whether you buy your own policy or get added to a parent’s or spouse’s policy being two of the most important.
Let’s say you’re a teenager. Our research found that individual car insurance policies for 16-year-old drivers cost $428 a month, on average.
That same research found that it costs an average of $235 a month to add a 16-year-old driver to a parent's policy. As you get older, you should see your insurance premium decrease as you accumulate more experience.
If your goal is to get cheap car insurance as a learner driver, compare quotes from a number of companies. And if you’re in a situation where a parent or spouse could add you to their policy, get quotes related to that, as well as quotes related to you buying your own coverage.
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