We can all remember that wonderful moment when the driving examiner informs you that you have passed your test and you are now free to drive your car whenever and wherever you wish to.
However, what happens to your motor insurance premium once you have passed your test? Often there is a large increase in the premium. Why should that be?
Whilst undergoing driving instruction your instructor will usually have the benefit of dual controls as well as the experience to be able to guide through any dangers you may face whilst driving. Even when not under formal instruction, as a provisional licence holder, you must always be accompanied by someone who is at least 21 years old and who has held a full licence for at least 3 years. Your policy is likely to include a condition to this effect. Therefore, you again will have someone experienced sitting beside you who can offer guidance and advice whilst you gain experience.
Once you have passed your test, however, you have the freedom to drive unaccompanied and hazard perception is dependent upon your own ability and attitude, as is the manner in which the vehicle is driven. It is this new found freedom and lack of supervision which, in the eyes of insurance companies, makes you a much higher risk than when you were learning.
When you do pass your test it is crucial that you inform your insurance company immediately as your cover will need to be updated to reflect the new risk that you now pose to your insurers and the condition that only permits you to drive unaccompanied will need to be removed from the policy. You will usually see the motor insurance premium that you pay increase for the reasons outlined above. Failure to notify your insurer of the change in circumstances could have serious consequences as until the change is made cover only applies whilst you are driving whilst accompanied.
Be Wiser Insurance compared motor insurance premiums for a 17 year old provisional licence holder with the premium required once they had obtained a full licence. All other information regarding the quotation remained the same. From the research conducted, passing the driving test resulted in a premium increase of 331%, rising from £838 to £3,618 with the same insurance company. (Note that the policy excess remained the same at £550).
The policy terms of the level of cover that you enjoyed before passing your practical test all remains the same afterwards, unless you stipulate to your insurance company that you require a different level of cover. You will still be covered for the same risks, and the policy limits will remain the same.
As with most motor insurance policies for young or inexperienced drivers, adding an older driver, particularly a parent, to the policy can often reduce the premium being charged and should certainly be explored as an option.
All insurance quotations were based upon a 17 year old male waiter driving a 2013 Volkswagen Up! with zero years no claim discount. No further drivers were added onto the policy. All quotations were given on 07/08/2014.