Before you get into the driver’s seat, there are a few things you need to sort out. Here’s all you need to know about learner permits and car insurance to get you started.
It’s a licence that allows you to start learning to drive and later apply for a driving test.
There are different permits for different types of vehicle, so make sure you apply for the right one.
You can get your learner permit once you’ve passed your theory test or up to two years later.
A learner permit isn’t valid in Northern Ireland or any other country outside of Ireland.
You can apply online through the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) and you’ll need the following before you start:
You can also apply in person at an NDLS centre but you’ll need to book an appointment and bring all your documentation. They’ll take your photo and capture your signature electronically at your appointment.
It costs €35 for a new learner permit, or to renew your permit which you can do up to three months before it expires.
Your first and second learner permits last two years while any subsequent ones usually last a year. You’re exempt from paying the fee if you are aged 70 years or over.
A learner permit is not the same as a full driving licence and doesn’t allow you to drive alone.
As a learner driver, you must follow the rules of the road and:
You could face four points plus a fine of up to €2,000 or six months in prison if caught driving unaccompanied with a learner permit.
It’s also important that you get on well with your instructor and their style of teaching.
When you have driving lessons with your driving instructor, you’re covered on their insurance.
Using your own car or someone else’s to practice in, means you’ll need insurance. You can either:
Both of these options can be expensive, so it’s worth spending some time shopping around for car insurance quotes.
If you need your own insurance, you’ll need to find a learner driver policy. The main types are:
Comprehensive cover is often more expensive as it offers the highest level of protection but it’s always worth checking.
Most car insurance companies offer cover for learners but the ones who specialise in it may offer better discounts.
If you need to be added to someone else’s policy, it’s hard to negotiate a better deal unless their policy is due for renewal - then, you can shop around.
If you’re a young driver, here’s how to afford young driver car insurance.
It’s difficult to find cheap learner and new driver car insurance, here are some ways you can save:
Don’t be tempted to get a cheap policy that doesn’t offer the cover you need.
Congratulations! You’ll get a Certificate of Competency when you pass, which is valid for two years.
You’ll then need to:
Consider adding an experienced named driver to your policy to help keep costs down.
Some specialist young driver and learner driver insurers can take named driver experience into consideration so check before you buy. This means you might not have to start at zero years no claims bonus when you’ve passed your test.
New drivers are often young and unfortunately, the statistics for young drivers involved in car accidents within two years of passing their driving test are very high. This means that young drivers who also have less experience, are a much higher risk to insurers, and this brings the cost of insurance up.
There are four licensing categories for motorcycles AM, A1, A2 and A.
Riders can progress through these categories by either:
Find out more about learning to ride a motorcycle in our guide How to get the cheapest motorbike insurance.
It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving