Insurance and buying a car

As a learner driver you have to display "L" plates in a visible place on the front and rear of the car you're driving.  Until the day you pass the practical part of the driving test you'll have to display these and drive with someone who has passed their test, but they must be over 21 years old and have held a full British driving licence for at least 3 years. 

When you start learning to drive, you're responsible for making sure that any vehicle you drive is legal, roadworthy and properly taxed.  When you learn to drive with Karen's, you can be sure that all these things are taken care of, so you can have stress free driving lessons. 

When you take driving lessons, the insurance should be covered by the driving school but if you're practising with friends or family, it is your responsibility to make sure you're covered on the insurance policy

Knowledge is key- The reading bit

Some essential reading, like The Highway Code, is a great place to start before you start learning to drive.  Also start to develop your theory knowledge by reading Driving The Essential Skills and practice your hazard perception skills.  Boost your skills and improve your chances of passing both the theory and hazard Test by purchasing the books from our shop and practice the theory questions on line. 

You need a budget

When preparing to drive you need to consider the outlay of necessary costs such as servicing, tax and insurance.  Allow at least £1000-£2000 depending on your age, to get a car on the road.  While you're learning to drive, work out a rough budget of how much it's going to cost you to run the car once the initial outlay has been made. 

Car Insurance

As a new driver, particularly for those under 25 expect to pay considerably more for your first car insurance policy.  However, it is a very competitive market so shop around for the best deals.  Factors such as fitting a 'black box' (telematics device) and taking a Pass Plus course will help to reduce the cost. 

Buying your first Car

It's not a good idea to buy your first car while you are learning to drive as their is a temptation to drive before your really ready.  Once you have actually passed both your theory and practical tests you will have the enjoyment of buying a car and getting on the road although some learner drivers prefer to learn in their own cars, most prefer to use school's cars for driving lessons and the driving test. 

Buyers beware

Once people know you are learning to drive and intend buying a car, they will tell you plenty of horror stories about used and second-hand cars.  Don't be put off, just use your common sense and research.  You will be more protected by a recognised dealer, who will charge a higher price but includes after-sales service and extra warranty. 

Just make sure you double-check that the documents match the car.  Take someone with you, to do a test drive, and get an insurance quote for the model you want so that you can factor it into your budget.  Another option is a car auction-again, there are good deals to be had, but take someone with you who knows what to look for, and have a check-list. 

Before you purchase your new car, you'll need to consider your rights as it could be expensive to correct. Buying a second hand car the checks you should make.