Can you own a car with a provisional driving licence?

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Owning with a provisional
Buying before passing
Buying your first car
The rules
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Owning a car with a provisional licence

Hooray! You’ve turned 17 and it’s your passport to freedom – you’re now old enough to hit the road and start your driving lessons. But can you own a car with a provisional licence?

The short answer is: yes, you can! Even though your licence is provisional, meaning you must always have a supervisor or instructor with you, you can buy your own car.

There are good reasons for and against buying your own vehicle before you’ve passed your test - check out our in-depth analysis below so you know exactly where you stand.

TL;DR
You can buy a car even before you pass your driving test. But don’t forget you need a supervisor with you if you’re using a provisional licence.

Buying a car before you pass your test

It might seem unusual to buy a car before you’ve even got your full licence, but there are some very good reasons.

For example, maybe you’d feel more comfortable learning to drive in your own car rather than an instructor’s.

No matter how quickly you pick up driving skills, all cars are different and if it helps you feel more confident behind your own wheel then go for it.

If your car passes all DVLA requirements, you can usually take your test in your car too. This might give you a real confidence boost, as you will already be familiar with it and how it handles.

Plus, if you pass – you can drive the car home straight away. Bonus! (Just make sure you’ve got the correct insurance to do so - our short-term cover is perfect for this, if we say so ourselves.)

However, it might be a bit of a waste of money if you spend months (or even years!) taking lessons and trying to pass your test.

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What to look out for when buying your first car

It’s probably a good idea to get a second-hand car first time round. We don’t need to tell you how expensive a brand spanking new car can be, and they can lose value quite quickly.

While you are learning or are new to driving, seek out something that won’t cost you a fortune. It’s a good idea to test drive all cars but sadly most dealers don’t let people with P plates test drive.

So, take someone with you who has passed their test and they can do this for you. You can always go along for the ride.

You’ll want to ensure that the car comes with its manual and full logbook, which tells you about the car’s history, including all its services and any work it has had done.

You will need the logbook when you apply for car tax and (if you’re the registered owner of the vehicle) also for the car insurance.

To ensure all this documentation and car history is in place, we would recommend going to a reputable car dealer who may also offer you a warranty for extra peace of mind. It’s always worth asking.

If you are buying the car privately, you should do some essential checks or take someone along who knows a bit about cars. You should look at things like the tyres (are they in good nick and is the tread legal?), oil, the state of the engine, the mileage (the lower the better!), gadgets, lights and warning lights, and the overall condition, to make sure it's safe.

We’ve got more information on buying your first car here.

The rules for driving home from the dealership

Here’s a little warning: you cannot drive your first car home from the dealership yourself without insurance.

In fact, there are a lot of legal requirements for driving a car even if you have paid for it. These include getting a driving licence, registering, insuring and taxing your vehicle, and ensuring it has its MOT certificate.

If in doubt, you can check out the list of legal obligations on the Government website.

Get Cuvva

Whether your driving in your own car or are borrowing a friend or parent’s, you need insurance for your lessosns. Cuvva’s learner driver insurance has all you need, with hourly policies perfect for lessons. If your lesson runs over or you want to get some extra practice in, you can extend your policy with a few quick swipes in the app.

Get a quick quote here.

Updated on 21st February 2022