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 🚗
It might seem unusual to buy a car before you’ve even got your full licence, but there are some very good reasons to do so.
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 temporary car insurance 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.
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.
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.
By the way: Cuvva offers drive away car insurance for this very thing.
Cuvva hates deposits, interest, tie-ins and hidden fees - it's why we've scrapped them.
Instead, we offer flexible temporary insurance from 1 hour to 28 days.
It's perfect for borrowing and lending - and for experienced or learner drivers alike.
Whatever you're after, it only takes a few minutes to get a quote.