P plates and car insurance

While they aren’t required by law, P plates can be a great way to give new drivers more confidence on the road

Alice Lloyd

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What are P plates and should you use them?

Green P plates show other drivers that you've recently passed your driving test.

The P stands for ‘probationary’ and they aren’t mandatory, so it’s up to you if you want to display one – they won’t affect the cost of your car insurance.

Key points

  • P plates let other drivers know that you've recently passed your test
  • They show other drivers you are less experienced while you build up confidence on the road
  • Unlike L plates, they aren’t required by law and they won’t affect your car insurance

P plates show other drivers that you aren’t an experienced driver, so they might be more understanding if you make small mistakes. This can give you time to become more confident when driving alone.

Display your P plates in the same place as you would your L plates - on the front and rear of your car. Don’t put them on your front and rear windscreen as they’ll block your view.

Will using P plates affect your car insurance?

P Plates are entirely voluntary and aren’t required by law, so they won’t make a difference to your car insurance.

There’s no direct correlation between displaying P plates and road accidents. But because you’ve recently passed your test, you can expect to pay more for your car insurance than experienced drivers.

“P plates give other drivers fair warning of an inexperienced driver, particularly at danger points such as junctions, roundabouts and on the motorway

“Displaying P plates won’t be taken into account by your insurer as it’s unlikely to even ask if you display them”

Matt Oliver, motoring expert at GoCompare

How can P platers get cheaper car insurance?

Here’s what you can do to keep costs down:

  • Choose a small car

    Some cars have cheaper premiums, so if you’re looking to buy your first car, check how much insurance will cost you. Small cars with less powerful engines are usually the cheapest to insure
  • Park securely

    Try to park in a secure garage or on a driveway as parking off the road overnight reduces the risk of your car being stolen or damaged
  • Higher excess

    Increase your voluntary excess to reduce your premium. Just remember you’ll need to pay that excess if you make a claim
  • Consider telematics

    Also known as ‘black box insurance’, a provider installs a small device in the car to monitor your driving. This allows young, safe drivers to quickly improve their driving skills, resulting in cheaper premiums.

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