P plates and car insurance

You don’t need to have them by law, but P plates can help new drivers feel safer and more confident and they don’t affect your car insurance.

amy smith
Amy Smith
Updated 12 July 2021  | 3 min read

What are P plates?

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.

How long can green P plates be displayed for?

There’s no specific time limit, so you can leave them on for as long as you like, until you feel confident enough to take them off.

Key points

  • P plates let other drivers know that you've recently passed your test
  • They show other drivers you’re less experienced while you build up confidence on the road
  • Unlike L plates, you don’t legally have to display them and they won’t affect your car insurance

Why should I use P plates?

P plates let other drivers know you don’t have much experience behind the wheel yet, so they need to be more patient if you make small mistakes. 

This could help build your confidence faster, especially for things that you might not have had much opportunity to practice before, like driving on motorways.      

Where do I put P plates on my car?

Like L plates, your P plates on the front and back of your car. Don’t put them on your front or rear windscreen. You must make sure your P plates:

  • Can be easily seen
  • Don’t obstruct your view

You can get P plates that are stickers, or magnetic ones.      

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 warn other drivers to give you time and space because you're inexperienced.

But your insurer is unlikely to even ask if you use P plates, so using them won’t get you a discount on your car insurance
Ryan Fulthorpe - 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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