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Originally published March 7th 2017
If your friend asks to borrow your car for the day, or you want your daughter to be able to drive your car, you need to make sure that appropriate insurance is in place. Here we answer your questions on additional, named drivers.
A named driver is a someone who is insured to drive a vehicle in which another person does most of the driving. When driving that vehicle, the named driver will have the same level of cover as the main driver.
Yes. You can normally add one or more drivers to your existing car insurance. If it’s a new policy, you can simply provide the details when you take out the cover.
The insurer will typically want to know the name, age, marital status, address and occupation of any additional drivers. Plus, you will have to give information about any accidents or motoring convictions.
If you are adding a driver to your existing insurance, you might have to pay a fee to amend the policy, which could be about £30. The effect on the premium depends largely on the risk profile of the additional driver. If you are a parent and want to add a young driver to your policy, the price could be high because younger motorists are statistically riskier than older drivers. On the other hand, if you have just passed your test and want to add your mother or father to your insurance as a named driver, you could earn a discount on your premium.
Yes – and you should not confuse the two. Some people put the additional driver down as the main driver in order to reduce the insurance premium (usually a parent claiming to be the main driver on one of their children’s policies). This is a practice known as ‘fronting’, which is illegal and could lead to a criminal conviction. It could also invalidate your insurance and make it more difficult and more expensive for you to buy cover in the future.
If the additional driver causes an accident in your car and you have to make claim, it will affect your no claims discount, even if you were nowhere near the vehicle at the time.
You can normally add a driver for the duration of your policy. Alternatively, many insurers allow you to add a driver temporarily. The temporary period is usually about 90 days, though it does not have to be taken all at once.
Some insurers automatically refuse to cover learner or young motorists as additional drivers. If the person has a poor driving history, they might also be turned down. Some insurers will charge a high amount as a way to deter you from adding a driver they don’t want to insure.
Yes. You cannot add a driver to your policy without their permission. So, always ask first. This is another defence against ‘fronting’.
If the additional driver has their own policy, they should tell their insurer that they are covered to drive another vehicle as an additional driver.
Some insurance policies cover the main policyholder to drive another vehicle with that vehicle owner’s permission. However, it is not always the case, and any cover is likely to be third party only, even if the main policy is comprehensive. You should not therefore assume that adequate insurance is in place.
MoneySuperMarket’s comparison service allows you to name up to three additional drivers when you are looking for the best deal on your motor insurance. So the price you are quoted will reflect the actual scope of the insurance you’re looking for.
If you’re a ‘named’ driver on someone else’s policy, you can drive abroad, although you’ll most likely only have third party cover, so you might want to pay for more protection. Remember the main driver must do the majority of the driving, so if you drive the car more than them (say you cover more miles during the trip), any claim you have to make could be challenged.