Turn your back on fronting

So, you’ve passed your driving test and you’re ready to hit the road. You even have your own car – perhaps a gift from generous parents, or maybe you saved up for your first set of wheels. Now all you need is insurance – but as a young driver, is it going to cost you an arm and a leg? Many people in your situation find that the thrill of getting their driving licence and owning a car is dulled by the high premiums – easily stretching into thousands of pounds in some cases.
So why do people under 25 have to pay so much for their cover?

Risky business

It seems unfair, but it’s all about risk. Basically, the more likely you are to make a claim, the higher the cost of insurance. Young drivers – and motorists who have only recently passed their test – are statistically among the riskiest on the road. Did you know that one in five new drivers is involved in a crash within six months of passing their test? Consequently, they often find it hard to source affordable insurance. Our job at MoneySuperMarket is to help you find the cheapest deal. One thing is for certain: you should never be tempted to drive without having the full and proper insurance in place. It’s strictly against the law and comes with severe financial penalties. If you’re caught driving without appropriate motor cover, the police could slap you with a £300 fine and six penalty points. You could even end up in court, where the maximum fine is £5000 and a driving ban. The police also have the power to seize, and in some cases, destroy the vehicle.

Mum! Dad!!

Many young drivers turn to their parents for help, and mum and dad can indeed come to the rescue of inexperienced motorists. But you have to be very careful how you arrange the cover. If the car is yours and you are most often behind the wheel, you must be down as the main driver on the policy. The premium may be relatively high but you can bring down the cost by adding your mum or dad as an additional driver. The insurer will take comfort from the presence of an older motorist with more experience, and possibly a clean driving record, and lower the premiums accordingly. What you must not do is name your mum or dad as the main driver, with you as an additional driver. The tactic is known as fronting and, although it will make the premiums cheaper, it is a type of insurance fraud and is illegal. If you are caught, it will almost certainly invalidate your policy so it would not pay out in the event of a claim. Both you and your parents would also find it extremely difficult to buy insurance cover in the future – and you could all end up with a criminal record. Insurers deal with about 1000 cases of fronting a year. Of course, some people don’t deliberately set out to deceive as it can be difficult to decide who is the main driver. But ignorance is no defence, so you should take time to consider your driving responsibilities. For example, if you take the car to and from work or university, or if you drive it pretty much every day and maintain the vehicle, you can be reasonably certain that you are the main driver. If you are in any doubt, speak to your insurer and they will be able to help. And don’t forget to shop around for competitive quotes – it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to cut the cost of car cover.

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