All new drivers can expect to be hit with substantial premiums even if you drive a less powerful or second hand car, when they first take to the road as insurance companies view them as high risk due to their lack of experience and the fact they are statistically more likely to have an accident.
However, the cost can be reduced by either becoming a named driver on the policy of a more experienced driver – or listing them as an additional driver on your policy. There are pros and cons with each approach but it’s certainly something that’s worth considering.
So where should you start?
Well insurance companies are reassured by the thought of an experienced driver being involved – either as an additional or main driver – and are willing to give a discount on policies where they believe that to be the case. You – as a driver of the vehicle in question – need to decide which approach best suits your individual circumstances. This will have to be based on who will be driving your car the most, particularly the length of time you expect to be behind the wheel.
When you are the named driver
The cheapest route to get cover as a new driver – in the short term at least – is to be named on a more experienced person’s insurance. This indicates to the insurance company that you will only be driving on relatively few occasions which they will see as being less risky. However, the reason this approach is not necessarily the most cost-effective over the longer term is that very few insurers will allow drivers named on the policies of others to build up their own no-claims discounts.
As insurers base their premiums on the risk individual drivers pose, a simple way for them to make a judgement is seeing how many years someone has been on the road without having to make a claim on their car insurance. Every year in which a claim hasn’t been made is added together and calculated as a percentage of your premium and referred to as a no-claims discount. Each insurer will view this differently but in some cases it can reduce the annual cost by 75 per cent.
When you are the main driver
The other option is buying a policy where you are the main driver but add a more experienced named driver to the policy. Although this can seem the more expensive route of the two – and it will be over the short term – you still benefit from having a more experienced driving being on the policy and you can start building your own no-claims discount.
A word of warning
There is a major risk involved with being a named driver on a more experienced person’s policy. This is that you must not allow them to simply pose as the main driver of the car being insured if the reality is that you will be driving it most of the time. While a tempting way to reduce your premium – particularly as you may be convinced the insurer will never find out – this process, which is known as “fronting”, is illegal and could land you in all sorts of trouble.
Not only will the insurer be unlikely to pay out in the event of a claim being made if it discovered what you’d done, you could also find yourself being prosecuted and potentially refused insurance cover in the future. It’s certainly not a risk worth taking.
Finding the best deal
Searching the market for the best deals from a variety of providers is a far better, safer and legal way to reduce your premium. Ask around for recommendations and see what deals can be struck with insurance companies. Remember, it’s a competitive world and they want your business so don’t be afraid to push for a decent price. Also if you have just bought a new vehicle dont forget to try a multicar quote to see if you could get a better saving.