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Named driver insurance - adding other drivers to your car insurance policy

There may be several reasons why you want to add a named driver to your car insurance. Whether that's sharing responsibility of driving the car long distances or sharing the car with your child who's back from university.

Getting named driver insurance for a friend or family member is one way to make sure they're insured to drive it.

But does adding a named driver make your car insurance cheaper? In some cases, it could.

What is named driver car insurance?

Named driver insurance or second driver insurance is when you're adding someone to your car insurance policy, making them an additional driver. A named driver can drive your car any time of day and usually has the same level of cover as the policyholder.

But they’re not the main driver. The policyholder should always be the main driver - the ones who does the majority of the driving.

When you add a named driver to your policy, you should give your insurer some basic details about that person.

Because you’re changing your policy, sometimes your insurer might add an admin charge. If in doubt, get in touch with them beforehand. 

Named driver insurance has a slight overlap with Driving Other Cars (DOC) cover. DOC protection could come as standard on a lot of comprehensive car insurance policies. For others, you might need to add it on. It's best not to assume that you have this feature automatically, as you risk driving without insurance.

The big difference is that DOC cover is limited to third-party protection only. But named driver insurance offers the driver far more protection and peace of mind in the event of an incident.

Is car insurance cheaper with a named driver?

A named driver might be older and more experienced than yourself. So, your costs could go down if you add them to your policy.

That’s because driver age and on-the-road experience plays an important part in working out the likelihood of a claim.

But it goes the other way, too. An older, more experienced driver might add a named driver to their policy. If that driver looks like a higher risk to an insurer, the policyholder’s costs could rise.

Younger drivers often have faster reflexes and better eyesight. But more experienced drivers tend to have more natural caution and experience.

If you don't think adding a named driver is right for you, there are other ways to cut the cost of your insurance. These include:

Read our guide on tips for a cheaper car insurance for more information.

How much does it cost to add a named driver to my car insurance policy?

Insurers generally charge when you make changes to your policy. You can call them or make changes to your car insurance policy online.

When you add a named driver to your insurance, you're potentially changing the overall 'risk profile' of the car. This could mean that your car insurance costs could go up or down as a result.

How much adding a driver might cost you depends on the insurance company and the kind of driver you're adding. Younger, inexperienced drivers or those with past claims and convictions, could result in your prices going up.

For example, the cost of car insurance for an 18-year-old driver is £1,581, according to our car insurance price index.

So, you might want to make several amendments to your policy simultaneously to reduce potential admin charges.

Sometimes it could be better to talk direct to your insurer. Especially if you want a better feel of a situation or scope out the potential impact on your policy.

How do I add a named driver to my car insurance policy?

Give your insurer a call or contact them online. But make sure you check their T&Cs. Sometimes you can be charged extra for small changes to your policy.

You shouldn't be asked for a lot of information about the other named driver but it's best to have some basic details available. These include:

  • Their full name
  • Their date of birth
  • Their main job
  • Their marital status
  • Their driving licence number and licence type
  • Details of any motoring convictions in the past 5 years
  • Any accidents or claims in the past 5 years

A named driver doesn’t have to live at the same address of the policyholder.

Does being a named driver affect my own insurance?

Being a named driver shouldn’t impact your own policy. If you’re involved in an accident that was your fault, you usually claim on the policyholder’s policy.

They might see their insurance costs rise as their no-claims bonus could be hit.

In other words, if you drive a friend's car as a named driver and then have an accident, the policy is tied to the car - not the person.

If you’re the policyholder and you're concerned about this risk, think about protecting your no-claims bonus. Especially if you’ve built it up carefully over several years.

It’s not normally possible to build up a no-claims bonus as a named driver.

Some insurance companies do let named drivers build their own. But they usually only transfer it to their own policy with the same insurer.

Does adding a named driver affect my no-claims bonus?

Named driver insurance could impact the policyholder's no-claims bonus in the long run.

If you build up your no-claims bonus over several years, a single accident from a riskier driver could remove that quickly.

When you add a named driver to your policy, they enjoy all the benefits of that policy.

If it’s a comprehensive policy, they get fully comprehensive protection too. This sometimes includes breakdown cover and a courtesy car, if needed.

But the risk of that named driver is passed to you – to your policy.

Even if you've added a responsible named driver, we can't control the behaviour of other road users.

Can I add a named driver temporarily?

If you need to add a named driver temporarily, it may be worth arranging temporary car insurance instead. This way, you can arrange a new policy for the specific length of time needed without having to alter your current policy. 

Temporary car insurance could be worth considering if:

  • You're planning a road trip where shared driving can help
  • You're borrowing a friend’s car while yours is being repaired or is off the road
  • You want extra cover for a child back from university who needs a vehicle

You can buy cover lasting from 1 hour to a month. Short-term car insurance is also flexible and often fairly affordable.

Temporary cover could be harder to get if you have driving convictions or points on your licence. You might keep your costs down by insuring less powerful or less expensive cars

Either way, never accept the first quote you get. Always shop around.

Compare temporary car insurance quotes

What are the named driver insurance rules?

There aren't many additional rules for named drivers compared to the policyholder. When you're a named driver, you can use the car as you wish and you should have the same level of cover as the main driver. 

The only thing to be mindful of is how much you use the car compared to the other drivers on the policy.

In most cases, whoever does the most driving should be put as the main driver on the policy. Then, all other drivers should be named drivers or second drivers.

Let's say you're a parent and you add your child to the policy as a named driver. If it turns out that they use the car much more than you do, you should change your car insurance policy so they're the main driver.

If you don't, you could be committing a form of insurance fraud called fronting.

Because fronting is deliberate misrepresentation, it’s a criminal offence. Lying to an insurer might leave both the registered owner and the other driver without cover if discovered.

The registered owner’s policy could be invalidated and the other driver could be treated as completely uninsured in any claim.

This means they could be fined, prosecuted and even banned from driving.

How to avoid fronting in named driver insurance

To avoid fronting, make sure that the person driving the car the most is named as the main driver on the insurance policy.

If, over time, the other person becomes the main driver of the car, contact your insurer. You may have to cancel the current policy and get the new main driver to arrange a new one.  

If you think you share driving time equally, contact your insurer to discuss your options.