How to add a driver to your policy
Adding a named driver to your existing car insurance policy needn’t be confusing.
Does a family member regularly drive your car? Maybe a friend wants to borrow it for a weekend? In some cases, it can be expensive, but not always.
Whatever the situation, you have different options when insuring someone else.
Experienced named drivers
If you’re a young or new driver, adding someone more experienced to your policy could actually get you a cheaper premium.
This could be a way to keep costs to a minimum when getting your first policy. Assuming, of course, the person you’re adding has a good driving record, with as few claims and points as possible.
Be careful though. Additional drivers should only be added if they do drive the car occasionally. And you should be the main driver.
If the person who uses the car most is listed as an additional driver, this is known as “fronting”. This is illegal and may invalidate your policy, and even land you in court.
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Younger named drivers
Adding an inexperienced named driver to your policy will usually push your premiums up.
Insurers see under-25s as the riskiest group, so it makes sense to consider taking a student son or daughter off your annual policy if they’re not going to be around much.
You can still allow them to drive when they return over the holidays by taking out temporary cover.
However, there could be one advantage to adding a less-experienced driver to your policy. Some insurers allow them to build up their no-claims bonus, despite not being a main driver. This is a good way for young drivers to mitigate their costs in the long run.
What about learner drivers? Consider a learner driver policy, as some insurers refuse to cover younger learners on existing policies. And others may charge a horrendous premium!
How much does adding a driver cost?
Lots of factors can affect the price of your insurance when adding a driver to your policy:
The age and marital status of the additional driver.
Their relationship to the policyholder.
If they own or drive another vehicle. Some insurers may give a discount if the additional driver uses another car.
Their licence type, how long they’ve had it, and any DVLA-reported medical conditions or disabilities.
Their driving history – any claims and convictions.
You’ll usually need to pay a standard amendment fee, generally between £15 and £30, on top of any changes to your premium.
If you’re adding a driver several times a year, you could be paying successive admin fees. In this case, it might be cheaper to consider keeping them on your policy permanently.
Getting temporary cover as an alternative
An alternative to adding a driver to your existing policy is to take out a separate temporary car insurance policy, covering from one to 28 days.
How much does temporary cover cost?
If you only need short-term cover for an additional driver – for a weekend away or a holiday, for example – temporary cover might work out cheaper than adding a driver to your policy.
The amount will depend on various factors such as age, claims history, and the make and model of the car.
What happens after an accident?
With a temporary insurance policy, the new driver – and their insurer – is responsible for any accidents or damage they cause.
If a named driver has an accident in your car, it could push up your insurance costs in future and affect your no-claims bonus.
What about third-party insurance?
Many drivers think you’re covered third party to drive other vehicles provided that you have comprehensive cover on your own car, and have the owner’s permission. But that’s not always the case.
Even if your policy states you’re covered to drive other cars on third party, be sure to check with your insurer first, as cover depends on things like age, job and the car itself.
If you’re covered, it might be for emergencies only and not regular use of another car.
And if you’re under 25, you can pretty much rule out driving other cars on your policy altogether.