What is fronting?
When a younger driver pretends to be a named driver and not the main driver on an insurance policy, it's called fronting. This is illegal.
Key things to know
Fronting is a kind of car insurance fraud, and it’s against the law.
The consequences are severe – voided or cancelled policies, substantial fines, up to six points on your licence and a potential driving ban.
The main driver should be the person who spends the most time in the car. This doesn’t have to be the same as the owner or registered keeper.
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Why fronting is commonplace
The average cost of a car insurance policy is £809.
That's according to our car insurance price index, powered by Willis Towers Watson.
But the average cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old is more than double at £1,911.
Some parents try to lower that cost by putting themselves as the main driver of the car, and their kid as a named driver.
But the reality is that the parent rarely drives the car, if ever. The younger driver is the main or only person who uses the car.
Is fronting illegal?
Yes. It’s a form of insurance fraud.
How can I get caught fronting?
Insurance companies have ways of detecting this kind of fraud when you get the policy. If they don’t find out then, it usually comes up when making a claim.
What are the penalties for fronting?
If you're caught fronting, your insurance company will probably void or cancel your policy.
If you're caught while making a claim, they could also void the claim. This means you'll have to pay for any damages yourself.
Since fronting is a kind of fraud, many cases end up in court. If this happens, you could get:
A substantial fine
Six points on your licence.
If you've had your licence for under two years, that's enough for a driving ban.
How do I know who the main driver is?
If you do share the car with someone else, it can be tricky to know who's meant to be the main driver.
As a rule of thumb, the main driver is the one who:
Drives the most miles
Drives the most often
Uses the car to commute to work
Keeps the car outside their home.
READ MORE: Adding a driver to a car insurance policy
How else can I keep insurance costs down?
When it comes to insurance, honesty is always the best policy.
Being honest makes sure that you're on the right side of the law. It also makes sure you're covered if you have an accident. And having yourself as the main driver means you can start earning a no-claims bonus (NCB).
It still helps to have an older, experienced driver on the policy. But make sure the person who drives the car most is the main driver on the policy.
Other tips to reduce your insurance costs:
Be accurate with your mileage. If you overestimate how much you drive, you could be paying more than you need.
Consider black box tech. These policies offer a more tailored insurance price based on how and when you drive.
Improve your security. Adding an alarm or tracker to your car lowers the risk of theft. That extra level of security can shave a few pounds off your price.
Be organised. From looking at our data, we know leaving buying a a policy to the last minute can cost more than if you plan ahead. If you've got an existing policy, you should get your renewal offer about 30 days before it's due. That's a good time to start comparing quotes and leaves you with plenty of time to find a good deal.
READ MORE: Top tips to lower your car insurance costs