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Named driver insurance
Get the best deal on cover for an additional driver
Most car insurance providers allow you to add an extra 'named' driver onto your insurance policy. It is a relatively simple process to get arranged, but it's not right for everyone. In this guide we look at how you can add a named driver to your policy and what you need to know when arranging cover for them.
What is a ‘named driver’?
A 'named driver' is someone added onto an existing car insurance policy rather than having their own separate cover.
This means that if the main driver has a comprehensive policy, the named driver will also get comprehensive cover (as long as they also meet all the terms and conditions and eligibility criteria of your policy).
Is there a limit on the number of named drivers I can add to my policy?
There usually isn't a limit to how many named drivers you can add to your car insurance policy. However, some policies do have restrictions on who you can add.
For example, some insurance providers will only accept named drivers if they're aged over 25, or have a certain number of years of driving experience under their belt – more detail on this later on.
Named drivers usually won't get a no-claims discount
Usually it's only the insurance policyholder or car's main driver that can build up a no-claims discount. If you're a named driver this means you'll likely miss out on building up a no-claims history.
Some insurers do offer named drivers a discount if they haven't made a claim and decide to take out their own insurance policy in the future. This is usually called something like: 'named driver no-claims discount'. However, as a general rule, this discount will only be valid with that specific car insurance provider.
If you're thinking of moving to a different provider, it's worth letting it know about your no-claims history, but it's not obligated to take this into account when working out your quote.
Can a named driver use the car more than the policyholder?
If the additional driver will be the car's main driver, you MUST let the insurance company know immediately.
And, crucially, never add someone as the main driver if they're not (for example, to make your insurance cheaper). This is known in the industry as 'fronting', and is a type of fraud.
Fronting can invalidate your insurance, and make it very difficult – and expensive – to get cover again in the future. It can also lead to a conviction.
The driver I want to add to my policy isn't related to me, can they still be a named driver?
You can add anyone who needs to use your car as a named driver on your policy – whether or not they're related to you – as long as they meet your insurer's criteria.
In rare cases, very old policies designed for couples may require the named driver to be your partner (though in most cases these policies no longer exist).
What type of cover will the named driver have?
Any additional drivers on your policy will get the same level of cover as you – whether your policy is comprehensive, third-party, fire and theft or just basic third-party only cover.
In some cases, your provider will set a different policy excess for your additional driver. And, they'll usually be restricted to social, domestic and pleasure use of the car (unless your insurance company have agreed to also cover business use).
It's always worth checking with your insurance company directly if you're unsure. Each provider will have slightly different terms and conditions.
How much does it cost to add a driver to your policy?
It may seem counterintuitive, but adding an extra driver can actually reduce the cost of your car insurance policy – in some cases by £100s or £1,000s.
If you're considered a 'high-risk' driver (because you've only just passed your test, for example) and you add someone who is considered a much lower risk as a second (or third) driver, they can bring down the average risk, which means you're more likely to be offered a cheaper policy.
On the other hand, if you're adding a 'high-risk' driver to your car insurance, your premium will likely increase.
In either scenario, there are some costs to getting the additional driver onto your policy in the first place. You'll usually need to pay a small administrative fee, and agree what excess they'll pay should they need to make a claim.
Can I add a driver to my insurance temporarily?
Insurers have become very flexible about adding named drivers to policies temporarily – though it's not always the cheapest option. Depending on your circumstances, it could be more cost effective to add them for the full year.
Consider the following scenarios to see if adding the additional driver as a temporary named driver is right for you:
- How often will they be driving the vehicle over the course of the year?
If the additional driver is a friend who visits you once a year for a day or two – then adding them temporarily may be the most cost effective approach.
However, if you intend to add them several times a year, it may be worthwhile seeing if it's cheaper to add them permanently.
You'll usually have to pay an admin fee to make a change to your policy – whether it is adding or deleting a driver – so only doing it once, rather than each time your friend comes to visit, can work out more cost effective (more on this below) and means less admin for you too.
- Does your insurance company have a restriction on how many changes are allowed over the year?
It's not common, but occasionally if your insurer spots a pattern of regular changes to your policy they may stop your request (without warning), and insist on the the additional driver being added to your policy permanently.
However, if you're only making changes once or twice a year, this shouldn't be an issue.
- Is there is an administration fee per change, and how much is it?
Many policies now come with an admin fee – so when you make a change to an insurance policy, a £10, £25 or even £50 fee is added in addition to any costs for the change.
It's always worth checking the difference between adding them to your policy permanently or temporarily.
For example, it might cost £100 to add a named driver to your insurance permanently (plus a £25 admin fee), or £25 to add a named driver for the weekend (plus a £25 admin fee each time).
If you plan to add the same named driver on more than three weekends in a year (3 x £25, plus 3 x £25 in admin fees for each change = £150), it'll work out cheaper to just add them permanently.
It is always worth asking for quotes that include the additional driver both temporarily or permanently on your current policy, alongside using our Car Insurance Compare+ tool to see if you can get a new annual policy cheaper with the additional driver.
Provided you haven't claimed this insurance year, you'll be able to cancel your policy and get a pro-rata refund if you paid upfront, (minus an £50ish admin fee), and be free to get a new policy.
For more information, see our full Cancelling your car insurance guide.
How do I add a driver to my car insurance policy?
Adding an additional driver to your car insurance is usually a very straight forward process. In most cases you can simply call your insurance provider or broker to get it arranged.
You'll need to have the new driver's details to hand when you make the call. Your provider will likely ask for:
- Their legal name.
- Date of birth.
- Type of driving licence (full or provisional).
- When they passed their test (approximately).
- Details of any driving convictions (such as when it happened, the conviction code, points and fine).
- Date(s) of any motoring accidents or losses, with a brief description of what happened.
- Full details of any medical conditions (what the condition is, when it was first diagnosed, and any medication taken).
- What will they be using the car for.
Once your provider has confirmed that the driver fits its eligibility criteria, you'll be able to specify when you want the cover to start. In some cases, it can start immediately.
Will my insurance company accept the additional driver?
Whether your insurance provider accepts your proposed 'named driver' depends on these three main factors:
- Is the policy age-restricted? For example, will it only accept over-30s?
- Is your car 'high grouped'? If your car is in a 'high group' – perhaps because it has a powerful engine - an insurer can be more selective about who they will insure to drive the car.
- Is the named driver considered 'high risk'? For example, new (or young) drivers, those with a poor driving record, and those with certain medical conditions, may not be accepted by your insurer.
If you do have any issues arranging the cover, and you must get them insured, try and find an alternative policy via our our Car Insurance Compare+ tool. Provided you haven't claimed this insurance year, you can just cancel your policy and get a pro-rata refund if you paid upfront. For more information, see our full Cancelling your car insurance guide.
What if they have an accident in my car?
If a named driver has an accident or needs to make a claim, it has to be reported by whoever is the official policyholder. However it can be useful for the named driver to be present too, as the insurance company may want to speak to them for more information or clarification.
The claim will be managed by the insurance company in exactly the same way – regardless of who on the policy has had the accident – except that the excess may be different.
Important: Even though it wasn't the policyholder who had the accident, they will be required to report it as a ‘claim’ when getting quotes or buying insurance in the future – for possibly up to five years.
The additional driver will also need to report it as an ‘accident’ when getting quotes or buying insurance – again for possibly up to five years, though this should not affect their no-claims discount.
For more help about claiming, see our How to claim guide.
Cheap car insurance tips
Suggestions for you
- Benchmark your cheapest policy using our Car Insurance Compare+ tool, with personalised MoneySaving tips.
- Read our full Cheap car insurance guide, including nine ways to cut the cost of cover.
- See our full Car insurance section with all our key tools and guides.
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