Getting married can have a pretty big effect on your car insurance.
It can make your insurance cheaper. Or change your no-claims bonus.
It can also lead to a fair bit of admin.
Here’s how it works.
When you buy insurance, your insurer will (usually) ask if you’re married. It’s one of the many bits of information they’ll use to figure out your price.
If you get married while your car insurance policy is up and running, you’ll need to let your insurer know. Even if you don’t change your name.
And you’ll (usually) have to prove that you’re married. To do that, you can send over a copy of your marriage certificate.
You might have to pay a little admin fee when you change your marital status. (You usually have to do this whenever you change the personal details on your car insurance.)
So if you’re changing your name too, it’s worth doing it at the same time. That way, you’ll just pay one admin fee.
You might also have to send proof to your insurer if you get divorced. A copy of the official documents should be enough.
This happy couple haven't even begun to think about the impact on their car insurance price.
Here’s when things get really fun. If you get married and decide to change your name, it’s best to update this with your car insurance company and with the DVLA.
For the DVLA, you’ll need to send them:
You’ll usually get your new licence back in about three weeks. And your marriage certificate will get sent back separately.
It won’t cost you anything to update your name with the DVLA, but if you want to update your photo at the same time (we get it – unfortunate haircuts happen), you’ll have to pay £17.
You’ll also need to update your car’s V5C log book.
So that’s the DVLA sorted.
Now the details on your car insurance policy need to match.
Your insurer might ask for a copy of your marriage certificate to prove the name change. (Another reason why it’s worth updating your marital status and name at the same time.)
If you’ve already told the DVLA about your name, they’ll be able to check your new details on the DVLA site.
You’ll usually have to pay an admin fee to change your name. This usually costs £15-£30, but sometimes it’s higher. It depends on your insurer. Again, you can cut down the admin fees by telling your insurer about your marital status and new name at the same time.
Even though telling your insurer about your new name straight away is technically the right thing to do, it’s not super urgent.
Your name doesn’t affect how risky you are, so it wouldn’t invalidate your insurance if you needed to make a claim.
As long as you tell them when/if you renew, you should be fine.
Even though you’re married, you still can’t drive your spouse’s car without being insured.
A lot of people think you can. But it’s a bit of a myth.
There are only a small handful of policies that let you drive other people’s cars. And even those ones usually specifically say you can’t drive your partner’s car.
But if you want to insure your other half’s car and you aren’t the registered keeper, most insurance companies will let you do it as long as you’re married (and they’re the registered keeper).
You can also look into multi-car policies. Or, if you don’t drive each others’ cars very often, you could just get short-term car insurance.
If you’re the generous sort, the easiest way to get insured on your spouse’s car is to be added as a named driver.
When you add a named driver to your policy, it can make the price of your car insurance go up or down.
If you’re adding a 17-year-old who’s just passed their driving test, it will probably go up. But adding your wife or husband shouldn’t make your policy more expensive. (Unless they’ve got a history of claims and driving convictions.)
Don’t worry – you can still be a named driver on your parents’ car insurance after you get married.
It could even make your parents’ car insurance even cheaper. If you’re moving to a new address and spending less time driving their car, you might be seen as “less risky” by the insurer.
You can be a named driver on as many policies as you want, so you can even stay on your parents’ car insurance if you become a named driver on your spouse’s, too.
Just make sure your folks let their insurer know you’re married.
If we’re being all technical about it, there’s no such thing as a “joint policy” for married couples. But there are multi-car policies.
These policies let you put multiple cars on the same policy, as long as the drivers are all registered at the same address.
Multi-car policies can be a cheaper option if you’ve got more than one car in your household. They also tend to save on the admin, because you don’t have to remember multiple renewal dates.
If you decide to swap your separate car insurance policies for a multi-car one, you might have to pay an admin fee. If you change your insurer and cancel your existing policy, you’ll need to pay a cancellation fee.
No-claims bonuses for married couples can get a bit tricky. So let’s clear things up and make sure it doesn’t start your first post-wedding argument.
If you share one car, either you or your spouse could end up losing your no-claims bonus.
That’s because only one of you can be the “main driver”. The other will have to be a named driver. And named drivers don’t earn no-claims bonuses.
If you’ve built up the maximum no-claims bonus, you’ll be able to go uninsured for 2 years before it expires.
You can use this 2-year window to keep hold of both no-claims bonuses.
To do this, you have to swap being the “main driver” every time you renew your policy. That way, neither of you goes 2 years without being an insurance policyholder, so your no-claims bonus doesn’t go away.
But this is a pretty risky way to go about it. And that’s because of something called “fronting”.
When you buy car insurance, someone has to be the “main driver”.
The main driver has to be the person who does most of the driving.
But some people add a lower-risk driver as the “main driver” to make their car insurance cheaper, even though that person doesn’t drive the car very often.
And then they add the higher-risk driver as a named driver. Even though they’re the one doing all the driving.
This is called fronting. If you do it, your insurance probably won’t pay out if you need to make a claim.
If you share the driving roughly 50/50, you might be okay. But it’s worth playing it safe, and making sure that the main driver really is the main driver.
The other option is to get a multi-car policy.
With multi-car policies, you can both earn separate no-claims bonuses. But multi-car policies can be pretty expensive. And you have to live at the same address.
(Not every multi-car policy comes with separate no-claims bonuses. You’ll need to double-check that before you buy.)
If you or your spouse (or both of you) move home after getting married, that’s another thing you need to tell your insurer and the DVLA.
The DVLA website has a step-by-step guide to changing your address on your licence and VC5 vehicle log book.
You need to make sure you tell the DVLA. If you don’t, you could be fined £1,000.
And, like your name, the address on your licence and VC5 log book needs to match your insurance details.
Bear in mind that moving home can affect the price of your car insurance. Sometimes dramatically.
That’s because your insurer uses your postcode to work out the price you pay.
So if you move to an area with more crashes or more break-ins, you could end up paying more. And you might need to pay that pesky admin fee again.
You won’t always have to send proof to your insurer that you’ve changed your address. But you will have to answer a few questions about it – like whereabouts you park your car overnight.
If you move to a new address, but leave your car somewhere else – say, on your parent’s driveway – use the address where the car is usually parked overnight.
Updated on 24th March 2020