You’ve probably heard of named drivers, especially concerning reducing the cost of young driver car insurance. But what exactly is a named driver, and how can having one change your insurance premium?
Let’s get into it 👇
Sometimes known as an additional driver, a named driver is a person who is covered by an insurance policy to drive a car which has a different main driver. Both drivers receive the same level of cover, and if you are looking for cheaper car insurance, having one can lower your premiums.
But what’s the difference between a named driver, main driver, and registered keeper? Let’s break things down further.
The named driver is an additional driver listed on the insurance policy. Depending on the provider, there can be several named drivers. For example, if you’re a young person, you can add more experienced drivers, such as your mum and dad, to your policy as named drivers.
The main driver is the person who drives the car the most. It cannot be the same individual as the named driver, but doesn’t have to be the policy holder.
The registered keeper is responsible for ensuring the MOT is valid and the vehicle is taxed and insured. The keeper is also held accountable if there are parking fines or speeding violations.
How does a named driver impact the named driver’s insurance?
The named driver’s own car insurance is unaffected by them appearing as an additional driver on another policy - the two are considered separate.
However, if they have an accident in the main driver’s car, the main driver is held accountable, even if they weren’t in the vehicle. So choose your named driver carefully!
How does it impact the main driver’s insurance?
Adding a named driver to your insurance can be a good idea for young or new drivers.
Insurance providers often see young drivers as riskier to insure than older, more experienced ones. Therefore, the insurance cost is usually higher. By including a named driver, especially a parent or older sibling, providers consider the risk lessened, and as a result, the cost is often lower.
The reverse is also true, however. If you are an experienced driver and add a more novice driver to your policy, you may see your premium increase in price due to the perceived risk.
It’s worth reiterating what happens if an accident occurs when the named driver is behind the wheel. The main driver is considered at fault, even if the additional person is the only one in the car. This can have a negative impact on their own no claims bonus and may increase the cost of insuring their vehicle.
Fronting is the practice of claiming that you are the main driver of a vehicle when someone else is actually the prime user. It’s considered insurance fraud and against the law, carrying severe consequences.
Well-meaning parents will often try to reduce the vehicle insurance costs for their children by claiming that they are the main driver, when, in reality, their son or daughter uses the car the most.
If you’re caught fronting, your insurance policy will become invalid, and you can find yourself prosecuted for fraud. You also risk getting fined, points on your licence and being unable to find a provider willing to insure you in the future. It can even affect your ability to obtain credit moving forward.
(PS - we've written a separate guide on insurance fraud.)
How many named drivers can you have?
The rules on the number of named drivers vary between insurance providers, but most will allow three or four additional drivers on your policy.
Can you get a no claims bonus as a named driver?
The named driver cannot accrue any claims bonus on the policy they are an additional driver on. However, if they are declared the main driver on their own vehicle’s insurance, their no claims bonus can accumulate. Some insurance providers offer a discount to named drivers on the understanding that they take out their own policy at a later date.
Can I be a named driver of two cars?
You are permitted to appear as a named driver for two cars, but insurance providers may question it, concerned that you may be fronting.
Do named drivers have fully comprehensive insurance?
The named driver on your insurance policy will have the same level of cover as the main driver. So if you have fully comprehensive insurance as the vehicle’s usual driver, your named driver will enjoy the same level of cover. They will also benefit from any optional extras you’ve added to your policy, such as breakdown or key cover.
Does the named driver get my insurance extras?
Just as your named driver receives the same insurance cover as you, they are also covered by any extras you’ve added to the policy. These can include windscreen or breakdown cover, or legal protection.
Can a named driver drive abroad?
Yes, your named driver can drive your car abroad. Some providers will also temporarily allow you to add a driver to your insurance policy, so if you’re planning a long trip by car, this might be worth considering.
*Don't forget: if you're a provisional driver, taking on temporary insurance rather than being added as a named driver could be simpler and cheaper. We've put together a separate guide on the cost of learning to drive here, with some extra info in the table below.