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Named driver insurance: What you need to know

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When you buy car insurance, the person who drives the car the most will be the “main driver”. You can also add additional drivers to the policy – these are known as “named drivers”. And, depending on who you add, this may give you a cheaper car insurance quote.

For example, you might be the main driver of the car and list your partner or child as a named driver. You can typically add three or four named drivers, in addition to the main driver, to a car insurance policy.

A named driver will have the same level of cover as the vehicle’s main driver, but they won’t drive the car as much.

This guide tells you everything you need to know about named driver car insurance.

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What does named driver mean?

A named driver is an additional person on your car insurance policy who is insured to drive your car. 

Named drivers on a policy receive the same level of cover as the main driver. Depending on the policy, this cover may be:

Families, couples and households often have named drivers on their car insurance policies if they need to share a vehicle from time to time.

It’s important to designate the person who drives the car the most as the main driver and the other drivers as named drivers.

Can I save money by adding someone to my car insurance?

Yes, you can save money by adding a named driver to your car insurance.

If you’re a young or new driver, you might be able to get cheaper car insurance by adding an older, more experienced driver to your policy as a named driver. For example, a young driver might add one of their parents to their policy. 

This could result in a cheaper premium, as the insurer will assume the young driver will spend less time behind the wheel and the car will sometimes be driven by the parent who has more experience. This decreases the likelihood of an insurance claim.

However, in some cases, adding a named driver could mean paying a higher car insurance premium. This might be the case if a more experienced driver adds a young driver to their policy, such as a parent adding their child.

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It’s important to understand named driver insurance rules – otherwise you could be committing insurance fraud.

  • The main driver should be the person who drives the car the most
  • Any named driver should drive the car less than the main driver
  • If a named driver is involved in accident, it will affect the main driver’s no-claims discount
  • Being dishonest about the main driver is known as “fronting”
  • Fronting is insurance fraud and is illegal

Do named drivers get a no-claims discount?

A no-claims discount (or no-claims bonus) is a reduction on your car insurance premium based on your claim history. You can usually transfer it between insurers.

If you’re a named driver, you usually won’t be able to build up a no-claims discount on that policy.

However, some insurers will let named drivers build up a no-claims discount, although this will only count if the named driver takes out their own car insurance policy with the same insurer. 

Insurers that allow named drivers to build a no-claims discount to be used with that insurer only include:

  • Sainsbury’s Bank
  • Allianz
  • AA (for named drivers aged 25 or over)
  • Marmalade (if you take out named young driver insurance)

Can I add a young driver to my policy?

Yes, you can add a young driver to your car insurance policy. However, adding a young driver might result in an increased premium, as they’re deemed riskier by insurance companies.

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How do I add a driver to my insurance?

There are two ways to add a driver to your insurance:

  • When you buy the policy
  • After the policy has started

The easiest way to add a driver to your insurance is to include them as a named driver when you take out the policy.

If you want to add another driver later, you’ll need to contact the insurer, and you may be charged an admin fee, plus any difference in the premium for the remainder of the policy if there’s an increase as a result.

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If you add a named driver to your car insurance policy after the insurance period has begun, your insurer may charge an admin fee. 

 

Admin fees for policy changes are normally about £20, but this varies from insurer to insurer.

What if I only want to add a named driver for a short time?

Some insurers will let you add a named driver to your policy temporarily – though it’s not always the cheapest option. It could be more cost effective to add them for the full year.

If you only want to add a named driver to your policy for a short time, you could consider taking out temporary car insurance instead.

Temporary car insurance provides coverage from an hour or two up to several months. Unlike adding a named driver to an existing policy, temporary car insurance is a separate policy. This means that if the second driver has an accident, it won’t affect the main driver’s policy.

Taking out temporary car insurance is typically more expensive than adding a named driver to a policy.

What do I need to get a quote for a named driver?

You’ll need to give the insurance company the following details about the named driver:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Marital status
  • Whether they have lived in the UK since birth
  • Whether they own or drive another vehicle
  • Occupation
  • Type of driving licence they hold
  • Their driving and claims history

Frequently asked questions about named driver insurance

Named drivers benefit from the same level of cover as the main driver on a car insurance policy. This will be third party, third party, fire and theft, or comprehensive.

If you add a named driver to your car insurance, you could lose some or all of your no-claims bonus if the named driver has an accident or makes a claim.

Named drivers typically can’t build a no-claims bonus, although some insurers allow it if the named driver goes on to take out their own policy with the same insurer.

Most insurers will let you add up to three or four named or additional drivers to a policy. Some might let you add up to five.

Fronting is when you lie about the identity of the main driver of a car to get cheaper insurance. 

For example, a middle-aged parent will usually pay less for car insurance than their 18-year-old child. If the parent takes out insurance in their name with the child as a named driver, but the child actually drives the car more, this is fronting.

Fronting is classified as insurance fraud. It can result in a criminal conviction and make it difficult to get insurance in the future. If you’re caught fronting, your policy may be declared void and you won’t be able to make a claim.

You usually can’t drive someone else’s car unless you’re a named driver on their policy. The exception to this is if your own car insurance policy includes cover for driving other cars.

However, with this, you may only have third-party cover when driving someone else’s vehicle, even if you have comprehensive cover for your own vehicle.

You should always check what level of cover you have with your insurer before driving another person’s car.

emma lunn

Emma Lunn

Money Writer

Emma Lunn is a multi-award winning journalist who specialises in personal finance and consumer issues. 

With more than 18 years’ experience in personal finance, Emma has covered topics including mortgages, first-time buyers, leasehold, banking, debt, budgeting, broadband, energy, pensions and investments. 

Emma’s one of the most prolific freelance personal finance journalists with a back catalogue of work in newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday, and the Mirror. 

As a freelancer she has also completed various in-house contracts at The Guardian, The Independent, Mortgage Solutions, Orange, and Moneywise. She also writes regularly for specialist magazines and websites such as Property Hub, Mortgage Strategy and YourMoney.com. 

She has a real passion for helping people learn about money – especially when many people are struggling to get by in today’s challenging economic climate – and prides herself on simplifying complex subjects.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.