Car insurance for younger drivers doesn’t come cheap.
In fact, the cost of getting insured can be so expensive that some young drivers simply can’t afford to get on the road.
This has meant that some parents are willing to go to drastic measures.
According to a fresh slice of research from Gocompare.com, nearly one-in-five parents run the risk of a criminal record for insurance fraud by ‘fronting’ – insuring their kid’s car in their name for a cheaper policy.
It’s a common practice, but one which could have serious consequences if you’re caught out.
This is no grey area – fronting is illegal and the consequences of being caught are serious for everyone, not to mention expensive.
If you’re caught, insurers are bang within their rights to cancel the policy, making getting insurance harder to obtain (and costly) in the future.
Even worse, insurers can refuse to pay for any claims, and recover the cost of third-party claims from the parent as the policyholder.
Then there’s the prospect an insurance policy being invalidated.
Any drivers covered by it would effectively be uninsured and could be fined hundreds of pounds and receive six penalty points on their licence.
As newly qualified drivers can lose their licence within two years of passing after picking up six points (including any racked up before passing their driving test), this could mean curtains, and the ignominy of reapplying for a provisional licence and driving as a learner until you pass again.
Gocompare.com’s resident car insurance expert, Matt Oliver, said: “As well as being illegal, fronting is a false economy. Insurers are wise to the practice and many price policies according to the age of the youngest named driver. In the long run, it's better for young drivers to hold insurance in their own name to build-up a valuable no claims discount.”
That’s all very well, but what can you possibly do to get cheaper insurance for young drivers?
Well, try these for size...
Consider a ‘telematics’ policy
If you’re happy for your driving to be monitored, a ‘telematics’ policy can be a more affordable option.
Here, a GPS-enabled transmitter is fitted to your car or monitored through the use of a smartphone app.
If you prove to be a safe driver, your premiums may fall more quickly than with a traditional policy.
Remove added extras
Do you really need an insurance policy with added gubbins like a courtesy car, legal assistance, breakdown and key cover?
Consider a higher excess
This may reduce your premium but you will need to decide if paying a slightly lower price for your insurance is worth the risk of having to contribute more towards the cost of a claim if you have to make one.
Adding a safe driver
Adding a named driver with a clean licence and several years claim-free driving to a young driver’s policy could help bring down the price in some cases – just make sure you're honest about who the main driver is so you don't fall foul of fronting.
Drive a sensible car
Generally, the lower the engine capacity, the lower the premium.
Ideally, an engine size of less than 1,000cc is cheapest. Oh, and avoid vehicles with any modifications from the standard manufacturer specification.