Named driver insurance (sometimes called additional driver insurance) is cover for extra drivers added to your car insurance policy.
There are many reasons to add extra drivers to your car insurance policy. Children driving a parent’s car now and again is a common example, and many drivers share vehicles with family or friends.
Lots of motorists believe that if the additional driver has their own fully comprehensive car insurance, they'll be covered to drive your vehicle on a third party only basis - but this assumption is frequently wrong.
To make sure your additional driver's covered, you can add them to your policy (usually for an admin fee) or they could take out their own temporary car insurance.
The additional driver will usually have the same level of cover as the policyholder. For example, if you have comprehensive cover and you add a named driver, they would also have comprehensive cover.
Check the policy wording for limits and exceptions, like additional drivers not being covered to drive other vehicles even when the policyholder is.
If your additional driver has years of experience and claim-free driving, this could work in your favour. Insurers price the policy based on the overall risk posed by you and all additional drivers - so if you add safe, experienced drivers the overall risk will be reduced and your policy will be cheaper.
This works both ways though. If you add a new driver to your insurance who has just passed their test, or someone who has a history of accidents and motoring convictions, your insurance premiums will probably go up, because the overall level of risk posed will be greater.
It's very simple, but there are some important considerations before you get started.
First of all, you’ll need permission from the driver you want to add. Once you have this, there are two different routes.
1) If you’re renewing your policy
When we compare quotes for you, we’ll ask for certain information to help find the right insurance. We’ll ask if there are any additional drivers you want to put on your policy, and you can usually add up to four.
2) If you’ve already got car insurance
Contact your insurer and tell them you want to add an additional driver. Just be aware that they might make you pay a fee for making changes to your policy, even if the price of your premium itself is unaffected.
Be aware that your insurer can refuse to cover an additional driver, which they may do if they believe them to be too inexperienced or risky. They might also refuse to add a learner driver to your policy.
Make sure you tell your insurer if your named driver has ever had any accidents or motoring convictions. Otherwise you could invalidate your policy.
If the named driver has their own car insurance, they’ll also need to tell their own insurer that they’re a named driver on another vehicle - they might get a discount on their policy because of the additional driving experience.
When it comes to having more than one driver on a policy, always declare truthfully who the main driver of the vehicle is. If you don’t, you run the risk of ‘fronting’ your insurance.
The additional cost depends on the age, experience and accident history of the driver you're adding, as well as lots of other factors.
It's likely to be cheaper to add a driver to a new policy than an existing one, as you'll avoid the admin fees for mid-term changes.
Fronting is the offence of fraudulently naming someone else, usually someone older and more experienced, as the main driver on a car insurance policy to get cheaper premiums.
This offence is most common among young and new drivers, who sometimes resort to naming older, more experienced motorists - such as a parent - as the main driver on their policy.
We conducted research into fronting in 2018, and found that 34% of parents of young drivers have fronted or would at least consider it.
But while it can drive down the cost of a premium, the consequences are not worth the risk. As well as being illegal, it will also invalidate your cover.
If you’re going to add another driver to your policy, you need to be sure that you get the main driver right.
Bear in mind that if you add somebody to your policy as an additional driver, but over time they become the main driver of the car, you’ll need to notify your insurer. The additional driver will need to take out a policy in their own name.
“Many parents are putting themselves at risk of picking up a criminal record for the sake of reducing their child’s car insurance premiums
There may not appear to be any harm in insuring a child’s car in a parent’s name, but ‘fronting’ is illegal”
Motoring expert and founder of GoCompare
If you need flexible or irregular cover, to lend your car to a family member, or to go on a driving holiday with a friend for example, short-term car insurance might be a better option.
This normally lasts between one and 28 days and is usually only available to drivers over a certain age.
Although you'll avoid the admin fees of adding and removing drivers to your existing policy, short-term car insurance usually works out more expensive than standard car insurance based on the time the cover applies for.
If the additional driver has an accident, the main driver’s no claims discount will probably be affected. But it’s worth checking with the insurer.
Another disadvantage for the additional driver is that they won't earn their own no-claims bonus, so if or when they do take out their own insurance they'll be starting from scratch, even if they've driven on your policy for years.
Up to £250 refunded after claim settled. Car insurance purchases only. Excludes breakdown, windscreen and glass repair/replacement. Full T&Cs apply.
Price savings are based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence, conducted between 1 August to 31 August 2019:
It compared 28 insurers from our panel and found 51% could save up to £240.04 with us on their car insurance
Last checked 27 August 2019
Between 18 and 24 October 2018, One Poll conducted an online survey among 1,000 randomly selected British adults with children aged between 17 and 25 who can drive