Fronting and car insurance

Fronting is lying about who the main driver of your car is, in order to get cheaper premiums.

Lee Griffin
Lee Griffin
Updated 16 September 2019  | 4 min read

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What's fronting?

Fronting means having an older or more experienced driver - usually a parent - claim they’re the main user of the car that’s mostly driven by a young person, or other high-risk motorists, to reduce the cost of car insurance.

Parents are usually fronting to make their children’s car insurance cheaper, but it’s a type of fraud and it's illegal.

Key points

  • Fronting is illegal - it could invalidate your insurance and land you in court
  • If you’re adding a lower-risk driver to your policy, name them as an additional driver
  • Follow our legal tips for cutting costs and getting the right deal

The savings are tempting - the average price of fully comprehensive car insurance was £490[1] in April 2020, but for 17 year olds it's closer to £1,000.[*].

If you do it, you could end up with a criminal record and it will invalidate the young drivers’ car insurance too.

[1]Average price paid annually for comprehensive car insurance in April 2020 via GoCompare
[*]Average price paid annually for comprehensive car insurance purchased in 2018, 2019 and Jan to April 2020 via GoCompare when the policyholder is 17

The average premium price for young drivers
Fronting shouldn’t be underestimated by parents; it is a criminal offence and has serious consequences.
Acting DCI Craig Mullish, City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED)

Fronting is common, but still a crime

Our research in October 2018 found that 10% of parents have already fronted on their child’s car insurance. A further 34% admit they would consider doing it to help save their children money.[2]

Parents are putting themselves at risk of picking up a criminal record for the sake of reducing their child’s car insurance premiums. You don’t need to though - there are plenty of legal ways to save on your child’s car insurance.

New drivers are more likely to claim, so their insurance costs more

Car insurance premiums for new drivers can be high compared to those of more experienced drivers, but there’s a good reason why.

According to the ABI, drivers aged between 17 and 20 are twice as likely to make an insurance claim as other drivers and the cost of their claims can be up to three times higher than the average.

The consequences of fronting

It's understandable to want to get your child on the road for less money, but fronting can have serious consequences.

  • Your policy will be cancelled or declared invalid
  • You could have a claim rejected
  • You might have to repay any costs your insurer has incurred from past claims
  • You could be prosecuted for fraud and driving without insurance
  • You might get a criminal record, fine and/or points on your licence
  • You could be banned from driving
  • You insurance premiums will go up in the future if you're caught
  • You might find fewer insurers are willing to cover you in the future

Who is the main driver?

Always state who the main driver of the car is when you get car insurance. It's usually the person who drives the car the majority of the time and the main policyholder.

It’s not just a matter of miles though. Think about:

  • Who commutes in the car
  • Who uses the car on a daily basis, or most days of the week
  • Who does the most miles

If you’re in doubt, just call the insurer first to make sure you get it right.

How to save money on young drivers’ car insurance

Here are seven legal tips to help young or new drivers save money on their car insurance.

  1. Named driver

    You could save £196 by adding an experienced additional driver to your policy[3]

  2. Size matters

    A smaller engine (less than 1000cc, or close to 1.0 litre) will mean it’s in a lower insurance group, giving you cheaper premiums

  3. Black box policies

    telematics policy can give you cheaper premiums if you’re a safe driver

  4. Higher excess

    If you can afford to, choosing to contribute more to the cost of a claim can lower your premiums

  5. Advanced driving courses

    It’ll show the insurer you’re committed to safer driving, and give you confidence beyond your years on the road

  6. Buy insurance in advance

    Buying your insurance policy in plenty of time could mean insurers see you as less of a risk

  7. Shop around

    Each insurer will have something slightly different to offer young drivers, so compare policies to find the right one for your needs. You could save up to £277 by switching your car insurance![4]

Car insurance guides and tools

[2]In January 2020 MaruBlue conducted an online survey among 1,000 randomly selected British adults with children aged between 17 and 24 who can drive or were learning to drive.

[3]Based on GoCompare data from July - December 2018.

[4]Price savings are based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence, conducted between 1 August to 31 August 2020:51% of consumers could achieve a saving of up to £277 with car insurance based on a comparison of 30 companies

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