Additional Drivers

For most people, owning and driving a car can be expensive. For this reason, many people choose to share one car between a few members of the family, allowing them to also share the cost of petrol and vehicle tax. There is no need for each person to be covered by a separate policy. One driver, the policyholder, is the regular driver, and any additional drivers are 'named drivers'.

You can insure up to four additional drivers on your policy. Any driver who is not specifically listed under the policy document, but insured under an 'any driver' agreement, is simply referred to as an 'unnamed driver'. If you wish to insure specific unnamed drivers, you can expect your premium to increase.

Additional drivers tend to increase the cost of your premium. However, adding a driver with a good driving history can lower your premium. This is extremely useful for young drivers, who can add their parents onto their car insurance policy. If their parents have a no claims discount and have been driving for a long time, a young driver can expect a significant reduction in their premium.

There is a potential drawback to being a named driver. In most cases, only the regular driver (the policyholder) will build up no claims discount. The regular driver is able to transfer this between insurers when they renew their policy, but cannot transfer it to any other named driver to whom they are not married. Some insurers have however begun to offer named driver NCD schemes. They allow named drivers to build up their own NCD, which is recognised if they wish to buy a policy of their own. Usually however, the named driver NCD is only recognised by the insurer with whom you accumulated it, and as such, you may be forced to stay with the same insurer to benefit from the discount.

Short-Term Insurance
If you wish to be protected by somebody else's policy for a short period, for example, if you are staying with a friend for a few weeks, you can be added to their policy as a 'temporary driver'. You will usually have to pay a Short-Term Premium Rate (STPR). Short-Term Premium Rates (STPR) are commonplace throughout the car insurance industry. They work out more expensive per day than a conventional annual premium, due in part to the higher administration cost of organising temporary, short-term insurance.

Disclosure of Information

You must ensure that you are honest with your insurer. In terms of additional drivers, insurers expect that the policyholder is the main, regular driver. They may invalidate or cancel your policy if it transpires that a named driver is the regular driver. Recent reports revealed the severe consequences of this practice, known as 'fronting'. They suggest that up to forty-five percent of young drivers may be driving without valid insurance, because their parents claim to be the regular driver and purchase an insurance policy with their son or daughter listed as a named driver, whilst in reality the parent never drives their son or daughter's car.

If you are a young driver, still in your probationary driving period, your licence is revoked if you get six penalty points. If you drive without valid insurance your licence will be endorsed with six penalty points. If your insurer invalidates your policy but you continue to use your car, you may be convicted of driving without a licence (see Driving Convictions), lose your licence to drive and be made to retake both the theory and practical tests.