How Does Named Driver Insurance Work?

Adding a named driver to your insurance policy.

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By Cai Bradley
Updated on Wednesday 10 June 2020

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Whether your son or daughter is learning to drive or you need to be insured on a partner’s car for occasional use, there are many circumstances under which named driver insurance is the perfect policy for certain drivers in the UK.

Adding a ‘named driver’ is something that’s often mentioned as a method of getting cheaper car insurance, but be aware that there’s a fine line between adding a legitimate named driver, and facing thousands of pounds in fines and even prosecution by committing a form of car insurance fraud known as fronting.

Our guide to named driver car insurance rules in the UK will explain all you need to know, including:

What is named driver cover?

Will adding a named driver cut insurance costs?

No-claims bonus for a named driver

Avoid car insurance fronting

How to add a named driver

Where to find the best additional driver policies

What is named driver insurance and how does it work?

Named driver car insurance – also known as additional driver insurance – is a type of cover that drivers get when they are added to a different person’s existing policy as a secondary user of their vehicle.

What is a named driver on car insurance?

A named driver is a person who is insured to use a car that is used primarily by someone else – this means that they should not be the main driver of the vehicle.

In summary, the two important parties involved in named driver insurance are the following people:

  • Main driver: the person who uses the car most frequently and is the main policyholder.

  • Named driver: someone who is insured to drive the car, but not as often as the main driver.

If you and another person share the driving responsibilities of one car equally, then named driver insurance is not suitable and you should contact your provider to find out the best method of getting sufficient cover.

In almost all cases, the named driver that’s added to a policy will receive the same level of cover as the main driver; for example, if you add a named driver to your fully comprehensive policy, they will also benefit from fully comprehensive cover whilst driving the insured car.

Always check this with your provider before adding a named driver though because, although it’s rare, some companies may not offer the same level of cover for both drivers as standard.

Read our full guide to the different types of car insurance in the UK for more information.

Does adding a named driver reduce insurance?

It’s true; you could reduce the cost of your car insurance by a significant amount if you add a named driver to the policy – but again, it depends on your personal situation (your provider, previous driving penalties, the person you’re adding as a named driver, etc.).

There are numerous factors that are taken into consideration when calculating the cost of your premiums, including:

This means that, while adding a named driver to your car insurance could reduce the cost of cover, there are many other things to think about when taking out a policy.

Read more: How is Car Insurance Calculated?

Who is named driver insurance for?

Students and less experienced drivers face notoriously high car insurance costs, which leads to many of them adding an older and more experienced named driver (usually a parent or other relative) to their policy in order to potentially reduce their premiums.

By adding a named driver, the motor insurance provider usually assumes that you will be using the car less often and will therefore consider you less of a risk to insure as your chances of having an accident are reduced.

If it doesn’t appeal to you, an alternative option for younger drivers is telematics insurance – or black box car insurance – which uses a clever tracking device to prove that the individual is a safe driver.

You might like: What is Black Box Car Insurance?

Do named drivers get no-claims discounts?

Can you get a no claims bonus as a named driver? Unfortunately, named drivers are unlikely to be able to build a no claims bonus – also known as a NCB or a no-claims discount (NCD) – of their own while they are covered by a policy in someone else’s name.

Keep this in mind when adding your child as a named driver, as they will not benefit from a no-claims bonus until they take out their own individual cover as a main driver.

The main driver, on the other hand, will accrue their no claims bonus as normal regardless of whether they add a named driver or not.

But, if the named driver on the policy has an accident, it is likely to affect the main driver’s NCB. This is because the named driver, if at fault, will be claiming on the main driver’s insurance policy.

Which insurance companies give no claims bonus to named drivers?

Each car insurance company differs in terms of their no claims bonus terms and conditions, but it’s now easy to compare quotes from a wide variety of providers with

According to Defaqto, around 15% of comprehensive car insurance policies allowed named drivers to build a no claims bonus, so there are policies out there if you’d like to start building an NCB early, but it’s not very common.

What happens if a named driver has an accident?

If an additional or named driver has an accident, then they are able to make a claim on the main driver’s insurance policy.

According to MoneySupermarket, it will affect the no-claims bonus of the main driver, but it won’t affect the NCB of the named driver.

So, if you add a named driver to your car insurance policy, be aware that your no-claims bonus will be affected if they have an accident, regardless of whether you’re in the vehicle at the time or not.

Do you need insurance to drive someone else's car?

You always need some sort of car insurance to be able to drive on UK roads legally, but there are some policies that will cover you while driving someone else’s vehicle without being a named driver.

Most of these policies will only offer you third-party protection and you will need to be a named driver in order to receive fully comprehensive cover.

Being covered to drive someone else’s vehicle without being a named driver isn’t always offered as standard, so you may need to ask for it to be added as an optional extra if it’s something you’re interested in.

To find out if you’re insured to drive someone else’s vehicle, be sure to contact your provider and do not take any risks – check your policy’s terms before getting behind the wheel. You can also check this on the AskMID website, which is also used by the police to detect uninsured divers on UK roads.

Read more: Can You Insure Yourself to Drive Someone Else’s Car?

How to AVOID car insurance fronting

Legitimately adding someone as a named driver and being guilty of car insurance fronting are two quite similar things, with very different consequences.

What is car insurance fronting?

Fronting refers to someone being added to a motor insurance policy as a named driver when, in reality, they are the main driver, in order to get cheaper cover.

It often occurs when a parent falsely lists themselves as the main driver on their child’s car insurance, despite not being the main user of the vehicle.

You can, of course, add a child to your car insurance policy legitimately as long as they are the secondary driver and do not use the vehicle more often than you.

Read more: Adding a Child to Your Car Insurance Policy

Car insurance fronting is considered serious fraud and could:

  • Invalidate your current policy

  • Lead to a fine or even prosecution

  • Make it far more difficult and/or expensive to get cover in the future

Our advice? Avoid car insurance fronting at all costs!

For a full guide, head to: Car Insurance Fronting: Are You Breaking the Law?

How to add a named driver to your car insurance

Adding a named driver to your existing car insurance policy is typically straightforward.

You can either do so when renewing your car insurance at the end of your policy or, if you’re mid-policy, you simply have to contact your provider and explain the situation to them – most insurers will be willing to add an additional driver under most circumstances.

The insurer usually requires the named driver’s name, age, marital status, address, occupation and motoring history – the same details that you will have given for yourself when you first took out the policy.

How much can you save by adding a named driver?

The money-saving potential of adding a named driver to your car insurance policy depends on a variety of factors, including whether the driver has any previous claims or driving convictions, how experienced they are on the road, how often they will use the vehicle, and more.

Read more: How is Car Insurance Calculated?

If you’re unhappy with the cost or feel it could be lower, head over to to shop around for other providers with potentially better named driver insurance deals.

How much does it cost to add a named driver to car insurance?

Adding a named driver to your insurance mid-policy usually comes with a variable admin fee of around £30, which can fluctuate between providers.

If the admin charge is particularly expensive, it may not be cost-effective to add a named driver, so be sure to weigh-up your options and shop around to find the best deal from the best car insurance provider.

The best named driver insurance in the UK

There’s no doubt that adding a named driver to a car insurance policy could help some people reduce the cost of their premiums, but remember that it is not suited to all situations.

If you’re a young or inexperienced driver, then it’s certainly worth considering the prospect of adding a more experienced named driver to your policy, as it may reduce the cost of your insurance quite considerably.

There are some potential drawbacks to named driver insurance though, including the fact that adding a young or inexperienced named driver could increase the cost of a more experienced driver’s cover, and of course, there is the issue of fronting to consider (and avoid!).

However, fronting can be easily avoided now that our guide has helped you understand named driver insurance rules, and for the people and circumstances it does suit, adding an additional driver can certainly be a useful money-saving method.

Car insurance advice at Compare UK Quotes

Here at Compare UK Quotes, we are consistently adding new and unique articles consisting of a broad range of tips to help you get the most out of your insurance premiums.

For more advice on related car insurance topics, be sure to read the following guides:

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How to Get Cheaper Car Insurance Premiums

New Driver's Insurance Explained

Adding a Child to Your Car Insurance

Car Insurance for Teenagers

A Complete Guide to Temporary Car Insurance 

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