With younger drivers facing an annual car insurance premium of four figures and higher, parents are understandably keen to help.
However, insuring a car in your name and adding your son or daughter as a named driver (called ‘fronting’) isn’t just morally questionable, it’s a criminal act of fraud – and one that insurance companies are growing wise to.
Tips for letting your children drive your car.
How common is fronting?
Fronting is very common with up to one-in-six parents admitting to doing it.
As a result, many insurance companies are now refusing to quote for an older driver who wants to include a young person to their policy.
Others will now quote on the basis that the younger driver is the primary driver and many report their car insurance policy has risen by a factor of ten as a result.
Six obscure motoring laws you might not be aware of.
What are the consequences if I get caught fronting?
If the insurance company investigates a claim and has grounds to believe that the policy is being fraudulently fronted, it will generally cancel the cover.
This leaves your losses uninsured and your son or daughter facing a police prosecution for driving with no insurance. If found guilty they face a significant fine, points on their driving licence, and even a driving ban or imprisonment.
They will also have a criminal record, which may affect their future employment, and will be considered a high risk for future car insurance, leaving them with increased premiums for years to come.
You will have to declare that you have previously had car insurance refused or cancelled when you try to get a new policy, meaning your premiums will be hugely inflated too.
Do you have to pay parking fines on private land?
Is there a way round it?
In short, no. Younger drivers pay a higher premium because they represent a greater risk; they have more accidents than older drivers and cost the insurance company more in payouts.
Even so, many insurance companies claim to make a loss with younger drivers, a loss that is compensated for by charging older drivers, who are a much better risk, more.
This is one of the reasons why Saga car insurance is aimed squarely at the over-50s. By only insuring experienced and safe drivers we can offer you a competitive quote as you aren’t compensating for drivers in a higher-risk category.
Have you heard of the petrol and rings scam?
How can I help my son or daughter?
There are a number of ways you can help them reduce the cost of their car insurance:
- Be realistic; there is no point in a 17-year-old driver trying to insure a high-performance car.
- They could consider taking out an insurance policy that fits a ‘black box’ to the car. This monitors their driving and rewards safe driving with lower premiums. Some polices charge every three months with a premium that reflects how well they have driven in the preceding three months.
- A tracking device that monitors when the car is being driven is also worth considering. If the car isn’t used after 11pm – a peak time for young drivers to have an accident – the premium is reduced as the risk has fallen.
- Advise them not to modify their car. Any modifications, even stickers or different wheels, will drive the car insurance premium sky-high – and if they don’t declare any changes their policy might be invalid…
- They could undertake a Young Driver Assessment with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). This could help make them a safer driver and reduce the cost of their policy as a result.
- It might be worth them volunteering to have a higher voluntary excess on the policy.
Sadly, the bottom line is that younger drivers will face higher premiums than you or I until they are as old and experienced as we are – and the most pragmatic response is probably to make a withdrawal from 'The Bank of Mum and Dad' every year to help them until they are more financially secure!
For more useful tips and information, browse our motoring articles.
With the highest possible rating from independent financial research company Defaqto for our comprehensive cover, Saga Car Insurance is worth considering. To find out more click here.