A simples guide

I have a child over 18, can they be covered on my family car insurance policy?

If you have a child who’s passed their driving test, chances are, they’ll be ecstatic over it. However, as happy as you are for them, you may be a little hesitant about letting them actually drive for real – especially if it’s the family car that you rely on for work every day.

Plus, there’s the cost of car insurance, which for young drivers – can be eye wateringly high. One way to get the cost of car insurance down for young drivers is to add them as a ‘named driver’ on your own policy – but be careful not to get trapped into ‘fronting’ – here are the facts.

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My 18 year old has just passed their driving test, can I add them to my car insurance?

In a word – yes. Your 18 year old can be added to the family car insurance policy. Make sure you and your 18 year old are clear about who’s in the driving seat most of the time though. If they’re only an occasional user of the car, then they can be included as a named driver and they could have the same level of cover as the main policy holder. Check with your insurer though as not all policies will provide commuting or business cover to named drivers.

Tread carefully though, if your 18 year old will actually be using the car more often than anyone else, then technically they’re the main driver and if you don’t declare this, it’s called ‘fronting’. Fronting usually happens when an older, more experienced driver falsely states that they’re the main driver, knowing full well that they’re not (tut, tut). In most cases, it’s in a bid to bring the cost of a young driver’s car insurance down. It’s an easy trap to fall into but it’s against the law and the consequences are likely to be more painful than a simple rap on the knuckles.

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What exactly is the law on car insurance?

By law, you must be insured to drive your vehicle. Third party fire only is the absolute minimum you can have – this covers you if you have an accident and cause damage or injury to someone else or their vehicle. It doesn’t cover the cost for any damage done to your own car if it’s proved that you caused the accident.

You might think it’s cheaper to just cover yourself or your 18 year old for third party only but think carefully because it could cost you more in the long run. Nearly a quarter (23%) of young drivers have an accident within two years of passing their test and if they’re driving the family car, and you’ve only got third party cover, can you afford to cough up for the repairs to your car?

Why is young driver’s car insurance so expensive?

Your insurance premium is worked out by looking at factors such as your age, your insurance claim history, the type of car of drive and where you keep your car at night. As a parent, you’re probably a little older and wiser than your 18 year old, you’ve probably been driving for a lot longer and like all responsible parents (of course you are) you’ve probably got a decent no claims history. Your 18 year old won’t have those things and so they’re just a riskier category to cover as far as the insurers are concerned.

So adding your child to your own insurance is one way of lowering that cost (especially if you’re kind enough to foot the bill as well). It may increase your premium but that might be more cost effective than your 18 year old taking out their own policy. One of the drawbacks of adding your child to your policy though, is that they won’t build up their own no claims bonus. Some insurers may offer a discount if your child can prove they’ve been named on a policy and not made any claims when they eventually do come to getting their own cover so it’s always worth mentioning.

Start comparing and start saving

There are some other ways to lower the cost of car insurance – you can think carefully about the car you drive, how many miles you drive and how secure your car is. But, there is one, much simpler thing that you can do right now – and that’s to compare the market. Start a quote with us today telling us a bit about you, the type of cover you require and we’ll do all the legwork – just see how much you could save!

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