Do we need family car insurance?

If you have more than one driver living in your house, or even more than one car, it's worth looking at your options carefully when it comes to car insurance. Insuring yourself as a family - either by adding named drivers or taking out a family car insurance policy - may help save you money.

If you have more than one driver living in your house, or even more than one car, it's worth looking at your options carefully when it comes to car insurance. Insuring yourself as a family - either by adding named drivers or taking out a family car insurance policy - may help save you money.

Written by
Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
Last Updated
28 OCTOBER 2022
7 min read
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Family car insurance explained

While you can’t get a specific family car insurance policy, there are ways to make car insurance for your family easier to manage, and sometimes cheaper.

One option is to add named drivers to a single policy so that members of your family are covered to drive the family car.

Another option is to take out a multi-car insurance policy, which lets you insure multiple cars for the same household together under one policy.

What does family car insurance include?

When choosing family car insurance, be it for the one family car, or additional cars in your household, it’s essential that you have the right level of cover to ensure you’re all protected.

Fully comprehensive is the highest level of protection you can take out. As well as third-party liability, it also covers damage to your own car and injuries to you and your passengers.

A fully comprehensive policy will typically cover:

  • Third-party damage to other cars
  • Injury to others
  • Fire damage to your own car
  • The full cost of repairing damage to your car
  • The cost of replacing your car if it’s stolen.

Many fully comprehensive policies may also include:

  • Motor legal protection – covers legal costs if someone makes a claim against you
  • Personal accident cover – offers a lump sum pay-out if you’re seriously or fatally injured in a car accident
  • Breakdown cover – roadside assistance if your car breaks down on the road
  • Courtesy car – a temporary replacement vehicle to use while yours is being repaired.

Or you might be able to add these on as optional extras.

Don’t just assume that fully comprehensive is the most expensive type of cover. In fact by comparing quotes, you might find it’s one of the cheapest types of car insurance for your family.

Can I add family members to my existing car insurance policy?

Yes, you can. If you already have car insurance, you have the option of simply adding a family member as a named driver to your existing policy. This will allow the named driver to use the vehicle and be covered under the same insurance as the main driver.

This could be a cheaper option for the kids, as being named on a parent’s policy could help avoid expensive premiums that learners and young drivers typically pay.

The important thing with adding named drivers is that the person who drives the car most often must be the main or primary driver. That doesn't necessarily have to be the owner of the car, but your insurance premium will be based on the assumption that the main driver will be doing most of the driving.

This must be an accurate reflection of how the car will be used ‘in real life’. Naming someone falsely as the main driver to lower the cost of your insurance premium is called fronting. Fronting is a form of insurance fraud and is a crime. If you’re found guilty of fronting, you could invalidate your policy and it could make it harder and more expensive for you to get insurance in the future. A criminal record is a possibility too.

Will adding a named driver on my car insurance policy affect my no-claims discount?

If a named driver has an accident and you need to make a claim then yes, it could affect any no-claims discount you’ve built up. You’re the policyholder, so even if you weren’t driving, you’ll still be the one putting in a claim.

However, if you and other family members on the policy remain accident and claim-free, your no-claims discount won’t be affected, and you can continue to build it up as normal.

Types of family car insurance

If you’re insuring several cars for your family, you can choose to link different policies together under your name, or opt for a single policy that covers additional cars.

Linked policies

With linked policies you can choose different levels of cover for each vehicle, and different benefits and add-ons. For example, you could buy fully comprehensive insurance for your main family car and third party, fire and theft insurance for a second car that doesn’t get as much use. The policies can also start on different dates, so you don’t have to pay to renew them all at the same time.

One policy for all your family cars

If you choose to insure your family cars under the same policy, the level of cover will normally be the same for each car and driver, although the level of compulsory excess may vary. Renewal dates will be the same too, meaning less paperwork, but if you’re paying annually you could end up with a large bill to pay all at once.

Which family cars are the cheapest to insure?

The price you pay for your car insurance can depend on the value of your vehicle, your driving record and your chosen insurance provider. So it’s a good idea to find out how much it could cost to insure a vehicle before choosing which car to buy.

If you’re looking to buy a family car that you can all enjoy, think about size, safety, comfort and fuel economy. Also consider which car insurance group the vehicle falls into. When it comes to calculating premiums, UK car insurance providers categorise cars into groups from 1 to 50. The higher the group, typically the more expensive your car insurance will be. This is because cars in these groups tend to be top-of-the-range models that are more costly to buy, repair and replace. Luckily, there’s a great choice of family cars to choose from in the lower insurance groups.

Take a look at our pick of the best family cars.

Compare and save

Comparing quotes is the best way to ensure your family is covered when it comes to each of their car insurance needs.

Comparethemarket doesn’t currently compare multi-car insurance, but we’re a great place to find and compare individual policies.

By running a quote for each of your vehicles or with named driver details added, you can check that you’re getting the right level of cover and a great deal for all your family.

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Frequently asked questions

When would it NOT be a good idea to opt for family car insurance?

If someone in your household has a poor driving record, a previous conviction or is under the age of 25, it might be cheaper to opt for separate policies. But the only way to find out for sure would be to compare car insurance quotes with a variety of insurance providers.

What’s short-term insurance?

A short-term or temporary car insurance policy provides cover for a named driver for an agreed period of time – usually between one and 28 days, although you can get cover for as little as an hour.

Temporary insurance could be an option if your child comes back home for the holidays and wants to borrow the family car. They’ll have the same level of cover as the main driver but could have a higher excess.

Can you get family car insurance if you’re unmarried?

Yes. If you’re living in the same house but aren’t married or in a civil partnership, you and your partner can still get family car insurance. With some policies you may even be able to sign up with friends who live at the same address.

Do we have to live at the same address?

Family cover normally only applies to cars and drivers at the same address, but it’s possible to find providers who will also cover immediate family members who live away from home. That’s good news if you’ve got kids heading off to university.

Find out about student car insurance.

Can linked policies have different insurance renewal dates?

Linked policies for your family cars will normally allow you to have different renewal dates for each policy, meaning you don’t have to try and sync them all to start on the same date.

Can I drive all the cars covered under a family car insurance policy?

You’ll only be able to drive a car covered under your family policy if you’re insured as a named driver.

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