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 multi-car 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 multi-car policy, may help save you money.

Kate Hughes
Car insurance expert
7
minute read
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Posted 19 NOVEMBER 2021

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.

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.

It’s really important that this is 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.

Besides, there are other ways to insure young drivers without breaking the bank.

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. For example, if your student son or daughter 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 I insure multiple cars on a single policy?

Usually, yes, you can. Some insurance providers now offer the option to insure several cars on a single policy with a single premium. Some of them call these 'family' plans and some may refer to them as multi-car policies. However, at this point, Compare the Market doesn't offer purely multi-car policies.

Whatever you want to call them, these multi-car policies can be a genuine win-win. That’s because insurance providers use offers to entice you into taking out policies for all the cars in your household with them, and if they're prepared to give you substantial savings for doing so, it can help reduce your car insurance costs. In the end, the second car you insure with the same insurance provider can typically cost less than it would to insure alone.

Sometimes the discounts increase the more cars you add. Again, though, you'll have to look at each insurance provider's offer to find the option that suits you.

Policies like this cover a maximum of five or six cars (this varies among insurance providers), so there’s plenty of scope to cover all the drivers and cars in a household of several adults.

And don’t forget savings on your premiums may not be the only consideration. You could still get many of the features of separate policies too, including small excesses and valuable no-claims benefits.

The convenience of having one set of paperwork for all the vehicles involved is not to be sniffed at either.

Types of multi-car insurance policy

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 several cars.

With linked multi-car policies, you can choose different levels of cover for each vehicle, and different benefits and add-ons too. 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.

If you choose to insure multiple 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.

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 may still be cheaper to opt for separate policies. However, the only way to find out for sure would be to compare car insurance quotes with a variety of different insurance providers.

Which family cars are the cheapest to insure?

The price you pay for your car insurance will 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.

Remember, UK car insurance providers categorise applications into one of more than 50 car insurance groups. The higher the number of the group, the more you can expect to pay to insure your vehicle. This means that if you want to keep your insurance costs down, look at the insurance group for any car you’re thinking of buying and avoid the higher numbers where you can. Use our Car Insurance Group Checker for more information.

Compare and save

You can compare car insurance quotes to make sure that your family is covered when it comes to each of their car insurance needs. Compare the Market doesn't currently compare multi-car 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 you. You can also save and retrieve quotes from your Compare the Market account any time, so you'll also be able to compare your individual quotes to any multi-car policies you may be offered by providers.

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Frequently asked questions

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/multi-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?

Multi-car insurance policies normally only apply to cars and drivers at the same address, but it’s possible to find policies that will also cover immediate family members who live away from home. That’s good news if you have a child living away at university.

What if my family cars have different insurance renewal dates?

Maybe you want to add a second or third car to your family insurance policy, but it’s still covered by another provider and you don’t want to pay a cancellation fee to leave early. You could also face the risk of not earning your no claims discount for that year either. If you do want to add another car, some car insurance providers will allow you to set a future start date. That means you could start earning your multi-car discount immediately and switch over when the time is right. Don’t forget to notify your current provider that you’re not renewing though.

Linked multi-car insurance policies will normally allow you to have different renewal dates for each policy, meaning you don’t have to try to sync all the renewal dates. But you should still get a discount for having more than one car insured with that provider.

If I have multi-car insurance and my family member has an accident, will it affect my no-claims discount?

With linked multi-car insurance policies, it normally won’t affect your no-claims discount if a family member needs to claim. But this might not be the case when you have several cars insured under a single policy. In this case, you may end up paying higher premiums and lose your no-claims discount if someone in your family makes a claim. Check the policy details carefully before you sign up and, if you’re not sure, speak to the provider.

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

You’ll only be able to drive a car if you’re insured as a named driver for that car on your multi-car insurance policy. You can choose who you would like to add as the main driver and additional drivers for each vehicle.

How many cars can I insure under a multi-car insurance policy?

It depends on the insurance provider. It could be as few as two or as many as six.

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