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Do we need family car insurance?

If your household has more than one driver – or car – it’s worth carefully considering your options when it comes to car insurance. Insuring yourself as a family, either by adding named drivers or taking out a family car insurance policy, could help save you money.

If your household has more than one driver – or car – it’s worth carefully considering your options when it comes to car insurance. Insuring yourself as a family, either by adding named drivers or taking out a family car insurance policy, could help save you money.

Written by
Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
Last Updated
24 NOVEMBER 2023
5 min read
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What is family car insurance?

You can’t get specific family car insurance policies. But the term ‘family car insurance’ is sometimes used to describe ways to cover multiple drivers/cars under a single policy. This could make car insurance for your family easier to manage – and sometimes cheaper.

How does family car insurance work?

One option is to add named drivers to a single policy. This can cover family members to drive the same car. Another option is to take out a multi-car insurance policy. This lets you insure multiple cars for the same household under one policy.

What does family car insurance include?

When choosing family car insurance, whether it’s for one car or more, you’ll need the right level of cover.

Comprehensive is the highest level of protection you can get. As well as third-party liability, it can cover damage to your own car and injuries to you and your passengers.

A comprehensive policy typically covers:

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

Don’t assume that comprehensive insurance 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.

What family car insurance add-ons can I have?

You may be able to add the following to your policy at an extra cost, or some comprehensive policies might include them as standard:

Why choose family car insurance?

Family car insurance plans can be cheaper and more convenient, but they have pros and cons.

Pros

  • Less paperwork
  • You might save money
  • Especially convenient if you have kids at university.

Cons

  • Could be expensive if you have an inexperienced driver on your policy
  • Paying for a multi-car policy annually could mean a big bill
  • Everyone’s premium could go up if someone makes a claim.

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

Yes, you can. If you have car insurance in place, you can add a family member to your policy as a named driver. This allows the named driver to use the vehicle and enjoy the same cover as the main driver. If you have teenage kids, this could help them avoid the expensive premiums learners and young drivers typically face.

However, whoever is listed as the main driver must be the person who drives the car most. This doesn’t need to be the car’s owner, but your insurance premium will be calculated on the assumption that the main driver will do most of the driving. Falsely naming someone as the main driver to lower the cost of your insurance premium is a form of insurance fraud called fronting.

If you’re found guilty of fronting, you could invalidate your policy. This could make it harder and more expensive to get insurance in 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 claim, then yes, it could affect your no-claims discount. You’re the policyholder, so even if you weren’t driving, you’ll still be the one making the claim.

Types of family car insurance

If you’re covering several cars under a family car insurance policy, you can link different policies under your name or opt for one policy that covers additional cars.

Linked policies

Linked policies let you choose different cover for each vehicle, along with different benefits and add-ons. For example, you could buy comprehensive insurance for your main family car and third-party, fire and theft insurance for a second car you don’t use as much. The policies can start on different dates.

One policy for all your family cars

If you insure more than one car under the same policy, each car and driver typically has the same level of cover. The compulsory excess may vary, however. Renewal dates will be the same, meaning less paperwork, but if you’re paying annually you could end up with a hefty bill each year.

Which family cars are the cheapest to insure?

How much you pay for your family car insurance could depend on several factors, including your car’s value, your driving record and the insurance provider you choose.

If you’re looking to buy a family car, consider size, safety, comfort and fuel economy. Also check which car insurance group the vehicle falls into.

When calculating premiums, UK car insurance providers categorise cars into groups between 1 and 50.

The higher the group, the pricier your car insurance is likely to be. This is because cars in these groups tend to be top-of-the-range models that are expensive to buy, repair and replace. Luckily, there’s a great choice of family cars in the lower insurance groups.

Here’s our pick of the best family cars.

How much could I save with a family car insurance policy?

How much you save will depend on your circumstances – the car you drive, where you live and how you use your car. If you’re insuring other family members on the same car, their age and driving record will also have an impact.

Compare and save

Comparing quotes is the best way to make sure your family is covered.

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

Compare car insurance

Frequently asked questions

When is it not a good idea to opt for family car insurance?

It might be cheaper to opt for separate policies if someone in your household has a poor driving record, previous conviction or is under 25. The only way to find out is to compare car insurance quotes with different insurance providers.

What’s short-term insurance?

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

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

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

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. Some policies might even let you sign up with friends who live at the same address.

Do we have to live at the same address?

Multi-car insurance normally only applies to cars and drivers at the same address, but you may find providers who’ll cover immediate family members who live away from home. That’s good news if you have kids heading off to university.

Find out about student car insurance.

Can linked policies have different insurance renewal dates?

Linked policies for family cars normally let you have different renewal dates for each policy. That way you don’t have to try to sync them to start on the same date.

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

You can only drive the cars for which you’re listed as a named driver.

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Kate Hughes - Insurance and finance expert

As an award-winning journalist, author and broadcast commentator, Kate has been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She’s the former Money Editor for The Independent. Her work has appeared across the UK broadsheets as well as a number of international titles. Kate brings her financial expertise to inform her readers on ways to save money. She’s also written a book. ‘Going Zero: One Family’s Journey to Zero Waste and a Greener Lifestyle’ is available now.

Learn more about Kate

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