Additional or named driver car insurance explained

Want to let someone else use your car too? Perhaps your son or daughter has recently passed their driving test. Or maybe your friend wants to split holiday driving with you. 

Whatever the reason, putting them on your car insurance policy as an additional driver can give you both some much-needed peace of mind on the road. 

But how does it work? Read on for answers to common questions about additional driver insurance. 

What is additional driver insurance?

If you’re the policyholder on your car insurance, you’re the person who took out the contract. You’re responsible for paying for your cover and you’re the only person who can make changes to your policy.

In most (but not all) cases, you’ll also be the main driver. That means you’re the person who uses the car the most. 

But you might have someone – like a partner, friend or family member – who uses your car occasionally. If this is the case, you can add them to your policy as an additional driver (sometimes known as a named driver). They’ll then be covered to drive your car with your permission. 

Will my additional drivers have the same level of cover as me?

If you have comprehensive car insurance with Prima, rest assured that any additional drivers on your policy will have comprehensive cover too. 

This means, if they have an accident in your car, we’ll cover:

  • Any damage caused to your car or property
  • Any injuries your additional driver suffers
  • Any damage caused to other people and their property 

This might not be the case with all insurance providers though. So if you’re insured elsewhere, make sure you read your policy details carefully.

Will my additional drivers earn a no claims bonus?

A no claims bonus (NCB) – also known as a no claims discount (NCD) – is a discount insurers give as a reward for safer driving. 

Almost always, it’s only the policyholder who can earn a NCB. You won’t earn a NCB as an additional driver.

How can I add an additional driver to my policy?

You can add an additional driver when you first get a car insurance quote or mid-way through your policy. 

If you want to add a driver to your existing Prima policy, simply contact us

We’ll need to know:

  • Their full name 
  • Their relation to you
  • What driving licence they have and how long they’ve had it
  • Their motoring claims and convictions history from the last 5 years
  • If they have access to any other vehicles

How does adding an additional driver affect my premium?

Adding a driver to your policy can push your premium up or down. It all depends on the risks associated with the driver you’re adding. 

For instance, let’s say you want to add a young, inexperienced driver to your policy. It will almost certainly increase your premium. This is because, statistically, young drivers are more likely to have an accident. 

On the other hand, let’s say you’re a young, inexperienced driver yourself. Adding a more experienced driver to your policy (like a parent or carer) can actually lower your premium. That’s because it means you’ll spend less time behind the wheel, as the car is shared. So there’s less chance of you having an accident.

What is fronting?

We explained that adding a young, inexperienced driver to your policy can push up your premium. But it’s often still cheaper than if that young driver were to take out a policy in their own name. 

That’s why, sometimes, parents of young drivers are tempted to take out a policy in their name and declare themselves as the main driver – even though their child will be the one using the car the most. 

Lying like this to benefit from cheaper premiums is illegal though. It’s a kind of car insurance fraud known as fronting. If you’re caught fronting, you could face a criminal record. So make sure you’re honest with your insurer about who is the main driver. 

Can I drive someone else’s car without being an additional driver on their policy?

Some car insurance policies cover you to drive someone else’s car without being an additional driver on their policy. 

For instance, if you’re a Prima policyholder, you’re covered to drive someone else’s car, so long as:

  • It’s not owned by you or your partner
  • You’ve not hired it or got it under any other financial agreement
  • You have permission from the owner
  • You were aged 25 or over at the start of your current policy period
  • Your certificate of motor insurance says you can drive other cars
  • You still have legal use of your own car

This is known as driving other cars (DOC) cover. 

DOC cover is only third party though. That means, if you’re involved in an accident that’s your fault, your insurer will only cover damages to the other person and their car. You’re not covered for damages to yourself or the car you’re driving. 

What’s more, DOC cover is only supposed to be used in exceptional circumstances or emergencies. For instance, if your friend is unwell and you need to drive their car to a hospital or safe place. 

If you intend to drive someone else’s car regularly or for day-to-day use (such as to pop to the shops or split driving duties whilst on holiday), you’ll need to take out appropriate cover or get yourself added to their policy. 

What happens if an additional driver has an accident?

If an additional driver has an accident in your car, it’ll result in a claim on your insurance policy. 

That means:

  • Your no claims discount (not theirs) will be affected
  • Your premium will likely increase when you renew your insurance – even if you remove them from your policy

For these reasons, it’s important to think carefully about who you add as a driver on your car insurance. The risks are higher for you than for them. 

What’s more, if you do decide to add a driver, it’s worth considering no claims discount bonus protection. It costs extra. But it means that your no claims bonus shouldn’t be affected if you’re forced to make a claim. 

For instance, if you buy no claims bonus protection with Prima, you can make up to two claims during your policy period without it affecting your no claims bonus. 

How can I get a quote with Prima?

If you’d like to get a quote for a car insurance policy (with or without any additional drivers), contact us. Our friendly team’s always happy to help. 

Alternatively, you can find us on our partner price comparison websites: Compare the Market, or Go.Compare.

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