Driver SOS (UK)

Helping with car insurance, driving bans, learning to drive and other motoring issues

Join Community
Driver SOS (UK)
2885 members 1214 topics 2221 posts

Should registered keeper be the main driver?

last updated
4 replies
5 users
Owen_1 30 Aug 2008

I'm going to buy a car next week and one of my friend told me that he can have his father to be my car's first driver and then i'll be the second driver, but the car holder will still be in my name and then car insurance will be a lot cheaper. I've asked around and some friends said if you are the car holder you must be the first driver. I dont know if it's true, I mean i don't really trust him. So could you please tell me something about it?


Alan_C 20 Mar 2011

If I remember right, the only requirement for taxing the car is that there should be a valid insurance covering it - in the days when they checked the physical certificate at the Post Office, they needed to see the registration number of the car shown on the insurance certificate. They didn't look at who is insured to drive the car.

JhonnyLutchmaya 13 Feb 2010

For the past 2 years my wife and I have only owned 1 car.I am the registered keeper and the main driver,we are both accident free for the past 9 years.She is on my car policy as a second driver.In order that we can both protect our no claims bonus for the future,I understand that we can alternate from 1st driver to second driver every second year. Is that true? and how can I tax a car registered in my name if I am only a second driver on the insurance certificate?

John_8 15 Dec 2009

I have a car registered in my name and me as a second driver, the police has taken the car off me and told me that I am uninsured.

gices 01 Sep 2008


When you are going to buy the car, you will put it under your name and will become what we call the 'registered keeper' for that vehicle. If there will be multiple drivers using a car, one of them needs to be nominated as the main driver and the others will become named drivers. Usually the main driver is the one who will be using the car most of the time and the named drivers will be driving it occasionally. When you sign up for car insurance, the main driver becomes the policyholder. What you are referring to as the 'first driver' is actually the 'main driver' and the term for the 'second driver' is 'named driver'.

New driver's car insurance has always been expensive because of their general lack of driving experience and what people used to do in the past is have a more experienced person named as the main driver on the policy and the young driver as a second/named driver. Since the main driver is supposed to be using the car more often, it presents a lesser risk to the car insurance company and they will therefore give you a cheaper quote. However this no longer applies now. This is referred to as car insurance fronting and it is against the law to do this. What your friend is suggesting is illegal nowadays and even if you managed to trick the insurance company in giving you cover for your vehicle, you will run the risk of having your future claims being invalidated on the basis of fronting. Therefore I will advise you not to do this.

You can be the registered owner of a vehicle and not be the main driver though as this is not a UK law requirement. Then again, some car insurance companies will frown upon you if the register keeper is not the main driver.