Car Insurance Fronting

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I sometimes ask myself whether it is worth doing something morally right or financially wise in this society of ever increasing prices. Take for example this 17 year old male who has just passed his driving test and is eager to get behind the wheels. He has spent roughly £900 on the 40 hours driving lessons which the DSA recommends, bought his first car for £3500 and is now looking for a cheap car insurance deal to get him going. What happens next? He receives insurance quotes no cheaper than £2500. This is unfortunately the reality faced by most new drivers. At 17 or under 25, you are at this point in your life where you are just starting up and you do not really have money saved and much to spend and still you are subjected to the highest insurance premiums of all.

Now you haven't gone through all this hassle to stop here, have you? So what do you do? You learn that if you take out the car insurance along with your parents, it will become unbelievably cheaper. All you have to do is ask your parents to put down their names as the main driver so that you can become an additional driver on the insurance policy. The only problem here is that you are not supposed to really do that. Why? Because the car is in your name and you will be using the car most of the time, so you should be the policy holder for the insurance too. If you do not disclose this information at the time of application for car insurance, then you will be doing what is called fronting on your car insurance.

Is fronting morally right?

Car insurance fronting is the tactic used by young and new drivers to reduce their insurance premiums. By allowing an experienced driver to become the main driver on their insurance policy, they significantly lower the premiums they will pay.

Fronting has been made illegal now because it presents a much higher risk for the insurers than what they have quoted you for. To them, the main driver should be the one using the car most of the time and any additional drivers should be driving occasionally.

It is on this basis and the fact that an experienced driver is less likely to be involved in an accident than a young driver that the premiums are considerably cheaper. Now if the young driver uses the car more than the main driver, it will be called fronting in car insurance terms and since it is associated with giving false information when getting a car insurance quote, it has been made illegal.

Not many insurance companies will reject your application if you decide to do that though but if you ever make a claim to them afterwards, then they can reject your claim based on the grounds of car insurance fronting. I do not condone this technique but if you, as a young or new driver, will be making such a massive saving, then is it morally right or not?

Sure, you run the risks of having your claim turned down if you ever make one and get 6 points on your license for fronting and also being charged with driving without car insurance, but is it financially worth all these risks? I shall leave you to answer this...

gices Level 6
I'm a Software Developer and the co-founder of Clever Dodo. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.

11 Replies

Sean_1 Level 1

Parent named as main driver to save money

I am a parent looking for a car for my daughter. Is it not unethical in some way to call myself a main driver when I'm not just to save money? Will the insurance company not have a problem with it in the event of a claim?

[Migrated from previous topic 10107 dated 21 May 2008]

gices Level 6

A lot of people used to do that in the past and some even do it now so that their children can get cheaper car insurance as a new driver. However insurance companies know this practice now and this is referred to as fronting in the insurance industry. Not only is this illegal but it would invalidate any future claims should there be any.

It is unfortunately really expensive at the beginning and I understand that you want to help your daughter like any parent would but think about it for a moment - why does the car insurance go down when you say you are the main driver? It is because as the main driver, you have more driving experience and possibly have accumulated a lot of no claims discount over the years and because the main driver is supposed to be using the car more often, you are less of a risk to the insurer than your daughter.

I would advise you to let your daughter get car insurance under her own name even if it is expensive at first. This way she will be able to build her own no claims discount and believe me after one year, her car insurance will go down drastically. Feel free to check out the rest of this site for information on how to get cheaper car insurance for young drivers and which insurance company will give you the best deals.

[Migrated from previous post 20 dated 24 May 2008]

Dls20 Level 1

Had an accident but insurance is void because of fronting, anything I can do?

Hello my son was on my insurance as a named driver I was main driver. However he was the registered keeper on the v5c. He has had an accident and now the insurance is void.. I've read up on this and it's void as it called fronting I think. I looked after the car and drove it the most so thought I had to be main driver I'm so worried now as by the looks of it that's wrong. I don't know what to do, I haven't done this intentionally. Has anyone else been through this ?

[Migrated from previous topic 12783 dated 10 Dec 2017]

Ky Level 1

Would putting my dad who is disabled as the main driver be considered as insurance fronting?

My dad has his own car and is the policy holder on that vehicle....and I am soon to be purchasing my own vehicle which i will be the registered owner so if i took out my own insurance policy on my vehicle but had my dad who is disabled as the main driver, is it classed as being illegal or fronting?

I'm confused because the comparison site i used let me choose these options but somewhere online some people were saying it's insurance fraud... the only reason i am putting him as the main driver is like i said he is disabled and if his car becomes un-usable he could use mine as i didn't really need to use it that much...I'm confused that the comparison site lets you do this but then people saying it's illegal.

I'm 25 so I'm not doing it just to get cheaper insurance because my quotes are quite cheap anyway to be honest...would be very grateful if someone who knows what they're talking about could shed some light on this situation.thanks

[Migrated from previous topic 12083 dated 17 Mar 2011]

gices Level 6

If it's going to be your car and your insurance, then why are you looking to put your dad as the main driver? You should be the main driver.

The main driver is supposed to be the person who will be using the car most of the time and any occasional drivers must be put down as named drivers. By putting your dad as a named driver, you will avoid the whole car insurance fronting business and your dad will also be able to use your car if his one becomes unusable. That's what you want, right?

[Migrated from previous post 1615 dated 17 Mar 2011]

Paul_4 Level 1

What exactly is insurance fronting?

Is it still called fronting when a person who has had at least 2 major claims in the past 4 years and does not declare to the insurance company when they are a named driver? What I mean is the named driver has obtained insurance via someone else and had themselves put down as a named driver in order to avoid the high cost of having insurance in their own name.

[Migrated from previous topic 10516 dated 27 Jun 2009]

gices Level 6

When an older person registers himself as the main driver on a policy and uses his no claims discount to bring down the premiums alongside a new driver, then it is called car insurance fronting if the new driver uses the car more often than the main driver. The whole point of being the policyholder is that you will use the car regularly and any named drivers will use the car occasionally. Fronting usually happens with young new drivers to bring insurance quotes down.

In your case, I don't think fronting is going to be an issue but just keep in mind that you shouldn't be using more often than the main driver (as in taking the car to work) otherwise the insurance company might invalidate your claim on grounds that you should have been listed as the policyholder.

[Migrated from previous post 402 dated 15 Jul 2009]

Wrobinson Level 1

Young drivers fronting to get cheap premiums - Why?

If the insurance companies agreed to meet us youngsters half way then it is morally wrong to carry out this so called 'fronting' on your car insurance policy. But no, they are constantly looking at ways to fill their coffers. It's as if we've got endless pits of cash to throw about, that's why young drivers insurance is so high!. The problems stem from the INSURANCE COMPANIES and I don't care what any person says, that is a FACT! Stop pushing young person's premiums up and we will stop resorting to alternate illegal tactics to get cover. But until then these scrounging car insurance companies can go kill themselves! The thing is yes they should be vigilant towards the boy racer bunch who drive done up novas worth nothing with intentions of ragging them, however they should not be so hard on younger drivers who wish to buy nice cars but end up paying drastically for car insurance. In my opinion the people who pay for nice cars are more likely to abide by the rules and not crash their cars. The problem is the chavs driving their 1.2 Corsas at stupid speeds that they nor their cars can handle and consequently ending up sprawled out in a hedge! It is them who end up increasing our premiums not the ones with nice cars that just so happen to work hard to acquire them and look after them constantly. I own a 2.5 ltr performance hot hatch and I'm 20 - I always get nuisance kiddies in their little cars trying to race me but I never rise to the occasion I just slow down and wind them up further. The reason for this is simple:

  • My car has the guts to demolish you in a swift flick of the accelerator, (why should I bother trying to prove that when you already know what's going to happen?)
  • I choose when to have some fun in my car and not when you decide you want to make a fool of yourself and race me "bruv"!
  • I polish my car more than I drive it. Do you think I really want to take stupid risks that could result in my pride and joy ending up crushed and mangled at the side of the road?

No of course not!

The one thing that is bugging me at the moment is when I take into consideration how much my insurance will cost me when I renew it come June, and when my car tax rises due to an over zealous pro green government trying to abolish bigger engines because they "contribute towards global warming!" and when the petrol prices yet again go up. Can I really justify keeping my car if it is now running the risk of costing way too much to run? I am a car enthusiast and I dearly love my car so much and would even consider myself a perfectly capable driver even if I am at the hands of a powerful car at such a young age. It's just the insurance companies don't see it that way!

All I can say if I would actively dis-encourage anybody who is thinking of using this 'fronting' tactic to get car insurance, but would like insurance companies to start being a little sympathetic towards us. Yes I do have a car that I really shouldn't have until I'm at least 25 but I am willing to play by the insurance companies rules providing they cut me a little slack. Like I said I would pay a price, just not THAT much.

I have managed to get it down now to £1051 after many stressful nights of constant research and I am now happy with that price. But in my father's name I can get it down to £691. Now why the hell can't I pay that on my own name? That price in my opinion would be justifiable not £1051 even if that still is considered to be fairly cheap. But this isn't just about me. My friends are stung a hell of a lot more than that on their own names for 1.4 ltr and 1.6 ltr cars and they are also 20. So where's the fairness in that then? They can't get over the fact that I have managed to get mine as low as £1051 a year and I do feel sorry for them because some of them are better drivers than myself who don't deserve to be stung so hard for cars that I know they look after and drive well. They end up working much overtime like myself to cater for the ever growing increases that we are seeing at this very moment concerning the car industry. So please insurance companies give people like my friends and myself a little breathing space even if it's not a by a huge amount and then we will stop cheating you.

[Migrated from previous topic 10375 dated 24 Mar 2009]

gices Level 6


Very well said. I couldn't have said it better myself!

[Migrated from previous post 548 dated 09 Sep 2009]

mads Level 1

Very well put. I have been getting quotes for my son and to be honest the price is outrageous and that's for third party fire and theft! The insurance companies need to get a grip, add the fact that if you are a female of the same age the quote is lower as well. An even playing field is needed here and then maybe not so many un-insured young drivers would be out there!

[Migrated from previous post 1132 dated 01 Aug 2010]

anonymous_2 Level 1

We have one car, which my husband and I share, and a son who's desperate to drive. He does not really need a car for getting to work though, only for weekend visits to his girlfriend, 60-odd miles away. If I were to buy another car under my own name, with me also as the main driver on the insurance and him second, but I loaned him the car most weekends, would this be fronting? At present if I want to use our car I often have to get up at 6am to drop my husband off, so it would be handy for me to have another at my disposal?

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