Car insurance fronting

What exactly is car insurance fronting? Read our guide to find out and avoid it at all costs.


Fact checked

Don’t be caught out by naming the wrong person as the main driver for your car insurance policy. Doing so could land you in hot water. Read our guide to find out what car insurance “fronting” is all about and how you can still save money on your premiums without committing this motoring offence.

What is car insurance fronting?

“Fronting” generally relates to an older and more experienced driver pretending to be the main driver of a car when really, a younger and less experienced driver is actually the main driver. The “fronting” is sometimes committed by parents hoping their offspring will avoid paying the high premiums associated with young, inexperienced drivers. Insurers generally see young drivers as being more of a risk on the road and will hike the rates up as a result.
But be warned, fronting is illegal in the UK and can only lead to trouble.

Why is fronting illegal?

Fronting is essentially hiding the truth from the insurance provider and is therefore considered a motoring offence.

What are the penalties for car insurance fronting?

Here are just some of the consequences of car insurance fronting:

  • Invalidated insurance policy
  • Rejected claims following an accident
  • Possible prosecution for fraud
  • Court summons
  • Criminal conviction
  • Difficulty finding a new insurance provider
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Difficulty accessing other financial products such as credit cards

What is meant by the “vehicle’s main driver”?

An insurer will have its own guidelines about who it deems the vehicle’s main driver to be. But generally, the main driver will be the person who drives it the most. It might also be the person who owns the car but this may not always be the case.

When deciding who the main driver of a car is, it’s important to think carefully about how a car is shared between the drivers and who does the majority of the driving. It might be:

  • The person using the car every day
  • The person using the car for commuting to work or college
  • The person using the car for more hours than any other driver

How can I reduce my car insurance premium without fronting?

  • Choose a cover level that suits you. Contrary to what you might expect, comprehensive cover can be cheaper than third party (TP) or third party, fire and theft so it’s always worth checking. This is because of the risk profile of many people who typically get TP.
  • Increase excess. Agreeing to pay a bigger voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
  • Add experienced drivers. Adding an older and more experienced driver to your policy could help to lower the premium. However, be mindful of adding too many named drivers.
  • Limit optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which optional extras you really want as adding extra protection to your policy will generally push the price up too.
  • Advanced driving skills. You could be in line for a discount with certain providers by taking an advanced driving course such as those offered by the Pass Plus scheme.
  • Avoid making claims. Resist the urge to make claims just because you can. Making a claim could save you money in the short term, but would affect any no claims bonus you may have and mark you as a risky driver, which increases your premiums.
  • Pick a smaller car. Buy a smaller, less expensive car rather than a sports model or highly modified vehicle. If finding the cheapest car insurance is your number one priority, this is your number one tip.
  • Limit modifications. Any modification made to your car to make it look better or drive faster is likely to increase your premiums so think carefully before making any changes.
  • Consider telematics insurance. Having a “black box” fitted to your car to monitor your driving could result in discounts if you drive safely.
  • Consider pay-as-you-drive insurance. If you don’t plan to drive a lot, look for a pay-as-you-drive insurance policy.
  • Shop around. Don’t simply choose to automatically renew your car insurance when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need to. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy so check the cover details carefully. Consider a specialist insurance provider with knowledge about insuring drivers with claims.

Frequently asked questions

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*51% of consumers could save £264.64 on their car insurance. The saving was calculated by comparing the cheapest price found with the average of the next four cheapest prices quoted by insurance providers on Seopa Ltd’s insurance comparison website (based on representative cost savings data for November 2019). The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances.

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