Named and shamed

Sir Paul McCartney’s been left literally fuming after his ‘environmentally friendly’ Lexus was flown 7,000 miles from Japan, stamping a quite spectacular carbon footprint.

The recently divorced Knight had planned for the car, a gift from the Japanese firm, to be shipped to the UK. That journey would have delivered a modest 397 kg of CO2, but the aerial route produces over 40 tons of the stuff.

That breaks all the rules on being clean, green and environmentally friendly but when it comes to car insurance a huge percentage of drivers are also bending the rules and using the named drivers’ part of the policy to save on premiums.

MoneyExpert.com gives the low-down on how to make the most of being a named driver without flouting the rules.

What’s in a name?

With premiums often hugely expensive for recently qualified drivers it’s become a common tactic for young drivers to have themselves as a named driver on their parents’ policies. This is known as ‘fronting’.

The insurance company will base the premium on the risk of the primary driver, meaning that the cost will, in most cases, be far lower if a parent’s name is given.

Whilst there’s nothing illegal about this tactic you can be caught out if the named driver is the in fact the main driver of the vehicle, and in almost all cases you won’t be able to build up a no-claims bonus. Direct Line is one of the only insurers who will offer a no-claims bonus to named drivers.

A risky tactic

Research has revealed that as many as 45% of young drivers named on their parents’ policies are in fact the main drivers, and insurers are increasingly trying to crack down on the tactic.

Insurance providers now make it very plain that those caught ‘fronting’ risk having claims rejected and may even have six points added to their license. In some cases they may even be forced to take their driving test again.

A better ploy

Rather than being a named driver on a parent’s policy it may be more effective for a recently qualified driver to take out their own car insurance policy and simply add older drivers.

Not all insurers will offer cheaper premiums for having older named drivers but you could be surprised by the number that do. Some that are definitely worth looking at are Elephant, Admiral, and Endsleigh.

Ideally you’ll add an older female relative as women are generally seen to be a lower risk than men. By doing so you could save yourself hundreds of pounds and will be able to build up a no-claims bonus at the same time.

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