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The Untold Truth of Getting Insurance As a Named Driver

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A car insurance policy can have multiple drivers - the main driver who is called the policyholder and additional drivers (as many as you want) who become named drivers on the policy. However named driver insurance can have implications and you'll find out what they are in a moment.

Most people will consider becoming a named driver on an insurance policy if they are young or are new drivers. This is because car insurance premiums for this specific group are very high because of the lack of driving experience. However there are other circumstances where you would want to consider this approach as well especially when sharing a car between brother/sister or mother/son/father/daughter as having just one policy makes more sense and will work out cheaper most of the time.

The problem with being named on a car insurance policy

So you've become a named driver and everything seems to be working out fine for you - you can drive legally now as you're covered by your insurance company. However you do not build up any No Claims Bonus (NCB) for as long as you remain a named driver. The NCB is given to the policyholder and not you. What this means is that if you have been driving for 2 years as a second driver, you have not accumulated any No Claims Discount at all and you will start with zero NCD when you get a car insurance policy in your own name, that is, when you become the policyholder.

There is nevertheless an exception to this. A couple of insurance companies are now awarding NCD to additional drivers. They will let you build up your no claims as a named driver and will give you discounts when you take a policy in your name. This set of no claims discount for named drivers is nothing like the standard one because it differs in two major ways. The first difference is that you do not accumulate the same amount of discount for being claim-free during the same period of time. So if the normal NCB will give you 20% off your insurance quote, the named drivers no claims discount may only give you half or even less than that. The second thing with this is that the named drivers NCD cannot be transferred to a different car insurance company. It will only apply if you stay with the same insurance company with which you've built up the claims-free discount.

The truth is that if you are going to be a named driver anyway, you might as well get some discounts when you apply for your own policy rather than starting back at the beginning which would be silly really. For a competitive quote for named driver insurance where you can build up no claims bonus, you can try Direct Line Car Insurance. It is sometimes beneficial not to be the policyholder because by adding a more experience driver as the main driver, it reduces the car insurance quote but you should be careful not to be fronting though.

gices Published 24 Sep 2009
I'm a Software Developer and the founder of Clever Dodo. I encourage people to practice MAM (Movement/Arts/Meditation) for a well-balanced and happy life. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.


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anonymous_2 07 Jul 2012

I was a named driver on an insurance for 7 years I now need my own insurance policy. Are there any companies willing to accept that even though my no claims was within a company that doesn't quote, it builds up no claims for named drivers.

anonymous_2 07 Jul 2012

My mother is the named driver on my dad's policy but now he has turned 80 the price has rocketed. My mum is now the main driver and I need to change the policy into her name. How can I ensure that she will get a ncb entitlement as she has been accident free for over 20 years but only ever a named driver.

anonymous_2 07 Jul 2012

I have been a named driver for many years with different insurance companies. I have never had an accident. Am I entitled to a no claims bonus?