Nearly half of South Yorkshire drivers believe it’s acceptable to reduce car insurance premiums for young drivers by insuring a vehicle in a parent’s name, citing their son or daughter as a ‘named driver’ – according to the AA.
This is known as ‘fronting’ – where a named driver on a policy is the person driving the car most or all of the time.
And many people might not know that they’re actually committing fraud and could face prosecution if caught.
Alarmingly, one per cent of drivers considered it acceptable to drive without any insurance in order to avoid high young driver premiums.
This comes at a time when the Financial Ombudsman in its latest report notes the significant proportion of young consumers’ complaints are motoring-related.
Michael Lloyd, the AA’s insurance director, said: ‘Fronting’ has long been an issue for car insurers but it is regarded as fraud.
“The cost of insurance for a new, young driver is often eye-watering so it’s understandable that families might want to look for ways to cut that cost.
“For many people, a parent insuring a youngster’s car and adding them to the policy as a ‘named’ driver might seem to be a legitimate way to get costs down but they may not recognise the potential consequences.”
According to the latest figures, the standard car insurance quote for someone aged 17-22 is £1,436, more than double that for someone aged 30-35, but for a newly qualified driver, with no no-claim bonus, it could be much higher.
Statistics also show that 23 per cent of young drivers aged between 17 and 24 will have a crash within two years of passing their driving test and statistically, they are also much more likely to be in collisions that involve death and serious injury.
The consequences for a young person whose parent has ‘fronted’ the insurance policy can be extremely serious, including prosecution for fraud.
If an insurer is satisfied that fronting is involved they are likely to cancel the policy from inception, as if it never existed.
However, the insurer must still meet third-party costs which could run into many thousands of pounds if there are injuries and can seek to recover their third-party costs from the family.