There’s no denying that it costs to run a car. Research from car hire company Auto Europe UK found that, on average, British motorists spend around £168,880 during their driving lifetime. And younger drivers often find themselves facing higher costs due to their inexperience.
In order to try to cut the price of motoring, it seems that many young drivers, and their parents, are jumping on a worrying trend called car insurance fronting. Here we’ll investigate what this is, why it’s a bad idea and how young drivers can reduce their premiums legally instead.
What is fronting?
According to uSwitch, a provisional licence, lessons and the driving test can add up to at least £1,311. And that’s before you factor in the price of a car.
So, it’s understandable that young drivers want to lower costs wherever they can. It’s also understandable that parents will want to help their teenagers get on the road, be it through covering the cost of lessons, or helping to pay for their first motor. Some will also try to help with insurance, but this can involve the illegal practice of ‘fronting’.
Fronting is when you falsely name an older, more experienced motorist as the main driver of a car, usually as a way to cut the cost of insurance cover. The younger driver is added to the policy as the named driver when, in fact, they are much more than that.
While the practice is illegal, a GoCompare.com survey showed that more than half of parents of young drivers have fronted or would consider fronting a car insurance policy, if it resulted in lower premiums.
Why is it a bad idea?
People are often tempted to ‘front’ as they believe it will save money. However, it is a false economy.
Fronting can result in criminal charges, as it’s actually a type of insurance fraud. And if a fronting case does get taken to court, offenders could face a fine of up to £5,000, in addition to six penalty points.
Regardless of who has paid for the insurance, it is the applicant -- the main driver, which, in these cases, is often a parent -- that will be committing fraud, as they have lied on the application.
What’s more, fronting will lead to the insurance being deemed invalid, leaving you with big bills to pay if you’re involved in an accident.
How can you reduce your premium without fronting?
There are many ways in which young drivers can help to reduce their premiums. These include:
- Avoid buying a car with a big engine
- Choose a car that falls into insurance groups 1-5
- Avoid any car modifications, such as alloy wheels and body kits
- Consider increasing the excess
- Add extra security features, such as an alarm or an immobiliser.
- Park in a garage or on a driveway overnight
- Aim to drive fewer miles
- Consider using a black box or opting for telematics insurance
- Add a parent or more experienced driver as a named driver, only as long as they will occasionally use the car, otherwise you could be found to be ‘fronting’
- Consider pay as you go insurance -- this can be particularly useful if young drivers are going off to uni and only driving their cars for a few weeks of the year
Computer Quote can offer great value for money car insurance for younger drivers.
Get a quick quote with Computerquote today and find the perfect cover for your circumstances.