What is car insurance fronting? And what happens if I get caught?

by ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

The cost of car insurance is constantly on the rise. And it's normal to want the best deal. That's why fronting is growing more common. But if you get caught, you could lose your insurance cover - if not your driving licence.

What is car insurance fronting? And what happens if I get caught?

So what is fronting?

Fronting is when someone insures a car with themselves as the main driver, but they aren't doing the majority of the driving. It's usually done to cut the cost of cover.

For example, parents might put themselves as the main driver on their son's or daughter's car - even though they'll never drive it.

Fronting is a type of insurance fraud, which is illegal and can carry criminal convictions. It's not the same as adding a named driver to your policy. 

Main drivers vs named driver...what's the difference?

Fronting depends on who the main driver is. The main driver uses the car the majority of the time. It's often their car, and they're usually the registered keeper.

A named driver is insured to drive the car, but they don't use it as often as the main driver. The main and named driver have the same level of cover on the car. But a named driver could be the main driver on another vehicle.

You can be the main driver of more than one car. But insurance companies will often question it... to check for fronting.

If you can add a named driver, why is fronting illegal?

The price of car insurance is to do with how 'risky' you are. A younger driver, or someone who has been involved in a few accidents, is seen as a riskier driver. So they'll be charged more for insurance.

If you claim to be the main driver of a car when you're not - in the place of a 'riskier' driver - it's fraud. You'd be lying to the insurers by wrongly portraying the level of risk.

What happens if I get caught?

You could end up being taken to court and charged - after all, fronting is illegal. You could also invalidate your insurance policy.

If you're caught, the best case scenario is that the insurer rejects a claim and cancels your policy. So if you have an accident, you may have to pay the repair costs yourself.

It could also make it harder to get affordable insurance in the future - as well as other financial products like credit cards or mortgages.

The worst case scenario?

You could end up in court. And you can be fined up to £5,000 - with six points put on your licence.

If you've been driving for less than two years, you only need six points to get your licence revoked. So if you're a young driver fronting insurance to save money - you're putting your licence at risk. You'd have to take your tests again.

In some cases, you could be charged for driving without insurance - depending on the policy.

It's worth noting that saying you didn't know you were fronting won't be accepted. Claiming ignorance is not a defence.

How can I legally cut insurance costs?

We know - car insurance is expensive. And if you're a young driver, the insurance could cost as much as the car. But there are ways to reduce the price of your insurance without fronting.

  • Pay annually, if you can afford to - insurers will charge interest if you pay monthly, so it'll be more expensive overall.
  • Fit a black box - telematics policies can be cheaper as the insurer will monitor your driving.
  • Tweak your job title - using certain variations of a job title can cut the cost of insurance. Just make sure that the title accurately describes what you do!
  • Park on the drive, not in the garage - insurance can actually be more expensive if you park in the garage.
  • Add named drivers - this could bring the cost down, but it ultimately depends on individual drivers.
  • Buy insurance early - 21 days early is usually the sweet spot. Premiums can be more expensive around the time you need a policy. Insurers know you need insurance quickly, so they'll bump up the prices.

There are plenty of easy ways to cut the cost of your insurance. Car insurance fronting isn't worth the risk. Think about it: would you rather have a £5,000 fine and six points on your licence, or a pay an extra few hundred pounds over the year?

Author

ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

Model reviews, buying guides, service tips, and auto news - straight from our team of car experts.

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