Car insurance 'fronting' puts 19% of drivers at risk of breaking the law

29 May 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
Nearly a fifth of British motorists are breaking the law by insuring their child's car in their own name in order to keep the cost down, a process known as 'fronting', which many do not even realise is illegal.

Research from moneysupermarket.com has found that 19 per cent of drivers on the UK's roads have, or would consider, fronting – putting their name on the policy and adding their child as a second named driver – in order to save money on their child's car insurance premiums.

But the study also found that 31 per cent of Brits are unaware that in doing so, they are breaking the law, believing it to be legal to have the car in their name when they are not the main driver.

A further 34 per cent were correct in thinking that it is illegal, while 35 per cent admitted they did not know one way or the other if this constitutes breaking the law.

Steve Sweeney, head of motor insurance at moneysupermarket.com, is quick to assure drivers that fronting is illegal and a car insurance provider would classify the practice as insurance fraud.

"Those considering lying to their insurer to save money are playing a very risky game," he said. "A motorist claiming to be the main driver – when this isn't the case – is a dangerous move. It may save you some money but if caught, your insurance will be invalidated and a younger driver could face court, charged with driving without insurance."

Mr Sweeney also commented on the "staggering" lack of awareness amongst drivers who do not know the illegality of their actions.

While driving is expensive, he continued, especially for younger drivers, "it's not worth skimping on this cost to find your insurance not paying out in the event of an accident."

Having their own insurance policy will also allow young drivers to build up their own no claims discount, which will help reduce the cost of your future policies.

There are also several other ways of saving money on young drivers' car insurance without breaking the law, moneysupermarket urges, such as buying online, fitting the car with an alarm or immobiliser, choosing a car with a small engine, taking a pass plus test, and, ultimately, comparing car insurance quotes to find the best deal.

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