Insurance companies consider all new drivers to be “high risk” customers because of their lack of experience on the road, and as a result policies tend to be very expensive. Even if you drive an older, slower car, the statistics still show that you're more likely to have an accident than a driver with more years of experience under their belt.

How can new drivers reduce their insurance premiums?

Insurance companies like to see a more experienced driver included on a policy, whether they are the main named driver or an additional driver. This means you can reduce your premium either by being added as a named driver on the policy of a more experienced driver, or adding them as a named driver on your own insurance policy. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages, and the route you choose should largely depend on who drives the car the most.

Being a named, additional driver

Generally the cheapest way of getting insurance cover at first as a new driver is to be named on a more experienced person's car insurance. Being an 'additional driver' suggests to the insurance company that you will only occasionally be driving the car, which poses less risk for them, so their premium may be lower. 

This isn't the best strategy to take longer-term, however, because few insurance providers allow you to build up no-claims discounts if you're not the main driver. Under the 'no-claims' system, insurers add together all the years you've been driving without making a claim, and then they calculate a percentage of your premium to work out the no-claims discount they are willing to offer you – sometimes reducing your annual premium by a significant amount.

Equally, while all new drivers are keen to find the cheapest car insurance they can, it is illegal to allow someone else to 'pretend' to be the main driver of a car being insured if in reality it is you that is driving it the majority of the time. This is called 'Fronting' and, if you're found out, not only could the insurance company refuse to pay out for a claim, but you could also end up getting prosecuted and struggling to secure car insurance in the future. 

Being the main driver 

If you become the main driver, and add a more experienced named driver to the policy to help bring down the premium, it will probably be more expensive in the short term – but the advantage is that you are building up your no-claims discount straight away (as long as you don't make a claim!) and this will soon start to reduce your annual premium as the insurer regards you as a lower risk. Shop around to find the best deal, and try talking directly to insurers to negotiate a better price. 

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