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Fronting on car insurance is illegal, but there are safe ways to drive down costs

A surprising number of parents think they're being savvy by saying they're the main driver on their kid's car - but it's illegal and could put their children at risk.

Fronting isn't just a Pharell song (well strictly speaking that's Frontin'). It's also when parents say they are the main driver of their child's cars on insurance policies.

This might bring down the cost of insurance, but it's also illegal and invalidates the policy if you ever need to claim. That puts these young drivers at risk, not to mention the prospect of legal action for the parents. It could also make getting insurance even more difficult and expensive in the future.

Yet research by Gocompare reveals 25% of parents with 16-25 year old children are insuring the vehicles in their name, even though the car is mainly driven by their offspring. The reason? Young drivers are among the most expensive to insure.  Gocompare's research found the average fully comprehensive premium in 2014 was £1,480.37.

If you want to bring down the cost, there are legitimate ways to do it. Here are some of our top tips for getting the best young person’s insurance deal.

1) Choose a car in a low insurance group

Cars are divided into 50 insurance groups according to various factors including their engine size and the likely cost of repairs. The higher the insurance group, the higher the premium. So if you are a young driver, it pays to check a car's insurance rating before committing to buy it.

Generally speaking, insurance groups 1-2 are packed with small city cars, while insurance group 3 cars include more common everyday cars.

2) Drive carefully and safely

If you have an accident, make claims or incur penalty points on your licence in your first years of driving, your premium will probably be higher when you come to renew your insurance.

Telematics insurance schemes involve fitting a "black box" to a car which records how you drive. They build up a picture of a driver's behaviour at the wheel, recording the time of day, mileage, acceleration, braking and cornering. It can save young drivers as much as £800 a year on premiums.

3) Build up your No -Claims Bonus

It's worth remembering that for every claim-free year that passes, you build up a year’s no-claims bonus which gives you a discount on your following year's premium.

Once you've built up five claim-free years’ driving, the discount could be worth as much as 70% off the cost of your cover.

4) Add others to your policy

Unlike fronting, you can name an older person such as your parent as an additional driver, and that could bring down the price you pay.

5) Shop around for the best deal

Use a comparison site or broker to compare quotes from different insurers. The more time you put in, the more likely you are to get better cover at the right price.

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  • Rick / 22 March 2016

    This would be more useful if you could set out precisely what Fronting is. For example, if I buy a car, insure it in my name, but put my son as the main driver (i.e. truthfully reflecting the vehicle's usage) is that still Fronting or is it acceptable?

    That is thousands of pounds cheaper then him taking out his first policy aged 17, but is it legal?

  • John / 8 February 2015

    Despite EU rules making sex discrimination illegal, insurance companies are charging 4 times as much for boys.