Drivers in the UK have been warned of the "serious legal consequences" of fronting on their car insurance. 

A quarter of young drivers between 18 and 24 years old admitted that would be willing to lie so that they would get cheaper car insurance, according to a recent study.

Following the research, experts have urged drivers not to risk fraud and what the ramifications could be if they made a false claim.

What does fronting mean in car insurance?

When buying car insurance, a driver has to disclose whether they will be the main driver of the vehicle 

Car insurance rates are based on a variety of factors including the driver's age, occupation,  driving record, location, gender, marital and claims history.

A car's model, mileage and usage can also influence the rate.

During this process, the motorist will need to declare who is the named driver and if there are any additional drivers using the vehicle.

Therefore, fronting is the term given when someone falsely presents themselves as the main driver of a car so that a cheaper rate can be secured.

Often, this occurs when an older driver or parent claims to be the named driver on a car when it is fact, mostly being driven by a young, less experienced motorist.

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Why does fronting happen?

“The main motivation for fronting is to save money in an era of rising car insurance costs and the cost-of-living crisis," according to insurance expert Connor Campbell at Independent Advisor Car Insurance.

Connor continued: “Car insurance has always cost more for young drivers, but the past couple of years have seen premiums rise across the board, with younger drivers seeing some of the steepest increases.

“Statistically, younger drivers have more accidents than older, more experienced drivers.

"According to figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), drivers aged 17 to 24 only make up 7 per cent of UK licence holders and drive fewer miles than the average.

"Still, they are involved in 24 per cent of all fatal collisions. This is the main reason young and new drivers tend to pay more than their older, more experienced counterparts.”

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What are the consequences of fronting?

The Insurance expert warned that there are severe consequences to fronting and that insurers tend to find out when a claim is made.

Connor explained: “First, the claim is likely to be rejected. If a third party is involved and makes a claim against your insurance, your insurer will be obliged to pay them, but they may then pursue you to cover it afterwards. 

“Second, your insurer is likely to cancel or void your policy, leaving you uninsured. Car insurance is mandatory in the UK, and it’s illegal to drive without cover.

“Finally, your insurer might prosecute you for fraud. Prosecution could mean going to court, getting a criminal record, paying a fine, or getting penalty points on your driving licence.”

How can I get my car insurance cheaper?

Connor Campbell has shared some very useful tips on the legal ways that you can save money on car insurance.

Increase the security of your vehicle

The more secure your car is, the harder it will be to steal.

A Thatcham-approved security device will lower the cost of your insurance. Some insurers also offer discounts if you’ve got a dashcam, as these can help prove who is at fault in an accident.

Reduce your mileage

When you ask for a car insurance quote, the insurer or price comparison site will ask you to declare your annual mileage.

In general, the fewer miles you drive, the cheaper your premium will be.”

Pay your car insurance upfront

When you get a car insurance quote, your premium will be presented as an annual figure – but the insurer may also give you the option to pay monthly.

It’s cheaper to pay annually, as spreading the cost is essentially taking out a loan from the insurer, which will add interest on top of your monthly payments.

Build a no-claims discount

To encourage people to drive safely and not make small claims, insurers offer drivers the chance to build a no-claims discount (also known as a no-claims bonus or NCB).

Each time you go 12 months without making a car insurance claim, you’ll get another year’s NCB and a bigger discount.”

Increase the voluntary excess on your policy

The excess on a car insurance policy is the amount of money the policyholder agrees to pay upfront in the event of a claim.

Every car insurance policy comes with a compulsory excess set by the provider, with drivers also having the option to add a voluntary excess to their policy.

If you make a claim, your total excess will be the sum of these two figures.

In general, the higher your total excess, the lower your insurance premium will be.

However, only choose a voluntary excess you can realistically afford – you don’t want to price yourself out of ever making a claim.

Add a named driver

For young or inexperienced drivers, adding a parent with more driving experience to their policy as a named driver will normally see them benefit from cheaper premiums – but be honest about who the real main driver is in order to avoid fronting.

Don’t modify your car

If your car has been altered since it was manufactured, it will be considered “modified” by insurers. 

Cars with modifications – whether they are performance-related or cosmetic – cost more to insure, as there is an increased likelihood of making a claim, and the value of any claim is likely to be higher.

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Take out black box or telematics insurance

With telematics car insurance, your driving is monitored via a “black box” fitted to your car or a smartphone app.

Telematics can often result in saving money, but only if you’re a good or low-mileage driver.

Some insurers also use telematics technology to offer pay-as-you-go car insurance, where you pay for cover based on the number of miles you drive each month.”