Text size


Giving friends a lift could be invalidating your car insurance

Giving friends a lift could be invalidating your car insurance


We're all keen to reduce our car costs but make sure you're not invalidating your insurance in the process!

Every driver wants to save money on their car insurance, and there are plenty of tactics to do so – from keeping your car in a garage to improving its security or even just reducing your mileage.

But there are other commonly-used tactics to reduce premiums that may invalidate your cover – and many drivers may not even be aware they’re doing it.

The penalties if you’re found in contravention of regulations can be harsh – ranging from having your policy cancelled to facing a hefty fine.

The result is even worse if you’re caught in a crash, as you’d be technically uninsured and responsible for shouldering a huge financial burden.

Here are some of the ways you could be driving around technically uninsured without realising…

1. Fronting

Fronting is often used by teenagers in their early driving careers. It involves insuring another person as the ‘main driver’ on a policy, and parents often find themselves on their children’s insurance.

It is, however, a form of fraud if the ‘named driver’ is actually the main user of the car.

2. Wrong postcode

It’s an easy mistake to make – you move to a new house or leave home, but you leave your old address on your insurance policy.

Sometimes, this can reduce the price – after all, it’s far less risky leaving a car in a garage in rural Oxfordshire than in Birmingham town centre – but it’s a form of fraud. You must always notify your insurer of a house move.

Car crashed into a tree

3. Forgetting claims

Remember to keep a note of all your previous insurance claims.

If you leave one out – by accident or on purpose to obtain a cheaper policy – the insurer is very likely to find out and could lead to your cover being cancelled.

4. Incorrect usage

Insurers will give you the opportunity to classify your mileage when taking out the policy.

The most common are ‘social and commuting’ or ‘social only’, with the latter often cheaper than the former.

But if you opt for a social only policy, you’re not allowed to drive your car to work even once – your policy would not cover you in the event of a crash.

5. Giving friends lifts

It sounds crazy but giving a few friends a lift back from town could actually invalidate your car insurance policy.

It’s very unlikely to be a problem if it’s an occasional thing, but if you find yourself running an impromptu taxi service, you may run into issues with your insurer.

The problem comes if you end up accepting payment for your time.

A few pounds towards fuel costs is fine, but if you’re found to be making a profit you would not be covered by standard car insurance.

Taxi service for your friends