What is a 'named driver'?

As any other qualified person is allowed to drive my insured car, I am unclear as to the ramifications of adding individual so called ‘named drivers’ to my policy.
Can anyone clarify this please?

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In the UK it would (probably) be cheaper for you and allow them to build up no claims bonus.

Not sure about France.

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Good question - I have no idea, perhaps @fabien can help

I believe that normally, the excess in the event of an accident is lower for named drivers.
On my policy, anybody (well perhaps not literally) can drive my car but if an unnamed driver had an incident, the excess would be significantly higher.


Anyone know whether my being a named driver on my partners policy could give rise to a no claims discount in France if I took out a policy in my name - Fabians team advised to keep partner as ‘headline’ policy holder.

@sandcastle is correct, the excess is the same for all named drivers on the policy whereas it is increased for non named drivers (usually +150e except for young drivers where it is often a lot more like +2500e). So it’s not really significantly higher but still it’s not the same excess. Also noteworthy, being a named driver allows each named driver to share the same “no claim discount” so it allows the named driver to gain insurance discount or accrue it in France. Hope that helps?


Adding a named driver to a UK policy does not necessarily lower the premium. In my case adding my wife was slightly dearer than without her on my current policy although previous policies were cheaper. Using comparison sites over the years and getting quotes “with & without” showed a few were cheaper with my wife as named driver.

I wasn’t aware that named drivers shared the NCD. I assume that would only relate to them taking a new policy and not to any policy they already hold for another vehicle?

My comment that it was cheaper related to it being cheaper than having “any driver” cover.

Plus, yes NCD is not shared but a new insurer may take into account time spent as a named driver on a policy (assuming that there have been no claims obviously) when taking out a new policy in your own name.

Edit: re the first point I probably misread the original post. Re-reading it I think it might have been referring to the fact that a policy holder has 3rd party cover when driving another vehicle (as long as with the owners permission)

strikes me there are important differences between UK and France re insurance policies and one needs to check with the Insurance expert for the particular country which offers the policy…

ie Fabien for France (who has already explained the French angle…)

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In France you insurecthe car, not the driver. As long as you have a driving licence you can drive any insured car.

Hello @Omar_B and welcome to the forum…

Best if one has the Owner’s permission… :wink: :wink:


Insurance is, at its essence, based on honesty. Quaint I know in this day and age, but essentially the cover for any driver is supposed to be an occasional thing. If someone is to regularly drive the vehicle then the insurer asks that they be named and this forms part of the risk assessment. As a consequence, and I don’t know if it would happen here in France, but in the event of an accident when the vehicle is driven by a non-named driver who nevertheless was a frequent driver of the vehicle, then it could impact the payout beyond just excess payments.

Out of curiosity, and I know I should contact my insurer for a definitive answer, but does anyone know whether the “any driver” aspect also covers overseas use? I drive to the UK a few times a year and I have always erred on the side of caution and don’t allow anyone else to drive it there, but sometimes it might be useful to allow it if indeed it is covered.

It seems that automatic inclusion of 3rd party cover for another vehicle with the owner’s consent is a thing of the past.

So, to legally drive a vehicle you have to have cover specifically for that vehicle either as policyholder, named driver or the vehicle has to have “any driver” cover which is almost certainly expensive given that it is hard to assess risk if you don’t know who will be driving.

Come to that I’m not even sure “any driver” will be an option outside fleet insurance these days.

Surely the essence is management of risk by amortisation?

Or is it making money out of investment, using funds gathered through premiums (or even premia).

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I believe that has been the case in the UK for several years now, but in France it is usual for the insurance to cover the car - this, as long as you have the owner’s consent, and are of a suitable age, you can drive any insured car.

That’s a UK site advising on UK insurance. French insurance is different. Aeons ago I used to pay extra for any driver “just in case” but UK insurers phased it out decades ago. In France it is the norm, not even a paid extra.

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Sorry I should have made it explicit I was talking intentionally about the UK- actually I’m a little surprised that French insurers still allow it, but obviously they take a different view.

As I said the essence is amortisation of risk. Taking advantage of the fact that individuals can’t generally afford to meet all the costs of having an accident and *need* to amortise the risk, thus giving an opportunity for profit is not essential to the deal (but does seem to be rather ubiquitous).

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I decided (possibly erroneously) years ago that actually insuring people/things was just an inconvenient but neccessary activity to get their hands on loot to invest and make profits from that (obviously mutuals excluded). That was then reenforced when during the financial crises premia seemed to rocket, not IMO based on increased increased risk (I don’t think car crashes, burglaries or fires increased suddenly in 2008) but to cover investment losses. Cynical, moi? :face_with_hand_over_mouth: That said, some of my best clients were insurance companies. I’ve a pal who was CEO of Aviva Ireland General Insurance. I’ll float my cynicism past him and see if he admits it.

One of the biggest rip-offs is parcel insurance - typically 5% of the declared value.

Are you *really* telling me couriers loose/damage 1 in 20 parcels?

Based on my experience I’d say that’s pretty accurate!