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Can I get car insurance under someone else’s name?

Want to get car insurance under your parents name? Need to insure a car that's not registered under your name? Find out if it's legal and what you should do.

Updated

Fact checked

It might be tempting to just insure your car in someone else's name who has more experience than you. But this is called car insurance fronting and is considered insurance fraud. There are other options though.

Can you insure a car that is not registered in your name in Australia?

Yes, but only if you are the primary driver of the vehicle.

For instance, you can get car insurance under your parents' name if you are simply an additional driver. If you're the main driver but you list someone else, this is car insurance fronting and it's technically insurance fraud. Plus, if you're involved in an accident and you need to file a claim, chances are your claim will be rejected or worse (getting convicted of fraud in NSW carries with it a maximum prison term of 10 years).

Generally, you can only get car insurance under a more experienced driver's name when that person is the primary driver of the vehicle.

Putting your name on your own car insurance policy isn't all doom and gloom though. The sooner your name is on one, the sooner you can start raking up time for a no-claims discount, which can save you heaps of cash in a few years.

You can insure a car that isn't registered to your name if you're the primary driver of the vehicle.

You can't get someone else to insure your car (like mum, dad, or your partner) if you're the main driver.

Insuring a new car? Make sure you compare car insurance

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct’s claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Bingle consistently come up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. They only cover the basics, so you don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps their premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low cost option that covers them for the basics.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: While it has similar features to other brands, it has one of the higher limits for personal effects and key replacement. Plus, you'll earn Qantas points and get access to the Qantas Wellness App.

Who it might be good for: People who love collecting frequent flyer points.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in their policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also have a live chat feature on their site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Coles have two-tiers of comprehensive car insurance to choose from. You'll earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If you're over 30, you can get roadside assistance free for a year.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price. You'll get 15% off when you buy online and get access to their hail hero service.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy that's affordable.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription - you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at anytime. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who only need cover for a short period of time.
Real Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Real Comprehensive Car Insurance provides similar coverage to other insurers for the important stuff like looking after your car if it's stolen or you crash. They're also one of the few insurers who offer a Pay As You Drive policy, so you might be able to save big if you don't drive much.

Who it might be good for: Those that don't drive much can take advantage of their Pay As You Drive policy.
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include but you'll also be entitled to some benefits on their online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online. Plus, Kogan offer a pay as you drive option, which could be good if you're not on the road that much.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those that don't drive much.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How to get car insurance under someone else's name (without committing fraud!)

Rather than getting an older or more experienced driver to take out a policy in their name and risking being caught for car insurance fronting, if they are the owner of the vehicle, you're better off getting listed on their policy as a nominated or occasional driver. Typically, it's fine as long as the main driver of the vehicle is the actual policyholder.

In other cases, if there's more than one main driver, then it might be worth getting a joint car insurance policy. This may or may not be cheaper than simply taking out your own car insurance.

Young drivers looking to get on their parent's car insurance policy

Generally, the main driver must be the person who drives the car the most so as long as that is a parent, you're generally fine. If your parent is the main driver of the insured car, and you're just an occasional driver, then you can generally just use your parent's insurance to drive it. If you're the only main driver, or the only driver at all, then you will generally need to take out your own car insurance, and can't get insured under your parent's name.

What happens if an unlisted driver has an accident?

This is worth knowing, because it might be able to help you save on car insurance, and because it’s relevant if you’ll be driving under your parent’s car insurance as one of the vehicle’s occasional drivers.

Depending on the policy, car insurance might:

  1. Fully cover anyone who drives that car
  2. Cover everyone, but incur an additional excess for anyone not nominated as a driver
  3. Only cover specifically nominated people to drive that car

Often you’ll be able to choose which of the three you want your car’s insurance policy to do, although the range of options available might vary between insurers.

If you don’t tick any boxes or make any decision, it might default to either option 1 or 2, in accordance with the policy’s terms.

As you can probably guess, option 1 often has higher premiums because it essentially gives free rein for anyone to drive the car, while option 2 is often somewhat cheaper. Option 3 is often the cheapest, but means anyone who’s not listed on the policy won’t be covered while driving the car.

If viable, you or your parents may want to restrict drivers, with option 3, to help lower car insurance premiums.

What happens if I’m the main driver, but get car insurance under my parent’s name?

Even if it does help you save on car insurance in the short term, car insurance fronting is typically not worth the risk. Either way you’ll still be paying for car insurance, so you might as well get cover that can work more reliably.

If you want cheap cover, you might be better off simply getting cheap and all-important third party property damage liability insurance. It might cost just as much as a fronted comprehensive policy, but could deliver a much more reliable level of the most important cover.


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