Can I Insure A Car If I'm Not the Registered Keeper?

by from, Last Updated: 13 January 2015

Driving someone else's car is a big responsibility so making sure you've got the right insurance is vital, but can you even insure a car if you're not the registered keeper? Here's what you need to know.

Businessman driving car

Before getting behind the wheel you need to have car insurance - this is a legal requirement.

However, if you're not the registered keeper of the car you want to drive you need to be extra careful; this is particularly the case if you want the car insurance policy to be in your name.

Not all car insurance companies will insure you as the 'main driver' on a car insurance policy if you don't officially own the car.

Worse still, if you aren't up front about the vehicle's ownership and your insurer finds out they are likely to cancel your policy - something that could leave you high and dry if you did need to make a claim.

Insurers take ownership of a vehicle as the person named as the 'registered keeper' on the DVLA's records. They also assume that the person insured as the 'main driver' on a policy will use the car most of the time - this is something you need to bear in mind when you're shopping around for car insurance.

Here's how to make sure you don't get caught out.

What's the problem?

The main reason some insurers refuse to cover anyone but the registered keeper as the 'main driver' on a car insurance policy is because of the increased risk that they'll need to pay out.

They assume that as a driver without a financial interest in the car you're likely to take less care on the road and be more likely to make a claim.

Insurers will often take an individual approach rather than applying a blanket policy, and if you're in a 'high risk' group anyway (you're a young driver, have had previous convictions or drive a performance car for example) then you may find it harder to get a insurance in your name. 

So will I be able to get cover?

Ultimately this will depend on your situation, if insurers can see that you have a vested interest in the car they may be more likely to offer the cover you're looking for.

Similarly, if you list the car's registered keeper as a 'named driver' then they may look on your application more favourably too.

However, whether they choose to offer cover or not will be at the discretion of each individual insurance provider.

What do I need to do?

There are three solutions you can look at: search for insurance with a company that will cover you, become the car's registered keeper, or insure the car in the registered keeper's name and drive as a named driver.

The last of these options should only be used if you genuinely share usage of the car with the person that is registered as the keeper; if you don't this is called "fronting" and could land you in some serious hot water further down the line.

If you're going to be the main driver of the car then you will need to find insurance in your name and make it clear from the outset that you're not the registered keeper.

Finding the best insurance if you're not a car's registered keeper

Even though you might find you have a more limited choice, it is still vital to hunt for the best car insurance policy possible.

You should go about finding cover in exactly the same way as you would if you were the car's main driver with one exception: you need to make it clear that you are not the registered keeper of the vehicle when you get a quote.

Most insurers will ask you this specifically during the quote process so you simply need to be honest.

However, many automated insurance quote comparison sites will assume you are the registered keeper of the car, so caution is needed. For this reason it's better to get quotes with car insurers directly - this way you can be confident you'll be covered.

You can find a full list of car insurers to get quotes from in our car insurance comparison table.


Father in law who lives abroad and does not drive in uk bought a car here which only myself and wife will drive until it is exported in few months time. Admiral and LV gave quotes and actually had the option on website to state if you were registered keeper or not so that the policy is set up with the knowledge that the insured is not the registered keeper.

by malrics, 5 Jan 2013

2/10/13 - I have just tried LV. Although they ask the questions about being the owner and registered keeper, if you say no they won't insure you.

by Billbadge, 2 Oct 2013

This is not my experience. I insured my leased car with LV= in June 2013, being neither owner nor keeper and there was no problem. They have just sent my renewal notice and I have accepted the quote. The owner/keeper situation is clearly on the schedule.

by chrishe10, 27 May 2014

What's wrong with getting your own car? I understand the problem, but you can get pretty decent vehicles for a decent price. You may have to work for 3-4 months, especially if you're in high school, but really you can legally get a job as young as 14 y/o. But just so I don't steer off topic here, wouldn't that solve the problem with getting a proper insurance quote.

by Mack_Bolan, 5 Apr 2013

We ordered a new car but it was continually delayed and the dealership never kept us up to date with the status of the order. After the 'final delivery date' had passed my wife's old car which we were planning to part-exchange blew up so we nolonger had some of the money needed to pay for the new car. Given we still had no idea when the new car would arrive still, we decided to cancel the car and buy a different second hand model. When we rung to cancel the new car, the dealer told us it was on the way to the dealership and now registered to us. We can no longer afford the new car due to the lost part exchange, and have bought another car anyway because we had no idea when the new one would arrive. The dealership is getting huffy about it, but legally surely we have the right to cancel a new car order at any point until we pay for it?

by cookdo, 8 Jun 2013

just get a non owners policy.. i know 4autoinsurancequote has good deals on those. check them out.

by karenmo, 13 Jan 2014
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