What is Named Driver Experience, And How Do I Get It?

Caeva O'Callaghan | May 11th, 2023

If you’re a learner driver, you might have heard the phrase “named driver experience”. But what is it? Is it a good thing? And how do you actually get it?

Named driver experience is what you gain when your name appears on a car insurance policy. You need to have car insurance and at least a provisional license to drive a car or van. This all adds to your named driver experience, which is measured in months/years.

Named driver experience gives insurers an idea of how you drive. It helps them calculate an accurate premium. It may also boost your introductory no claims bonus.

In this article, we’ll discuss questions like:

  • What does named driver experience mean?
  • How do I get named driver experience?
  • Can I get named driver experience as a learner?

Named driver experience is always a good thing. Read on to find out more about it, and how to get some.

What is named driver experience?

A named driver is someone who has car insurance to drive a vehicle on which someone else is the main policy holder. Anyone can name you as an additional driver: they don’t have to be family or part of the same household.

Having someone you know add you as a named driver on their policy is extremely useful if you’re learning to drive. It means you will have cover from their insurance, which means you can legally drive their car.

As you can imagine, this means you can get out and about as a learner. Keep in mind that you need to have a full license holder accompanying you while you drive. Any person aged 17 years or older can be added as a named driver on a car insurance policy as long as they are not the main driver, hold a valid driving licence or learners permit, and only occasionally use the car.

The more experience you have behind the wheel, the less likely you are to have an accident. For this reason, getting as much driving experience as you can is a great way to lower your insurance.

Named driving experience is measured in months and years, just like a no claims bonus. Basically speaking, it’s proof that you can drive safely, which contributes towards lowering your insurance.

Named Driver Car Insurance Terms and conditions

You can “add up” experience from different people’s policies. Your named driver experience doesn’t all have to come from the one policy.

So, would your grandmother like some extra help going to the shops? If she adds you onto her policy as a named driver, you both benefit. Your parents and guardians, and even friends can add you onto their policies if they want.

If someone names you as a driver on their policy in the Republic of Ireland, you will earn a discount for your claims free years on that policy up to a limit of five years. To qualify for named driving experience: each year of driving experience should be consecutive; i.e. there should be no gaps in the cover. The end date of the most recent named driving period must be consecutive with the start date of your new policy.

Open drive policies

Unfortunately, it doesn’t count if you have been driving on a policy that has something called open drive cover. Open drive means anyone can drive the vehicle which has insurance. Companies often purchase open drive policies for their fleet vehicles, so any employee can take the car on the road. But individuals can also add open drive to their own personal car insurance policy. It allows other people with full, clean licences between the ages of 25 and 70 to drive their car while the policy is in force.

Open drive is pretty useful, if you need it. It means anybody can drive your car as long as they have a full, clean license. If you share a car in a busy household, this can keep things hassle-free. If you have an open drive policy, you won’t need to phone your insurer every time someone different gets behind the wheel.

But open drive doesn’t count towards named driving experience. If an open drive policy is your only opportunity to drive another person’s car while you learn, there is a way to get around the problem. You’ll need two letters: one from the insurance company confirming that there have been no accidents in your name. The other needs to be from the policyholder confirming that you have been driving their car between the dates in question.

Give us a call today with any of your car insurance questions?

If you have any questions regarding named driver experience and the attendant benefits regarding no claims discount call us and we can go through it with you. Our car insurance experts are available to talk anytime Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

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All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.