Car Insurance question (re. two drivers)

Ok, so my brother and I are thinking about buying and sharing a little ol’ 92 Geo Metro. The reasoning is twofold: First, a lower price, and second, insurance payments. I have been told that it is possible under certain insurance plans, when you have two drivers for the same vehicle, to list both drivers as secondary. This would in theory save us a heck of a lot of money on insurance. My question is that, is this a standard plan followed by every or most insurance companies? How much are we likely to save this way, if we can do it? Any experience with this?

Also, I thought perhaps we could just register the car with a primary driver and split the payment that way (assuming it is cheaper) but I think that such a method might have legal ramifications… does it? Or does it just mean that I get blamed when the car hits something?


In my state (Massachusetts), you’re required to be listed as a driver, only if you’re operating a car registered to someone at your same address… borrowing a co-worker’s car to run out for coffee is okay, but a seventeen year old cruising around in his mother’s cheaply-insured car isn’t.

If the mother adds her son onto her policy, so he can drive the car and be covered, the insurance price will rise to the level of the driver with the worst record… if mother has a terrible record, adding son will cost nothing, if mother has a perfect record, adding her inexperienced son will raise the price.

On the other hand, if one of you can change your legal address, including your driver’s license, and you buy and insure the car only in the name of the “better” driver… it should be legally okay to let the other person “borrow” the car.

Besides all that, though, I’m sure you could get a more accurate answer by calling a couple of insurance agents.

Hmmm, same state here. That’s about what I expected with regard to insurance laws and driving. An address change is no option, sadly.

Here’s the rub: the idea was not to have us (we’re a couple of 17 year-olds, what a coincidence!) under any parent’s name. We hoped to share the car and insurance payments without need of parental assistance. In theory, it’s possible to make enough while working a part-time job to pay the secondary driver insurance rate, even for a teenager - we hope. After all, we have no living expenses to worry about.

Um, digression, now… if you don’t mind my asking - Three years ago I went to school with someone who had the same last name as you. His first name is Gabriel. Do you know anyone by that name? Sorry for asking, but when I saw your name, well, it was quite a surprising coincidence!

Thanks again,

Careful! Most auto liabilty policies do not provide coverage for a driver a car that is “furnished for the regular use” to the driver by a member of the family or household. While Uncle Benny has coverage under the policy when he comes to town for the weekend and you loan him your car. But if your brother is in an accident in a car registered and insured under your name, the first questions the insurer will ask of you (and your brother, and your parents, and the guy across the street, if it is a big accident), is whether he has ever borrowed the car before. If the insurer can establish his frequent use of the auto, then your brother has no coverage.

Depending upon your state’s law, also, your brother may not qualify for uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage under the policy if he is not included on the policy. UIM coverage is the best insurance value out there. Without UIM, if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver with no assets (and there are lots of them out there), then you will have no compensation for any injury, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. (Although this issue may be moot if your parents have a UIM policy that covers you).

Standard disclaimer about legal advice, etc. etc.

Ew. Sorry about all of the grammatical problems above. ((Note to self- must preview posts.))


Ahem… still just wondering if anyone knows about insurance policies/companies allowing two secondary drivers without a primary driver…

After working for 13 years in the insurance industry in Canada, I would have to say ‘no’. You must have a primary driver and then you can add an occasional, or secondary, driver. In Canada you may not have a driver rated as occasional unless you are over 25 years of age; in that case, the driver with the worst record or the youngest driver - in other words, whoever generates the higher premium - would be rated as primary.

Hope it helps. More than likely different rules in MA.

We have a Metro, '90. Let me tell you that parts for that thing are the most expensive of any car
I have ever seen. Factor that in before you buy. Which is probably why someone is selling it in the
first place. $500 for ONE strut (94 metro), $380 for a radiator (90 metro), Etc. Cheap they aren’t in the long

How about calling some insurance agencies & asking them? Maybe one that looks like a gekko?

Can a seventeen year old legally own a car in Massachusetts?

Sorry, I skipped ahead of your question in my previous post. IAAL, and my practice is around 60% auto insurance coverage analysis. I have probably reviewed more than 1,000 policies, and have never seen one structured in the fashion you suggest. So I guess the answer is no.

I thought I had replied to this already, guess it got eaten…

Ginger, in MA I do know that someone under 25 years of age can register as a secondary driver. Don’t know about the other sundries.

Handy, I don’t think I would be easily able to repair any car. Frankly, I doubt I’ll have this thing for more than a couple years in any case - once I’m in college, it’s even less likely that I’ll be able to afford insurance payments.

Ringo: Yes. Heck, you could own a car at any age, you just couldn’t get it registered or insured in your name. Once you have license, though, yeah.


Now that’s not something you see everyday ;).

Thanks… though I don’t know where you’re from, chances are that that holds true in MA as well. I’ll have to just check and see, I guess. But I won’t get my hopes too high.