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Can I insure a car for a day?

Find when you might need to take out a temporary or one day car insurance policy, and how it works

Uswitch guide to buying a used car

What is one day or temporary car insurance?

Most car insurance policies run for a full year, and at the end of this term you can choose to let the policy auto-renew or shop around for a better deal. 

But there are many situations in which you might want to take out cover on someone else’s car temporarily, or take out temporary cover to allow someone else to drive your car.

Get temporary insurance

Compare a range of short-term insurance policies with Uswitch and money.co.uk*

How to choose one day car insurance cover

Even if you’re using a car for just one day it’s important to have adequate insurance cover, so you must make sure you take out an appropriate insurance policy.

It will depend why you are using the car and what other car insurance you have, you may also want to compare short term car insurance policies

One day car insurance – if you are borrowing a car 

If you’re borrowing a car you could choose to be added to the car owner’s insurance as a named driver. 

  • if you only need cover for one day this option is unlikely to offer the best value.

  • you could also affect the main policyholder’s no claims bonus if you’re involved in an accident and need to make a claim on their policy

One day car insurance – if you have fully comprehensive cover

If you have your own comprehensive cover on another car, you may have ‘driving other cars’ cover included. 

  • this will cover you to drive another car for a day

  • bear in mind this may only include third party cover

  • driving other cars’ cover is not included with all policies, so make sure you check your insurance documents carefully 

  • don’t assume you’re covered to drive another car

Do I need to take out temporary or one day car insurance?

If you only need car insurance for a day, your other option is to take out a temporary car insurance policy. 

What is temporary car insurance?

Temporary car insurance companies typically offer cover from one to 28 days, although there are some specialist insurers that provide specific one day car insurance policies.

If you are only using the car for one day then one day car insurance may be the better option.

  • one day car insurance policies can include comprehensive cover

  • if you choose comprehensive, you’ll be insured for any damage caused to the car you’re driving 

  • with a one day car insurance policy you won’t affect the car owner’s no claims bonus if you’re involved in an accident and need to make a claim

Why do I need one day car insurance?

One day car insurance can come in useful in a variety of situations in which you only need insurance for a day.

One day car insurance as an alternative to hiring a car

Taking out a one day car insurance policy on a friend’s or family member’s car can be a good alternative to hiring a car. 

You may find one day car insurance useful for moving house if you’re able to borrow a car or a van (some insurers will also cover vans for one day too) so you could save money on a removals service.

One day car insurance if you are buying or test-driving a car

One day car insurance is also handy for buying a car, whether you’re taking a potential purchase for a test drive or you’re transporting it home before taking out a longer term car insurance policy.

One day car insurance if you are driving in the EU

Some one day car insurance policies also include travel within the EU, so are ideal for sharing the driving on a short trip abroad. 

But bear in mind you should check with your insurer whether the cover provided outside of the UK is third party or comprehensive.

One day car insurance if you are using your car on a race track

Other short-term insurers also offer track day insurance, so you’ll be covered if you want to test your car’s performance on a race track. This kind of driving is usually excluded on standard car insurance so you would need a specialist policy.

Get temporary insurance

Compare a range of short-term insurance policies with Uswitch and money.co.uk*

One day car insurance if you are a learner driver

You can even get one day cover as a learner driver if you want to practise in a friend’s or family member’s car before your test, although you would probably benefit more from taking out a temporary learner driver car insurance policy that can cover you for up to 90 days.

Can anyone get one day car insurance?

One-day insurers will typically take on drivers in the age range of 19-75, although some specialist providers will cover those from age 17 and even learner drivers.

Driving experience and one day car insurance

If you’re using a price comparison website to get quotes for one day car insurance you’re more likely to see a wider variety of quotes if you have lots of driving experience.

Car value and one day car insurance

Most providers of one day car insurance will also exclude cars over a certain value, usually £50,000. 

Previous claims history and one day car insurance

You may also be asked about your previous claims, and you’re more likely to get cover if you have had less than two claims in the past three years, and less than 6 penalty points on your licence in the past five years.

How much does one day car insurance cost?

while the cost of one day car insurance can vary depending on your postcode and driving experience, it’s often an affordable alternative to hiring a car or van if you’re able to borrow one.

What do I need to take out one day car insurance?

To take out one day car insurance you’ll need:

  • the details of the car you wish to cover – its registration number

  • your driving licence details, 

  • your personal details such as your name and address

And if you’re borrowing a car, you’ll also need permission from the owner before you can drive it.

One day car insurance and your excess

When considering the cost of one day car insurance it’s also important to remember the excess included on the policy. 

Your insurer will ask how much you would be willing to pay in the case of an accident — while you can sometimes cut the cost of your cover by opting to pay a higher voluntary excess, remember you will need to pay out in the event of a claim so it’s best to choose a realistic figure.

Alternative car insurance

If you are needing to insure several cars search multi-car insurance policies.

Multi insurance might also be suitable:

  • if you own more than one car

  • if you’re a family with more than one driver

  • if you’re a couple with more than one vehicle 

Get temporary insurance

Compare a range of short-term insurance policies with Uswitch and money.co.uk*

The temporary insurance comparison service is provided by money.co.uk, which is a trading name of Dot Zinc Limited, registered in England (4093922) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (415689). Registered address: The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, England, SE1 2LH. By using this system you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

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