Our guide outlines when you might need to take out a one day car insurance policy, and explains how one day car insurance works
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.
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.
If you’re borrowing a car you could choose to be added to the car owner’s insurance as a named driver. However, 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.
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, but 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 rather than assuming you’re covered to drive another car.
If you only need car insurance for a day, your other option is to take out a temporary car insurance policy. Temporary car insurance companies typically offer cover from 1 to 28 days, although there are some specialist insurers that provide specific one day car insurance policies.
One day car insurance policies usually include comprehensive cover, meaning you’ll be insured for any damage caused to the car you’re driving — rather than third party cover, which is the minimum legal requirement in the UK. 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 would you 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.
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 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 insurance policy.
Some one day car insurance policies also include travel within the EU, so are ideal for sharing the driving on a day 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.
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.
You can even get one day cover as a learner driver if you want to practice 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 policy that can cover you for up to 90 days.
Can everyone 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.
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.
Most providers of one day car insurance will also exclude cars over a certain value, usually £50,000. 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.
To take out one day car insurance you’ll need to know the details of the car you wish to cover (or ideally its registration number), your driving licence details, and your personal details such as your name and address. If you’re borrowing a car, you’ll also need permission from the owner before you can drive it.
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’d 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 that you’ll need to pay out in the event of a claim so it’s best to choose a realistic figure.