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Would one-day car insurance benefit you?

If you answer yes to all these questions it could be...

Do you need to borrow a car just for one day?

One day car insurance can be cheaper than hiring a car or being added as a named driver to someone else’s policy. You will also benefit from comprehensive cover.

Do you need to test drive a car you might buy?

Even if your own car insurance policy covers you to drive other cars, it probably only covers you against third party risks. One day insurance, on the other hand, provides comprehensive cover.

Do you want to share the driving with a friend?

One day car insurance can be cheaper than being added as a named driver on someone else’s policy. Plus, if you have an accident, it won't impact their no-claims discount.

Do you have a garaged car you need to drive occasionally?

Rather than having insurance all year round, you can take out one day car insurance for a car that is not used often, such as a classic car.

Temporary Learner Driver Insurance

Most people learn to drive in a car owned by an approved driving instructor, but many will also choose to supplement their lessons with independent practice in a friend’s or family member’s car.  Learner drivers will be automatically covered by their approved driving instructor’s insurance. But they will need to take out additional insurance, known as temporary learner driver insurance, or be added as a named driver if they want to use a friend or family member’s car.

Read our full guide

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Am I insured if I drive someone else's car?

Many people assume that their own comprehensive car insurance policy allows them to drive another vehicle. Perhaps you occasionally drive your partner’s or family member’s car, assuming you get the same level of cover as they do? The likelihood is that you may not be covered to drive it at all, unless you’re specifically named on the policy. Or if you're permitted to drive other cars on your insurance, it will only be third-party cover and may only be for social, domestic and pleasure purposes.

Read our full guide

One-day car insurance FAQs

As the name suggests, one day car insurance provides cover to drive a car for 24 hours. There are several reasons why you might want to take out car insurance for a day, such as:

  • You are borrowing a family member or friend’s car 

  • You are using a courtesy car and you want more than third party cover

  • You only drive occasionally, for example if you own a classic car that you only drive on certain days

Most 1 day car insurance policies will include fully comprehensive cover, although some insurers may be able to offer third party or third party, fire and theft cover.

Comprehensive cover will normally include:

  • Loss or damage caused by vandalism, theft or fire, 

  • Damage to the car in an accident

  • Accident recovery and repair

  • Legal cover in case of death or injury to other people

  • Legal cover for damage to other people's cars or property

For peace of mind, particularly if you don’t own the car you are driving, fully comprehensive cover may be the best option.

Even if you’re only using a car for one day it’s important - and a legal requirement - to have adequate insurance cover in place. Which cover you choose will depend on why you are using the car and what other car insurance you have.

If you are borrowing a friend’s car you could be added as a named driver to your friend’s own car insurance policy. However, your friend’s insurance premiums could rise as a result and, if you are involved in an accident and a claim needs to be made on their policy, it could affect your friend’s no claims bonus. For this reason, you may be better off with one day insurance. 

Alternatively, if you have fully comprehensive cover on another car, you may have ‘driving other cars’ cover included. However, this is likely to be on a third party basis only, so you might still want to take out temporary insurance. ‘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.

Daily 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 check with your insurer whether the cover provided outside 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.

  • 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. That said, you would probably benefit more from taking out a temporary learner driver car insurance policy that can cover you for up to 90 days.

One of the biggest benefits of one day car insurance is that if you’re borrowing a car and have an accident, the car owner’s no claims bonus won’t be affected.

If you need to take out car insurance for a week, a few weeks or even a month or two, you can also buy temporary car insurance. This provides cover on a short-term basis and can be useful if you are borrowing a friend’s car for a week, or your son/daughter is home from university and wants to use your car for the holidays.

If you need insurance for even longer than this, it may be more cost-effective to take out an annual policy and then cancel it when you no longer need it. Keep in mind you’ll need to pay a cancellation fee so it’s worth comparing the cost of this against the cost of a temporary policy to see which works out cheaper. 

Most people can get daily car insurance, but there may be certain restrictions.

  • Age: 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.

  • Experience: you’re more likely to see a wider variety of quotes if you have lots of driving experience.

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

  • Previous claims history: you’re more likely to get cover if you have had fewer than two claims in the past three years, and have had fewer than six penalty points on your licence in the past five years.

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

To get the cheapest one day car insurance it’s best to shop around and compare quotes carefully. Always check both the price and the level of cover provided by the policy.

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

  • The details of the car you wish to cover, including 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.

When considering the cost of one day car insurance it’s also important to remember the excess included on the policy. There will be a compulsory excess, but as with standard car insurance, you can choose to add a voluntary excess.

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.

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