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Temporary car insurance, also known as short-term cover, allows you to insure a car for a few hours, one day, weeks or months. This can make it a suitable alternative to standard car insurance policies that run for 12 months if you need to borrow a car for a short time or only drive occasionally. Temporary car insurance could work out to be more cost-effective than annual cover.
Get car insurance that lasts for hours, days, weeks or months.
Enjoy full cover with no risk to your no-claims bonus.
No matter how short-notice your needs are, you'll be covered as soon as you sign up.
Temporary car insurance could be right for you if you're:
Borrowing a family member or friend’s car - temporary car insurance can provide fully comprehensive cover for a few days to a few months
Learning to drive in a family member’s or friend’s car - adding a learner driver to someone else’s policy can be expensive and put the policyholder’s no claim discount at risk
Wanting more than third party cover in a courtesy car - temporary car insurance is usually fully comprehensive and therefore offers greater protection
Sharing the driving but don’t want to be added as a named driver - adding a named driver to another person’s car insurance policy for just a short period isn’t always cost-effective.
Cover up to 28 days in advance
No risk to your no-claims bonus
Cover to drive in Europe
What's not covered?
Driving cars other than the one on the policy
Claims that happen outside the stated use of the car
Compare standard car insurance policies and other types of cover with Uswitch
Temporary car insurance is a big deal in the UK, with a current market of about 5.4 million UK drivers. Around 15% of consumers have bought a temporary car insurance policy within the past two years, showing the huge popularity of what often stacks up as a cheaper and more flexible option.
England has the most temporary car insurance policyholders, representing 87% of the overall temporary car insurance market in the UK. Drivers in the South are most likely to use temporary car insurance, with the region making up 14% of the UK market. It’s followed by the Outer London area, which represents 11%. The North West region (9%), which includes Liverpool and Manchester, is the next biggest hub for temporary car insurance followed by East Anglia, at just over 8%.
The cost of temporary car insurance depends on the driver, their license and the vehicle they are looking to insure. More specifically:
Driving history - if the driver who is looking to be insured has any previous convictions or claims this can impact the temporary car insurance quote.
Milage - keeping the milage down means the risk of an accident and need to make a claim is reduced, cutting the cost of the temporary car insurance quote.
Location - quotes are also dependant on the location of the driver and where they wish to be insured and keep the vehicle. If the vehicle is being kept in a safe location over night for example, this can help lower premiums.
Car insurance group - cars fall in to different groups, which are dependant make and model. The more expensive the car, the more expensive it will be to take out a temporary car insurance policy.
Temporary cover won't generally be cheaper than an annual policy on a day-by-day basis however can be better suited to the needs of the driver.
|Hourly car insurance cost||Daily car insurance cost||Weekly car insurance cost|
|1 Hour: £21.93||1 Day: £38.18||1 Week: £112.97|
|2 Hours: £25.69||2 Days: £60.89||1-2 Weeks: £155.27|
|3 Hours: £27.20||3 Days: £77.81||2-3 Weeks: £203.89|
|4 Hours: £30.11||4 Days: £86.62||3 weeks + : £272.52|
|5 Hours: £32.37||5 Days: £97.78|
|6 Hours: £32.40||6 Days: £103.91|
Figures from Tempcover, accurate as of 25/04/2023.
When it comes to the average age of temporary car insurance users, people aged 20-40 make up over 60% of temporary car insurance policyholders. Within this group, those aged 30-34 use temporary car insurance the most, representing over 18% of all temporary car insurance users. Only about 2% of temporary car insurance policyholders are in the 17-20 age group – younger drivers pay a lot more for car insurance in general so the higher cost deters use.
Many temporary car insurance deals are also only available to those aged 25 or above, but nearly 12% of users are 21-24. Those taking out temporary car insurance keeps increasing rapidly as you get nearer the 30-34 age group, rising to just under 18% for those aged 25-29. But temporary car insurance use falls steadily after the peak at 30-34. About 8% of temporary car insurance users are 45-49. Only 1.5% are in the 65-69 age bracket.
Leoni Moninska, Insurances Expert
Temporary car insurance policies are a great way to get instant, quick cover. You might be picking up your new car, tiding yourself over until you renew your annual policy, needing quick cover to move home, going on a road trip or planning to borrow a friend or family member’s vehicle. Hourly, daily and weekly policies are quick and easy to book, whatever you need them for.”
If you drive only a few miles during the year annual car insurance can seem unfairly expensive. Pay-by-the-mile car insurance can be a cheaper alternative.
Understand the different types of car insurance available (comprehensive, third party and TPFT) and find which car insurance policy is right for you.
Is your car insured? Driving without a valid car insurance policy is illegal. Find out how to check your insurance to see if you're insured to drive.