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Standard car insurance policies run for 12 months, but if you don’t own a car but can borrow one, or only drive occasionally, taking out an annual car insurance policy may not be suitable. That’s where temporary car insurance, which allows you to insure a car for a few hours, day, weeks or months, comes in.
Temporary car insurance can cover you fully comprehensive for a few days to a few months.
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Check what cover you are being offered. Temporary car insurance would be comprehensive.
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If you want to borrow a car or drive a car on a one-off basis you may need to take out temporary car insurance.
you are learning to drive in a family member’s or friend’s car
you are hiring a car to go on a trip
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 you may own a classic car which you don’t use all the time
To compare or purchase a temporary car insurance policy you will need permission from the car owner, as well as:
the car’s registration number or details of the make and model
the owner’s details
details of your licence and driving history
personal details including your name and address
Most short-term 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
Fully comprehensive cover means you have cover for any damage and theft of the car are driving as well as for any damage you do to a third-party, their vehicle or their property, as well as loss
So if you don’t own the car you are driving fully comprehensive cover may be the best option, for peace of mind
Most short-term car insurance policies will allow you to add the following on, at an extra cost:
European driving cover – although you may get third party cover as standard you may want to pay extra for fully comprehensive cover
breakdown cover - useful if you are taking the car on a long trip
additional drivers – if you are sharing the car with other drivers you can add them, some insurers will let you add four additional drivers
Temporary car insurance policies usually offer short-term cover from 1 to 28 days, but some policies will insure you for up to 90 days.
Insurers that offer short-term car insurance will usually offer cover to people between the ages of 17 and 75, but some providers will exclude those under 25 so it’s important to shop around for temporary car insurance.
You’re likely to see more quotes if you have several years’ driving experience and a full UK licence, but there are specialist providers out there offering temporary car insurance to those with less experience or different licence types, and other providers that cover learner drivers.
If you have points on your driving licence, previous motoring convictions or a history of several insurance claims, you might find it difficult, or more expensive, to get temporary insurance cover, but it’s worth shopping around as some providers will be happy to cover you.
Some insurers will allow you to take out short-term car insurance if you live abroad, but you may have to prove your permanent address and have been previously resident in the UK. You may also find there are age restrictions.
Most insurers also apply limitations on the value of the car and will usually cover drivers for cars worth up to £50,000.
Temporary car insurance can be an affordable alternative to hiring a car.
The cost will vary depending on:
how long you want to be covered
how much driving experience you have
the vehicle you want to insure
Remember that if you take out an annual car insurance policy you can often pay hundreds if not thousands of pounds a year, temporary car insurance can be a much cheaper alternative.