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Get short term car insurance cover that is flexible and suits the time you need

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Check out the top temporary car insurance providers or cast your net wider by viewing all car insurance companies...
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Hastings direct car insurance

Hastings Direct

Quotemehappy.com car insurance provider


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Tesco Bank

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Is temporary car insurance right for you?

Unlike standard car insurance policies that run for 12 months, temporary car insurance allows you to insure a car for a few hours, days, weeks or months. This can make it a more suitable choice if you  need to borrow a car for a short time, or you only drive occasionally. Temporary car insurance could work out to be more cost-effective than annual cover.

If you answered yes to all these questions, temporary car insurance could be right for you...

Are you borrowing a family member or friend’s car?

Temporary car insurance can provide fully comprehensive cover for a few days to a few months.

Are you 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.

Do you want more than third party cover in a courtesy car?

Check what cover you are being offered. Temporary car insurance is usually fully comprehensive and therefore offers greater protection.

Are you 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.

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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Temporary car insurance FAQs

If you want to borrow a friend or family member’s car or you’re only looking to drive a car as a one-off, temporary car insurance can be a good option.

You might find temporary car insurance useful in the following situations: 

  • you are learning to drive in a family member’s or friend’s car

  • you are borrowing a parent’s car while home from university

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

  • you are borrowing someone else’s car to help you move home 

  • you’re borrowing a friend’s car while waiting for yours to be repaired

  • you’re driving your new car home and haven’t yet arranged annual car insurance 

  • you only drive occasionally, for example if you own a classic car which you don’t use all the time.

To compare temporary car insurance and buy a policy you will need permission from the car owner. You will also need the following information: 

  • 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 as standard. However, 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 you are driving as well as for any damage you cause to a third-party, their vehicle or their property. This can provide peace of mind, particularly if you don’t own the car you’re driving. 

Most short-term car insurance policies will allow you to bolt on additional cover for an extra cost. This could include:

  • European driving cover – third party cover might be included as standard, but you may prefer 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, some insurers will let you add up to 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 drivers between the ages of 17 and 75. However, some providers will exclude those under 25 so it’s important to shop around for temporary car insurance to ensure you find the right deal.

Many insurers that offer temporary cover will require you to have held a full driving licence for at least six months. The more driving experience you have, however, the more quotes you’re likely to be able to choose from. That said,  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 previously resided in the UK. You may also find there are age restrictions and some insurers will require you to have held a driving licence for at least 12 months.

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 or being added as a named driver on another policy. However, the amount you pay will depend on factors such as:  


  • how long you want to be covered

  • your postcode

  • how much driving experience you have 

  • the vehicle you want to insure.

If you’re thinking about taking out temporary cover to last a few weeks, it could be more cost-effective to take out an annual policy and then cancel it when you no longer need cover. You’ll need to pay a cancellation fee, however, so weigh up the cost of this against the cost of a temporary policy to see which works out cheaper. 

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