Every so often you’ll find yourself needing to jump behind a wheel of car that’s not yours, whether it’s because yours is in for an MOT but you need to go and do the school run in your other half’s car, or you’re visiting your family and the only car available for you to use is your mum’s supermarket runabout. While it may seem like a harmless trip, there’s no guarantee that you’re insured to drive the car, and you don’t want to be paying £300 on a trip to the local shop, with an added 6 points on your licence for good measure. The ADAS resets and steering alignment experts at our van body repair centre explain everything you need to know about temporary car insurance…
What is temporary car insurance?
Temporary car insurance is a short-term option for those who are looking to drive a car that they would not normally be insured to drive. You can get temporary insurance for as little as one day, but it can also be extended to a number of months if this is required.
What level of cover will I have?
Almost all temporary insurance policies are fully comprehensive, which means that you are covered in almost all instances for damage, repairs, medical expenses, fire damage and theft, and any damages done to someone else or their property. You will not be covered, though, for any cars other than the car that you are driving, and if you leave your car unlocked or unsecure in any way, your policy will be invalidated.
What do I need temporary vehicle insurance for?
There are a wide range of circumstances that can see you requiring temporary insurance for a car, which can include any of the following:
Borrowing a car – even if you’re literally driving around the corner to pick something up and coming straight back, you will need insurance, no matter how small or menial the journey is.
Sharing the driving on a long journey – taking a temporary policy out means your mate doesn’t have to do all the driving on a road trip, and gives them a chance to rest, which makes the journey a little bit safer overall.
In an emergency – if something happens to a friend or family member which means they’re unable to drive, temporary insurance gives you the flexibility to take over and get them wherever they need to go.
Buying a car – most dealerships nowadays will offer a ‘drive-away’ policy, which also gives you a small window to confirm you’re happy with the car before committing to a full 12 month policy.
Business use – If you’re only insured for social usage, but you’re now needing to use your personal car for a business trip, then a single day’s worth of business cover can save you from forking out for the entire duration of your policy
Occasional driving – If you’ve got a car that you only take out in the height of summer to cruise with the top down, it’s likely, especially living in Britain, that you’ll probably only need it for two, maybe three weekends a year. Instead of insuring the car for the entire year you can pick your weekends and insure it just for those days you’ll be driving it (just remember to re-tax it if it has been SORNed before you drive).
Young driver – If you spend the majority of your time away at university and only drive the car while you’re back home, then you may find it cheaper to just insure the car for the time you’re back instead of having the car sit unused and insured in your parents’ driveway.
How do I get temporary car insurance?
If you have permission from the car owner, getting temporary insurance for a car is often quite a straightforward process. Just give the insurers your full name, address and driving history, along with the details on the car you’re looking to insure and dates and times you’ll be behind the wheel, and then you’ll be good to go.
Can anyone get temporary car insurance?
Providing you have held a full driving licence for at least 6 months, anyone between the age of 17 and 78 can get a temporary policy. If you’re still on a provisional licence, then you will not be eligible for temporary cover – but you could certainly look into a dedicated learner driver policy.
Will a temporary policy affect my current vehicle insurance?
Taking out temporary insurance shouldn’t have any impact on your current insurance policy, provided that the details provided for the new policy matches those on your current insurance certificate. Any accidents or claims that are made on the temporary policy should not have any effects on your own no-claims bonus.