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What is temporary car insurance?

Your guide to getting covered on a car for just a few days

5 minutes

Temporary car insurance is a great way to make sure you're fully insured even if you only need insurance for a few days. Find out how and when you can take out short-term car insurance.

You're looking forward to your week away in Edinburgh with your mates, but you don't fancy being the only driver. After all, it's a long way from London.

There are a couple of ways to get one of your friends insured on your car to help with the driving.

One way is to add a friend as a named driver to your car insurance policy for a few days. Another solution is for your friend to take out temporary car insurance for your vehicle instead.

If you're looking to get covered for just a few days, temporary car insurance is just the ticket

What is temporary car insurance?

Temporary or short-term car insurance allows you to take out comprehensive car insurance on another car for a few days at a time. Or someone else can take out temporary insurance on your car, as long as they have your permission.

This means that rather than being added as an additional named driver on the main driver's insurance policy, the extra driver takes out their own insurance.

This can often be cheaper than adding a driver to an annual policy and also has the added benefit that in the event of a claim following an accident, the main policyholder won't lose their no claim discount.

If you prefer to add someone to your insurance policy, it's possible to insure them on your car for a few days. LV= allow you to add an additional driver temporarily for up to 42 days.

Plus you can also add another car to your existing policy for a short time. For example if you've bought a new car, but still need to drive your old one whilst you sell it.

You can take out temporary car insurance for as little as one day, so when you're looking for a suitable policy, remember it could be called short-term car insurance or daily car insurance.

What's pay as you go insurance?

With this type of insurance, you only pay for the miles you drive. A telematics tracking device, also known as a black box, is fitted to your car and tracks how and where you drive.

So this type of policy isn't strictly a temporary car insurance policy, but it can be a useful tool, for new drivers in particular, to reduce the cost of their insurance.

Make sure you have the right level of cover

Always check with your insurance provider what level of insurance you have if you're taking out temporary car insurance.

When you drive another car, you can sometimes be covered for third party only insurance with your existing policy. But this won't cover you for damage done to the vehicle you're driving if you have an accident. It makes sense to upgrade to comprehensive car insurance when you drive someone else's car.

Why would I need temporary car insurance?

There are lots of occasions when temporary car insurance could be useful

  • You need to borrow a car because yours is in the garage
  • You're moving house and want to use a parent's car
  • You want to share the driving on a long journey
  • You buy a new car and want to drive it home
  • You want to test drive a potential new car
  • You have a classic car that you only drive occasionally

Who can take out short-term car insurance?

Temporary car insurance is calculated in the same way as annual car insurance, so there may be some restrictions on whether you can take out this type of insurance if you are a newly qualified driver, a young driver or you have points on your licence.

Other things to remember

Temporary insurance is not a replacement for annual insurance. By law, your car needs to be continuously insured or registered with the DVLA as 'off the road'.

Before you take out temporary insurance on someone else's car, you need to get permission from the owner of the car.

You cannot tax a car with a short-term or temporary insurance policy.