Compare temporary car insurance
Get the low-down on temporary car insurance and start comparing policies to find the cheapest deal that suits your needs.
In the UK, the average car insurance policy will set you back around £465. But if you’re someone who only needs to be insured while you’re borrowing Mum’s car or to drive your new wheels off the dealership lot, you could save big with a temporary car insurance policy that could be, on average, as cheap as £42 a day. Use the table below to compare policies by time span, excess amount and expert ratings. Table: sorted by promoted deals.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
What is temporary car insurance?
Temporary or short-term car insurance is a type of time-limited cover that typically insures you on a vehicle for periods between 1 and 28 days. With a boom in demand for temporary cover options in recent years, some providers will also provide short-term cover for anything from a few hours to several months.
Temporary cover is ideal for anyone who needs a flexible policy, either because you’re borrowing a car, sharing a long drive, picking up a new car or in between switching annual policies. It is not an alternative to a regular annual premium if you regularly drive the same car.
During the pandemic, people have typically been driving fewer miles so more consumers have been considering options like temporary cover and pay-as-you-go policies as an alternative to traditional car insurance.
Temporary car insurance jargon explainedExcess. As with regular car insurance, temporary cover typically also includes an excess amount. Your excess is the minimum amount you have to pay out towards a claim before your insurance company pays out the remaining amount.
EU cover. This is an optional extra you can add to your short term policy to cover you while driving in Europe.
Short term car insurance offers flexibility. In theory, you’ll have the option to decide whether you prefer fully comprehensive or third party, fire and theft coverage levels. However, most temporary car insurance companies will only offer fully comprehensive cover.
If you’re lending your car to someone, temporary car insurance policies often also protect your no-claims bonus in the event that the driver borrowing it has an accident.
Likewise, if you’re taking out short term insurance and already hold a no-claims bonus on a regular policy, it won’t be penalised in the event that you claim for an accident whilst driving another vehicle with a short term policy.
How to compare temporary cover
1. Consider your circumstances. Are you looking to borrow a car for the weekend? Are you in between switching providers and need time to research your options? Or sharing a long drive? Then temporary cover could be a great option for you. The equivalent of 365 days of temporary cover will typically not work out cheaper than an annual premium. So if you regularly drive the same car, it’s likely you’ll need a regular car insurance policy.
2. Research policies and providers. Start hunting for the best deal by comparing as many policy options and providers as possible.
3. Consider any optional extras. As with a regular car insurance policy, you can customer your cover to suit you. If you’re taking a long trip or holiday, for example, would you benefit from additional breakdown cover or EU cover?
4. Balance cost against cover needs. A great deal isn’t all that valuable if it doesn’t offer you the cover you need. Try and balance the best price with the best cover options to suit your circumstances.
5. File documents somewhere safe and accessible. Once you’ve bought your policy, make sure you keep your documents somewhere safe and memorable so that they’re easily accessible should you need to make a claim or query.
How much does temporary car insurance cost?
The cost of your temporary car insurance will depend on a number of factors such as the length of cover you need, the vehicle that you’re driving, your age, your driving experience and where you live. The average cost of a one-day policy is around £42.
If you’ll only be driving for a couple of hours as a one-off, it will likely be cheaper to get insurance at an hourly rate rather than a full day’s cover. It’s always best to compare quotes with different providers based on your own individual circumstances before purchasing a policy.
Unlike a standard annual policy, temporary car insurance can give the same level of comprehensive insurance but for a duration that works for the individual.”
Who might consider temporary car insurance?
- Shared driving. If you’re sharing the driving on a long journey or weekend getaway, temporary car insurance can provide a cheaper alternative to adding extra drivers to your own policy or being added to someone else’s.
- Borrowing a car. Whether you’re commandeering mum’s car because you’re back from uni or borrowing a friend’s ride to move house, temporary cover could be an easy, accessible and affordable solution to getting insured on their vehicle.
- Test driving a car. A short term policy could be ideal if you’ve got your eye on a sweet pair of wheels and want to take them for a spin before committing. If you’re already insured on your own vehicle, however, you may already have third party cover. So check with your provider to see if this applies.
- Buying a new car. If you’ve bought a new car and want to drive it off the lot, but also want to take your time at home to find the right insurance policy, temporary cover offers a quick-fix in the interim period.
- Switching providers. Similarly, if your current car insurance policy has expired and you need more time to find the perfect annual policy, give yourself time to compare your options with a few days or weeks of temporary cover.
|Temporary car insurance could be an option if||You might not need temporary car insurance if|
|Renting a car||You’re renting a car for an extended period but don’t want to pay the rental company’s higher car insurance fees.||You’re renting a car and can get coverage through the rental company or your credit card. Check the fine print of your credit card coverage, as they often offer limited protection.|
|Borrowing a friend’s car||You’re borrowing a friend’s car that you intend to use on a regular basis.||If you’re borrowing a friend’s car for occasional use, your friend’s current policy will likely cover you, or you could get a nonowners policy. But if you’ll be driving a friend’s car on a regular basis, you’ll need to be added to the current policy or get temporary insurance.|
|Selling your car||You’re buying a car that you’ll resell in a short period of time.||You’re selling your car in the next few months. You can get a 6-month policy and cancel anytime from most insurers.|
|Moving||You’ve moved outside your current insurer’s coverage area and need insurance for a short time until you choose a new long term policy.||You’re moving but your insurer offers nationwide coverage. You can easily update your address and get a new quote online from most companies|
Can anyone get short term car insurance?
Provided you hold a valid full UK driving license and are aged 18 to 75 you will be eligible to take out a temporary car insurance policy.
Unfortunately, learner drivers are not eligible to take out cover on a temporary basis.
Short term car insurance options
Compare the easiest option for getting car insurance for a day, a week, a month or however long you need it.
What extras can I add to my temporary policy?
Even with temporary car insurance you have the option to customise your cover with optional extras including:
Additional drivers. If you plan on sharing the driving for a short period of time, add extra drivers to your temporary policy.
Breakdown cover. Protect yourself against getting stranded in the event you need roadside assistance.
European cover. If you plan on taking your road trip overseas, invest in EU cover to insure you’re protected abroad. Check in advance with your provider to make sure it covers all the countries you plan to drive in.
How to save on your temporary car insurance
Consider these four hacks for reducing the price of your temporary cover policy.
1. Compare and contrast quotes. Depending on how long you need cover for it’s a good idea to compare and contrast regular car insurance policies with pay-as-you-go and temporary cover to get the best deal. If you already have an insurance policy but have found a better deal elsewhere, it’s worth letting your current provider know in case they can match or improve upon the deal without you needing to switch.
2. Choose a small, cheap car. Borrowing your mum’s Bentley versus borrowing your mate’s Honda Jazz will typically have a serious impact on the cost of your premium.
3. Raise your excess amount. Increasing the amount of excess you’re willing to pay should bring down the cost of your premium.
4. Drop unnecessary optional extras. If you don’t need to share the driving or you’re not planning to head to Europe, make sure you’re not paying out extra for EU cover or additional drivers.
Things to consider before you buy
Here’s a list of the top things to think about before you choose temporary car insurance cover:
- Do you really need it? It’s ideal if you don’t have an existing policy already, or if you’d prefer the extra security of being fully comp on a borrowed car, but if you already have your own existing fully comprehensive policy, you may already be covered to drive the car third party without the additional cost.
- How long will you be needing the cover to last? Remember, if it’s a month or more, it might be more cost effective to take out an annual policy and cancel it when you no longer need it. Just don’t forget to factor in any cancellation fees applicable to annual policies before finalising your decision.
- What level of cover do you need? Whilst most insurance companies do only offer fully comprehensive policies on a short term basis, there are some out there that will offer temporary third party, fire and theft cover. If you’re an occasional driver taking out a short term policy, for example to share the driving, consider what level of cover you need. And be realistic.
- What’s your driving history? Things like convictions, points on your license and previous insurance claims will factor into the quotes you receive.
- Are you road tripping across Europe? Some temporary insurance companies will allow you to take out European cover for an additional fee. Handy if you’re planning a sightseeing road trip.
Thanks to increased demand, there are plenty of providers out there who offer comprehensive short term cover so make sure you compare a whole bunch before picking the best one for you.
As with any type of insurance, take the time to consider your specific cover needs before investing in a policy. Particularly, when it comes to temporary insurance, the length of time you’ll need cover for as you don’t want to get caught short. Plus, adding last-minute hours or days could end up costing more than if you had originally taken out a policy for that extended period of time.
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