Temporary car insurance for young drivers

Car insurance for young drivers can be frustratingly expensive. Read our guide to temporary car insurance to understand what to look out for and save your pennies by comparing policies.

If you’re a young driver, chances are you’ve faced an eye-watering premiums for your car insurance. Temporary insurance is one route to making potentially big savings. Our guide explains.

Why should young drivers choose temporary car insurance?

Young drivers usually pay higher car insurance premiums, as insurers typically consider them to be more at risk of being involved in an accident due to a lack of experience.

There are a couple of ways you can try to reduce your premiums:

  • Getting a black box policy. Black box insurance means that your insurer fits a black box in your car (similar to those found on planes) to monitor your driving. Keeping to the rules of the road can reduce your premiums, but this type of cover comes with certain restrictions, like a curfew.
  • Being added to the policy of a more experienced driver. If your parent or guardian has a car insurance policy you can be added to as a named driver, this can save you money, as you will be sharing the cost with them. However, bear in mind that any claims you make are likely to affect their no claim bonus, which might lead to some tense family dinners.

If neither option above appeals, you can get temporary insurance. Cover is usually available for between 1 to 30 days and can be used to drive either a borrowed car or your own car, as long as you register your vehicle as off the road (SORN) while it’s uninsured.

You cannot use this type of cover as an alternative to an annual policy, and only take it out when you want to drive your own car. Keeping an uninsured car without a SORN is illegal, and getting one of those is a hassle, so it’s unlikely to be worth doing over and over in the year. Additionally, most insurers only offer temporary cover for cars that already have an existing policy taken out by their owner.

Temporary cover works best if you want to occasionally borrow a car from a friend or relative, as it sits alongside their annual policy, but won’t affect their no claim bonus if you make a claim.

What’s different about temporary car insurance for young drivers?

Temporary cover tends to be the same for younger and older drivers. The policy specifications will likely vary by provider, but most companies only offer a comprehensive temporary insurance policy, which usually includes the same basic options, like third party cover, damage to the vehicle being driven and cover for theft.

That said, some companies offer temporary insurance cover designed for learner drivers and student drivers. Of course, neither of these necessarily means the person driving is a young driver (this usually refers to those under 25), but some insurers specify that you have to be under a certain age to qualify.

Can you get temporary car insurance for drivers under 21?

Yes. Drivers under 21 often struggle to get insurance cover, but it is available. Specialist providers, like Marmalade, offer both temporary and annual cover for drivers under 21, though some policies are restricted to students.

Other providers, like InsureDaily and Aviva, have temporary cover available to drivers younger than 21, regardless of whether they are in education.

When can a young driver opt for a temporary car insurance policy?

Insurance for young drivers can be very expensive, which can leave it out of reach for some people.

Unfortunately, temporary insurance cannot be used as an alternative to taking out an annual policy if you want to drive your own car year-round.

This type of cover works best in these situations:

  • Borrowing a car. Temporary car insurance is a particularly good option for young drivers if they have the option to borrow a car from a friend or family member only when it’s needed. The best thing about this is that the car owner’s no claim bonus won’t be affected even if you make a claim, which reduces the risk to them significantly.
  • Shared driving. If you want to go on holiday with your mates by car, you might want to carpool to save on petrol. If you’re sharing the driving on a long journey or weekend getaway, temporary car insurance can provide a cheaper alternative to amending your own policy.
  • Moving house. If you’re moving house and planning to borrow a car or van from a friend or family member to make life easier – and less expensive than hiring a removal team – then temporary cover is a go-to.
  • Buying a new car. If you’ve bought a new car and don’t have the appropriate time to find the best annual cover right away, temporary car insurance offers a quick-fix in the interim period.

If none of the above circumstances apply to you and you still need to take out an annual policy, have a look at our review of the best car insurance for young drivers in the UK right now to find the best deal for you.

Bottom line

Temporary insurance cover can be a great option if you can’t afford an annual policy and have the option to borrow a car from a friend or family member, or if you only need a car for up to 30 days.

Remember that this is not an alternative to getting your car insured if you want to keep it year-round, as it will have to be declared as SORN while it is not insured, even if you’re not driving it.

Frequently asked questions

Finder survey: What would Brits consider upgrading on their car?

None of the above50.14%35.09%31.78%23.6%5.83%
Not sure15.24%19.3%20.76%11.18%11.65%
Personalised numberplate13.57%14.62%14.83%23.6%27.18%
New alloys11.91%16.37%14.83%23.6%20.39%
New exhaust10.8%9.36%11.86%21.12%26.21%
Sound system10.8%19.88%13.98%25.47%33.01%
New paint job8.03%11.7%12.71%24.22%34.95%
Tinted windows5.26%12.87%17.37%26.09%30.1%
New interior4.43%7.6%12.71%25.47%40.78%
Source: Finder survey by Censuswide of 1032 Brits, December 2023
The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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