Third party car insurance

Get answers to all your burning questions about third party car insurance.

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Third party car insurance is the most basic policy you can get, and it only covers you for a collision or accident that damages someone else’s vehicle or property. While it has historically been the most affordable level of car insurance on the market, this isn’t always the case.

If you’re on the hunt for a third party deal for your car, our guide offers some essential tips for comparing policies and choosing the right policy for you.

What does third party car insurance cover?

Third party car insurance is the legal minimum level of insurance you need to take to the roads in the UK. This type of policy will cover you for any damage you cause to another person’s vehicle or property. However, it’s important to remember that any damage to your vehicle will not be covered by third party insurance.

So in the event you collide with another driver’s car while out driving, or if you veer off the road and plough into someone’s house, your insurance will pay for the damage. This way, innocent drivers aren’t forced to claim on their insurance simply because another road-user was being reckless.

Whether you dent the side of your car or it’s completely written off, you’re going to have to pay out of your own pocket for any repairs or replacement. Plus, if you need to pay for any medical bills, such as physiotherapy, you will have to foot the bill.

Is this type of car insurance right for me?

With several different types of car insurance available, it can be tricky to work out which type of policy is the best fit for you. To help make your choice easier, check out the comparison table below:

CoverThird party property damage insuranceThird party fire and theft insuranceComprehensive car insurance
Damage to my vehicle in an accident
  • No
  • No
  • Yes
Damage to another person’s vehicle or property
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Loss or damage to my car due to fire
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
Loss or damage to my car due to theft
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
Loss or damage to my car due to storm, hail and flood
  • No
  • No
  • Yes
Injury or death to someone else as the result of a car accident
  • No
  • No
  • No

What isn’t covered by third party insurance?

Check the list of general exclusions in a third party policy to find out when the policy won’t provide any cover. Your claim will not be paid in the following situations:

  • You were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Your car was being used to carry dangerous goods
  • It was due to a deliberate or intentional act by you
  • It was caused by unauthorised modifications to your vehicle
  • You were using your car for hire or reward
  • It was due to an illegal act by you
  • Your car was being driven by anyone who is excluded from cover
  • It was due to the lawful seizure of your vehicle
  • Your car was participating in motor sports
  • Your vehicle was being used while overloaded with goods or passengers
  • Your car was being used by an unlicensed driver
  • Your car was being driven while in an unsafe condition
  • You did not remain at the scene of an accident when required by law to do so

What are the benefits of third party car insurance?

There are a few reasons why you might opt for this type of car insurance:

  • It’s cheaper than fully comprehensive car insurance. While it comes with minimal levels of protection, the premiums are generally much cheaper because of this. However, this isn’t always the case, as insurers have responded to higher risk drivers taking out third party policies. So get some quotes for the two other main types of insurance.
  • It can be a good choice if your car isn’t worth loads. If your car is a bit of an old banger or simply not worth as much as it used to be, taking out comprehensive car insurance or third party, fire and theft may be unnecessary. With a simple third party policy, you could save a fair amount in premiums – to pay towards a new car perhaps?
  • It offers peace of mind. As well as being legally necessary, you can drive around confident that you will be covered. It gives you the confidence and reassurance you need to hit the road.

How much does third party car insurance cost?

This will depend on several different factors. When you apply for car insurance, the company will ask you a range of questions in order to work out how much of a risk you and your car pose. Factors the provider will look at include the following:

  • The make and model of your car. Each car is placed into a risk category, with expensive or more powerful cars often costing more to insure. Vehicles with state-of-the-art security systems will generally earn lower premiums too.
  • Your address. Where you live plays a huge part in the cost of your premiums. If you live in an area with high levels of crime, your insurance could be more expensive.
  • Where you park. Parking your car in a secure lock-up or garage can reduce insurance costs as it’s less likely to be stolen or clipped by a passing car.
  • Who is insured on the policy. The age, driving experience and record of all the drivers listed on the insurance will play a big role in how the insurer calculates your premiums. Young drivers or those with dodgy driving records will be hit with higher costs.
  • Other factors. How many miles do you drive your car each year? Does your car have any modifications? Do you use it to commute to work or just on weekends? There are a whole host of other factors that drive up or drive down your costs.

Is third party cover worth it?

It really depends. These days “third party, fire and theft” and “fully comprehensive” policies sometimes work out as being more affordable than third party insurance.

You might be thinking this seems a bit far-fetched and are wondering why on Earth would the two policies with higher levels of cover be cheaper.

Essentially, insurance companies noticed that high-risk and younger drivers were the main ones taking out third party coverage and were claiming more. So in response, there was a hike in third party premiums.

Generally, third party insurance should still work out as offering the lowest premiums, but it might still not be worth it. If you have an expensive or new vehicle, you should probably get a policy which will protect it.

Without the proper cover, if your new vehicle gets written-off, you could be left tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket.

How can I save money on car insurance?

Keep the following tips in mind to help you save money on your car insurance premiums:

  • Shop around. It takes a matter of minutes to compare car insurance quotes online, and this is by far the easiest way to make sure you don’t get landed with an overpriced deal.
  • Don’t auto renew. Car insurance customers lose money every year by blindly letting their policies rollover. Always get quotes and see if you can get a cheaper deal elsewhere when your policy is near its end.
  • Choose the right level of cover. Opting for a third party policy will generally mean lower premiums, but you might lose more money in the long run if you don’t get the right level of cover for an expensive or new car.
  • Take on a higher excess. An excess is the amount you contribute towards any claim before the insurer starts paying out. The higher your excess, the cheaper your premium will be.
  • Take advantage of discounts. Insurance companies sometimes offer discounts to people who insure multiple cars on the same policy.
  • Restrict cover. Avoid putting young or inexperienced drivers on your policy as they can push premium prices up.
  • Ramp up your security. Putting your car in a garage or buying a car with high-tech anti-theft devices will make your vehicle harder to steal, and your insurer might reward this with lower premiums.
  • Buy online. Some companies offer decent discounts if you buy your insurance policy online.

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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.
*51% of consumers could save £324 on their Car Insurance. The saving was calculated by comparing the cheapest price found with the average of the next three cheapest prices quoted by insurance providers on Seopa Ltd’s insurance comparison website. This is based on representative cost savings from January 2022 data. The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.

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