Drive away insurance

Found the car of your dreams but worried about getting it back home safely? You can do it with drive away insurance.


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woman in chequered shirt smiling whilst driving

What is drive away insurance?

Drive away insurance is basically the same as temporary insurance. It’s sometimes called “drive away” insurance if you take out a short-term policy for a car you’ve just bought, in order to drive it home safely.

When getting a new car, temporary insurance allows you to quickly obtain cover for driving it, even if you haven’t set up your long-term policy yet.

Drive away insurance is flexible and quick to set up. If you spot a great deal for the car you’ve been looking for, you can go ahead with the purchase straight away, and then use temporary insurance for a while as you shop around for the best long-term car insurance policy on the market.

How much does drive away car insurance cost?

As usual with insurance, it depends on a number of factors, including your age and experience, your driving record, the age and value of the vehicle, the level of cover, the amount of excess you agree to pay… There are a lot of variables, which is why the only way to really get an idea of what insurer is best for your needs is to get a few different quotes and compare them.

As for the difference between drive away insurance and long-term insurance:

  • Long-term insurance is cheaper. A standard 12-month insurance policy will be cheaper than a temporary one. If you can arrange permanent cover straight away from the day you are picking up your new car, you should do it.
  • Drive away insurance is more flexible. You can take it out for as long as you need it and you can usually access instant cover if necessary. Moreover, setting up long-term insurance in a hurry can cost you hundreds of pounds if you don’t take the time to shop around for the best deal.

Compare temporary car insurance policies

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Available Cover Policy term Details
Temporary car and van insurance
1 hour - 28 days
Tempcover offer flexible cover from 1 hour to 28 days across a range of vehicles including cars, motorbikes and vans.
Insure Daily
Temporary car insurance
1-28 days
Insure Daily offer instant, comprehensive cover for anything between 1 and 28 days.
Safely Insured
Safely Insured
Short term & learner driver
1- 84 days
Safely Insured offer flexible cover for cars and vans from 1 to 84 days
Temporary car insurance
1 hour - 28 days
Fully comprehensive, extendable cover from 1 hour to 28 days
insurelearnerdriver car insurance
1-140 days
Temporary learner driver insurance now from 1 day to 140 days.
Simple pricing structure for provisional licence holders aged 17 – 30.
The policy is written in the name of the learner driver to protect the car owner’s No Claim Bonus.

Compare up to 4 providers

Drive away insurance when driving home from a dealer or a private seller

Whether you buy your new car from a dealer or from a private seller, it doesn’t really make much of a difference. You can get drive away insurance in both cases.

The only thing to keep in mind is that a dealer might offer you its own drive away insurance, which will usually include cover for a few days after the purchase. This shouldn’t stop you from shopping around though. Chances are you’ll find a cheaper, more personalised deal if you do it yourself.

A private seller won’t usually have any drive away insurance options to offer, so again, time to shop around and pick the temporary policy that works best for you.

How long do I need drive away insurance for?

It’s up to you, really. Companies usually offer drive away insurance policies that last between one hour and 28 days.

You can pick whatever policy length suits you best. Three hours, a day, a week… they are all viable options.

You need to find a good balance between giving yourself enough time to find the right long-term insurance policy, and avoiding using temporary insurance for too long, which can potentially get quite expensive.

Can I drive a car home after buying it without insurance in the UK?

It’s illegal to drive a car without insurance in the UK. In the worst case scenario, you can get an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving.

The law also requires you to have your car insured at all times, even if you are not using it. This means you can’t just set up temporary insurance on your new car for an hour while you drive it home, and then leave it parked without insurance in front of your house for a week or two. The only exception is if you can secure a SORN on the vehicle.

It also means that you’ll need your drive away insurance to finish right before your new 12-month policy starts, and not a minute earlier.

How do you get a car home in the UK after purchase?

In a nutshell, you have two main options: either you start your long-term car insurance policy on the very same day you pick up your new car, or you use drive away insurance until your permanent policy kicks in.

While the first option is potentially cheaper, the second is more flexible, quicker to sort out, and leaves you more time to shop around for the best car insurance.

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