How to find the cheapest temporary car insurance in the UK

Looking for temporary car insurance but struggling to find an affordable deal? Find out how you can cut those pesky costs.

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  • Cover for cars, bikes and vans
  • From 1 hour to 28 days
  • Suitable for learner drivers and tradesmen
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What’s the cheapest type of policy

Generally, with temporary car insurance, you can only get comprehensive cover. So in most cases, there’s no option for a cheaper type of policy.

If you do stumble upon a temporary car insurance provider who offers third party, fire and theft cover, or third party cover, then opting for one of these levels of cover could lower your costs.

With these types of policies you won’t be protected for damage to the car you’re driving, so you won’t get any financial help should you have an accident or collision that was your fault.

In exchange for this limited protection you tend to get lower insurance costs, however third party coverage with temporary car insurance is pretty rare.

Don’t fret though, there are ways to help keep your spending down. Only buying temporary insurance for the days you need it is one way you can lower costs.

When does it make sense to buy cheap temporary car insurance?

It makes sense to buy a cheap temporary car insurance deal if you only want to use a car for a few hours, days or weeks. You might be:

  • A student who has returned home for the holidays and needs access to the family car for a short time.
  • Undertaking a long car journey with a friend and want to help share the driving load.
  • Moving house and need a car or van for a day or two.
  • Collecting or delivering a vehicle.

What affects the cost of temporary car insurance?

Like with a standard car insurance policy there are a number of factors that will affect what you pay in premiums for temporary car insurance, such as:

  • Age
  • Car make and model
  • Address
  • How long you’ve been driving
  • Driving history

How can I lower my temporary car insurance rates?

Temporary insurance can often be quite expensive, particularly if you’re a young driver. Other than choosing to drive a less powerful car, there are a few ways you can lower your insurance premiums.

  • Only pay for the cover you need. Don’t pay for more days than you need, and avoid paying for optional extras like breakdown cover if you don’t need them. If you’re doing a road trip, maybe a driving companion’s breakdown policy will cover cars they’re a passenger in?
  • Try choosing a higher excess. You could tell the insurer you’re willing to pay a higher excess, which is the amount you contribute to a claim before the insurer pays out. A bigger excess generally leads to lower premiums.
  • Be a safe driver. If you drive responsibly, avoid making claims on your standard insurance, and don’t earn points on your licence through reckless driving, finding cheap car insurance will be much easier, whether annual or temporary.
  • Shop around to compare price. Don’t settle with the first temporary car insurance deal you see, get plenty of quotes and use comparison websites to really root out the cheapest deal on the market.
  • Take out an annual policy instead. You could potentially save money by buying annual car insurance and cancelling it if you’re going to need cover for more than a month or two.
  • Getting cover as a named driver. Getting a friend or relative to put you down as an additional driver on their main insurance policy could work out as cheaper too. Get them to ask their insurer how much it will cost, and then compare with your temporary insurance quotes.

When is an annual policy cheaper?

Temporary car insurance is flexible and can help you save money if you need a car for a matter of hours, day or weeks.

But if you’re going to use the car for at least two or three months of the year, it might be cheaper to take out an annual policy and then cancel it when you no longer need it.

The downsides of taking this route are you’ll be hit with a cancellation fee and you might not receive a refund for all your unused months.

However, when looking at the average daily rate, temporary insurance deals are more expensive than annual insurance policies. Even factoring in any cancellation fees, taking out long-term insurance might be a better value for money.

Bottom line

Finding the cheapest temporary car insurance really boils down to your own circumstances. Many factors will influence the cost of your premiums such as the length of time you need cover for, your age and driving history as well who the insurance provider is.

Even just a little bit of research will throw up some different deals on offer. And from these, you’ll be able to compare them to find the best. Price alone isn’t always a good indicator of the best policy as you’ll need to also check the features of the policy against what you require.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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