One day car insurance

Don’t own a car, but need to use one for the day? Learn how to get temporary car insurance here.

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Fast, flexible and affordable cover

  • Cover for cars, bikes and vans
  • From 1 hour to 28 days
  • Suitable for learner drivers and tradesmen
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If you don’t normally drive but need to borrow a car for a short trip, you may worry about paying over the odds just to get car insurance for the day. But temporary car insurance is available in the UK and could ensure you and the car have the protection you need, without breaking the bank. Learn how one day car insurance works and compare deals now.

Compare temporary car insurance providers

Name Product Ratings Cover length Excess EU Cover Key Benefits
Ingenie Temporary Learner driver
Finder score
1 month - 6 months
NCD is protected. If you make a claim it won't affect the owners no claims discount.
Who it might be good for: A learner driver who wants temporary cover for 1 - 6 months before they pass their driving test.
Finder score
1 hour - 28 days
Excellent customer reviews. Tempcover have scored 4.6/5 from over 19,500 customer reviews on TrustPilot.
Who it might be good for: Someone who wants flexible cover for a range of different vehicles.
Insure Daily
Finder score
24 hours - 28 days
Go Shorty
Go Shorty
Finder score
1 hour - 28 days
Safely Insured
Safely Insured
Finder score
24 hours - 84 days
Finder score
1 hour - 28 days

Compare up to 4 providers

How does temporary car insurance work?

All drivers are legally required to have car insurance to be on UK roads, as it provides financial protection if you’re involved in an accident. It can cover against injuries sustained by other people involved, as well as damage to property. Car insurance can also offer financial protection if your car is vandalised, stolen or damaged by fire. This is the same regardless of you being on the road for one day or one year.

One day car insurance works by providing cover only when you need it, so you could avoid signing up for a traditional annual car insurance policy. Cover is available from one hour up to 30 days. This makes getting cheap one day car insurance easy and straightforward.

Who might consider car insurance for one day?

  • Someone borrowing a car for a trip, to visit family or to move house
  • Someone test driving a car before buying it
  • Someone sharing the driving on a road trip
  • Someone taking their second car out for a spin
  • Someone borrowing a car in an emergency

What does one day car insurance cover?

One day car insurance policies tend to be comprehensive as standard but this will vary depending on the insurer providing the cover. Most will usually offer:

  • Instant insurance from as little as one hour
  • Third party cover
  • Fire and theft damage
  • Accidental damage
  • Third party EU cover
  • Flexible cover that can be extended if needed
  • Unaffected no claims bonus for the main driver of the car on their annual car insurance policy

Check your policy details carefully to ensure you have the right level of cover for your circumstances.

What is not covered?

Your one day car insurance cover can be invalidated due to one of the following reasons:

  • You don’t pay the premium in full (this will most likely be needed before the cover starts).
  • You do not have permission to drive the car from the car owner.
  • You do not have a valid UK driver’s licence.
  • You drive whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • You fail to lock or secure the car properly when parked and it is stolen.

Make sure your cover fits the duration you need it for.

Optional extras

Any optional extras that might be available to enhance a one day car insurance policy will vary depending on the insurer. The following are some of the most common that might be available:

  • Temporary UK breakdown cover
  • Temporary EU breakdown cover
  • Enhanced personal accident cover
  • Gadget cover
  • Key cover

Are there any restrictions to getting car insurance for a day?

Each insurer will have its own set of conditions and restrictions for one day car insurance.

For example, an insurer may list the following eligibility criteria that you and the car must meet:

You must:

  • Be aged 21 – 75. Unfortunately, getting temporary car insurance for drivers under 21 can be difficult.
  • Have held either a provisional or a current and full UK driver’s licence for a minimum of 6 months (European Union driver’s licence for at least 12 months).
  • Have been resident in the UK for 12 months or more.
  • Have no more than 7 points on your driver’s licence in the last 3 years.
  • Have no more than 2 at-fault claims in the previous 3 years.
  • Have no criminal convictions.

The car must:

  • Be registered in Great Britain, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man.
  • Have a market value of less than £5,000.
  • Have no more than 8 seats including the driver’s seat.
  • Be a right-hand drive.
  • Not be modified (except for modifications designed to help disabled drivers).
  • Not be used to carry goods or passengers for hire or reward.

Some temporary car insurance providers may be unwilling to insure young drivers aged under 25, who are typically more at risk of being involved in an accident. An insurer might also decline cover for anyone with previous convictions or several points on their driver’s licence.

As the above is simply an example, it’s important to check any conditions and restrictions that an insurer may have in place, to ensure you are eligible to take out one day car insurance in the first place.

How much does one day car insurance cost?

Temporary car insurance policies are calculated based on a number of different factors, just as traditional annual policies are. These factors include the driver’s age, driving experience and location, as well as the car’s make, model and value. The cost will also depend on which insurer is offering the temporary car cover.

If you’re an experienced older driver and plan to borrow a family car, you will find it easier to get cheap one day car insurance than if you’re an inexperienced younger driver wishing to borrow a sports car.

Always be sure to shop around and compare deals to ensure you get the best cover for your needs.

How can I get the cheapest temporary car insurance?

  • Consider your cover needs. Decide whether you need comprehensive cover or whether, if available, a third party, fire and theft policy would be suitable for your needs.
  • Add yourself to an existing policy. Consider being temporarily added to the owner of the car’s annual car insurance policy. But remember any claim would affect the policyholder’s no claims bonus.
  • Increase the excess. Agreeing to pay a bigger voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
  • Limit optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which optional extras you really want, as adding extra protection to your policy will generally push the price up.
  • Shop around. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal. Keep in mind that the cheapest temporary policy isn’t always the best policy, so check the cover details carefully.

Bottom line

There are plenty of options if you decide you need car insurance for only one day. But just as you would for an annual policy, it’s important to shop around and compare deals to make sure you find the best cover for your needs.

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.
*51% of consumers could save £257.97 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 2021 data. The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.

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