One month car insurance
Find out how one month car insurance works and get on the road with the best deal.
Even if you don’t own a car, there may be times you need to drive one for a short period. Perhaps you’re heading off on a road trip with a partner or friend and want to share the driving on their car. You’ll need to be insured, but an annual policy is probably overkill. A good alternative is temporary car insurance, which can cover you for up to a month – or even longer with some insurers. Our guide will help you work out if one month car insurance is right for you, and how to choose the best policy.
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What is one month car insurance?
One month car insurance provides you short-term cover that lasts only as long as you need it, so you don’t need to spend money unnecessarily on an annual car insurance policy. Many temporary policies last a maximum of 30 days – hence “one month” car insurance. But you can actually take out temporary car insurance for as little as a day, or even a few hours. And some providers offer policies that last up to 3 months.
Who might need one month car insurance?
All drivers are required by law to have at least third-party car insurance to be on UK roads. It covers you financially if an accident you cause injures other people or damages their vehicles or property. It can also protect you financially if your car is vandalised, stolen or damaged by fire.
This legal requirement does not change whether you need use of a car for a day, a month or a year, and applies whether you’re driving a car you own or someone else’s.
But if you’re only planning to drive a car for up to a month or so at a time, one month car insurance could be a financially better bet than taking out a full year of cover. This might apply, for example, to:
- A son or daughter borrowing their parent’s car while home from college or university
- Someone borrowing a car for a trip or to spend time with family
- Someone sharing the driving on a long road trip
- Someone borrowing a car to run errands or to move house
You might also consider one month car insurance if you have a second car that you only drive every now and then. But bear in mind that, during the times you’re not driving your car, if you don’t have insurance you’ll need to officially declare it off the road (SORN), and won’t be able to park it on a public road.
One advantage of short-term policies is that they are completely independent of any annual policies held. So, if you need to make a claim on a one month policy, it won’t affect the no-claims bonus on annual policies held by you or the owner of a borrowed car.
Who is eligible for one month car insurance?
Different providers will have different restrictions and conditions for the purchase of their temporary car insurance cover. The following are examples of some of the possible driver criteria, but it’s not an exhaustive list so check the terms of your shortlisted policies.
- Age limits. Unfortunately, obtaining cheap temporary car insurance for under 21s can be tricky. Some insurers may even exclude drivers under 25 and some may also exclude drivers over a certain age (75, for example)
- Must hold a current provisional or full driving licence. Usually, this will need to have been held for at least 6 months (for UK drivers) or 12 months (for EU drivers)
- Must have been a UK resident for 12 months or more
- Must not have received more than 7 driving licence points in the last 3 years
- Must not have made more than 2 car insurance claims in the previous 3 years (excluding claims where the driver was not at fault)
- Must not have any criminal convictions
Depending on the insurer, there may also be conditions relating to the car you’ll be driving – such as maximum value or maximum size requirements. Again, the devil is in the detail, so read that small print carefully.
What does one month car insurance include?
The detail of one month car insurance policies varies from one provider to the next, but most will offer:
- Comprehensive cover: this includes accidental damage to your and other people’s vehicles, fire and weather damage, vandalism and theft
- Flexible cover: the time you’re insured for can be tailored to meet your needs
- Third-party cover to drive in the EU
Are there any exclusions with one month car insurance?
Beyond the obvious point that you won’t be covered outside of the specific period of insurance (so don’t forget exactly when this ends), one month car insurance will have similar exclusions to annual car insurance. Some of the most common reasons that risk your cover being invalid are:
- Driving without a valid driving licence (ability to take out cover with a non-UK driving licence will vary by insurer)
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving someone else’s car without the owner’s permission
- Theft as the result of negligence. For example, you typically won’t be covered if the car or its contents are stolen because you have failed to leave the car locked and secured
- Using your car for business purposes. For example, if you use the car to attend a work conference or to transport business equipment, you may not be covered. As long as you’re clear about the intended use upfront, your one month insurer may be able to offer temporary business car insurance
Where can I get one month car insurance?
There are a number of insurers that specialise in car insurance policies that last a month or less. Use the table at the top of this page as a starting point to compare cover from a selection of one month insurers.
How much does one month car insurance cost?
Per day, one month car insurance is usually more expensive than a month’s worth of annual cover. But a month of temporary cover will still usually work out cheaper than paying for a full year of insurance you don’t need.
As with all car insurance policies, there are lots of personal factors that will affect how much you’ll pay, including:
- Your age, location, years of driving experience and any claims or convictions
- The car’s model, make, age and value
Experienced drivers are more likely to find cheap one month car insurance cover than young drivers. And if you’re looking to borrow a powerful sports car, expect to pay more than for a safe family car.
How can I save on one month car insurance?
- Choose a higher excess. Increasing the level of your voluntary excess usually lowers premiums. Bear in mind that fixed excesses might be higher in the first place on short-term policies, so upping the voluntary excess could make the amount you’d have to pay in the event of a claim prohibitively expensive, and potentially higher than the cost of the damage.
- Don’t pay out for unnecessary extras. Adding extra protection, such as breakdown cover, to your policy can be worth the expense if you have a real need for it, but consider carefully whether that is the case.
- Shop around. All providers are not created equal. Always compare your options to find the best deal. But remember that cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean best, so always read the policy details in full to make sure it’s the right one for you.
One month car insurance is a simple, flexible option if you only need to drive a car for a few weeks. On a per-day basis, it’ll usually work out more expensive than an annual policy. But it will almost certainly be cheaper than paying for a full year of cover that you don’t need. To keep costs down, always shop around, and compare premiums against alternatives such as buying and then cancelling an annual policy or being added to the car owner’s policy as a named driver.
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