Temporary business car insurance

Short-term business car insurance can be a savvy financial choice if you sometimes need to mix business with pleasure when you drive.

Many standard car insurance policies will only cover regular commuting towards a single workplace as well as driving for personal purposes. So if you plan to use your car for work every now and then, you may need temporary business car insurance.

What is temporary business car insurance?

Temporary business car insurance is worth considering if you need to drive a car for a short period of time for business purposes.

If you have a standard car insurance policy on the car you own for personal use, it’s likely to cover you for “social, domestic and pleasure” reasons at a minimum – shopping, visiting friends and family or a driving staycation, for example. Most personal car insurance policies can also insure you to commute to a regular place of work.

However, using your car for business purposes other than your regular commute typically won’t be covered.

If you only need to use your car for work purposes occasionally, that’s where temporary business car insurance can come in. Short-term business car insurance is very flexible; you can take it out for any period of time between 1 hour and 30 days.

If you regularly use your car for work, you’re probably better off with annual business car insurance.

How can I get temporary business car insurance?

There are a number of insurers that offer temporary business car insurance, including mainstream insurers and providers that specialise in temporary car insurance.

You can usually get a quote online fairly quickly. Many insurers also offer instant cover, meaning that you can hit the road within a few minutes of requesting the policy.

You’ll need to supply similar details to those you give when taking out a regular car insurance policy, plus details of the business use – including how long you need cover for.

Am I eligible for temporary business car insurance?

Restrictions on the driver and the car in question will vary depending on the insurer, but often include the following:

  • Age limits. For example, the minimum age could be 18 or more. The maximum age can sometimes be 75.
  • Driving licence requirements. You normally need to have had your licence for 3-6 months, depending on the insurer. Your licence will also need to cover you to drive the size of vehicle you’re using for work.
  • Good track record. Many insurers will not accept you if you have a certain number of penalty points on your licence or have recently been disqualified from driving.
  • Vehicle size. Vehicles with more than a certain number of seats, or that exceed a certain weight or engine size, may not be covered.
  • Vehicle value. Many insurers exclude cars worth more than a certain amount.

Why should I get short-term business car insurance?

Temporary car insurance for business can be useful in a range of circumstances, such as the following:

  • Driving your own vehicle for work. For example, if you need to travel to a conference or for training, to visit a client or to transport business equipment.
  • Borrowing someone else’s vehicle for work. You don’t need to be the owner of a vehicle to get temporary business car insurance for it. You simply need the owner’s permission.
  • Occasionally driving a company vehicle. If you have permanent use of a company car that you use for work, you are likely to already have all-year business insurance. And some company-owned vehicles – such as a fleet of vans – may already be covered by “any driver” insurance. If this doesn’t apply and you only need to drive a company-owned vehicle a few times, it’s worth considering temporary cover. This can also be helpful if a company needs to insure someone quickly as it waits to sort out permanent cover.

What does temporary business car insurance cover?

The specifics will always depend on the insurer, so you will need to read your policy carefully (no way of getting out of this one, sorry).

But generally speaking, you will usually get fairly comprehensive cover that offers the same protection against accidents, theft and damage as personal insurance, and it will also allow you to travel worry-free between multiple workplaces.

Short-term business car insurance policies will also usually cover personal use of the vehicle. If you’re borrowing a car for work and need to use it for personal reasons too, that’s perfectly fine.

What doesn’t temporary business car insurance cover?

There are a few activities that will not usually be covered by short-term business car insurance and will require a specialist policy. For example, working as a courier, providing taxi services and transporting hazardous goods, among others.

Some features, such as breakdown cover, might be optional and come for an extra price.

Can I get temporary business car insurance for longer than a month?

Most insurers only allow you to take out temporary policies that last up to a month. This does not mean you can’t get cover for more than a month, but you will need to take out multiple policies in succession.

However, you should check whether this is really the cheapest option. If you only use your car for work for a few hours a month, it’s probably best to take out multiple short policies rather than getting blanket cover for the whole month.

Conversely, if you are expecting to do so constantly for a fairly long time, you may want an annual business car insurance policy.

Pros and cons of temporary business car insurance

Pros

  • Likely to be cheaper for occasional business use than an annual business car insurance policy
  • A good option if you need to borrow someone else’s vehicle for work purposes, for example borrowing a friend’s van
  • Very flexible – get insurance for as little as an hour or two

Cons

  • If you use your car for business more often than you expect, multiple short-term policies may be more expensive than annual insurance
  • Typically not available for more than a month at a time
  • Temporary insurance usually won’t cover some business activities, such as working as a courier

Bottom line

Quick and easy to set up, flexible to use and potentially very cost-effective, temporary business car insurance is all about making sure you are fully protected when driving for work. Your personal car insurance will not typically cover anything more than your regular commute, which can cause you trouble if something happens while you use your car for business purposes.

As the name suggests, temporary business car insurance will work best for those that only occasionally need extra business cover on a vehicle, rather than those that rely on it for their work.

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