Can I get temporary car insurance?

You can get temporary car insurance for as little as one day up to a few months. It can be a great option for a range of situations, like sharing a long drive or picking up a new car, and you can still get it with a provisional licence.

6 min read
couple on car trip

How does temporary car insurance work? 

Temporary car insurance does exactly what it says on the tin: it provides you with insurance to drive a specific vehicle for a set amount of time. It’s ideal for situations where you need to be insured on a vehicle for a short time, such as if you’re sharing a long journey with a friend or you need a car at short notice – the list goes on and on. 

You can either set it up to start immediately or at a different point in the future. Perhaps the best thing about temporary car insurance though, is that you can decide exactly how temporary it is.

Some providers offer insurance for as little as one day, all the way to several days or, in some cases, months.

The important thing to remember is that different providers will offer different levels of cover (in terms of length and type).

You can get temporary car insurance even if you only have a provisional license. You’ll need to give the following details to the provider: 

  • the registration number, make and model of the car you need cover for
  • your personal details, like your name, date of birth, and contact details
  • your occupation
  • your driving licence details
  • when you want the policy to start and end

If you have all this information to hand, it’s easy to quickly get temporary car insurance online or over the phone.

What are the benefits of temporary car insurance cover? 

While temporary insurance can be a great option for certain situations, it isn’t right for everyone. If, for example, you need to insure a car multiple times a year, then it can often be cheaper to get an annual policy, even if you’re not driving every day. That said, there are a wide range of benefits to temporary car insurance if your situation calls for it.

Flexible policy options 

One of the main benefits is flexibility. Rather than having to tie yourself into an agreement for a year, you can choose exactly how long you want your cover to last. If you’re only looking to insure a car as a one-off or for a short amount of time, temporary car insurance can work out much cheaper overall than standard insurance.

The same level of cover as standard car insurance 

Just because the quantity may be shorter, it doesn’t mean the quality is compromised. Temporary car insurance tends to come with the same level of cover as standard car insurance. This means that you’re protected against theft, fire, third-party damage and personal damage.

However, there may be some exclusions to your policy, such as the fact that you are only able to drive the car you are insured on and you can only use the car for the reason you provided to the insurer, for example. Make sure you read your policy document for all the details.

It’s quick to arrange 

If you’re in a hurry to get insured, such as if you’re going to pick up your new car and don’t have time to research and commit to an annual policy, then temporary car insurance can be a great solution. It means you can get the cover you need to collect your vehicle, without having to worry about finding the best policy beforehand.

Even if you’re not looking for an annual policy, the speed of temporary insurance is one of its great benefits.

Cost-effective 

A huge draw for temporary car insurance is that you only pay for what you need. If you’re someone who doesn’t drive regularly, getting temporary insurance can be exceptionally cost-effective. You essentially only pay when you drive, instead of paying every month.

No impact on your no-claims discount 

Temporary insurance is completely separate from annual insurance, so if you have both and you have an accident in the vehicle you’re temporarily insured on, you can claim on the temporary insurance without it affecting your no-claims discount on your annual policy.

But by the same token, you cannot build up a no-claims history with temporary insurance. 

What’s covered by temporary car insurance?

What’s covered under your temporary car insurance policy will depend on the provider, as this can differ from one to the next. Generally speaking, if you get fully comprehensive insurance, you’ll be covered for:

  • the cost relating to another person’s car or property (if you’re at fault)
  • if your car catches fire, is broken into or stolen
  • the cost of repairing your own vehicle, even if you are at fault

It’s important that you check the terms and conditions to find out exactly what is and isn’t included in your policy before you get on the road.

What’s not covered by temporary car insurance? 

Different providers offer different cover. Many temporary car insurance policies don’t include things like:

  • being careless with security 
  • allowing additional drivers to use your car if they aren’t included on your policy
  • driving other cars that you aren’t insured to drive
  • using the car for a different purpose  
  • add-ones like a courtesy car, for example
  • excess

Can I get temporary car insurance on a friend's car? 

Absolutely - as long as you have the vehicle owner’s permission and a valid UK driving licence (or provisional licence), you can get temporary car insurance on a friend’s car.

Can you get temporary car insurance on a provisional license?  

Yes! One of the great things about temporary car insurance is that you can get it even if you haven’t yet passed your test yet (providing you have a provisional license, of course).

Temporary car insurance can sometimes be more appropriate for learners than an annual policy. Here’s why...

Save money on driving lessons 

Getting temporary insurance offers you extra time behind the wheel, and practice really does make perfect when learning to drive.

The more hours you can spend driving, the higher the chances are of passing your test – and the more money you can save on formal driving lessons.

Remember, you must be accompanied by someone over the age of 21, who's had a full licence for at least three years.

Protect the owner’s no-claims discount 

Temporary car insurance offers peace of mind to the owner as it’s entirely separate. So, if you are on the owner’s policy as a learner, then their no-claims discount won’t be affected if you have an accident and need to claim on the insurance.

Take a driving test in the car of your choice 

Taking your driving test in a car you’re familiar with is an instant way to make you feel more comfortable, which may increase your chances of passing. With temporary car insurance, you can even insure the car you like to drive just for the day, so you can take your test in it.

Peace of mind whilst learning as fully comp covered

It’s natural to be a bit nervous when you first learn to drive, but being fully covered by your insurance helps to take the edge off. For learners, this can be expensive on an annual policy, but with temporary cover, fully comprehensive cover is usually offered as standard. So, you can be comfortable and cost-effective.

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