couple with borrowed car and short term car insurance

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Cheap short term car insurance, online?

What is short term car insurance?

These are very much like conventional policies which provide you with comprehensive cover. The crucial differences are that (a) you can buy them online to insure a vehicle for very short periods (from an hour up to several weeks); and (b) you can apply for a policy to cover not only a one that you own, but also one that you have borrowed.

There are also specialist sites that provide car insurance for one day, cheaply or 7 day car insurance policies.

Which is the best temporary car insurance for me to buy?

There are several providers we partner with, and they have different prices and conditions. Which one you choose depends on your own circumstances. They are:

Sky Insurance Services

This link lets you compare quotes online from several different underwiters. The car or van can be either your own, or one that you have borrowed.

They accept applications from both experienced and learner drivers, aged from 17 to 75. You can include a second additional driver on your policy too, if you wish - ideal for sharing the driving on a long journey. Cover is comprehensive, and you can buy a policy for between one and 28 days. If you need a longer time then you can buy a new policy after the existing one expires.

Tempcover

This is a well established company that provides not only short term cover for cars, and vans, but for motorcycles and motorhomes too.

Drivers need to be UK residents between 17 and 78 and hold a UK full or provisional driving licence, although returning expats with EU licences can also apply.

You can get quotes online for periods as short as one hour or up to four weeks. They have a panel of insurers so can offer a range of policies to suit different needs.

There are special policies exclusively for learner drivers.

Why would I want to insure a vehicle temporarily?

You may wish to:

  • Take over as driver at short notice
  • Borrow a larger one for a family holiday
  • Test drive one before buying it
  • Drive it home after you've bought it
  • Borrow a van to move some goods
  • Drive a parent's car whilst home from university
  • Lend yours to a friend
  • Share the driving on a long journey
  • Borrow one whilst your own is off the road
  • Collect one which has been impounded
  • Add an extra driver for your own car
  • Learn to drive or practice in your own car or a borrowed one.


Do I have to own the vehicle to be insured?

No, you can insure one that you own or one that you have borrowed, provided that you have the owner's express permission to do so.


Can I legally lend my car to someone else?

Yes but you must make absolutely certain that this person is properly insured to drive it, with an absolute minimum of third party cover. It is not only a criminal offence to drive on a public road without insurance, but also to permit someone else to do so. The penalties are very severe.

Believing that the driver was insured; when in fact this was not the case; is no defence in law since the onus is upon the owner of the car to make absolutely certain of this.

A temporary car insurance policy could ensure that you stayed within the law, and protect you from possible prosecution.


Do I qualify for temporary insurance?

Each short term car insurance provider works with a number of insurers, all of whom have their own acceptance criteria. However the following is a rough guide, but this will vary from one underwriter to another:

  • You should be aged between about 17 and 78
  • You should hold a UK or EU driving licence, either full or provisional
  • You should be a British resident or a British expats
  • You should have no more than about 7 penalty points on your licence
  • No more than a couple of fault claims within the last 3 years
  • You should be free of criminal convictions, ASBOs, etc
  • The vehicle must be roadworthy with a current MOT, unless you are taking it straight to an MOT station
  • It should be taxed, unless you use the policy to buy this
  • It should have a minimum value of about £1,500 and a maximum of £60,000.
  • It should have no more than seven seats, including the driver's
  • It should be right hand drive unless it is a motor homes
  • It should be registered, and kept, within the United Kingdom.

Do remember that the above are rough guidelines only, and each underwriter will have their own criteria. You should check these on the documentation that is made available to you before you buy a policy. Most modern cars are acceptable to the underwriters, but some older, more costly or rarer models may not be.


What is the minimum time you can insure a car for?

Tempcover offer policies from as little as just a single hour. The underwriters that Sky Insurance Services deal with offer a minimum of one day. It is still worth getting a quote from them though, even if you only need cover for a few hours.


What is the maximum time you can insure a car for?

The normal maximum is 28 days (although some learner driver policies may be longer). The policy can often be renewed once an existing one has expired but most underwriters have limits on the number of times that this can happen.

Do bear in mind that idf you need cover for several months it may be cheaper to buy a yearly policy instead.


Can I legally drive a car I've just bought without insuring it?

You might have a policy on an existing car which covers you for driving any vehicle that doesn't belong to you. However if you buy another car this becomes your property and so you would not be covered for it.By driving a car you have just bought, for which you had no insurance cover, would be a criminal offence.


How long does it take to buy a policy?

Once you have accepted a quote and paid online by credit card you could be covered immediately. Your insurance details would be available online for you to produce if necessary.


Can I book a policy ahead?

Yes you can. Most underwriters will agree to your policy beginning on a fixed time and date up to 28 days in advance.


Which documents will I need to produce?

To buy a policy you will only need the registration details (ie the numberplate) of the car you want to insure, and your driving licence details. To just get a quote you wouldn't need the registration details; the make and model of the car would be sufficient but to get a policy you would definitely need them.


Are there alternatives to temporary car insurance?

If you already own a car and have a comprehensive insurance policy you may also be covered to drive any vehicle not belonging to you. However this is almost invariably third party cover only; in other words if a borrowed car was damaged whilst it was under your control the insurer would not pay any of your repair or replacement costs. You could also lose your no claims discount.

If you lent your car to someone else you might be able to include this person on your own policy. However this would probably mean ringing your insurer to arrange this - it is very unlikely that you could do it quickly online - and depending on the other driver's age, experience, driving record etc it could prove very expensive.

Also remember that if this driver had a fault accident - more likely in an unfamiliar car, even for experienced drivers - it would be your no claims discount that would suffer.

Compare this to a quick and simple purchase of a short term comprehensive policy!


Can I use temporary insurance to tax a vehicle?

Yes, you can do this online, which is probably the easiest and most convenient way. You should also be able to do it in a participating post office too.


Can I use shortterm insurance to drive a van?

Yes, most underwriters will accept applications to cover light vans as well as cars, and you may even be able to insure a motor home that you have borrowed or own.


What does one of these policies cover cover?

Just like a normal yearly comprehensive insurance policy, most short term policies will cover you for third party risks (ie injury to other people, or damage to their property) as well as damage to your own car, subject to certain limitations. For example if you leave your car unlocked with the keys in at a petrol station (it's surprising how many do), put the wrong fuel in or drive down rough unmade roads and you may find that you are not covered.

As with every insurance policy, you should check the documentation carefully before buying to see that that particular policy covers, or doesn't.


What optional extras are available?

There is often a choice of roadside assistance, either in the UK or EU as well, for a small extra premium.

Also, whilst cover whilst travelling in the UK is comprehensive, in the EU this is the equivalent of third party only, but it can be upgraded to comprehensive if you wish.


Can I use it to insure my own car?

Absolutely. if you need to insure it for just a short time , perhaps to get it MOT'd, or prepare it for sale, a short term policy could be ideal.


Is temporary insurance cost effective?

Is can be a money saver if you only need to insure a particular car for a short while. If you need cover for a longer term than hust a few days or weeks a yearly policy may be cheaper. Also with an annual policy you can build up a no claims bonus, which you cannot do with temporary cover.


Can I drive in Europe using temporary insurance?

Yes most policies will allow you to drive within the EU on the basic premium. Cover in this case usually reduces to the minimum legally necessary insurance, the equivalent of third party only, whilst the car is abroad. This however can usually be upgraded to comprehensive cover for an extra premium, and another optional extra is roadside recovery within the EU.

It is normally a condition that the journey both begins, and ends, in the United Kingdom.


How much does a policy cost?

Like every insurance policy, there are many factors that influence the premium. The only way to find out is to get a quote - it only takes a short while to get one online.


What do I need to do to get a quote?

Just make sure you have the registration number of the car you want to insure, and your driving licence details, then fill in the short application form. You should be able to have a policy in place within just a couple of minutes or so.

Menu - This Page

What exactly is short term car insurance?

Which is the best temporary car insurance for me to buy?

Why would I want to insure a vehicle temporarily?

Do I have to own the vehicle to be insured?

Can I legally lend my car to someone else?

Do I qualify for temporary insurance?

What is the maximum time you can insure a car for?

What is the maximum time you can insure a car for?

Can I legally drive a car I've just bought without insuring it?

How long does it take to buy a policy?

Can I book a policy ahead?

Which documents will I need to produce?

Are there alternatives to temporary car insurance?

Can I use temporary insurance to tax a vehicle?

Can I use shortterm insurance to drive a van?

What does one of these policies cover cover?

What optional extras are available?

Can I use it to insure my own car?

Is temporary insurance cost effective?

Can I drive in Europe using temporary insurance?

How much does a policy cost?

What do I need to do to get a quote?

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