car driving down the slip road to the motorway

What is temporary car insurance?

There are various situations in which you might end up driving a vehicle for which you don’t have an annual insurance policy. Perhaps you need to borrow a friend’s car or maybe you’re planning on sharing the driving on a long trip? Whatever the reason, you might be wondering about temporary car insurance.

Our guide explains all you need to know about temporary car insurance, why you might need it and how you can take out a short-term policy.

Temporary car insurance explained

You’ve likely heard about temporary car insurance but, until you come to need a short-term policy, you might not know much about it. Essentially, it’s a type of short-term cover that can be taken out for the period of time that you need it. You can choose how long your policy lasts and companies often offer temporary insurance for up to one month, or sometimes longer.

Like regular car insurance policies, temporary cover usually provides fully comprehensive insurance for the duration of your agreement. You’ll often be able to add extras onto your policy such as cover for driving in Europe or breakdown cover.

Is temporary car insurance cheaper than an annual policy?

With annual car insurance premiums rising, choosing to take out temporary cover on a borrowed car could work out as a better option for many drivers who only need a short-term policy.

To get an idea of how much temporary car insurance might cost, at Dayinsure we offer daily car insurance from £19.

If, however, you know you’ll need to use a vehicle for a longer period of time, it might be a better option for you to add cover to your existing policy or take out annual cover for the vehicle.

To find out more about the cost of annual policies, take a look at our guide to why car insurance premiums are increasing. You can also find out more about the differences between an annual policy and short-term cover.

Who can get temporary car insurance?

Whether you can get temporary car insurance depends on a few factors but, in general, most drivers can take out a policy on their chosen vehicle.

The majority of providers, including Dayinsure, insure drivers aged between 18 and 75, though some terms and conditions may vary depending on policies.

We also offer temporary car insurance for young drivers so, if you’re under 21 and have held your driving licence for at least six months, you can usually get cover.

If you’re learning to drive, there is also the option of taking out temporary car insurance for learner drivers, which provides cover on a friend or family member’s car (or your own),  enabling you to gain some experience outside of your formal lessons. See our guide to learner driver insurance to discover more.

If you want to learn more about who qualifies for short-term cover, take a look at our guide to temporary car insurance eligibility.

How long does temporary car insurance last?

The beauty of temporary car insurance is that it can last for as long or as little as you need. Many providers offer short-term policies to cover a set time period of between one and 30 days. At Dayinsure, we offer temporary cover that can last between one hour and 30 days, so you only pay for exactly what you need, when you need it. The most common time periods are one day, one week or one month.

You can usually get cover to start the same day, often in as little as 15 minutes . This makes it a good option for those emergency situations.

Some policies allow you to extend your cover if you find you need a longer policy. At Dayinsure, we allow up to three extensions and can provide cover for up to 30 days from the original date.

For more information, check out our temporary car insurance.

Reasons for taking out temporary car insurance

There are multiple reasons why you might wish to take out a temporary car insurance policy:

  • Sharing the driving on a road trip
  • Borrowing a friend’s car while yours is in the garage
  • Borrowing a bigger vehicle for a family break
  • Borrowing a larger car to move house
  • Taking a car for a test drive
  • Driving a family member’s car in a medical emergency as they’re unable to drive.

Our guides to the different uses of temporary car insurance and the benefits of short-term car insurance highlight even more advantages of taking out temporary cover.

While it’s often legal for a driver with a main policy to drive other vehicles under their insurance terms, it’s important to be aware that this is usually only on a third-party basis. This means that, should an accident happen, you might not be covered if you were at fault. A temporary car insurance policy offers fully comprehensive insurance, so you don’t need to worry about your level of cover.

Temporary policies can provide cover for a range of situations, making it a versatile option for those unexpected occurrences. Take a look at our guide to driving another car in an emergency for essential tips and information.

What does temporary car insurance cover?

Policies vary depending on the provider’s terms and conditions and the underwriter. If you’re taking out cover, it’s important to read your motor insurance certificate and any documents to make sure you fully understand what your policy covers you for.

Depending on the policy, you’ll normally get fully comprehensive cover for aspects such as:

  • Damage to other people’s property and compensation for injury to others
  • Loss of or damage to the vehicle
  • Vehicle recovery
  • Legal costs.

Other factors such as personal belongings and glass repair are also often covered as part of a temporary car insurance policy. It’s important that the vehicle is used only for the stated purpose to ensure that any insurance remains valid.

Breakdown cover and roadside assistance are sometimes offered as optional extras that can be added to a policy. If you’re travelling abroad, you’ll be covered third-party when driving in the EU. However, temporary fully comprehensive European car insurance can also be added to increase your level of cover when travelling on holiday in the EU.

See our detailed guide to what temporary car insurance covers.

Short-term policies and business driving

At Dayinsure, you’re covered for most day-to-day journeys within Great Britain. These might include the school run, taking a short break, visiting friends and family and running errands.

Temporary car insurance can also be used for test drives but you might also need cover for business use. Unlike some other providers, we include business use as standard, so you can commute, car share with a colleague and attend meetings knowing you’re fully covered.

What can’t temporary car insurance be used for?

All policies are likely to vary but you’ll normally find details of anything for which you’re not covered for in the Insurance Product Information Document or Policy Wording document.

Our temporary car insurance won’t cover you for things such as driving a vehicle as a learner driver or a motorhome. However, you can take out temporary learner driver cover or temporary motorhome insurance to cover these situations.

It’s unlikely that a temporary car insurance policy will cover you for driving in another country outside of the EU and, if you’re travelling to Europe, it’s worth checking the details before you set off.

Is it easy to take out a temporary car insurance policy?

Most providers allow you to apply for short-term car insurance online by filling in a few details. You’ll need some information to hand including your name, address, date of birth, occupation and contact details. You’ll also need the registration number of the vehicle you’re insuring and your British driving licence number.

You can normally get cover on the same day you apply, and even in as little as 15 minutes  in some cases. This makes it a quick option to get covered on another vehicle without having to update your original annual policy.

What about tax and MOT?

You can use one of our Aviva policies to take a vehicle without an MOT to a pre-booked MOT appointment. You cannot use a Mulsanne policy for this purpose. If the vehicle runs out of tax or is overdue for its MOT while you’re driving it, your cover may become invalid (check your policy).

It’s also worth noting that the registered keeper of a vehicle can be fined for failing to have a valid MOT or failing to tax the car.

Want to know more about whether you can take out temporary car insurance with no MOT? Our in-depth guide has more information.

Can I have more than one policy?

A temporary car insurance policy is attached to the driver and vehicle, so you’re only covered for that specific car. However, it is possible to have two vehicles covered at the same time. This is often the case for drivers who already have an annual policy for their main car but wish to make use of another vehicle for a short period of time.

It’s also worth remembering that any additional drivers will need their own policies to make sure they’re fully covered to drive the vehicle.

Some people choose to be added as a named driver on a policy instead of taking out temporary cover. While this can provide valid insurance, it can put any no-claims discount at risk and can cost more in the long run.

Take a look at our guide: Temporary car insurance, do I need an underlying policy?

How does temporary car insurance affect no claims discount?

Because temporary car insurance is a separate policy, any claim you make while driving the borrowed vehicle won’t affect the owner’s policy or their no-claims discount. Similarly, if a friend has an accident while using your vehicle then, as long as they have their own policy, your insurance won’t be affected.

Taking out short-term cover therefore can be a good way to give you and the other person peace of mind that their main cover won’t be affected, even in the event of an accident.

What is the best temporary car insurance?

There are many providers of temporary car insurance, all offering slightly different variations of cover, so it’s impossible to say which is the best as it depends on your particular needs.

When looking for the right cover for you, make sure you choose a policy that covers your requirements, whether that’s driving for work, going abroad, taking a test drive or simply ferrying the children. Not all policies are the same and, sometimes, your needs might require specialist cover such as temporary motorhome insurance or learner driver cover.

You’ll also need to make sure that you can take out cover for the length of time that you need it, whether that’s hours, days or even a few weeks. It’s wise to check that your insurance provider is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) so you can be sure you’re getting a regulated product.

Take a look at our detailed guide on comparing temporary car insurance cover before choosing your policy.

Temporary car insurance from Dayinsure

At Dayinsure, we offer temporary car insurance that covers a range of situations, including business use. You can choose the length of cover, from one hour up to 30 days, making it one of the most flexible options on the market.

It’s easy to get a quote and you could be covered on the car of your choice in as little time as 15 minutes.

Why not check out our variety of guides and news in our dedicated help and support page, featuring essential driving tips, learner driver information and all things insurance?