Woman driving a car

Whose insurance covers a borrowed car?

There are many reasons why you might need to borrow a car once in a while. Perhaps your vehicle is in the garage, you need a larger car to transport a big item or there’s an emergency situation. Whatever the circumstances, it can be confusing to work out whether you’re insured to drive another vehicle and, if so, whose insurance covers a borrowed car.

If you want to use another vehicle or you’re lending your own vehicle to someone, our guide to insuring a borrowed car explains all you need to know.

Can you borrow a car without insurance?

Previously, it was common practice for insurers to include cover as standard for driving other vehicles. Known as Driving Other Cars (DOC), this aspect of a policy allowed the insured person to drive another vehicle under their own insurance. But it’s now rare to find cover with this feature included.

Many drivers think that their comprehensive annual policy will cover them to drive any other vehicle on a third-party basis, but this is not usually the case nowadays. It might be tempting to assume your own insurance, or the policy of the vehicle owner, will cover you to drive another car. However, it’s important to check the details before jumping in the driving seat.

If you drive a vehicle without the proper insurance, you could face a fixed penalty notice of £300 as well as six penalty points on your driving licence. According to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), in 2021 over 100,000 uninsured drivers also had their vehicle seized.

Am I insured if I borrow a car?

As mentioned, this depends on your individual policy. Chances are, even if your annual cover includes a DOC option, you’ll likely only be covered on a third-party basis.

Some people make the mistake of thinking that a car insurance policy is attached to the vehicle, rather than the driver. This is not the case and assuming this could leave you driving a motor uninsured. However, you can be a named driver on another policy, which is a popular option for families and couples who might want to use each other’s vehicles from time to time.

Can my friend borrow my car?

Having a friend borrow your car works under the same principle as if you were driving another vehicle. The probably won’t already have insurance in place to cover driving a different car, so it’s important to make sure your friend takes out an appropriate policy.

Allowing someone else to drive your vehicle uninsured is risky. If they ended up involved in an accident or were to be stopped by the police, you could be prosecuted as the vehicle owner.

You should only allow someone to borrow your car if you know they are properly insured for the time they’ll be driving it.

Can I take out car insurance for borrowing a car?

There are options available if you’re looking to make use of a car for a short period of time. Whether you’re wanting to borrow a car for a day, a week or a month, it’s important to get properly insured.

There are a few ways to do this:

  • Take out your own policy – taking out a policy on a vehicle that’s registered to someone else can prove tricky, unless it belongs to a spouse or family member. However, some insurers will cover you as long as you have the details of the registered keeper of the car.
  • Get added as a named driver – this is often used by members of the same household and can be beneficial if you’re planning to use another car frequently.
  • Use your current annual policy – check your annual insurance policy to see if it does include a DOC option before taking out extra cover.
  • Take out temporary, short-term car insurance – if you need to borrow a car for a certain period of time, this could be the easiest and most practical option and it won’t affect any No Claims Bonus on your current policy.

Can all drivers and vehicles be covered with a temporary insurance policy?

Most vehicles and drivers can be insured to use a car on a temporary basis. To be eligible for Dayinsure temporary car insurance you need to:

  • Be aged between 18 and 75.
  • Hold a valid, full UK driving licence and have done so for at least six months (or three months if aged over 25).
  • Have a permanent UK address.
  • Have had no more than one fault claim in the last 12 months.
  • Have had no more than nine penalty points within the last 18 months.

The vehicle you want to drive must also:

  • Be registered in Great Britain, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man.
  • Have a current market value of less than £75,000.
  • Have an engine size of 3999cc or less.
  • Not be over 3.5 Tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight.

To find out more about eligibility, take a look at our temporary car insurance acceptance criteria.

How can Dayinsure help when borrowing a car?

With Dayinsure, you can be confident you’ll get a fully comprehensive policy when you take out our temporary car insurance. Our flexible cover means you can borrow a car or have a friend use your vehicle knowing you’ll be fully protected.

So, whether you want to borrow a car for a month, a week or a day, we’ve got you covered.

Get a quote online today and don’t forget to check out our news section for more tips and guides.