Temporary car insurance

Find out how temporary car insurance can get you on the road for less

What is temporary car insurance?

Temporary car insurance (also known as temp car insurance or short term car insurance) is exactly what it sounds like! It’s short term cover that allows you to drive in someone else’s car for short periods of time, instead of committing to a year-long policy.

You can get covered for just a few hours or even a few months. One day, 30 day or six month car insurance policies are particularly popular.

Do I need temporary car insurance?

If you own your own car, temporary car insurance won’t be for you. The government introduced Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) in 2011, which means by law your car must be insured at all times.

You can, however, use temporary car insurance to insure a car that you don’t own. Temporary car insurance is particularly well suited to:

  • Young drivers: If you’re under 25 and you want to borrow a friend or family member’s car while you’re on holiday from university or off on a road trip then short term insurance might work for you.
  • Learner drivers: If you fancy heading out to practise driving between lessons every once in a while, short-term insurance might be just the cover you need.
  • One day insurance: If there’s an emergency or you just need a car for the day to move house, for example, a one day car insurance policy could be perfect.

Top tip:

Thinking of temporary insurance? Make sure there is a continuous insurance policy covering the car too.

Short term car insurance vs named driver

Temporary car insurance isn’t the only way of getting insurance to drive someone else’s car. You can also get insured on the car owner’s existing policy as a named driver.

As a named driver, you’ll usually get insured for a longer period of time. While temporary car insurance allows you to only pay for what you use, getting added as a named driver often works out more cost effective if you drive frequently.

You’ll avoid the hassle of having to book cover each time you want to drive, and if you’re an older, more experienced driver, you might even bring down the car owner’s premium! However, you’ll only be insured to drive that particular car.

With temporary insurance on the other hand, you can get insured on a different car each time you take out a short term policy. Plus, because you’ll be on a different insurance policy to the car owner, any claims you make on your insurance won’t affect the car owner’s no claims bonus.

Temp insuranceNamed driver
Easily drive different cars×
Get insured on anyone’s car who’s given you permission×
Protect the car owner’s no claims bonus×
Seamless long term coverx
Often cheaper if you drive frequentlyx
Can bring down the car owner’s premiumx

Top tip:

Get a quote for a full year's insurance. It might be more cost-effective!

Can I get temporary car insurance?

There are many short term insurance options for learner drivers. However, the options become fewer once you pass your driving test, and not every insurer will give just anybody short term car insurance.

If you’re under the age of 21, you may struggle to find an insurer who is willing to offer you temporary car insurance. However, once you’re over the age of 21, you may start to find it easier.

You might also find it difficult to find temporary car insurance if you have a history of making car insurance claims or if you have points on your licence.

Is temp cover the most cost-effective option?

The most cost-effective car insurance for you will depend on how often you’re driving. If you’re only going to be driving every now and again, temporary car insurance might be most cost-effective option as you’ll only need to pay for what you use. Make sure that you compare insurance quotes to find the most competitive policies for you. Aviva temp cover, RAC temp cover and Admiral temporary car insurance all offer specialised policies.

However, if you’re going to be driving more frequently, a longer term insurance option could be better value. Consider taking out a specialised young driver insurance policy if you’re under 25, or a new driver insurance policy if you’ve recently passed your test.

Equally, if you have your own car, it’ll need to be insured continuously, so your best bet is to get a quote for a yearly policy. You could even spread your payments out by paying for your insurance monthly.