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Last updated: 15 September 2021
Finding the right car insurance for your needs can be difficult, particularly if you don't know how long you'll need it for or how long you will have access to the car you want to be insured on. Temporary car insurance may be a good match if you have flexible needs. This guide will cover the basics of temporary car insurance and what to look for when choosing a deal for you.
What is temporary car insurance?
Temporary car insurance provides comprehensive cover for cars over a short period, which can be as short as a few hours to one day, and as long as 24 weeks.
How does it work?
A short-term car insurance policy can start from the moment you've bought it, but you must have the vehicle owner's permission.
To acquire your policy, you will have to provide a few bits of information.
- Your personal details, such as your name and address.
- Details of the car you want to be insured on.
- Start and end date of the policy you would like to acquire.
- Your driving licence and driving history.
If you're a returning UK resident coming back for a short visit and in need of car insurance, there may be some requirements with certain providers. For example, you may need to have previously lived in the UK for 36 months.
Other restrictions may apply such as being over 21, or an upper age limit of 75. If you have points on your licence, or have made a number of insurance claims recently, you may find it difficult to buy temporary insurance.
Most temporary policies will be fully comprehensive, but you can easily add extra cover options to these policies such as driving in Europe.
Short term policies can't be used as a replacement for annual insurance policy, but you can take out a short-term cover alongside your regularly policy.
However, insurers typically have restrictions on the number of policies that you can take out in a yearly period. These restrictions may be a maximum number of days or maximum number of occasions.
Another advantage of a short-term insurance policy is that, if you need to make a claim, it won't affect your no claims bonus.
Who would this be useful for?
- Young drivers: Young drivers often can't afford their own car straight away so may borrow a friend or family members; a temporary car insurance policy would allow them to drive it when they need it rather than paying an annual fee.
- Learner drivers: For provisional licence holders preparing to take their test, a short-term policy can allow you time to practice with a family member of friend. For more info, check out our page on car insurance for learner drivers.
- Borrowing a vehicle: If you need to borrow a larger vehicle for a short trip or when you're moving to a new house, a short-term policy is useful
- Emergencies: If you ever need access car in a hurry you can get a short-term policy and be on the road in minutes.
How much will it cost?
The cost of your insurance policy will be largely determined by how long you need the policy, but average prices typically start from less than £20 per day. Prices will very according to your age, your driving experience, your driving history and the vehicle to which the insurance will apply.
What are the alternatives?
An alternative to short-term insurance is to become a named driver on an existing policy. However, temporary car insurance cover tends to be cheaper than changing an existing insurance policy or buying a new one.
How can I find the best deal for me?
The best way to find the best policy for your needs is to shop around. You can use our free car insurance comparison tool which takes account of your budget and your needs to find the best policy for you.