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Are you insured to drive other cars?

Compare car insurance and find a policy with cover that allows you to drive someone else’s car

Comprehensive insurance and driving other cars

Insurance to drive other cars (DOC) cover used to be a standard feature of comprehensive insurance policies, but it’s rare these days.

You’ll need to check the terms and conditions of your comprehensive car insurance to see if you’ve got DOC cover and what that includes.

It’s cover that protects you during an emergency, but it’s not a replacement for standard or short-term car insurance.

Check any emails and letters you’ve had about your insurance to make sure the terms haven’t changed. You might not be covered anymore.

DOC is usually not an option on third-party policies.

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92% of the 350 comprehensive car insurance policies on Defaqto don’t offer cover to drive other cars – only 11 offer it as standard
Those 11 policies had limits and exclusions, which all differed[2]

Make sure you compare and check policy details to find the right cover

Reasons you won’t have cover to drive other cars

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to get cover to drive someone else’s car if:

  1. You’re under 25

    Some insurers won’t provide DOC cover to drivers that are in a high-risk age group, like under 25-year olds

  2. You have a ‘high-risk’ job

    A few policies exclude certain occupations from having cover to drive other cars. Don’t assume that because you’re a professional driver that you’ll be covered

  3. You want to drive a powerful car

    If you normally drive a Vauxhall Astra but want to borrow your friend's sports car, your insurer is unlikely to cover you

Policy wording and exclusions to look out for

Car insurance is either tied to you as the driver or linked to the car, so make sure you know which policy you’ve got.

If your insurance is tied to you, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically able to drive any other car.

For example, if the other car belongs to your partner, you might not be covered to drive it even if you’re listed as a named driver on their policy.

You also can’t just jump into another car if the original vehicle that you insured is scrapped, even if you did have a policy that included DOC.

Don’t let your insurance auto-renew without checking the new policy details. The cover may have been removed.

It’s also essential that you get the car owners permission to borrow their car.

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^Participating garages only. Geographic restrictions apply. MOT must be booked by 30 June 2021. Full T&Cs apply.

The consequences of driving without the right insurance

It’s illegal to drive a vehicle without proper insurance.

If the car’s insured, but you don’t adequate cover for you to drive it, you’ll be charged with an IN10 motoring offence for being uninsured to drive the vehicle. You’ll get:

1) Six to eight points on your licence

2) A fixed penalty of £300

If your case goes to court and you’re found guilty, you’d get an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving.

It’s the registered keeper who’ll be held accountable for damage and personal injury claims if an uninsured driver causes an accident in their vehicle.

The police have the power to seize and destroy uninsured vehicles, and you must declare the offence on any future vehicle insurance applications for at least five years.

It’ll be more expensive to buy insurance, and the pool of insurers willing to cover you will be a lot smaller.

Alternatives to driving other cars cover

Named driver

You can be listed as a named driver on the car owner’s own insurance policy.

Find out more

Short-term car insurance

Useful if you only need to drive another car for a short period of time, from hours to days.

Find out more

A separate policy

If you drive another car regularly, insure it separately with you as the driver

Any driver van insurance

If you’re using a van for businesses use, you can get an any driver policy that covers multiple drivers on the same vehicle

Find out more

Don't get caught out with the wrong cover – 137,410 vehicles were seized for no insurance in 2019 which was equivalent to one seizure every four minutes

According to The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)

DOC and its impact on telematics

Telematics insurance bases your premiums on how well you drive.

It’s a box in the car, and it can’t tell who’s behind the wheel. Anyone who drives the car will be contributing to the data.

Whether the other driver is extremely sensible or careless behind the wheel, it’ll be recorded, analysed, and reflected in your insurance premiums.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I drive my partners car?

    You can drive your partners vehicle if your insurance policy includes DOC or you’re a named driver on their policy. Make sure you check the wording of any policy documents before you drive their vehicle.

  • Can I drive someone else’s car in an emergency?

    You’ll only be able to drive someone else’s car if you’re a named driver or your policy has a DOC clause. It’s best to call for help or park up and wait if there is an emergency.

  • I have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy, can I drive anyones car?

    You won’t necessarily be able to drive any car under a comprehensive policy. Check the policy documents before you take out your car insurance to make sure you’re covered.

Car insurance guides

[2]Last checked 12 January 2021.

[3]Based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence during 1 October to 31 October 2020: 51% of consumers could achieve a saving of up to £240.64 with GoCompare car insurance based on a comparison of 31 companies.

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