Multi-car insurance allows you to cover several vehicles under one policy with a single provider. You'll get all the benefits of a standard car insurance policy, but often get a discount for each car you add to the policy.
You can also add multi-car breakdown cover that protects all drivers and cars on the policy.
Not all multi-car policies work the same way - there are two main types:
Each policy has different cover, benefits and add-ons - so you might add breakdown cover and legal expenses to your comprehensive policy but also have a basic third-party fire and theft policy for your teen, all under your multi-car insurance.
Policies can start and finish on different dates too.
With multiple car cover, your renewal dates are synced up - it’s one policy for all the cars.
The cover is usually the same for every driver and car, but always check the paperwork to be sure.
Multi-car insurance generally suits families where all drivers live at the same address. That's because it’ll usually only cover vehicles kept at the same address, but if one car needs to be kept away from home for extended periods, some multi-car policies will allow this - good news for children away at uni.
Check terms and conditions to find out whether your insurer allows for this type of cover though - not all do.
You might find it easier dealing with one insurer instead of several, but be aware that not all providers cover all cars on a single policy.
The main advantage is the multi-car discount, but there are other pros and cons to consider:
There’s no guarantee it’ll be cheaper than separate policies, but it’s worth checking. To find out what works out cheaper for you, compare car insurance quotes, add them up, then try a multi-car quote to see if it costs less.
Just make sure you compare like-for-like in terms of the level of cover and features you need. So if you want comprehensive insurance including legal cover and insurance for driving in Europe, only compare prices on policies that include those things.
The driver’s age and the car insurance group are two of the biggest factors affecting the price. That means a multi-car policy that combines a 50-year-old driving a BMW i8 with an 18-year-old in a modified Citroen C3 will be priced based on the risk each poses to the insurer, combined into a single premium.
There are plenty of other factors that go into the price though. Your driving history, whether you’ve claimed before, got penalty points and even where you live all affect the price.
There’s no standard list for what’s included in a multi-car policy. Some will cost extra, so make sure you only add and pay for what you really need.
The first car on the policy gets its own multi-car discount. Open the policy and tell the insurer how many cars you intend to add later so it can calculate your discount
If you have a breakdown, most multi-car policies will include a courtesy car to keep you on the road
If you're driving in convoy to Europe, multi-car can cover you for European driving - but check the small print and speak to the insurer to extend your cover if it's not included
If the windscreen cracks on one of the covered cars, multi-car insurance will usually cover windscreen repair
If your in-built car stereo or sat-nav breaks or gets stolen, multi-car policies will have personal possessions cover
Personal injury cover covers you if you're in a traffic accident and found to be at fault, up to a limit
Like other comprehensive car insurance policies, multi car can give you access to a 24-hour emergency helpline. If you're in an accident that's your fault, you can call for advice and assistance
Depending on the insurer, it may match the no-claims bonus on the second and third car that you add to the multi-car policy
On linked policies, no-claims discounts (NCDs) work in just the same way as on standard car insurance policies. Each driver earns their own and only theirs will be affected if they make a claim.
But for multiple car cover under one policy, renewal dates are synced up for all policyholders.
That causes two problems:
Some insurers let you add each vehicle as it reaches renewal time. Others give you a quote for the second car when you’re getting cover for the first. That quote's then guaranteed until the second car’s up for renewal.
If your chosen insurer doesn’t do this, you could sync up all cars in the household on the date that the final car is due for renewal and take out short-term insurance in the interim for the remaining cars. But that can be a more expensive option, when you could just insure for the year, protect your NCD, and be done with it.
Some multi-car insurers will sync-up the renewal dates, usually based on the date the first car was added to the policy. That means all your renewals will be due on the same date in future.
Other insurers simply have each car effectively on a separate policy that finishes when it would with a single car policy.
Some insurers will cover vehicles that are kept away from the main home for part of the year, but others will specify that they have to live at the same address. Check the policy wording before you buy.
Yes, and lots of households do. Just make sure that you're making a saving over buying two policies from different providers, as the discount will be greater for each extra car you add to a multi-car policy.
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