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Temporary car insurance

Find the right short-term car insurance with our partners[1]

  • Cuvva offers short-term insurance for drivers aged between 19 and 65 from as little as one hour up to 28 days. Sign up in a few minutes using their app to get comprehensive cover.

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  • Dayinsure, which is backed by Aviva, offers comprehensive short-term car insurance cover for drivers aged 19-75. You can quickly get covered for UK driving, with the option to add cover to drive in Europe too.

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  • Tempcover compares comprehensive short-term car insurance policies from well-known UK insurers. UK drivers aged between 18 and 75 can easily find cover – plus learners from 17. You can get cover from one to 28 days, with flexible payment options and easy access to online documents.

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  • Collingwood offers award-winning learner driver insurance, with temp cover periods starting from seven days and running to 24 weeks. This cover is for provisional licence holders, aged between 17 and 65 driving their own car, or someone else’s.

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What’s short-term car insurance?

Short-term car insurance lasts from as little as one hour, up to several months. Most policies are fully comprehensive. But you can get third party, fire and theft cover too.

You might also hear it referred to as temporary car insurance or pay-by-day cover.

Whichever policy you buy, make sure it gives immediate cover for short periods.

It can be cheaper to take out temporary car insurance than to make changes to your existing policy. For example, to add a car you only need to drive for a day or two.

If you need to claim on your short-term car insurance, it won’t affect your no claims bonus.

You can also add extra cover, like driving in Europe, for an extra charge. Just make sure you check what cover you’ll have, as it might only be the minimum level which is third party only.

How to get short-term car insurance

It’s quick and easy to get temporary cover for your car. There are four simple steps to get your quotes:

  1. About you

    Your name, address, date of birth and driving history

  2. About your car

    Information about the car you want to cover. Its make and model, for example

  3. Length of cover

    Choose how long you need cover for, from as little as one hour to 24 weeks

  4. Pick a policy

    Pick the policy that works for you, with the right cover and at the right price

How does short-term car insurance work?

A temporary policy is separate to an annual policy, so it won’t affect your no claims bonus.

You’ll get the same level of cover as standard car insurance policy, but for a shorter time.

Once your temporary cover expires, you won’t be able to drive the car on public roads. If you own the vehicle, you'll need to make a SORN or take out another insurance policy.

Insurers might limit how many policies you can get in any rolling 12-month period, so it’s best to plan ahead.

If you’re going to be insuring a car multiple times during a year, you might find a better deal by comparing car insurance quotes for an annual policy. You’ll be able to build up a no claims bonus with this policy too.

You told us that the cost of insurance was your second biggest car-related worry.[2] Would you be better off with short term or annual cover?

Get quotes for annual cover

How long can I get cover for?

Your temporary car insurance could last for as little as one hour, or for as long as 24 weeks:

Hourly and daily cover
Weekly cover
Monthly cover

Cover that lasts for between just one hour and one day gives you flexibility for one-off or short journeys.

It’s ideal if you’re borrowing a friend’s car, driving a new car home from the dealership, driving in an emergency, or car sharing.

To get hourly or daily cover, you’ll need your registration number and a full UK driving licence. Most cars are covered, but expensive or powerful cars are usually off the table unless you’re very experienced.

The policies are usually comprehensive but check the paperwork. Damages to the car and any other third parties are all protected. If there’s a fire or the car’s stolen, you can claim too.

Key points

  • Comprehensive car insurance for short or one-off trips
  • To get covered, you need the reg plate and a clean, full UK driving licence
  • You can take out short-term insurance on a car that's already insured by someone else. It won’t affect the driver’s existing cover

If you’re going to be driving the same car for a short amount of time within seven days, you could get a weekly temporary car insurance policy.

A comprehensive weekly policy covers damage to your car caused by a collision or fire and damage to other cars if you’re involved in a traffic accident. You’re also covered if the car’s stolen.

If you’re borrowing a car for the week and it’s already insured by another driver, a short-term insurance policy won’t disrupt the other driver’s cover or affect their premium.

If you need to drive the car for longer, you can usually extend the policy for just a few more hours, or days, depending on the insurer.

Key points

  • Comprehensive cover for one week of driving
  • If you buy temporary cover for a car with an underlying policy, it won’t disrupt the existing cover or impact the driver’s premium
  • Weekly temporary insurance can usually be extended if you need to drive the car for a little longer - check with the insurer

If you need cover for 28 days, you can buy a monthly car insurance policy.

A month’s worth of cover is particularly handy for kids who are home from university and need to regularly drive the car over the Christmas or summer holidays.

Just like hourly, daily and weekly policies, you’ll need the reg plate of the car and a full, clean UK driving licence to get a quote and comprehensive cover.

But, if you need cover for just a few hours over a whole month, make sure you compare monthly policies with the cost of hourly cover just to make sure you're not overpaying.

Key points

  • Check how frequently the car will be driven before buying a month-long policy. You might be better off with multiple hourly or daily policies instead
  • A monthly car insurance policy usually gives you comprehensive cover
  • All you need is the registration number and your driving licence details to get a quote

It’s compulsory to keep your car insured at all times unless you keep it off the road and have a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)

Who’s short-term cover for?

You might want to consider temporary car insurance if you’re:


A young driver

If you’ve got access to a friend or family member’s vehicle, you might just want to drive it when you’re home from university.

A new driver

Some short-term policies last up to 24 weeks - ample time to practise driving before your test. Check whether hourly cover or a 24-week policy is the most cost-effective for you.

Hiring or borrowing a vehicle

Don’t waste money by taking out a car insurance policy for longer than you need.

Learning to drive

You might only be able to take occasional lessons, so short-term cover could be handy.

Collecting or delivering a vehicle

You may be able to get temporary car insurance for a day or so, to cover the short trip.

Test driving or buying a new car

Buying from a private seller? Take your potential new car out for a spin or drive it home when the deal’s done.

Driving a courtesy car

If your car is in for service or repair and you’re offered a courtesy car it’ll need cover.

Drive sharing

Split driving duties with friends and family on a long journey.

Occasional driving

If you’ve got a classic or sports vehicle you rarely drive, you can insure it just for the weekend.

Emergencies

Short-term car insurance can help you get covered quickly so you can get on the road when you need to borrow a car in a hurry.

Getting temporary cover as a returning UK resident

If you’re an expat and coming back to the UK for a short visit, temporary insurance is an easy and quick way to get covered. To get the insurance, there could be some extra criteria to meet.

For example, some providers ask that you’ve previously lived in the UK for 36 months and have a permanent address abroad, while others will cap the age of the driver they’re willing to insure. You’ll need to have the details of your driving licence and usually it must be a full UK, EU, NI or EEC licence to get cover.

Are there age restrictions for temporary car insurance?

Each insurer will have its own set of restrictions. Insurers might insist that drivers are over 19 and have held a full UK or EU driving licence for at least a year. Age restrictions differ between insurers and many have an upper age restriction too - 75 is typical.

Short-term European car insurance

If you need temporary cover to drive in Europe, it’s unlikely that your daily, weekly or monthly policy would give you the same level of comprehensive protection as it does in the UK.

Once you arrive in Europe, your insurance could drop down to third party only cover. If you’re involved in a traffic accident, you’d have to pay for your damages and the costs of transporting the car back home for repairs.

If you’re planning to drive abroad, tell the insurer and see if you can extend the short-term policy to include European driving.

However, you can buy a comprehensive short-term European car insurance policy. For a fee, you can usually add on cover for additional drivers and breakdown too.

To get quotes and buy a policy, have the car’s registration number to hand, plus your driving licence and passport details.

If you claim on your short-term European policy, it would have no impact on any other separate policy you have at home. It’s a good option if you’re on holiday and driving a friend’s car just for the day.

Other types of short-term insurance

  • Short-term van cover

    Whether you're borrowing a friend's van to move house or using it for work, you can get temporary insurance for vans.

    Find out more
  • Short-term motorbike cover

    You can get temporary cover for motorbikes too. For just a day, a week or up to a few months.

    Find out more

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the exclusions?

    Typical exclusions include:

    • Damage to, or theft of, the vehicle because the keys were left in the ignition
    • The car being driven by someone not named as a driver on the certificate of insurance
    • A certain type of vehicle that’s not covered by the policy
    • Using the vehicle for a purpose that’s excluded in the policy’s terms and conditions

    It might also be difficult to get temporary car insurance if you have previous motoring convictions or points on your licence.

  • What affects the price of my short-term policy?

    Insurers consider your age, address, driving experience, driving history and the vehicle you want to insure when calculating the cost of cover.

  • Are there alternatives to temporary car insurance?

    Becoming a named driver on another policy is an alternative to short-term car insurance and you can also look into arranging cover to drive other vehicles.

    If you’re hiring a car, remember to check whether insurance is included as part of the hire deal.

  • Will the car owner’s no claims discount (NCD) be affected?

    No. The short-term insurance will be an additional policy to their main cover, so it shouldn’t impact their NCD.

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All you need to know

Page last reviewed: 8 August 2020
Next review due: 28 January 2021

[1]We do not offer a full comparison service on short-term car insurance at Gocompare.com but instead have provided links to some companies that offer short-term car insurance. These companies are not listed in an order that indicates that one is better than another but are instead ordered in line with our commercial arrangement with each one. Please remember, as different companies offer different policies, it is up to you to choose the one that best suits your needs. Gocompare.com introduces you to Cuvva, Dayinsure.com Ltd, Tempcover and Collingwood to provide short-term car insurance quotes. All providers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Gocompare.com’s relationship with Dayinsure.com Ltd, Cuvva, Tempcover and Collingwood is limited to that of a business partnership, no common ownership or control rights exist between us.

[2]On 30 January 2019, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,000 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists

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