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Temporary car insurance

Find short-term car insurance with these companies[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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How does short-term car insurance work?

Short-term car insurance is temporary cover that can last from one hour to several months.

You set the duration of your policy when you take out your cover. Once that time expires, you won’t be able to drive the car on public roads. If you need longer, ask the insurer if it can extend your cover for an additional premium.

Short-term car insurance policies are usually for fully comprehensive cover, although some providers might be able to offer quotes for third party only, or third party, fire and theft.

You can sometimes add optional extras like driving abroad or breakdown cover for an extra charge.

Your temporary insurance policy is entirely separate to your annual car insurance policy, so it won’t affect your no-claims bonus if you need to make a claim on the short-term cover. If you’ve borrowed someone else’s vehicle, their no-claims won’t be reduced either.

If you need to insure a car multiple times in a year, it’ll probably be cheaper to compare quotes for annual car insurance instead. You’ll also build up a no claims bonus this way – something you’ll miss out on with short-term car insurance.

Why compare temporary car insurance?

When would I need short-term car insurance?

Short-term car insurance can be useful for lots of situations, whether you own a car or not.

It’s handy if you need car insurance to borrow someone else’s car, drive one home after buying it, or for occasional use of a vehicle you keep off the road:

  • Borrowing a friend or family member’s car – If you don’t have your own car, short-term car insurance lets you get behind the wheel of someone else’s
  • Learner drivers practising before their test – You can get short-term cover for learners, so you can practice in your parent’s car without having to be added to their policy as an additional driver
  • Collecting or delivering a vehicle – It’s a quick way to arrange cover to go and pick up a car you’ve just bought, for example, or take one to someone else
  • Test driving a new car – If you’re buying from a private seller but don’t have cover to drive other cars, short-term cover will let you legally have a test drive
  • Splitting driving duties with friends and family on a long journey – You can all share the driving if you get temporary policies
  • Occasionally driving a classic or sports vehicle – If your pride and joy is usually kept carefully garaged, short term cover will let you take it out just for special occasions
  • In an emergency – You can borrow a car in a hurry by quickly arranging a temporary policy instead of having to be added to the owner's annual car insurance

How long or short a time can I get temporary car insurance for?

You’ll choose how long to be covered for when you get quotes.

Your temporary car insurance could last for as little as one hour, or for as long as 24 weeks, depending on the provider.

What are the exclusions?

There are a few things that short-term car insurance won’t cover.

It varies from one provider to another, so make sure you check your policy documents to find out exactly what’s excluded from your policy.

Some general exclusions are:

  • Damage to, or theft of, the vehicle because the keys were left in the ignition
  • Losses caused by the car being driven by someone not named on the policy
  • Using the vehicle for purposes that are forbidden by the policy terms and conditions – for example, business use
  • Driving a vehicle that you don’t have the right licence for – for example a car when you only have a motorcycle licence

Can I drive a vehicle without insurance if I've just bought it?

No. Driving without insurance is illegal at any time. 

If you need insurance to cover you while you drive the car home, you could take out a short-term car insurance policy. That would allow you to get the car home and arrange an annual policy when you have more time.

Can I use temporary insurance for business use?

There are short term insurance policies available that include business use, but not all policies can cover this.

You’ll be asked how you’ll be using the car when you get a quote, so make sure you declare that you’ll be using it for business.

Adding business use to your standard car insurance can make it more expensive because insurers will assume you’re spending more time on the roads during busy periods of the day. 

If you only need a few days’ business use, it might work out cheaper to take out a temporary policy covering business use instead.

What alternatives are there to temporary car insurance?

Instead of taking out your own short-term car insurance, you could ask a friend or family member to add you to their car insurance as a named driver.

Their insurer might change the price of their premiums, or ask them to pay an administration fee.

If you need to drive another car just in rare and exceptional circumstances, check your own annual car insurance policy first. Some will have a clause saying that you’re covered to drive other cars, although this cover is usually only third party.

You could also get short term insurance for other vehicles:

Short-term van cover

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

More about temporary van cover >

Short-term motorbike cover

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

More about temporary bike cover >

How do I get a quote for short-term car insurance?

To help find you quotes for temporary cover for your car, you’ll need to answer a few questions about:

  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. Type of policy

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

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Can I travel to Europe on a temporary policy?

If you’re going to take a trip to Europe, your normal annual car insurance should cover you, but sometimes it’s at the minimum level of third-party only, even if you have a comprehensive policy in the UK.

That means you’d have to pay for your damages and the costs of transporting the car back home for repairs if you were involved in an accident abroad.

If your insurer can’t extend comprehensive cover to driving in Europe, you could take out a temporary European car insurance policy instead to give you comprehensive cover just for the time you’re abroad.

You might be able to add on cover for additional drivers and breakdown cover too, for a fee.

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’ll have no impact on any other separate policy you have at home.

Page last reviewed: 15 September 2021

Next review due: 15 December 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.

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