What's the definition of third party car insurance?

Third party car insurance is the minimum level of cover required by law. Putting third party car insurance in place means, in the event you cause damage to someone else's property or injure them while driving, that person will receive appropriate compensation.

Third party car insurance also provides cover for your passengers, in case you cause any injury to them while you are in your car - or in the event that something they do causes an accident.

However, anything that happens to your car, or injuries to you, are not covered by third party insurance.

What are the advantages of third party car insurance cover?

Traditionally, third party insurance has been the cheapest option for anyone looking to buy car insurance on a budget. However, it's important to research different forms of cover using a car insurance comparison tool that takes your personal circumstances into consideration.

Changes in the market may mean you may well find that third party cover doesn't represent the best value for money for you, either because a fully comprehensive policy is cheaper, or you can get better quality cover for a similar price.

Is it risky to buy third party insurance?

If your car isn't worth a lot of money, third party insurance cover might be the right option for you.

However, it's vital to be aware that third party cover won't provide you with the level of protection that a third party, fire and theft or fully comprehensive insurance policy would offer.

What's different about third party, fire and theft cover?

Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) cover does exactly what you'd expect: it provides the same level of protection as third party insurance, but would also cover you in the event that your vehicle was stolen or damaged by fire.

Is third party car insurance the cheapest option for me?

Not necessarily. While you could be forgiven for assuming that third party car insurance will be cheaper for you than TPFT or fully comprehensive cover, that may not be the case.

MoneySupermarket research has shown that in some cases, especially those involving young drivers, fully comprehensive insurance cover can be cheaper than third party insurance. This is because the insurance providers' own data shows that some customers who buy third party cover are statistically more likely to need insurance payouts than those who purchase fully comprehensive policies.

Because all insurance policies are priced in accordance with risk, it's therefore possible that third party insurance isn't the cheapest option for you. In fact, you might find you can buy superior cover at a lower price!

The best way to find out whether a third party, TPFT or fully comprehensive policy will be the cheapest choice for you is to shop around using a car insurance comparison tool.

†82% of shoppers obtained a quote in 5 minutes or less. Source eDigitalResearch December 2012.