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Driving other cars on your car insurance

Can I drive other cars on my car insurance policy?

Mehdi Punjwani
Written by  Mehdi Punjwani
4 min read
Updated: 10 Jan 2024

If you need to drive someone else’s car, whether it’s a planned visit or an emergency, you’ll need to have insurance to be road legal. Not all policies include cover for driving other cars (DOC), but there are other ways to get the right insurance in place - read our guide to learn more.

Am I insured to drive other cars on my car insurance policy?

No, your car insurance policy won’t automatically cover you to drive any other car aside from your own that you’ve named on the policy. Some car insurance policies come with DOC cover, but this isn’t automatically included so you should check first to be sure.

Can I drive anyone’s car on a fully comprehensive car insurance policy?

Even if you have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy, the highest level of cover available, you’ll still only be insured to drive your own car. You won’t be able to drive other cars you aren’t insured on.

What are the penalties for driving a car I’m not insured on?

Driving a car you aren’t insured to drive can lead to a fixed penalty of £300 as well as six penalty points and an IN10 conviction. However, if the case goes to court this could lead to an unlimited fine as well as disqualification from driving.

This can also affect your car insurance. If you have an IN10 conviction it’s likely you’ll pay more for cover, and you may even struggle to find cover at all as some insurers may consider you as too high a claim risk.

Does a third-party only or third-party, fire and theft policy cover driving other cars?

No, just as with fully comprehensive car insurance, if you take out third-party only or third-party, fire and theft cover it will only apply to your car.

driving car

When might I need to be insured to drive another car?

You may need insurance on another person’s car in the following situations:

  • If you’re borrowing someone’s car/van to move: Often a temporary insurance policy can give you cover for a day or two, which can be the best option in this situation.

  • If your car is being repaired: Unless you’re getting a courtesy car, in which case you’ll be insured automatically, you might need to borrow someone else’s car. Being added as a named driver can be useful here.

  • If you’re sharing driving duty on a road trip holiday: A temporary car insurance policy can last for a few days or weeks, enough for a long road trip.

  • If you’re testing a car before buying it: Dealerships will have their own cover but if you’re buying from a private dealer, you might consider temporary cover that lasts for an hour or two.

What is DOC cover?

Driving other cars or DOC cover is an extension on your regular car insurance policy that allows you to drive other cars, usually in an emergency but only with the owner’s permission.

How does DOC cover work?

A DOC policy lets you drive someone else’s car with their permission, but you’ll only get third-party level cover. This means you’ll be insured for damage you do to another vehicle, person, or property, but any damage done to the car you’re driving won’t be covered.

The car must already be insured by the owner, and your DOC policy only applies to you as the main driver on your own policy. If you have named drivers on your policy, the DOC cover doesn’t apply to them, so they won’t be insured to drive other cars.

Additionally, you’ll need to be 25 or over at the policy start date to qualify, and your own policy must be fully comprehensive.

How do I know if I have DOC insurance?

You can check your policy documents or certificate, either online or on a physical copy if you have it. If you’re online, try searching the document for ‘driving other cars’ or ‘DOC’.

What are alternative options to DOC insurance?

If you don’t have DOC cover, you can ask your insurer if they offer it as an extension on your policy.

However, if it’s not an option, you can also consider:

Temporary car insurance: You can take out short-term or temporary car insurance that covers you for a minimal time period, often from hours to a few months. Some providers offer cover that starts instantly if it’s in an emergency.

Named driver insurance: You can also ask the owner of the car to add you to their existing policy as a named driver - so you’ll be covered to the same extent as they are.

DOC insurance vs temporary car insurance

A temporary car insurance policy can be more useful in the sense that it offers more coverage - you’ll be able to take out fully comprehensive cover, rather than the third-party level you’d get with DOC insurance. However, a DOC policy is always active, so you’ll have peace of mind that you’re already covered so long as you have the owner’s permission to drive, and the circumstances allow it.

Can someone else drive my car if they aren’t insured on it?

In most cases, no - other people won’t be insured as standard to drive your car just as you won’t be automatically covered to drive other cars. However, as mentioned above, someone may be insured to drive your car in these situations:

  • If they have DOC cover: In an emergency, you can give someone with DOC cover on their own policy permission to drive your car

  • If they’ve bought temporary cover: You can also give them permission to take out temporary insurance on your vehicle

  • If you have them as a named driver: Lastly you can add them to your car insurance policy as a named driver

Compare car insurance quotes

Whether you want to find fully comprehensive insurance with DOC cover or just a temporary policy to last a short while, comparing car insurance quotes helps you find the best deals. Just tell us about yourself, the car, and the cover you need, and we’ll search the market for quotes that match your needs.

You’ll be able to compare providers by the cost of their policy, the level of protection offered, and the excess you’ll need to pay to make a claim. Once you’ve found the one you want, just click through to the provider’s website to complete your purchase.

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