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Fully comprehensive car insurance

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1Accurate as of September 2023.

What is fully comprehensive car insurance?

Fully comprehensive car insurance policies give you the peace of mind you need as it offers the most coverage out of all your options for cover. It offers protection against personal injury and damage for you and your vehicle, as well as any third-parties involved in a claim.

Do I need fully comprehensive car insurance?

Fully comprehensive cover isn’t a legal requirement – but having car insurance is. You will need to have third-party cover as a minimum to drive on UK roads, which is the lowest level of cover available.


What does fully comprehensive car insurance cover?

A fully comprehensive car insurance policy will offer the most coverage of the three available choices. While it does depend on the provider and what they include as standard, you’ll find in most cases the protection will extend to:

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    Your vehicle

    You’ll be able to claim on your policy for damage done to your own car, as well as a replacement vehicle if yours is stolen

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    Third-party damage

    You’ll also be covered for damage you cause to a third-party, their vehicle or their property

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    Motor legal protection

    Fully comprehensive cover also often includes motor legal protection, which pays out for legal costs you may face related to a claim

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    Personal accident cover

    A personal accident policy offers a compensation payout if you’re seriously or fatally injured in a road accident 

How much does fully comprehensive car insurance cost?

Fully comprehensive car insurance is almost always the cheapest option, even though it offers the most cover.

Insurers take a number of factors into account, including your age and driving history, the car you want to insure and how much time you spend behind the wheel. However, you can usually guarantee that fully comprehensive cover will be the cheapest level of cover available.

In January 2023 the average annual cost by policy type was:


Third party only

Third party, fire & theft




Based on annual price of car insurance policies with one driver holding a full UK driving licence for at least 12 months. MoneySuperMarket data, collected in January 2023. Accurate as of February 2023.

What should I look out for on a fully comprehensive car insurance policy?

Even a fully comprehensive insurance policy may have exclusions.

  • Breakdown cover

    Breakdown cover lets you claim for the cost of calling for roadside assistance if your vehicle breaks down but isn’t usually included as standard.

  • Courtesy car cover

    Courtesy car cover gives you access to a temporary replacement vehicle if yours is out of action

  • Wear and tear

    claims relating to wear and tear of the car are usually excluded.

  • Named driver

    your claim may be rejected if you’ve put someone down as a named driver but they use the car for most of the time.

  • Driving licence

    You won’t be covered if your driving licence isn’t up-to-date

  • Alcohol and drugs

    Claims are usually rejected if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs

What add-ons can I get with fully comprehensive car insurance?

You can usually add the following onto a fully comprehensive policy, for an extra cost:

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    Leaving the UK

    You may need to buy extra cover if you’re driving abroad

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    Key cover

    You may not be covered if you lose your car keys and need a replacement.

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    Wrong fuel cover

    If you put the wrong fuel into your car by accident.

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    Windscreen cover

    You may not be covered for windscreen damage automatically.

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    Personal belongings

    This covers anything you leave in your car which is then stolen.

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    No claims protection

    If you want to protect your no claims bonus but you need to make a claim.

Why is fully comprehensive car insurance cheaper?

The reason fully comprehensive car insurance policies are the cheapest is to do with those who used to frequently take out third-party only cover.

Fully comprehensive cover used to be the most expensive because it provides the most cover. Third-party was the cheapest option because it provides the least cover but this meant lots of high-risk drivers would take out third-party insurance to save money.

These high-risk drivers ended up making more claims on their third-party policies – so these policies were then associated with high-risk drivers, making them more expensive and reversing the trend. As a result, fully comprehensive cover became the cheapest option.

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How is fully comprehensive car insurance different to other types of cover?

Fully comprehensive car insurance is just one of the available options you’ll have, with the other two being third-party only, and third-party, fire & theft – each offering a specific level of coverage.

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    Third-party only

    Third-party only cover is the minimum legal requirement to drive on UK roads – it protects other people, their vehicles and their property, but not you or your vehicle

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    Third-party, fire and theft

    Third-party, fire and theft is one level up from third-party only, adding protection for your car if it’s stolen or damaged as a result of a fire or an explosion

How can I get cheaper fully comprehensive car insurance?

While fully comprehensive car insurance might often be the cheapest available, there are still other things you can do to bring your premiums down:

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    Pay annually

    It usually works out cheaper to pay your car insurance premiums annually, compared to spreading the cost over 12 monthly payments

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    Pay a higher excess

    Volunteering a higher excess payment tells insurers you’re unlikely to make small claims that aren’t worth the cost, so they’ll reward the lowered risk

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    Improve your security

    Having security features like factory-installed alarms and immobilisers on your car reduces the risk of theft, and can also bring your insurance costs down

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    Store your car safely

    Storing your car in a locked garage or carport is also generally seen as a safer option, so doing too can help you get cheaper cover

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    Choose a smaller car

    Providers sort car makes and models into different insurance groups, based on factors like safety and performance – cars in lower groups are cheaper to insure

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    Avoid small claims

    If you can go for a year or longer without making a claim, you’ll start to build up a no-claims bonus, and the more no claims bonus you build up the bigger discount you get

Rebecca Goodman

Our expert says


Fully comprehensive car insurance probably looks like a bit of a no-brainer – you get the most amount of cover for the smallest price. And in most cases that’s exactly what happens but insurance depends on so many factors it’s always worth comparing the costs of different policies and different levels of cover before you pick one.

- Rebecca Goodman, Financial journalist

Why compare car insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket?

Our mission is to make finding cheap car insurance easier – and when you take out cover with MoneySuperMarket you can benefit from:

  • Super Save with us

    Everyone deserves to save money, we compare quotes from various providers to get you the best price for you

  • Renewal reminders

    Our car monitor gives you reminders about your road tax and MOT, as well as shows your MOT history and car valuation – helping you stay up to date, so you never miss a renewal

  • Support from our team

    Our live chat tool is there so our experts can guide you through the car insurance questions, offering tailored support during business hours to help you get the right policy for the right price

*51% of consumers could save up to £451.09. Consumer Intelligence, May 2023. UK Only.

No, comprehensive and fully comprehensive car insurance work in exactly the same way even though they are sometimes referred to by these different names. Insurers often say ‘fully’ comprehensive to show that you’re getting a full level of cover.

Comprehensive insurance is important as it gives you protection against your car and any other cars, people, or property that may be involved in a car insurance claim. If you choose another level of cover, you won’t be able to claim for costs related to your vehicle or yourself.

While there are ways you can reduce the cost of your car insurance, unfortunately there are some factors insurers consider that you won’t have much control over:

  • Your age: You’ll generally pay more for car insurance if you’re a young driver, owing to a lack of experience on the road that makes you a higher claim risk

  • Your driving history: If you’re got a history of accidents, claims or convictions, this also gives you a higher risk profile – so your insurance costs will likely be higher than average

  • Your location: Some areas in the UK are more prone to car theft or vandalism, or have a higher rate of road accidents – the increased risk means higher premiums for those who live or work in these areas 

  • Your occupation: Some jobs also carry different risks to others, whether it’s because of equipment, location or commuting, so insurers also take this into account when setting premiums

  • Annual mileage: The more you drive, the more of a risk you are to insurers of getting into an accident therefore, the higher mileage can mean higher premium costs

Your fully comprehensive car insurance policy won’t automatically cover you to drive other cars unless you’ve added them to your policy as an extra car with multi-car insurance – useful for households or individuals with two or more vehicles.

If you want to drive another car you don’t own, you could also ask the owner to add you to their existing policy as a named driver – this will likely increase their premiums, however.

Likewise fully comprehensive car insurance policies also won’t automatically cover other people to drive your car – they’ll have to be added to your policy as a named driver, or take out their own cover.

Fully comprehensive car insurance can sometimes come with optional extras already included, but if not you’ll usually be able to add the following protection to your policy:

  • Windscreen cover: This covers claims for damage done to your windscreen, such as a chip or crack – and sometimes it won’t even affect your no-claims bonus

  • Wrong fuel cover: Using the wrong fuel can be calamitous, but this extra covers you for the cost of draining the incorrect fuel and refilling with the right stuff

  • Car keys cover: Car keys can have a habit of getting lost – with car key cover you’ll be able to claim for a set of replacement keys to get you back on the road 

  • Personal belongings: If you keep items like sunglasses, a sat nav or a stereo in your car, it can be useful to ensure your possessions are protected against things like theft or damage

Almost exclusively yes, it’s worth taking out fully comprehensive car insurance compared to the alternatives, as it’s usually cheaper and always offers the most cover.

Fully comprehensive car insurance does offer the most coverage of all your options, but it still comes with its fair share of exclusions: 

  • Driving under influence: No matter what kind of cover you have, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal, and will invalidate your cover

  • Invalid licence: Driving without a valid licence will also invalidate your car insurance policy

  • Wear and tear: Damage caused by general wear and tear won’t be covered 

  • Carelessness in security: If you leave your doors unlocked or items in clear view, this carelessness will likely mean you won’t be covered if your possessions are stolen

  • Uninsured cars or drivers: If you drive a car you aren’t insured on, or if someone else drives your car without being insured on it, this will void your policy

  • Violation of terms or guidelines: Breaking any other guidelines or terms outlined in your policy documents will also leave you without valid cover

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