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Non-owner car insurance

Can you insure a car you don’t own?

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Written by  Jessica Bown
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Reviewed by  Saarrah Mussa
5 min read
Updated: 29 Sep 2023

You don’t have to own a car to get yourself insured on it – but you do need the owner’s permission!

If you don’t have a car, or even if you do, it can be useful to be able to drive someone else’s vehicle from time to time.

Whatever the reason, there are several ways to find cheap car insurance for a car you don’t own – even if you’re not the registered keeper.

Can I insure a car I don't own?

Yes, you can take out a separate car insurance policy on someone else’s car – but make sure that you tell the insurer you’re not the owner or the registered keeper of the vehicle when you apply. It’s worth shopping around though, as not all companies will sell you main driver car insurance if you’re not named on the car’s DVLA registration certificate (DVLA V5C). 

Other options for insuring a car you don’t own include taking out a short-term car insurance policy and adding yourself as a named driver on the vehicle owner’s existing insurance policy. 

If you already have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy, some insurers may grant you third-party cover to drive other people’s cars under certain conditions. 

Driving a car

What insurance do I need to drive someone else’s car?

You need to be insured to drive someone else's car in the UK. There are two ways to do this:

  • Add yourself as a named driver to the car owner's insurance policy. This will give you the same level of cover as the car owner.

  • Get temporary car insurance. This is a type of car insurance that covers you to drive a car for a short period, typically from one hour to 30 days.

If you are borrowing a car from a family member or friend, they will likely be happy to add you as a named driver to their policy. This is the cheapest and easiest option, as you will not have to pay any additional insurance costs.

However, if you are borrowing a car from someone you do not know well, or if you are renting a car, you will need to get temporary car insurance. You can purchase short-term car insurance through MoneySuperMarket.

Sarah Tooze
Sarah Tooze
Car & Van Insurance Expert

Our expert says

There are lots of reasons why you might want to insure a car you don’t own but some insurers will only let you take out your own policy if the car belongs to your spouse, partner, a parent, your employer, or a leasing company. It also might be more expensive to take out separate cover than being added as a named driver so it’s worth running some comparison quotes to decide on the best option.

How does non-owner car insurance work?

Non-owner car insurance covers you to drive the car named in the policy, according to the insurer’s terms and conditions. The only difference between taking out standard car insurance and a policy of this kind is that you absolutely must tell the provider you’re not the car’s owner or registered keeper when you apply.

However, if you only need to be insured to drive someone else’s car for a short time, a short-term car insurance policy will usually be cheaper, which will last a few weeks or months. If the vehicle owner is happy to do so, being added to his or her insurance as a named driver is also often a cheaper alternative.

If you already have fully comprehensive car insurance, it’s best to check the terms to see if your policy includes third-party cover for you to drive other cars occasionally. This benefit isn’t too common in policies though.

How much does it cost to insure a car that’s not in my name?

In the UK, car insurance for a vehicle you don’t own often costs more than a standard policy because insurers think you’re more likely to make a claim if you’re driving a car that’s not yours and are therefore a risk.

However, not all insurers charge you more to insure someone else’s car, so it’s worth comparing non-owner car insurance quotes from different insurance companies before taking out a policy.

Can I insure a car that’s already insured by someone else?

Yes, you can take out an insurance policy on a car that’s already insured by someone else. In the UK, this type of cover is known as non-owner car insurance. However, where possible, it’s usually cheaper to add yourself to the car owner’s existing policy as a named driver, as insurers can offer a discount for this.

Can someone else get insured on my car?

Yes, someone else can take out insurance to drive your car without being the owner or registered keeper. However, many insurers will only allow those with a defined relationship with you to take out a separate policy on your car. People who could qualify under these terms include your spouse or partner, your parent, your employer, and your leasing company.

If you want someone else insured on your car, you can also add him or her to your policy as a named or additional driver. There will usually be a charge to do so, although in some cases, adding a more experienced named driver can cut the cost of car insurance, which is particularly helpful for new drivers who face high costs for the first year. However, if the other person has an accident in your car, you also risk losing your no-claims bonus.

Can I get car insurance as the main driver if I’m not the registered keeper?

Some insurers will only insure a car’s registered keeper as the main driver, so check the policy terms carefully before buying if this is not the case.

However, you don’t have to own a car to be its registered keeper, which is whoever’s named on the DVLA registration certificate (DVLA V5C). You could, for example, be the registered keeper of the car that comes with your job.

Get insurance to drive someone else’s car

It’s easy to compare car insurance with MoneySuperMarket. Just pop in a few details about yourself, the car you plan to drive, and your driving history, and we’ll show you a list of car insurance policies that suit your individual needs.

Then all you have to do is choose the one that offers the cover you need at the best price and click through to confirm your purchase.

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