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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
5 min read
Updated: 01 Aug 2022

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.

You might need to use your elderly relative’s car to do their weekly shopping or simply want the freedom of having access to a set of wheels while you’re staying with friends.

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 you insure a car you don’t own?

Wondering if you can insure a car you don’t own? The answer is 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

Do I always need to take out insurance to drive a car I don’t own?

Fully comprehensive car insurance policies sometimes include basic third-party cover to drive other people’s cars. So, if you have one, you might not need separate insurance to make the odd trip in a car you don’t own. Just be sure to check your policy carefully, as this benefit is by no means guaranteed.

Even if your policy does include this type of third-party cover, it’s only usually valid if you don’t own the car, you’ve not hired the car, and you meet the insurer’s minimum age requirement, which is usually 25. If you have an accident, it will also only cover damage to other people’s property and may only pay out if you can prove you don’t regularly drive the car.

So to be properly protected when driving someone else’s car in the UK, a non-owner car insurance policy is the best bet.

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 a cheaper option, 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 to 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.

Compare car insurance

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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