One day car insurance

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Need 24-hour car cover? Read our guide to find out how and when this type of temporary cover can help.

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Off on a roadtrip? Testing out some new wheels? Borrowing a friend or family member’s car? A one day car insurance policy is ideal for when you only need to insure a car for a short while.

Your cover will depend on which provider you go with and what type(s) of vehicle you need to insure, but it works similar to an annual policy and it’s available for cars, vans and even motorhomes.

What’s covered by a one day car insurance policy?

When you take out a short-term car insurance policy, you’ll usually be given fully comprehensive cover as standard – though some providers may also offer third-party and third-party, fire and theft as alternative options.

Having fully comprehensive car insurance means you’ll be covered for damage you do to a third-party, their vehicle or their property, as well as loss, damage and theft of your own car.

What policy features can I add?

If they’re not included already, you might be able to choose from extra policy features to bolster your cover:

  • Full EU cover: This gives you short-term cover for driving in Europe – but you should check beforehand to see which countries this applies to. Some short-term policies offer third-party cover in Europe as standard, but if you want comprehensive, you’ll need to pay a little more
  • Breakdown assistance: This pays out for any repair costs you might face if your car breaks down during your journey
  • Additional drivers: If you want short-term cover on a vehicle for you and other people – you can usually add up to four additional drivers

Do I need 24-hour car cover?

Even if you use a car for just one day, you need to have adequate car insurance cover – as it’s illegal to drive and not be insured – so make sure you get the correct policy.

What if I need a policy longer than one day?

As its name suggests, a one day car insurance policy will cover you for 24 hours, but you can also find short-term cover for a few days, weeks or even months.

If you need cover for longer than this, you should consider taking out an annual policy and cancelling it when you’re finished using the car. But be careful if you take this approach, because you’re likely to have to pay a cancellation fee and the cost for the time you’ve been insured (pro-rata).

When might you use one day car insurance?

While annual policies are usually the most popular types of policy, there are lots of reasons why you might need 24-hour car insurance cover, such as:

  • Borrowing a friend’s car for a trip or in an emergency
  • Moving home
  • Taking a classic car for a spin to keep the engine working, but otherwise keeping it off-road
  • Test driving a possible new car
  • Collecting furniture or other goods you have purchased
  • Hiring a car
  • Driving a courtesy car if yours is being repaired or serviced

How much does one day car insurance cost?

The actual cost of one day car insurance can vary depending on the ‘risk’ you pose. Insurance providers calculate how likely you are to have an accident – and therefore make a claim – and will price your insurance premium accordingly.

Insurers will use the information you provide including where you live, what you do for a living and your age, as well as information about the car you want to insure to calculate a quote.

What are the alternatives?

If you need to borrow a car from a friend, you could add yourself to their insurance as a named driver, but this can be expensive for just a day or two. Plus, if you were to have an accident, they would more than likely lose some of their no claims discount.

If you already have fully comprehensive cover on another car, you may have a ‘driving other cars’ additional extra on your policy included. However, this will probably only offer third party cover, so it might not be the best solution. This isn’t included in all policies, so you don’t assume you’re covered to drive someone else’s car.

When you want the benefits of full coverage without the cost of adding yourself to an annual policy, temporary car insurance  or pay as you go insurance may be the better option.

Am I eligible for a one day car insurance policy?

When you apply for one day car insurance, you should be aware that each company has their own acceptance requirement.

  • Your age: Typically this will be from 19 to 75 years, but some insurers will cover 17 year-olds and even learner drivers, while others will require you to be over 21 for one day cover
  • Car value: Some insurers will exclude cars over a certain value, typically £40,000 to £50,000, so you may want to check you aren’t borrowing a super car (if they would even lend it to you)

What affects the cover cost?

  • Points on licence: You are more likely to get cheaper cover if you’ve had less than six penalty points on your licence
  • Previous claims: Similarly, if you’ve made fewer than two claims, your cover should be cheaper
  • Details of the car: And if you are borrowing the car, you will need to prove you have the owner’s permission to use it – as well as your details and licence
  • Excess: How much excess are you willing to pay? If you choose higher voluntary excess, this is likely to cut the price of the policy, but remember this needs to be a an amount you'll be comfortable paying if you are in an accident or collision. You might want to consider purchasing excess insurance to cover the cost of the excess you pay if you were to make a claim against your car insurance

Compare cheap one day car insurance quotes

It’s easier to get cheaper car insurance when you find a  quote with MoneySuperMarket and our preferred partners. All you need to do is give us a few details about yourself, your car and your driving history, as well as the date and time you’d like the cover to start. We’ll then put together a list of quotes to match your requirements.

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