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Temporary car insurance

Compare flexible short-term car insurance

  • Quickly find short-term cover from one day up to a couple of months

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How long can I get temporary car insurance for?

You can get short-term car insurance to suit your needs. While some of our providers offer daily coverage for up to 28 days, others can provide you with cover over several months.

Depending on your personal needs, you can get:

  • One day car insurance

    One day insurance is great for test driving a new vehicle. Whether it’s from an auction, private seller, or garage, make sure you are insured

  • A week's car insurance

    Need to share driving on a road trip? Or in between car insurance policies and need temporary cover? You can get insured for a couple days or a week

  • Monthly car insurance

    If you're driving someone else’s car or car sharing, monthly car insurance is a great option for you. Only get insured when you need it

How does short-term cover work?

You can get short-term cover to insure many types of vehicle, whether that's a car, van, motorbike or motorhome.

The terms for your short-term car insurance will work the same way as a regular car insurance policy. The difference is that short-term car insurance aims to insure drivers for a limited time.

Policies usually last from one to 28 days, although some policies will allow you to be insured for up to 90 days. After you make your payment, your coverage can start as soon as you want and will end on your specified date.

It's quick and easy to get short-term cover, which can be handy if you're renting or need to drive a car in an emergency. This type of insurance is usually intended for personal use – as a result, you may be denied cover if you plan to use your vehicle to deliver goods or passengers.

It's important to note that a temporary policy is separate from an annual policy. Therefore, making a claim will not affect the driver's or car owner's no-claims bonus.

If you drive your car multiple times a year, though, you'll be better off with annual cover instead.

Check you're eligible for temporary cover

To qualify for temporary car cover, you and your vehicle will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Tick

    The driver's requirements:

    • Be between 18 and 75 years old

    • Hold a current, valid and full UK driving license for at least six months (or three months if over 25 years old)

    • Have a permanent address

    • No more than one fault claim in the past 12 months

    • No more than nine penalty points or any disqualifications in the past 18 months

    • No motoring offences in the past three years with the Conviction Offence Code prefixes DR, CD, DD, UT or DG

    • No motoring offences in the last six months with the Conviction Offence Code prefix IN or CU80

    • No unspent criminal convictions

    • Have never been refused insurance or had a policy cancelled

    • Have permission from the owner to drive the vehicle

  • Tick

    The car's requirements:

    • Must be registered in Great Britain, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man

    • Have a current market value of less than £75,000

    • No more than eight seats (including the driver's seat)

    • Not a type of Heavy Goods Material (HGV)

    • Not a Hire or Rental vehicle, or leased under an agreement lasting 12 months or less

    • Not a seized vehicle or in a police compound

    • Is not over 3.5 Tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

    • Has an engine size no bigger than 3999c

    • No engine modifications, body kits or alloy wheels – unless fitted at manufacture, or carried out for a disabled driver or passenger

    • Not important from another country through channels other than the maker's official distribution system

What’s included with temporary car insurance? 

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    What is covered

    • Loss, theft, fire or vandalism
      If your car gets lost, stolen or vandalised, your car insurance policy will cover it

    • Legal liability
      If another person's property is damaged or someone gets injured or dies

    • Personal accident
      You will have a maximum amount you can claim through your insurance policy

    • Legal expenses
      If there are legal expenses following an accident, your policy will cover a certain amount

  • Cross

    What isn't covered

    • Courtesy car
      Courtesy cars are not usually included in a policy, it may come as an optional extra

    • Loss of value after repair
      After a car has been damaged, even if has been repaired it usually loses some of its value

    • Wear and tear
      Any electrical faults or damage due to deterioration will not be covered

    • Unattended vehicle
      If your vehicle is left unattended with the engine running on the keys in the ignition

  • Plus

    Optional extras

    • Temporary breakdown cover
      Like car insurance, you can add breakdown cover for a few hours to a few days. The level of cover depends on the length of your policy

    • Temporary car insurance in Europe
      Your journey must start and end within Great Britain, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man, and your car must be registered in the UK

    • Excess protection
      You can choose to protect your excess when you buy a policy

How much does temporary car insurance cost?

As well as your age and the type of policy you take out, your insurer will consider a range of other factors so they can calculate how much of a risk you represent and charge you accordingly:

  • 1

    Your location

    Theft or vandalism may be higher in some postcodes than others, which can impact your car insurance premiums

  • 2

    Your occupation

    Some occupations might be seen as higher risks, especially if they involve driving a lot of miles or being around heavy machinery

  • 3

    Your mileage

    Simply put, the more miles you drive, the longer you spend on the road, and the more likely you are to make a claim

  • 4

    Your driving history

    This includes any driving convictions you may have, as well as any claims you’ve previously made on car insurance policies

  • 5

    The type of car you drive

    Your car will be grouped based on its make and model – cars in higher insurance groups usually cost more to cover

  • 6

    Your voluntary excess

    Volunteering a higher excess fee tells insurers you’re less likely to make frivolous claims for low amounts

Get the cheapest short term car insurance deals with our Price Promise

We're so confident that we'll find you the cheapest car insurance deal with MoneySuperMarket, that we're making a price promise to you. If you find the same car insurance policy for cheaper elsewhere, not only will we refund the difference, we'll also give you a gift card worth up to £20!4

4 Restrictions and T&Cs apply, click here for details.

How to get cheap temporary car insurance?

To get the cheapest quote possible on your short-term car insurance policy, you can try:

  • Higher excess

    A higher excess can reduce premiums

  • Avoid add-ons

    For a short time period, you may not need additional add-ons to your policy

  • Time insured

    The shorter time you’re insured, the cheaper your premiums will be

When to get short-term car insurance

In some situations, you don't need long-term car insurance. So, temporary car insurance is a good option if you only need to drive for a short while.

For example, you might be:

  • Learning to drive

  • Moving home

  • Going on a one-off business trip

  • Waiting for your main car to be repaired

When would I need one-day car insurance?

One-day car insurance isn’t for everyone. Short term car insurance policies can last more than just a day if you're looking for longer lasting temporary cover. If you're driving regularly - even for just a few days at a time - it may even work out cheaper to buy standard cover rather than taking out several temporary policies. After all, insurers tend to offer discounted premiums to drivers with lower mileage. On the other hand, one day car insurance can be useful in the following scenarios:

  • Hiring a car for the day

  • Borrowing a car from a friend or family member

  • Test driving a privately owned car

  • Collecting or delivering someone else’s car

image of a car
Sarah Tooze

Our expert says

"

As the name suggests, short-term car insurance or temporary car insurance, is for a short period of time and works well when you need to borrow a friend or family member’s vehicle or you want cover for a business trip or you’re test driving a car. However, if you need more regular cover you’ll probably be better off considering an annual policy or being a named driver on another vehicle.

"
- Sarah Tooze, Car & Van Insurance Expert

How to compare short-term car insurance with MoneySuperMarket?  

From cover for one day to a couple months, short-term car insurance is a great option to cover you for a short period of time.

  • Provide us with a few details 

    We will need a few details about you and the car you would like to insure. We aim to make this process as quick and easy as possible 

  • We’ll search for deals 

    Depending on your requirements, we will search the market through trusted providers to offer you the best deals at the most competitive prices 

  • Choose your deal 

    Getting insured is fast and simple. Simply click through to the provider of your choice and get covered as soon your transaction goes through

Why compare temporary car insurance with MoneySuperMarket?

  • Flexible to suit your plans

    Get fully comprehensive cover for as long as you need it, whether that's one day or a few months

  • Find affordable cover in minutes

    Our comparison tools deliver fast results and plenty of quotes. Just click on the deal you want to buy today

  • Get covered as quickly as today

    Last minute plans or thinking ahead? You can get insurance either immediately or in advance

What are the alternatives to short-term cover?

Looking for a different type of cover? There are other options to consider, including:

van

Short-term car insurance allows you to get fast, flexible cover for as little as one day or up to a couple of months.

So, if you are borrowing or renting a car on a short-term basis, temporary car insurance gives you the important cover you need. It may also be a cheaper option than adding another name to an existing policy if you plan to share a car.

One-day car insurance is a type of short-term car insurance, which allows drivers to be covered for up to 24 hours. It is slightly different to temporary car insurance, which can cover you for longer, usually up to 12 weeks. It should work out cheaper than taking out annual cover if you don’t need insurance for the full year and it's quick and easy to organise too.

With one-day car insurance, you will be covered when driving in the same way as if you had an annual car insurance policy. Depending on the level of cover you choose, you (and the car) will be insured against things like damage, theft, or an accident. The only difference with one-day car insurance is the time you’re insured for as it’s a short-term policy for up to 24 hours.

Short-term car insurance is usually more expensive than if you pay annually. That’s because you pay day by day and the excess fee can often cost more, too.

Driving a vehicle without insurance is against the law, so you will need some sort of car insurance policy if you are buying a car.

Temporary car insurance can give you short-term cover when you first buy your car – this gives you time to shop around to find an insurance provider that suits your needs.

This depends on the provider, but some offer up to 84 days if you have a full license.

If you've passed your test and have held a valid full UK licence for at least six months, you usually need to be aged between 18 and 75 to get a policy.

You can also get temporary car insurance if you're a learner driver, or aged 17 years old.

You can tax your vehicle with a temporary policy. You can either do this online via the DVLA website or at a local post office, you just need the temporary insurance documentation you’ve been sent.

Yes, and you may find it a more cost-effective option than adding business use all-year round if you only occasionally use your car for work. If for example, you need to attend a conference or training session, or visit another office, short-term car insurance could be your best bet.

Temporary car insurance can also be useful for businesses including builders, plumbers, and roofers if they want to get cover for subcontractors to drive the work van.

Yes, in most cases you should be able to add the following on to your policy:

  • In some cases you may be able to add European driving cover, which can be useful if you’re planning a day trip to Europe

  • Breakdown cover can help get your car fixed or recovered to a garage if you break down. Breakdown cover is not usually available with short term car insurance so consider comparing standalone policies

Consider that these are likely to increase your premiums, so consider whether you really need them before adding them on to your policy.

If you are taking your car to Europe, you can ask your insurance provider to cover you on your existing policy.

In some cases you can also get temporary cover for driving your own car, a borrowed vehicle or if you’re sharing the driving of a friend’s vehicle. Make sure you check the policy and level of cover before committing. Some providers offer the minimum cover required by law in that country, rather than fully comprehensive cover. 

If you want to hire a car, you’ll need hire car insurance instead.

Now that we’ve left the EU, you have to carry a Green card to drive in Europe. Find out more about driving in Europe after Brexit.

No, if you need to claim on your short-term car insurance, it won’t affect your no-claims discount.

A short-term insurance policy is a standalone policy, so any claim for the driver will be met by the short-term policy and not the car owner’s annual insurance policy. This means that the no-claims discount of both the driver and car owner would not be affected in the event of an incident.

Yes, you can become a named driver on another policy, so you can drive a family member’s or friend’s car or lend them yours. Consider things like cover, cost and convenience to see which option is best for you.

Yes, you can get temporary car insurance on someone else's car for a short time. It can be a good option if you're car sharing for a trip or you need to borrow their car for a while. If you want to get insurance on another car, you'll need to provide:

  • Your name

  • Date of birth

  • Driving licence information

  • The make and model of the car you will be driving

  • The exact dates you need coverage for

You need to ensure you have the car’s legal owner’s permission for you to get insured on their vehicle. You can purchase your temporary car insurance through MoneySuperMarket’s comparison tool.

Yes. Even if a car is insured under someone else’s name, it doesn’t mean you are legally allowed to drive it. If the car is insured and you would like to drive it, you should get a temporary car insurance policy in your name. 

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