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Third party car insurance

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What is third-party car insurance?

Third-party car insurance, sometimes known as third-party only, is the minimum level of cover you need to drive on UK roads. It offers the most basic level of protection, covering injuries or damage you cause to another person, their vehicle or their property from a car accident. 

Third-party policies won’t however provide any cover for you or your own car, which means you’ll have to pay for any damage yourself.

What is covered by third-party car insurance?

The specific level of cover you’ll get is likely to depend on your provider, however third-party car insurance policies generally offer similar protection.

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    What is covered?

    • Injury to a third party - including passengers in your car

      If you are involved in a car accident and any of the people involved in the accident (including in your own car) are injured.

    • Damage to a vehicle belonging to a third-party

      If you hit someone else's car, causing damage to it and you are at fault.

    • Damage to a property belonging to a third-party

      Having an accident doesn't have to include another car. Accidentally hitting someone's wing mirror or reversing into their fence can also be covered by this policy.

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    What isn't usually covered?

    • Damage to your own vehicle if you were responsible for an accident

      Accidents happen, but if you are responsible for one and your own car gets damaged, you will have to pay for any repairs yourself

    • Damage to your own vehicle caused by theft, fire or an explosion

      In the unfortunate event of a stolen vehicle or a fire, your insurance will not cover you

    • Pay outs for medical costs or rehabilitation if you are injured

      While a third party insurance will pay for other people's injuries in the case of an accident, it will not cover any of your own medical bills if you are injured

    • Breakdown cover

      Breakdown cover isn't normally covered by third-party car insurance but can be added as an optional extra.

What's the difference between third-party and fully comprehensive car insurance?

While a third-party car insurance policy only offers the minimum level of cover, a fully comprehensive policy is the opposite – it providers the most protection of all options you’ll have. This means it includes everything under third-party insurance, as well as all the cover you’d get in a third-party, fire and theft policy – and cover for anything else you might need too.

The extras are more likely to be included as standard in fully comprehensive policies – such as wrong fuel, breakdown cover or lost keys cover – but not always, so you might need to pay extra for certain levels of protection.

Why get third-party car insurance?

Third-party car insurance might offer the least cover out of all available options, but it still might be useful in certain situations.

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    Low value car

    It might not be worth insuring your own car against damage as the cost of repairing is probably more than the car is actually worth 

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    You can afford repairs

    Similarly, if you can afford to pay for repairs yourself then you might only need to worry about insuring against damage to third parties

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    You're likely to claim

    If you’re more likely to claim for damage you cause, the cost of each individual claim might work out cheaper as the risk costs are built into the higher premiums 

How much is third-party car insurance?

Third-party car insurance is usually the most expensive type of car insurance policy available – however like all other policies it does get cheaper as you get older. Remember car insurance premiums are based on a range of factors, including your driving history, your no claims bonus, the insurance group, make and model of your car; where you live and even what job you have.

Why is third-party car insurance so expensive?

Third-party car insurance, though it offers the least coverage of all your options, is usually also the most expensive type of policy. This may seem counter intuitive, but it did actually used to be the other way around.

For some time, third-party cover was the cheapest option – as such, it was frequently taken out by high-risk drivers looking to lower their premiums. This meant that more and more claims were made on third-party policies.

Insurers noticed that third-party policy holders were statistically more likely to make a claim, so raised the premiums for this type of cover.

What do you need to get a quote?

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    Details of the car

    If you own your home outright, or are currently paying off a mortgage. You’ll be responsible for both the physical structure of your home and any belongings you have on the property

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    What you'll use the car for

    If you’re a private tenant in a rental property. You’ll only be responsible for your own belongings – you won’t need to take out buildings insurance as that will be up to your landlord

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    Your details and your licence

    If you own a property and you’re renting it out. You’ll be legally responsible for the property’s condition, but will only need to cover the building and contents you provide

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    No claims discount history

    If you’re living in student accommodation, usually with other students. You might be covered by a parent or guardian’s home insurance policy, but this isn’t always the case

Sara Newell

Our expert says


You might not expect third-party to be the best type of cover for you, but there are certain times it can be more beneficial. This is why it’s so important to compare car insurance quotes – you never know when you could find a better deal.

- Sara Newell, Motor and Van Insurance Lead

Why compare third-party only 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:

  • MoneySuperMarket discounts

    Everyone deserves to save money – in fact, almost a quarter of people comparing car insurance quotes with us received a MoneySuperMarket price cut in their results*

  • Renewal reminders

    Our car monitor gives you reminders on your road tax and MOT, as well as showing 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 question set, offering tailored support during business hours to help you get the right policy for the right price

*24.43% of customers completing a quote through MoneySuperMarket received a price cut quote in their top 10 results. Based on MoneySuperMarket quotes between May 2021 and May 2022

Compare other car insurance products

You might want to consider other types of car insurance – MoneySuperMarket offer comparisons for a range of policies, including:

  • Third-party, fire and theft

    The next step up from third-party cover, this adds protection for your car if it’s stolen or damaged by fire

    Get a quote

  • Fully comprehensive cover

    The most complete level of cover available, this includes a range of extra protection for your vehicle

    Get a quote

  • Temporary car insurance

    Temporary car insurance is useful if you aren’t using your vehicle every day, or for just a short part of the year

    Get a quote

  • Telematics car insurance

    Telematics cover is designed to help young and high risk drivers earn lower car insurance premiums by driving well

    Get a quote

Third-party car insurance won’t cover you if your car is stolen or broken in to – you’ll need at least third-party, fire and theft cover for this.

Third-party, fire and theft is the next policy up from third-party only. It adds cover for your own vehicle if it’s stolen, broken into or damaged as a result of a fire or explosion.

You may be able to add some extras to your third-party policy, but it will likely increase the cost. Buying a fully comprehensive policy will probably work out cheaper, and you may get some extras included as standard.

If you’re involved in an accident, third-party cover will offer a pay out for the cost of injuries sustained by the third-party, and any damage done to their vehicle or property. However, you’ll be left to tend to your own vehicle’s repairs yourself, and you won’t be able to claim for things like compensation, legal fees or physiotherapy costs.

You work hard to earn your money, and we don’t think you should waste a penny of it paying over the odds on your household bills. That’s why at MoneySuperMarket, we’re on a mission to save Britain money.

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You might be wondering if we work with all the companies in the market, or if our commercial relationships with our partners might make us feature one company above another. We’ve got nothing to hide, and we want to give you clear answers when it comes to questions like these, so we’ve pulled together everything you need to know on this page.