Am I insured to drive any car on my current policy?

Don’t assume that because you have comprehensive car insurance you’re covered to drive someone else’s car. If you do get behind the wheel without checking that you’re insured, you could be driving illegally.

Don’t assume that because you have comprehensive car insurance you’re covered to drive someone else’s car. If you do get behind the wheel without checking that you’re insured, you could be driving illegally.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
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Posted 29 MAY 2020

Can I drive another car on my own insurance?

Probably not as driving other cars, or DOC, is no longer a standard element of comprehensive car insurance policies. Previously, it gave the policy holder third party only cover to drive someone else’s car. Naturally, they would’ve needed the car owner’s permission too. But times have changed, and DOC is not usually included in most policies, even if you have comprehensive cover.

In fact, it’s quite likely that your comprehensive policy doesn’t offer any cover if you get behind the wheel of another person’s car. If you’re unsure, check your certificate of insurance (which will state whether you have DOC cover) – or contact your insurance provider directly.

What level of cover will I have if I am insured to drive other cars?

This will depend on your insurance policy, so check the wording carefully. If you are covered, it will generally be on a third party only basis, and this will be shown on your certificate of insurance. This means that if you’re involved in an accident with another car and you’re at fault, any damage to the car you’re driving won’t be covered. Plus, you won’t be covered if that car is stolen or damaged by fire. If you have a higher level of DOC cover, this will be clearly stated in your policy documents.

Take note that even if you have the right to drive other cars, it might come with certain conditions. Many insurance providers take the view that DOC cover is for ‘emergencies’ only. Check your policy wording if you’re unsure what you’re covered for.

Where DOC cover is available, it’s typically only available to drivers aged 25 and over – those under 25 are considered to be too high a risk to be offered DOC.

How can I get cover for driving another car?

You can get cover for driving another person’s car by applying for short term insurance or adding your name to the car owner’s policy.  

If you need to drive someone else’s car every now and then – say another family member’s car – it might be a good idea to add your name to their policy. This will give you the same level of cover as the main driver. The main driver on a policy must be the person that drives the car most of the time – as a named driver, you should only be using the car occasionally.

Be aware of 'fronting', though. This usually happens when a more experienced driver insures a car in their name, but a younger driver actually uses the car most often. The aim of this is to reduce the young driver’s premium. Fronting is illegal and could invalidate a car insurance policy.

You should also be aware that if you are added as a named driver, you typically aren’t able to build up a no claims bonus on that policy (you can still build up a no claims bonus if you have your own car and you’re insured as the main driver). Some insurance providers may let you do this, provided you take out your own policy with them in the future, so check with the provider.

What’s short-term insurance?

A short-term or temporary car insurance policy provides cover from one day up to 28 days. It’s a good solution if you need to borrow someone else’s car for a few days, or maybe your son or daughter is back from university for the holidays and needs to use your family car.

Can I drive my partner’s car?

Driving Other Cars (DOC) insurance isn’t usually included as part of a fully comprehensive policy. Unless your policy states otherwise, you’ll only be able to drive your partner’s car if they’ve added you as a named driver or have a family or any driver car insurance policy.

What is a named driver?

A named driver, also known as an additional driver, is the term used for any other people who are insured to drive your car. By adding them to your policy, you’ll be able to share your car with another person. This is particularly useful for couples, or those with family members who are learning to drive.

Just make sure that any named drivers are not the car’s main driver. This is classified as ‘fronting’, which is a type of insurance fraud which could lead to your insurance being invalid, and even prosecution.

Can I get insurance for my family?

There are a couple of options for car insurance for families. You can add family members as named drivers on your car, and vice versa, or take out a multi-car policy, which can help you save money by insuring with the same provider.

Can I get insurance for anyone to drive my car?

An any driver insurance policy allows anyone to drive your car at any time. There’s no limit to how many people can drive the car, so any friends or family, who have your permission, are legally insured to drive it.

This type of car insurance is far less common, as most people only have one, or a few, named drivers added to their existing policy. Because anyone is covered to drive your car, you’ll find that this type of policy is among the most expensive, as your insurance provider can’t be sure who’s driving at any given time, and what their experience is like.

How does my occupation affect which cars I can drive?

You may find that your job can affect the cars and other vehicles that you’re insured to drive. It’s always best to check with your insurance provider if you feel like your job may at all be regarded as a higher risk, or requires you to drive multiple vehicles regularly. For this reason, some insurance policies will allow you to drive multiple cars, as long as they aren’t owned by you or a family member.

How can I compare insurance for my car?

Not sure where to start? We’re here to help. We’ll compare a variety of car insurance providers to find a deal that suits you, at a price you can afford.

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