Skip to content

Can you insure a car you don’t own?

If you wanted to borrow somebody’s car, knowing whether you can insure a car you don’t own is essential. There are several things you need to consider with non-owner car insurance, and our guide covers them. 

If you wanted to borrow somebody’s car, knowing whether you can insure a car you don’t own is essential. There are several things you need to consider with non-owner car insurance, and our guide covers them. 

Written by
Julie Daniels
Motor insurance expert
Reviewed by
Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
Last Updated
14 SEPTEMBER 2023
4 min read
Share article

Can I insure a car that’s not in my name?

Yes, you can insure a car you don’t own. However, you need to let your insurance provider know that you’re not the owner or registered keeper of the vehicle. This is known as non-owner car insurance. 

There are all sorts of reasons you might want to get insurance on someone else’s car. Let’s say you’re house-sitting for friends and plan on using their car while they’re away. Or you have a job that requires you to pick up your manager’s kids or run errands. It may just be that the owner of the car doesn’t use it much and is happy for you to borrow it.

Whatever the reason, if you don’t own the car, you’ll need the right insurance in place to drive it.

Can I insure a car that’s already insured by someone else?

Yes, you can take out a separate insurance policy on a car already insured by someone else – but you may not want to.

If two of you insure a car on two different policies, you might end up paying more than necessary. And remember you can only make one claim – double insurance doesn’t mean double the payout.

Claiming for the same thing on two policies would be fraudulent. Instead, look into adding yourself to the other person’s policy as a named driver. That way you could both drive the car on one policy, potentially saving money.

How does car insurance work if I don’t own the car?

Insuring a car you don’t own works in the same way as insurance for your own car. The only thing you need to do differently is tell your insurance provider that you’re not the owner or registered keeper.

A word of warning though: be careful to avoid fronting. This is when the person listed as the car’s main driver isn’t actually the person doing most of the driving. It tends to happen when inexperienced drivers use a friend or family member to get cheaper car insurance. But it’s a type of insurance fraud and illegal.

How to get insured on someone else’s car

Want to get insured on someone else’s car? You have a few options:

Buy your own insurance policy

Be sure to tell insurance providers that you’re not the car’s owner or registered keeper when you apply. Not all insurance providers will offer this type of policy, and it may not be the cheapest way of getting insurance for a car you don’t own.

Have yourself added to the owner’s policy as a named driver

Named driver insurance lets the policyholder add an additional driver – in this case, you – to their insurance. People often do this when their child, partner or friend wants to use their car.

Buy a temporary or borrowed car insurance policy

This is ideal if, for example, you’re house-sitting for the car’s owners. Temporary car insurance usually lasts between one and 28 days, but some insurance providers will cover you for up to three months.

Check you’re not already insured

It’s unusual nowadays, but there are still some fully comprehensive policies that include third-party cover for driving other cars. This’ll probably only offer third-party cover, and you might only be covered for driving another car in an emergency.

Who is the registered keeper of a car?

A car’s registered keeper isn’t always its owner. It’s whoever is named on the DVLA registration certificate. You may be the registered keeper of your company car, for example.

If you’re not the car’s main driver or registered keeper, you’ll need to make sure you’re covered to drive it.

Does the registered keeper have to insure the car?

No, the registered keeper doesn’t have to insure the car.

To insure the car, you’ll need to be what’s known as an ‘insurable interest’. This could mean you’re either:

  • the spouse/civil partner of the registered keeper of the car and you are living together
  • driving a leased car that’s in your name. The lease must be valid for a minimum of 12 months.
  • driving a company car

Does the main driver have to be the registered keeper?

It depends. Some insurance providers will only insure you as the main driver if you’re the car’s owner or registered keeper. Usually, the main driver is the registered keeper anyway.

However, you don’t have to be the registered owner of a vehicle to insure it. You may be able to find an insurance policy that provides non-owner car insurance.

If you’re having trouble getting cover from one insurance provider, it’s worth contacting others for a quote. That’s where we can help.

How much does it cost to insure a car you don’t own?

You could find that it’s more expensive to insure a car you don’t own as insurance providers may consider you a higher risk. They may assume that you’re less likely to care about the car and might drive carelessly or damage it.

How can I find insurance to drive someone else’s car?

Start a quote with us and we’ll search a wide range of trusted UK providers to help you find suitable cover.

Frequently asked questions

How can someone else get insured on my car?

If you want someone else to be insured on your car, you could add them to your policy as a named driver.

But remember, if they’re involved in an accident while driving your car, any claim will be on your policy. This could wipe out any no-claims discount you’ve built up.

If you’d rather keep it separate, the person could take out their own policy on your car. But to do this, some insurance providers will require them to be a spouse, partner or parent. They could also be your employer, if it’s a company car.

Will all insurance providers cover me to drive someone else’s car?

Not necessarily. Some insurance providers will only cover you to drive a car you don’t own if it belongs to your spouse or partner, a parent, your employer or a leasing company. 

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

You’ll usually need to have insurance to drive a car you don’t own.

Some comprehensive policies may offer cover for driving other cars in emergencies, but this is unusual. Even if it is the case, you won’t have the same level of cover you do when driving your own car.

You’ll usually only have basic third-party cover, meaning you’re only protected against damage to other cars and property or injury to other people. Any damage to you or the car you’re driving, won’t be covered.

Can I get temporary car insurance for a car I don’t own?

Yes, you can get temporary car insurance for someone else's car.

You might need this if you’re taking your car on holiday and want to share the driving with someone else. We’ll help you compare cover for anything from an hour to 84 days.

Is it more expensive to insure a car I don’t own?

Yes, you’ll probably have to pay more to insure a car that doesn’t belong to you. This is partly because temporary insurance policies tend to be more expensive than standard ones, and also because insurance providers may consider you a higher risk.

Can I buy a car for someone else and put it in their name?

Yes, but buying a car for someone else isn’t as simple as handing over the keys.

The first thing you need to do is declare the car as SORN. This means you won’t need to tax or insure the car until it’s officially registered in the new owner’s name. While SORN, the car can’t be driven or parked on public roads.

After that, you’ll need to tell the DVLA that you’re transferring the vehicle. Alternatively, you can fill out a V5C (vehicle logbook), with the new owner’s details and post it to them.

The DVLA will send a new V5C to the car’s new owner. They’ll then need to tax and insure it.

Looking for a car insurance quote?

Compare car insurance quotes with us today and see if you could start saving.

Get a quote

Julie Daniels - motor insurance comparison expert

Julie is passionate about delivering a great customer experience and rewarding people for saving on their insurance through our loyalty and rewards programme. She’s spoken to the media, including outlets like Sky News and Capital FM, about car and home insurance, as well as our rewards scheme.

Learn more about Julie

Rebecca Goodman - personal finance expert

Rebecca Goodman is a freelance financial journalist who specialises in insurance, personal finance and consumer affairs. Rebecca regularly writes for national newspapers including The Independent and The Mail on Sunday on a wide-range of financial topics. She covers everything from money-saving tips and holiday advice to investigations into how energy efficient appliances can cut the cost of household bills and the impact donating money can have on those in need. Along with features in national papers, Rebecca also writes news stories for websites including Yourmoney.com and The Money Edit.

Learn more about Rebecca

Compare car insurance Get a quote