Can you insure a car you don’t own?

Can you insure a car you don’t own? And if so, how? If you’re looking to insure a car that isn’t yours, read our guide and find out how to go about it.  

Can you insure a car you don’t own? And if so, how? If you’re looking to insure a car that isn’t yours, read our guide and find out how to go about it.  

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
3
minute read
Do you know someone who could benefit from this article?
Posted 27 AUGUST 2021

Can I insure a car that I don’t own?

There are all sorts of reasons you might want to get insured 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 boss’s kids or run errands. It might just be that the car’s owner 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 to make sure you’ve got the right insurance in place to drive it. Here’s what to do. 

How does car insurance work when you don’t own the car? 

In terms of the cover you receive, getting insured to drive a car you don’t own works very similarly to insuring a car you do own. The main difference is the process of getting insured. When taking out a policy, or using a comparison site like Compare the Market, you’ll need to tell providers that you’re not the legal owner or ‘registered keeper’ of the car. 
 
One thing to be careful of is to avoid ‘fronting’. This is when someone is listed as the main driver of a car, when someone else is doing the majority of the driving. This is most common with inexperienced drivers who use a friend or family member to get cheaper car insurance. However, it’s a type of insurance fraud, which is illegal. 

How to get insured on someone else’s car

You have a few options:

  • Buy your own insurance policy Just be sure to tell insurance providers that you’re not the car’s owner or registered keeper when you apply.
  • Add yourself as a named driver on the car owner’s policy. Named driver insurance lets the policy holder add an additional driver – in this case, you – to their policy. It’s common for people to do this when their child, partner or friend wants to use their car.
  • Buy a short-term insurance policy
    This is ideal if you’re house-sitting for the car’s owners, or staying with them temporarily. Cover 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
    Some fully comprehensive policies include third-party cover to drive cars you don’t own. So if you have an insurance policy already, ask your insurance provider if you’re covered to drive other people’s cars.

Who is the ‘registered keeper’ of a car?

The car’s registered keeper isn’t always the owner. It’s whoever is named on the DVLA registration certificate. So 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 definitely covered to drive it. 

If I’m not the registered keeper, can I get car insurance as the main driver? 

This depends on the insurance provider. Some will only insure you as the main driver, if you’re the registered keeper, or the owner, of the car. So, if you’re having trouble getting insured with one provider, it’s worth comparing and enquiring with others. That’s where we can help. 

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. 

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

It could cost more as insurance providers might see you as a higher risk. They may assume you’re less likely to care about the car and might drive carelessly, or damage it. For that reason they may charge you more.  

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

That’s where we can help. Start a car insurance quote with us and we’ll search a wide range of trusted UK providers to help you find suitable cover.  

Frequently asked questions

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

Yes, you can insure yourself on a car that’s already insured by another driver, but you might not want to. If you and someone else are both insuring a car separately, you might be paying more than is necessary. Instead, you might want to look into being added onto the other person’s policy as a named driver. This will allow you both to drive the car on one policy, potentially saving money. 

How can someone else get insured on my car?

Just as you can get insured on someone else’s car, someone can also get insured to drive your car. If you trust them, then they could be added as a named driver on your policy. Just keep in mind that you’ll effectively be tied together, meaning any accidents they’re involved in while driving your car will be claimed for on your policy, potentially wiping out any no claims bonus you’ve built up. 
 
If you’d rather keep things separate, then the other person could take out their own insurance policy on your car. Be aware though, some insurance providers will require them to be a certain relation to you as the car’s owner or registered keeper. These usually include spouses/partners and parents, but can also include your employer, if it’s a company car. 

Will I always need to take out an insurance policy to drive a car I don’t own?

If you have a good fully comprehensive policy for your own car, these sometimes include cover to drive other cars that you don’t own. However, it’s important to know that the cover to drive other cars won’t be the same as driving your own car. It will usually just offer basic third-party cover, meaning it’ll only protect you against damage or injury to other cars, property or drivers. This means any damage to you, or the other person’s car you’re driving, won’t be covered. 
 
If you don’t have a fully comprehensive policy that includes cover to drive other cars, you’ll need to take out a separate policy, or get added as a named driver. 

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

Yes, you can get temporary car insurance to drive someone else’s car. This could be useful if you’re going on holiday and want to share the driving between people who aren’t normally covered. Through Compare the Market, you can compare cover for anytime between an hour and 84 days. 

Looking for a quote?

Compare quotes with us today and see if you can start saving.

Get a quote
Compare car insurance Get a quote