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Comprehensive car insurance

  • Buy comprehensive car insurance for less than £950/year[1]
  • Compare prices from 169 provider products[2] to find the right cover for you
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[1] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £949.59 for their comprehensive car insurance in December 2023. [2] Correct as of December 2023.

What is comprehensive insurance?

A comprehensive car insurance policy (also known as fully comprehensive car insurance or fully comp insurance) offers both you and your car the highest level of protection.

As well as covering you for third-party damage to another vehicle or person, comprehensive car insurance also covers fire, theft and damage to your car, no matter who’s at fault.

How does comprehensive car insurance work?

Comprehensive car insurance can pay out if you damage or write off your car, regardless of whose fault it is. It can also cover compensation costs if someone else is injured.

What’s the difference between comprehensive and fully comprehensive car insurance? 

There’s no difference between comprehensive and fully comprehensive car insurance – they’re different names for the same thing. This is the highest level of cover, protecting you and your vehicle, as well as other drivers and passengers.

But comprehensive doesn’t mean you’ll be covered for everything. Policies vary widely and you still need to check the details to see exactly what is and isn’t included.

What’s the difference between comprehensive insurance and third party?

Third-party insurance won’t cover damage to your car if you’re in an accident. It only covers the cost of repairing the other vehicle. Comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, can cover damage to your car as well as third-party damage.

What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

Comprehensive insurance is designed to provide you with full car insurance cover. But exactly what’s covered by comprehensive car insurance will depend on the policy and provider you choose.

Here’s what comprehensive car insurance coverage typically includes and excludes:

Typically covered:

  • Third-party damage to other cars
  • Fire damage to your car
  • Theft of your car
  • The full cost of repairing your car
  • Injury to other people
  • Damage caused by flooding.

Typically not covered:

  • Theft caused by carelessness
  • Damage or injuries caused when driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving with an invalid driving licence
  • General wear or tear
  • Driving someone else’s car.

Why do I need comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive insurance is the highest level of protection you can get. If you want the reassurance that comes with a high level of cover, comprehensive is the way to go.

How is comprehensive insurance different to other types of cover?

Here are the different types of car insurance cover and how they differ:

Third-party car insurance

Could cover you if you damage another car or injure someone while driving. It doesn’t cover your own vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident.

Learn more about third-party car insurance

Third-party, fire and theft

Offers the same cover as third-party but could also cover you if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire.

Learn more about third-party, fire and theft

Telematics

Popular among young drivers, black box insurance is based on data about your driving from a device installed in your car or a smart phone app. The more responsible a driver you are, the cheaper your car insurance could be.

Learn more about telematics car insurance

How much does comprehensive car insurance cost?

You might assume comprehensive car insurance is more expensive than third-party or third-party, fire and theft, but this isn’t always true. Sometimes comprehensive car insurance is the cheapest option.

This is because drivers who take out third-party only cover are considered to be a higher risk by insurance providers. As a result, third-party policies are often more expensive than comprehensive insurance, even though they only offer the most basic cover.

However, the cost of your car insurance premium will depend on various factors. These include your age, driving history, the type of car you drive, and even where you live.

Here’s the average cost for our customers:

£950
Comprehensive cover[3]

£1,476
Third-party fire and theft[4]

£1,990
Third-party only[5]

51% of our customers were quoted less than [3] £949.59 for comprehensive car insurance, [4] £1,475.12 for third-party fire and theft car insurance,
[5] £1,989.01 for their third party car insurance. Based on Compare the Market data in December 2023.

How can I get cheap comprehensive car insurance?

Here’s how you can help to reduce the price of your cover.

  • Reduce the number of miles you drive.
  • Add a responsible driver to your policy – this needs to be someone who drives your car. Don’t add someone as the main driver if they’re not – this is called fronting and is a type of insurance fraud.
  • Pay for your policy upfront, rather than in instalments – that way you’ll avoid paying interest on your monthly payments.
  • Consider a telematics policy.

One of the best ways to find cheap comprehensive car insurance is to compare quotes.

What do I need to get a quote?

To start comparing comprehensive car insurance quotes, you’ll need to tell us about:

1.
Your car and how you use it

We need to know your vehicle’s registration number, make, model and age. We’ll also ask for your annual mileage and where you keep your car at night.

Why does annual mileage matter?

Does where I keep my car affect the cost of my insurance?

2.
Personal details

We’ll need some details about you, including your name, age, address and what job you do. We’ll also need details of any additional drivers you want to include on the policy.

How does my address affect my car insurance?

How do job titles affect car insurance policies?

3.
Your claims history

We’ll ask about your no claims discount (NCD), along with any insurance claims or convictions. Providing false information could invalidate your car insurance policy.

What is a no claims discount?

What can invalidate a car insurance policy?

Author image Alex Hasty

What our expert says...

"Because people are trying to save money during the cost-of-living crisis, many car insurance providers now offer different levels of comprehensive cover. For example, ‘essential’ policies may not offer windscreen cover, personal belongings cover or car key cover.

We understand that the price of ‘essential’ policies may be attractive right now, but it’s important to understand that this type of policy may offer you less protection. What might seem a cheaper option could end up costing you more if you need to claim.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh up the cost versus cover level, based on your needs. If you need more information about what cover you need, it’s worth checking with your insurance provider.”

- Alex Hasty, Insurance expert

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Compare cheap car insurance quotes from 169 trusted provider products[2], including:

[6] As of January 2024, Compare the Market had an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 38,330 people who left a review on Trustpilot. The score 4.8 corresponds to the Star Label ‘Excellent’.  

[2] Correct as of December 2023.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I drive any car if I have comprehensive cover?

You can’t drive any car with comprehensive cover.

It used to be the case that comprehensive policies gave you third-party cover when driving other people’s cars, but this is rare these days. Check your policy wording so you know what’s covered – speak to your insurance provider if you’re unsure.

If you want to drive someone else’s car, ask whether you can be added as a named driver to their car insurance policy. If you only need to drive someone else’s car for a short time, consider temporary car insurance.

What affects the price of comprehensive car insurance?

The cost of your premium depends on several factors, including your age, driving history, address and where you keep your car at night.

Insurance providers will consider all of the above to determine how likely you are to make a claim. The level of risk will be reflected in the price of your policy.

How car insurance premiums are calculated.

Does comprehensive insurance cover other people to drive my car?

Comprehensive car insurance doesn’t insure other people to drive your car. You’ll need to add them as a named driver to your car insurance.

Is it worth getting comprehensive car insurance?

As well as providing the most extensive cover, comprehensive car insurance is often cheaper than other types of car insurance. That means it could be the right level of cover for you.

Page last reviewed on 11 JANUARY 2024
by Alex Hasty