Temporary car insurance

Temporary car insurance, also known as short-term car insurance, allows you to get fast, flexible cover from as little as one hour, up to a full 84 days.

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Tempcover compares temporary car & van insurance to get you a fully comprehensive policy in under two minutes. With cover from 1 hour to 28 days, including for learners, you only pay for the cover you need. Tempcover has sold more than 3 million policies and has an 'excellent' customer review rating on Trustpilot.  

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Safely Insured compares quotes from some of the UK’s leading insurance providers for temporary insurance. Flexible cover ranges from 1-84 days. Cover is available for drivers aged 18-75 and for learners aged 17-30. Temporary insurance is available for a borrowed vehicle or for your own. Get comprehensive policies with low excess amounts.

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Jaunt offers temporary car, van and motorhome insurance from just 1 hour to 30 days. Whether you’re sharing the driving on a road trip, helping your mate move house or borrowing your sister’s car for the weekend, Jaunt can get you on the road in minutes. Jaunt is rated ‘excellent’ by customers on Trustpilot.

Find out more about Jaunt

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How does short-term car insurance work?

Short-term insurance allows you to get temporary cover to suit you in minutes. Also known as temporary insurance, it’s ideal if you need to get behind the wheel of someone else’s car at short notice.

The vehicle owner doesn’t have to do a thing, and neither the vehicle owner’s no claims discount nor your no claims discount will be affected. However, if you do have an accident, it could affect your car insurance premiums in the future.

You can also use it if you want someone else to drive your car temporarily, too.

Why get temporary car insurance?

Cover from 1 hour and up to 84 days depending on the provider

No impact on your no claims bonus

Get on the road in minutes

When might temporary car insurance be a good idea?

Situations in which short-term car insurance could be useful include:

Sharing the driving – if you’re going away in a friend’s car or motorhome, having temporary insurance means you can get in the driver’s seat when needed.

Moving home or moving furniture – short-term insurance can cover you for driving a friend’s van or larger car, meaning you won’t need to hire.

Borrowing your parents’ car occasionally – if you’d like to use your parents’ car when you’re home from university, or when you’re visiting mum and dad for a few days.

Waiting for your car to be repaired – you can use a friend’s car, knowing you’re covered.

Getting your new car home – if you’re buying a new car and haven’t yet got insurance, temporary insurance offers a short-term solution.

In an emergency – if a family member or friend is unable to drive their own car, you can step in to help them get around.

Taking a test drive – to have cover while you’re test-driving an unfamiliar vehicle.

Staying with friends – friends might loan you their car while you’re visiting.

Business use - if you have to use your personal vehicle for very occasional business trips.

What alternatives are there to temporary insurance?

If you have comprehensive car insurance, it’s worth checking your policy to see if you’re already covered for driving another car. Make sure you check the details carefully though; even if you are covered it might only be for third-party damage.

If you’re borrowing a car from a friend or family member, you could ask them to add you to their insurance as a named driver. But this could end up being a much more expensive option if you only need the car for a short time. It could also end up affecting their no claims bonus if you have an accident,

If your car is in the garage but your insurance company has provided you with a courtesy car for the day, then you may already be covered by your insurance policy or by the garage. But make sure you check what you’re covered for.

If none of these alternatives apply, then temporary insurance might be exactly what you’re looking for.

What’s the shortest or longest time you can insure a vehicle with temporary insurance?

You can choose how long you want cover for. With short-term insurance you could get cover for as little as one hour and, depending on the provider, up to 84 days if you have a full licence.

Can I drive a vehicle without insurance if I’ve just bought it?

No. Driving a vehicle without insurance is against the law. If you’ve just bought a new car, temporary insurance can give you the short-term cover you need while you shop around to find an insurance provider that suits your needs.

Can I tax a vehicle using temporary insurance?

Yes. You can tax your vehicle with a temporary policy. You can do this:

  • Online via the DVLA website
  • At a local post office with the temporary insurance documentation you’ve been sent

Can I get temporary insurance to drive a van?

Yes, for example, if you need to borrow a van to take things to the recycling centre, move furniture or take a test drive in a van you’re thinking of buying. But it won’t cover you if you hire a van.

If you run a business, you can also get temporary insurance for an employee to use a van for short periods too.

Can I use temporary insurance for business use?

Yes, for example, if you very occasionally need to use your car for business, you might find it a more cost-effective option than adding business use all-year round. Imagine you or one of your employees are off to a conference or training, need to visit a distant client or branch, or need to work somewhere else temporarily. In these situations, short-term car insurance could be the answer.

Likewise, it could be useful if several employees are travelling together using a company car or their own car and need to share the driving.

Temporary insurance can also be useful for businesses including builders, plumbers and roofers if they want to get cover for subcontractors to drive the work van.

It can also be helpful at busy times when you’ve taken on temporary workers and you might need one of them to drive the works van for an hour or even a few days, to help out.

When is temporary insurance not suitable?

Typically, temporary insurance won’t cover you for a hired or rented vehicle. Usually you’d need hire car insurance for that. However, you could get cover for this through Safely Insured in some circumstances. Please check with them directly.

You can’t use temporary insurance if you’re going to use your vehicle for ‘hire or reward’. In other words, to earn money from using it as a taxi driver or delivery driver. Instead, you’ll need taxi insurance or commercial van insurance.

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible to get temporary insurance?

To get a temporary insurance quote you’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria of the relevant provider. Also, you’ll need to hold a valid driving licence in line with the requirements shown in the table below.

You don’t have to be the registered owner of the vehicle, you just have to have the owner’s permission to drive it.

Eligibility rules Tempcover Safely insured Jaunt
Age between 18 and 78 between 18 and 75, learners between 17-30 between 18 and 75
Held a licence for at least six months, or 12 months if it’s an EU licence six months or more a minimum of six months, or three months if you’re 25 or over
Acceptable licences
  • Full UK licence
  • Full EU or International driving licence
  • UK provisional driving licence
  • Full UK
  • Full EU
  • Full EEA
  • Some Commonwealth Countries
  • UK Provisional driving licence
  • Full valid UK licence (issued in England, Wales or Scotland)
Penalty points No more than 7 licence points in the past 3 years and have no disqualifications in the past 2 years No more than 11 points on licence in past 5 years and have had no disqualifications or licence revoked No more than 9 penalty points and have had no disqualifications in the past 18 months
Car's current market value Between £1,500 and £65,000 Safely Insured works with different providers but at least one will cover vehicles from £1,500 to £60,000

Below £75,000

Van's current market value Between £1,500 and £30,000 Check with provider Below £75,000
Find out more Tempcover’s full eligibility requirements Safely Insured’s full eligibility requirements Jaunt’s full eligibility requirements

What does temporary car insurance cover?

Temporary car insurance typically offers comprehensive cover – the fullest level of protection available. It covers you for:

  • damage to other drivers and their cars
  • cover in case the car is stolen
  • cover for you as the driver, and for damage caused to the car.

What is one day car insurance?

Temporary car insurance taken out for 24 hours only is sometimes called one day car insurance. It’s ideal if you want to borrow someone else’s car for a day – or lend your car to another person. It means you only pay for the cover you need, without having to commit to a longer policy. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a car – you can find one day cover for vans too. All our temporary car insurance partners can offer cover for a single day if you need it.

What extra cover is available?

As with other types of car insurance, you can choose to pay a little extra and add on cover to your temporary car insurance for:

  • Breakdown cover – in case you need roadside assistance.
  • Additional drivers – if you’re going to be sharing the driving with someone else.
  • EU cover – if you’re off on a whirlwind day trip over to France, for example.

Can I be added to another person’s insurance policy?

It’s possible to be added to someone’s insurance policy as a named driver, but temporary insurance could be a quicker and simpler option. Plus, getting yourself added to someone’s policy could be expensive, especially if you’re a young driver.

Can I use temporary insurance for a vehicle I own?

If you own a car but drive it occasionally – for example, when you’re home during university holidays or you have a convertible or motorhome that you only use over the summer – short-term insurance can be a cost-effective option.

If you don’t intend to insure your car to cover the long periods when you’re not using it, you’ll have to keep it off the road and get a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

What happens if I have an accident while I’ve got temporary cover?

If you’re driving an unfamiliar car, you might worry about what would happen if there was an accident. Typically, short-term insurance gives you comprehensive cover. That means that if you were to have an accident, you could be fully covered. It’s worth knowing that if you did end up in a crash when you were driving someone else’s car with their permission, their no  claims bonus wouldn’t be affected.

Is there anything else I need to be aware of about temporary cover?

  • Please be aware that temporary insurance is not a replacement for annual cover. If you’re looking for longer-term cover, an annual insurance policy is likely to be more cost effective
  • Temporary cover won’t count towards a no claims bonus
  • You’ll have to pay for your policy in full before you drive off

Can I use temporary insurance to drive in Europe?

You can ask your insurance provider to cover you on your existing policy if you want to take your car to Europe for a trip.

You can also get temporary cover for driving your own car, van or motorhome in Europe, a borrowed vehicle or if you’re sharing the driving of a friend’s vehicle, for example.

Make sure you know which countries you’re travelling to before you get your insurance, then you can check if the policy will cover you. Also, make sure you understand the level of cover. Some providers offer the minimum cover required by law in that country, rather than fully comprehensive cover. If your itinerary changes, you may need to update your insurance provider too.

If you’re planning on hiring a car, you’ll need hire car insurance instead.

Now that we’ve left the EU, you have to carry a Green Card to drive in Europe. Your car insurance provider should be able to issue you with a Green Card (check with them first), which will be sent through the post. Some providers might be able to email it to you so you can download and print yourself.

How much does temporary car insurance cost?

The cost depends on a few things, including:

Your age

The vehicle you want to drive

How long you want the policy to last for

Other factors will be taken into account too, including where you live, your job, your claims history, whether you have any points on your licence and what vehicle you’ll be driving. Cost will also be affected by how much you’re willing to pay towards the cost of a claim – this is called the ‘voluntary excess’.

What do I need to get a quote?

It’s easy to get a short-term car insurance quote. You’ll just need to:

  • give your personal details – like your name, address and date of birth
  • provide information about the car you want to insure
  • give information about your driving history
  • choose how long you want your short-term cover to last.

Dan Hutson

From the Motor team

What our expert says

“Whether you’re borrowing a car or want to share the driving on a road trip, temporary car insurance can be a great solution that you can tailor to suit your needs.

“Be aware, though, that although your no claims bonus won’t be affected if you have to make a claim, your future car insurance premiums could be.”

Tempcover

  • Offers temporary insurance from one hour to 28 days’ duration.
  • Cover available in under two minutes.
  • 4.6-star customer review rating on Trustpilot.
  • Over 3 million policies sold.

Tempcover gives you flexible insurance to suit your needs, whether you’re borrowing a car, test-driving a new vehicle or driving away your new purchase.

With fully comprehensive cover available as standard and as a separate, standalone policy, your no claims discount won’t be affected.

If you want to read more about short-term car insurance, go back to the top of the page.

Get a Tempcover quote

Who is Tempcover and what is its relationship with Compare the Market?

Tempcover is a provider of short-term insurance in the UK. Tempcover is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is underwritten by a panel of authorised and regulated insurers, chosen for their competitiveness, cover and service levels provided.

Compare The Market’s relationship with Tempcover is purely that of a business relationship and no common ownership or control rights exist between us.

Safely Insured

Safely Insured’s short-term car insurance is for drivers who:

  • are aged between 18 and 75. It can also provide cover for learner drivers aged 17-30.
  • have a UK, EU or EEA driving licence – or a licence from some Commonwealth countries

Safely Insured can help you organise temporary insurance if you want to get cover:

  • for an additional driver on your car
  • if you want to drive another car
  • to release a vehicle from impound

Safely Insured offers a flexible excess (the amount you’d need to pay towards a claim) so you can adjust it to a level that you’re comfortable with.

If you want to read more about short-term car insurance, go back to the top of the page.

Get a Safely Insured quote

Who is Safely Insured and what is its relationship with Compare the Market?

Safely Insured is a trading name of Sky Insurance Services Group Limited - a provider of bespoke insurance in the UK that has been trading for 35+ years. Safely Insured and Sky Insurance are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Compare the Market’s relationship with Safely Insured is purely that of a business nature and no common ownership or control rights exist between us.

Jaunt

  • Drivers aged between 18 and 75 can get temporary motor insurance for as little as an hour, for up to 30 days.
  • You don’t need to be the vehicle’s registered owner, you simply need the owner’s consent to drive the car.
  • Get a quote and you could be driving in minutes.
  • Jaunt is rated ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot.

Jaunt provides flexible, comprehensive cover as standard. Each Jaunt policy is a separate, standalone policy, your no claims discount won’t be affected.

Jaunt also offers third-party cover for trips within the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Jaunt will issue you with a Green Card, which you now need if you're intending to drive in these areas. If you want to read more about short-term car insurance,  go back to the top of the page.

Get a Jaunt quote

Who is the insurance provider Jaunt and what is its relationship with Compare the Market?

Jaunt is an insurance provider that specialises in short-term car, van and motorhome insurance.

Jaunt is a trading name of BISL limited, which is part of the BGL Group – one of the UK’s leading digital distributors of motor, household and life insurance products.

Compare the Market is also part of the BGL Group.

Jaunt’s policies are arranged and administered by DayInsure, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are underwritten by Aviva. Aviva is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority, so you know you’re in safe hands.

Unlike most other insurance products, you can’t compare short-term insurance at Compare the Market, but you can get a quote from Jaunt.