Third-party car insurance

  • Buy third-party car insurance for less than £1,356/year[1]
  • Enjoy a whole year of Meerkat Meals & Meerkat Movies* 
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[1] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £1,355.43 for their third party car insurance in November 2022.

What is third-party car insurance?

Third-party car insurance offers the legal minimum level of car insurance. It can cover you (minus any excess) if you damage another person's car or injure someone while you're driving, including your own passengers. If an accident is your fault, you won't be covered for your own injuries or any damage to your car.

What is third-party, fire and theft cover?

Third-party, fire and theft insurance offers the same cover as third-party insurance, but can also cover you if your car is stolen or damaged by fire.

It gives you more cover than a basic third-party policy, but not as much as comprehensive insurance. Third-party fire and theft can be a good option if your car is relatively cheap and straightforward to repair.

Third-party, fire and theft insurance typically covers:

  • Third-party damage costs to another person’s vehicle, property or injuries
  • the cost of repairing your car if it’s damaged by fire, whether it was accidental or arson
  • the cost of replacing your car if it’s stolen and can’t be recovered
  • the cost of repairing damage to your car after theft or attempted theft.

Some third-party, fire and theft policies also cover car audio, sat nav and entertainment systems if they’re stolen or damaged because of theft or fire.

Just like third-party only, third-party, fire and theft won’t cover any damage to your vehicle caused by a crash.

What does third-party insurance cover?

Third-party insurance can cover third-party costs in the event of a car insurance claim. Third party refers to another person who is not you.

Third-party insurance typically covers:

  • damage to another person’s property – for example, if you crash your car and damage someone’s wall
  • injury to a passenger or driver of another car
  • injury to a passenger in your car
  • damage to another person’s vehicle if you’re involved in a road accident.

What isn’t covered by third-party insurance?

Typically, third-party insurance won’t cover:

  • damage to your own vehicle (if the accident was your fault) – you’ll need to pay for repairs
  • repair or replacement costs if your car is stolen, broken into or damaged by fire
  • medical costs if you’re injured, such as physiotherapy.

Why use Comparethemarket?

We compare 150 car insurance products[2]

We're rated Excellent on Trustpilot[3]

[2] Correct as of December, 2022.

[3] As of October 2022, Comparethemarket had an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 22,236 people who left a review on Trustpilot. The score 4.8 corresponds to the Star Label ‘Excellent’.

What do our customers say?

Based on 102,543 reviews, our customers rated us 4.6 out of 5.

Saved £160 and stayed with same Provider
Britpart • 09/09/2021
I got a great price for my car insurance, I would definitely recommend to friend
JTHOM • 09/09/2021
So easy and fast. Got a great deal half of what my current insurers quoted.
Jak60 • 09/09/2021
Love the way your details are kept which make it easy to review and choose each.
Carol G • 02/11/2021

What are the benefits of third-party cover?

If your car isn’t worth much, it could be more economical to take out third-party cover, as the cost of getting it repaired could be more than its actual value.

Alternatively, if repairs to your car are fairly cheap and straightforward, or you think you can cover the cost of repairs yourself, you might feel that a higher level of cover isn’t really worth it.

Third-party insurance could work for you if your car is worth very little. But the cost of your insurance depends on lots of other factors, such as the area you live in or whether you have any no claims bonus.

What is the difference between third-party and comprehensive insurance?

The main difference between third-party and comprehensive insurance is pretty simple. Third party is the most basic type of car insurance. It’ll only pay out compensation for damage or injury to other people and their vehicles. If your car is damaged, or you’re injured, you won’t get any compensation. Comprehensive insurance covers both sides. As well as other drivers and their vehicles, you’ll also be able to claim for damages to your vehicle.

The other difference is that third-party insurance is a minimum legal requirement. You have to have at least third-party car insurance, whereas a comprehensive policy is optional.

What are the average costs of the insurance options?

We can tell you how much third-party insurance costs our customers, on average. Based on our latest data:

For third-party car insurance, 51% of our customers were quoted less than £1,356[4]

For third-party, fire and theft, 51% of our customers were quoted less than £928[4]

For comprehensive cover, 51% of our customers were quoted less than £629[4]

[4] Prices correct as of November, 2022.

Why are third-party policies often more expensive than comprehensive policies?

People often assume third-party insurance will be the cheapest as it offers the least cover. But that isn’t always the case.

Insurance costs are calculated on risk. Insurance providers work on the assumption that people who take out third-party policies are more likely to make a claim. This is why they often charge them more.

The cost of your premium will also depend on your personal circumstances. For example, how old you are and where you live. The make and model of your car, what insurance group it’s in, how much it’s worth, and how many miles a year you drive will also make a difference.

What do I need to get a quote?

To start a quote, you’ll need to give us a few details about:

  • your vehicle
  • how you use your vehicle – e.g. your annual mileage, where you park overnight
  • your personal details, including address, age and employment status
  • any claims or convictions
  • how many years of no claims discount (NCD) you have
  • the type of cover you’re looking for.

Once you’ve completed our online form, we’ll show you a list of suitable quotes to compare.

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Author image Alex Hasty

What our expert says...

“Third-party cover is the legally required minimum level of car insurance that drivers need. It usually only covers the cost of damage to another person’s vehicle, as well as any compensation costs for injuries caused to other people. Drivers with third-party cover tend to pay more as they are more likely to be younger or high-risk drivers. When you come to renew your car insurance, it is always worth shopping around and comparing different types of policy to ensure you’re getting a great deal with the right amount of protection.”

- Alex Hasty, Insurance expert

About Comparethemarket

We know comparing insurance and utilities isn’t much fun. So at Comparethemarket it’s all about keeping it simple. We help you find the right product at the right price. And you can trust us to be impartial – we only make money when you switch or take out a new product, so it’s in our interests to help you make the right choice. Comparing with us is about the enjoyable stuff too – we love to reward you with Meerkat Meals and Meerkat Movies when you take out selected products with us.*

Frequently asked questions

Can you get third-party only insurance?

Yes, third-party insurance is the most basic type of car insurance.

You’re legally required to have third-party cover as a minimum, as it covers damages to another driver and their vehicle if you’re involved in an accident. Third-party insurance doesn’t pay out for damages to you or your own vehicle. To get greater protection, you should consider third-party, fire and theft, or comprehensive car insurance policies.

Is third party insurance always the cheapest?

No, people often assume third-party insurance will be the cheapest, as it offers the least cover, but that isn’t always the case.

The cost of your premium will depend on your personal circumstances. For example, how old you are and where you live. It will depend on the make and model of your car, what insurance group it’s in, how much it’s worth, and how many miles a year you drive.

Can you get added extras with third-party cover?

Yes, you can add a range of extras to a third-party policy: 

  • Breakdown cover – if you break down, this could get you back on the road with roadside assistance.
  • Personal accident cover – this allows you to claim for compensation if you or your passenger are killed or seriously injured in a car accident.
  • Motor legal protection – this could cover legal fees, if you’re involved in an accident and a claim has been made against you. 
  • No claims discount protection – if you’ve already built up a decent discount, you should think about protecting it with this extra.
  • Courtesy car cover - if your car has to go in for repairs, this will provide you with a temporary car to keep you going while yours is repaired (subject to availability).

Is third-party, fire and theft better for young drivers?

Third-party, fire and theft probably isn't better for young drivers.

If by “better” you mean cheaper, paying for less cover may seem like a way to get cheaper car insurance. However, there are examples when it’s actually cheaper to get a fully comprehensive policy.

“Better” could also mean more protection. As a young driver, with less experience, getting a fully comprehensive policy is probably a more sensible idea. This is because it will cover any damages to your car, if you’re involved in an accident. Given that younger drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident, this could save you money in the long run, too.

When should I buy third-party insurance?

If your car isn’t worth very much, it might make sense to find a cheaper third-party quote and avoid the extra cost of insuring against damage to your own vehicle.

This is because the cost of fixing your car might be more than it’s worth, making the repairs not worth bothering with. Alternatively, the cost of repairs may be so low, that you’re able to cover the expense yourself.

Another instance when third-party insurance might make more sense is for drivers who don’t drive their car often enough.

Just because it offers the least protection, doesn’t mean you should never even consider third-party insurance. For some situations, it can be perfectly fine.

Is it cheaper to pay for third-party cover monthly or annually?

It’s usually more expensive to pay for your car insurance monthly versus annually.

This is because there’s a form of interest applied to monthly payments. If you can afford to pay it in one go, it’s normally cheaper to pay annually.

Why are third-party policies often more expensive than comprehensive policies?

Insurance providers assume that people who take out third-party policies are more likely to make a claim, which is why they often charge them more.

Why compare third-party insurance with Comparethemarket?

We independently compare third party car insurance deals from 56 of the UK’s most trusted insurance providers[5]. We’ll show you policies based on price, add-ons or payment terms, helping you compare policies based on your needs.

[5]Correct as of December, 2022.

Page last reviewed on 12/01/2023
by Alex Hasty