Third-party car insurance

  • Buy third-party car insurance from £1,486/year** 
  • Enjoy a whole year of Meerkat Meals & Meerkat Movies* 

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £1,485.35 per year for their third-party car insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020

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.

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 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, 50% could achieve a quote of
£1,486**

For third-party, fire and theft, 50% could achieve a quote of
£919***

For comprehensive cover, 50% could achieve a quote of
£622****

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £1,485.35 per year for their third-party car insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020

***50% of people could achieve a quote of £918.40 per year for their third-party, fire and theft car insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020.

****50% of people could achieve a quote of £621.08 per year for their fully comprehensive car insurance based on Compare the Market data in November 2020.

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.

Start a quote

Daniel Hutson

From the Motor team

“Shopping around and comparing different levels of cover will give you a clearer idea of what you can get for your money.

Using our comparison tool, you’ll be able to easily compare third-party prices with those of third-party, fire and theft and fully comprehensive cover. You can also choose to add any optional extras to see how the prices vary, and tailor your cover to suit your needs.”

Why use Compare the Market?

5 minutes^^ to get a quote

We compare 132^^^ car insurance products

92.8%^^^^ of customers found our prices competitive or very competitive

^^On average it can take less than 5 minutes to complete a car insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in November 2020.

^^^Correct as of November 2020.

^^^^For the period 1st September 2020 to 30th November 2020, 2,014 people responded to the statement “I think the prices provided by CtM are….” 1,869 responded with ‘competitive’ or ‘very competitive’ (92.8%).

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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. 

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. 

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, just like any other type of car insurance. Examples of added extras include: 

  • Breakdown cover – probably the most common extra, breakdown cover is there to get you back on the road as quickly as possible. If you’re unlucky enough to break down, you’ll get roadside assistance to try and fix the problem.
  • Personal accident cover – seeing as you and your passengers won’t be covered with a third-party policy, you might want to consider 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 – third-party cover is designed to cover the costs to other people and their vehicles if you’re involved in an accident. If a claim has been made against you, motor legal protection can help cover the legal costs involved. 
  • No claims discount protection – growing and maintaining a no claims discount can make your car insurance significantly cheaper. If you’ve already built up a decent discount, you should think about protecting it with this extra. Even if you make a claim, your discount will remain intact. 
  • Courtesy car cover - if you’re unlucky enough to be involved in an accident that means your car has to go in for repairs, you might wish that you had courtesy car cover in place. This cover 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?

It depends what you mean by “better”. “Better” could mean cheaper, and 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?

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.

For example, 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, in the event of an accident, and would rather potentially save on your insurance instead.

Another instance when third-party insurance might make more sense is for drivers who don’t drive their car often enough. If you spend a lot of time away from home and off the road, perhaps you’re a university student or you travel abroad a lot, then you might not be bothered about getting fully comprehensive cover. Likewise, if you’ve been considering declaring your car as SORN, but think there may be the odd occasion when you need to drive it, or are unable to park it on your own land or private driveway, then a simple third-party policy might be the right option.

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 Compare the Market?

We independently compare third party car insurance deals from 132^^^ of the UK’s most trusted insurance providers. We’ll show you policies based on price, add-ons or payment terms, helping you compare policies based on your needs.

^^^Correct as of November 2020.