How Temporary Insurance Works – And Is It Right For You?

Temporary or short-term car insurance is exactly what it sounds like: Cover to drive a car for a temporary period of time.

Some car insurance providers specialise in temporary insurance. This is a short introduction to how temporary cover works and who it’s for.

Our aim is to help you decide whether or not temporary car insurance is the right choice for you. Yet though there are some benefits to short-term car insurance, for most drivers taking out an annual car insurance policy remains the best option.

How Does Short-Term Car Insurance Work?

When you take out a temporary car insurance policy, you can specify how long you want the cover to last. This could be for as little as an hour, or for a full day, a full week, or a month.

With temporary car insurance, you only pay for the cover you need and for the duration of your policy, you will be covered for whatever’s specified in the policy wording.

Why You Might Need Temporary Car Insurance

Here are some situations where temporary car insurance might prove useful:

  • Driving a new car home from a private seller or dealership.
  • Taking a car you are considering buying for a test-drive.
  • Borrowing a car from a friend.
  • Sharing driving duties with friends or family on a road trip.

Students may also consider temporary cover if they are borrowing a car while visiting home during the holidays.

Do I Need To Insure a Car If I Don’t Drive It?

You must have car insurance if you use your car on roads and in public places. If you own a car but you don’t intend to drive it, then you can inform the DVLA that you are taking your car off the road. This is known as a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN), and you can read our full guide to how this works here.

You might own a car, but only drive it from time to time. In this case, you might consider simply getting temporary insurance to cover you whenever you drive, so as to save money on the price of an annual policy. However, unless you get a SORN, you will need at least third-party car insurance at all times.

So temporary car insurance is not an option if you own and drive your own car – even if you only drive it occasionally.

Is Temporary Insurance Right For You?

Temporary car insurance can be very useful, but only in highly specific circumstances. In most cases, you will need an annual car insurance policy – particularly if you’re looking for cover to own and drive your own car.

If you are regularly driving someone else’s car, or if someone else is regularly driving your car, then it can be very time consuming to get temporary car insurance to cover each trip. It might be more convenient and cost-effective to simply become a named driver on someone else’s policy, or to add a named driver to your policy.

If you’re looking for an annual car insurance policy, we can give you comprehensive cover at an affordable price. Get in touch for a free quote today.