Am I Insured to Drive Other Cars?
Drive any car insurance, otherwise known as cover for driving other cars (DOC), used to be a standard feature on most comprehensive car insurance policies, allowing drivers to get behind the wheel of any car they wanted, knowing that if the worst should happen, they’d be covered by their insurance policy.
These days, however, times have changed and insurance to drive any car now often comes with a catch – some policies don’t allow it at all.
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In many cases, drive other car (DOC) insurance is only made available to those who request it and often comes at an extra cost, but many people are still under the impression that the insurance on their own car covers them to drive somebody else’s.
In this guide we will clear the confusion around ‘drive any car insurance’, providing expert advice on what to do if you ever need to drive a car which you are not insured for.
Am I insured to drive other cars?
It is true that many fully comprehensive car insurance policies allow policyholders to drive other cars on a third-party-only (TPO) basis – this means that, in the event of an accident, insurance would only pay out for damage or injury sustained by anybody else involved in an accident – it does not cover you.
It is important to remember that more and more insurance providers are excluding third-party DOC cover from their policies, meaning many drivers are not covered to drive any car other than their own.
How do I find out if I have car insurance to drive any car?
Whether or not you have insurance for any car will be outlined in the policy documents you received (either through the post or via email) when you first took it out.
If you cannot find anything which clearly states that you are covered to drive other cars, our advice is to assume that you are not – until you’ve called your provider to ask them directly, it isn’t worth taking the risk.
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Driving other cars – Temporary car insurance
If you find that you aren’t covered to drive other cars on your insurance, there are ways to get around it. One of the most popular methods of ensuring that you’re driving legally behind the wheel of somebody else’s car is to get temporary car insurance.
Sometimes known as short-term car insurance, temporary car cover offers comprehensive cover for as little as one hour, making it the ideal policy for those looking to share the drive on a long journey or drive a car home before arranging permanent cover.
In many cases, this insurance does not need to be pre-arranged and takes just a matter of minutes over the phone.
You can find out more about temporary car insurance and the best providers here: The best short-term car insurance
Can someone else drive my car (UK)? – Named driver car insurance
If you need a more permanent solution to driving somebody else’s car, consider asking the legal owner of the vehicle (and insurance policyholder) to add you as a named driver on their car insurance policy.
Named drivers are entitled to the exact same cover as policyholders in the event of an accident, making it an ideal option if sharing a vehicle on a semi-regular basis.
It is important to remember that the main driver of the vehicle must be the person who drives it most frequently and the named driver must be somebody who doesn’t drive it as often. Failing to adhere to these ruled could see both drivers convicted of car insurance fronting.
FIND OUT MORE: Car insurance fronting
Adding a named driver to a car’s insurance policy will increase the premium slightly in most cases, but there are some scenarios in which doing so will actually save the policyholder money. For example, car insurance for young drivers is typically cheaper when adding another experienced driver to the policy.
DOC Insurance for under 25s
Car insurance for those under the age of 25 is typically quite expensive. This is because younger drivers are deemed to be a greater risk to insurers, given that they are statistically more likely to make a claim.
It is for this reason that insurance for driving other cars is seldom included in the average car insurance policy for those aged under 25, as it inevitably increases the risk of them being involved in an accident.
Some insurers will grant DOC insurance on request, but this can drastically increase the policyholder’s annual premium.
If you’ve done your research on finding cheaper car insurance premiums, you might already know that your job title can have a massive impact on the cost of your cover.
What you might not have read, though, is that it can also determine whether or not you get the freedom of ‘drive any car’ insurance.
If your job is deemed ‘high risk’ by insurers, there is little chance that you’ll get DOC insurance included in your policy as standard – those working in the motor industry who are likely to hop from car-to-car are unlikely to receive DOC insurance without paying an extra fee.
Another exclusion usually applies to those wanting to drive a vehicle that is owned not by their employer, but a third-party lease, hire purchase or renting company. Many motor insurers won’t entertain the idea of someone else borrowing a leased or rented car, as that could open up a can of worms in the event of an accident; in terms of ownership, responsibility and ultimate culpability.
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Driving a partner’s car
Whether using their car while yours is in the garage or taking it to the shops when they’re blocking you in, one of the most common reasons for needing DOC insurance is so couples can drive each other’s cars.
With this in mind, it should be acknowledged that this is actually an exclusion from many policies which include insurance to drive any car.
MoreThan, for example, state that DOC insurance only applies if “the car is not owned by (or hired under a hire purchase agreement by or leased to) you or your partner”.
If you think that you might need to drive your partner’s car from time-to-time then your best option would be to add yourself as a named driver to their car insurance policy. If you are both experienced drivers then this is unlikely to change the cost of cover too much.
Fully comp ‘drive any car’ insurance
In most cases, car insurance providers will only offer third party cover when the policyholder is driving somebody else’s car.
In fact, it is now uncommon to come across an insurer that will offer fully comprehensive DOC cover.
Rather than relying on the third-party-only cover issued for drivers behind the wheel of somebody else’s car, drivers are far better off taking out a cheap temporary car insurance policy to offer comprehensive insurance.
Driving without car insurance
When considering testing out your mate’s new motor or dropping the kids to school in your spouse’s car, it is crucial that you never lose sight of the underlying fact that it’s against the law to drive a vehicle without appropriate insurance cover. Doing so will result in you receiving an IN10 conviction which brings with it 6 to 8 penalty points which remain on your driving licence for 4 years.
Plus, the legacy of picking up this endorsement will last longer than you might otherwise think. In the years to come, motor insurance providers are likely to take a dim view of would-be policyholders who possess this unsightly blot on their licence, effectively increasing their insurance premiums considerably.
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