Can I insure a car I don't own?
Can you legally drive someone else’s car?
In some cases, you may need to insure yourself on a car which you do not own – and when you do, you’ll need to know how!
Whether you’re a new driver looking to borrow your parents’ car while you find one of your own, you’re sharing the driving responsibilities with a friend on a long-distance journey or simply borrowing somebody else’s vehicle for a little while, you will need to have the relevant insurance policy in place.
Do you have to be the registered owner of a vehicle to insure it?
No. In the UK, you do not have to be the legal owner of a vehicle in order to insure yourself to drive it.
You will always be asked whether or not you own the car when searching for a car insurance quote – luckily, this shouldn’t impact your premiums too heavily. Some of the UK’s major insurers don’t offer insurance unless you own the vehicle, but most will.
Legal owner vs registered keeper – what’s the difference?
The legal owner of a vehicle is typically whoever paid for it, or is paying for it as part of an ongoing finance plan – this doesn’t have to be the same person as the registered keeper. For example, if you get a company car as part of your job, you will be the registered keeper of the car but not the legal owner.
The registered keeper is the person who most regularly drives the vehicle – anybody else on the insurance policy is classed as a ‘named driver’.
If you are a younger or more inexperienced driver, it may seem cheaper to add yourself as a named driver with a more experienced driver as the registered keeper. However, this is an illegal act known as car insurance fronting and, while you might think of it as a clever workaround, it is against the law. If caught, not only will your car insurance policy be deemed invalid, but you could also be prosecuted for fraud.
To find out more, read Bobatoo’s guide to car insurance fronting.
How to find out who owns a car
You can check the registered keeper of your car by requesting the information from the DVLA if you have ‘reasonable cause’ to do so - for example, if a vehicle has been parked/abandoned on private land or was involved in a hit and run accident.
Drive another car with short term car insurance
You might only need temporary car insurance cover on somebody else’s vehicle, meaning you probably won’t want to splash out on an entire year’s worth of insurance.
The good news is that specialist insurers like Insure Daily offer a short-term solution, allowing you to take out a comprehensive car insurance policy for just one day, or more if you require.
Simply fill out their 30-second form to get a quick and easy temporary car insurance quote for either yourself on somebody else’s car, or somebody else on yours.
Can I drive someone else’s car on my insurance? Can you drive someone else’s car in an emergency?
Many people ask the question: can I drive someone else’s car if I’m fully comp? The answer to that is not definitive, but it is true that many comprehensive car insurance policies allow you to drive another vehicle with third party insurance – this should only ever be used in the case of emergencies, though, and certainly not for long-distance journeys.
The third-party insurance offered when driving another vehicle will not pay out towards the costs of any damage sustained by the car that you’re driving.
Don’t just assume that your comprehensive car insurance policy will allow you to drive somebody else’s car. Driving without insurance is against the law and this could result in you being handed an unlimited fine and a complete driving ban.
How much does it cost to drive somebody else’s car?
The cost of insuring yourself to drive somebody else’s car will depend heavily on what option you decide to take:
Buying your own, annual insurance policy is the most expensive option and is only recommended if you plan on driving the car regularly over a 12 month period – remember that you’ll need to state that you are not the legal owner of the car on your application.
Adding yourself to somebody else’s car insurance policy is another viable option, but should only be considered if you plan on driving the car semi-regularly. If you are going to be driving the car the most, you’ll need to be the main driver on the policy.
Taking out temporary car insurance is a great, cheap option for insuring yourself on someone else’s car. You can get short-term car insurance for just one day if that’s all you need!
Using third party cover supplied by your own insurance comes at no extra charge, but should only be used in the event of an emergency. If you plan on making more than one trip, or are driving long distance, we recommend that you take out a more comprehensive level of cover.
What happens if you let someone else drive your car?
If you’re allowing somebody else to drive your car, there are a few things that you should know.
If they have taken out their own, separate insurance policy (temporary or otherwise) then they will have to claim on that cover in the event of an accident, not yours. If they are named on your insurance then they’ll be able to claim on your insurance.
If they are driving your car without a dedicated insurance policy, and instead relying on third party cover provided by their own insurer, the damage to your vehicle will not be covered.
What happens if someone else gets a speeding ticket in your car?
If somebody else is caught speeding while behind the wheel of your car, the speeding fine will still be addressed to you because you are the registered keeper of the car. To avoid picking up points on your licence, make sure that you inform the relevant authorities – failing to do so is also a legal offence and could see you banned from driving altogether.
Temporary car insurance
If you’re looking for a short-term solution to your car insurance needs then we highly recommend getting a quote from Insure Daily, where you can take out cheap temporary car insurance for as little as one day!
To get a free quote for short-term car insurance, click the green button below.