Everything you need to know about temporary car insurance

A female driver holding her car keys

What is temporary insurance?

If you simply need a fully comprehensive car insurance policy to cover you for a short period of time, such as one week or a few days, short-term cover is a policy that works out much cheaper than if you were to buy an annual policy.

Can you get car insurance for a week?

Yes, you can get week-long car insurance for your car or van! 

You can get temporary car insurance for:

  • An hour or a few hours
  • One day (24 hours)
  • A week
  • A weekend
  • 2 weeks
  • 3 weeks
  • 4 weeks (one month/28 days)

Many short-term insurance providers usually only provide temporary cover for a maximum of one month, but you may be able to find an insurer who offers longer temp cover, if you need it for 2 months or up to 6 months, for example.

Get a temporary car insurance policy for up to 3 months with Bobatoo:

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Reasons for needing temporary car insurance

There are a number of common reasons for needing to buy a temporary car insurance policy, including:

  • Test driving another car
  • Borrowing a friend’s or family’s car
  • Driving another car in the event of an emergency
  • Sharing the driving on a long journey or trip
  • Using a car to drive only while holidaying in the UK
  • Driving a new car immediately after purchasing it
  • Car sharing with colleagues
  • Learning to drive in someone else’s car, such as a parent’s (except during lessons)
  • Driving another car for business purposes
  • Hiring a vehicle
  • Driving a courtesy car and you want more than third-party cover
  • Driving your sports car or classic car that you don’t usually drive

If you find that you need to borrow a friend’s or family member’s car from time to time, you may be better off getting them to add you as a named driver to their policy.

Just remember, if you are listed as a named driver on another person’s insurance policy, you must not drive the vehicle more than the policyholder (the main driver) - if you do this, you are committing a type of car insurance fraud known as fronting.

You might like: Am I Insured to Drive Other Cars?

How temporary car insurance works

Short-term car insurance is a flexible way to be covered for a short time frame, without having to spend more money on an unnecessary annual policy and just pay for the cover you need. If you already have an annual policy for your own vehicle, it doesn’t matter - you can still take out an additional temporary policy if you need to borrow another car.

Firstly, you’ll want to get the cheapest deal online, so you’ll have to do a quote comparison if you have time. When comparing quotes, just make sure you know exactly what you are and are not covered for to ensure you’re getting the right amount of cover for the price.

If you need temp cover immediately, get an affordable quote right here with Bobatoo:

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When applying for short-term cover, you’ll need to enter the following:

  • The desired amount of cover (one day, two weeks, etc)
  • Registration of the vehicle you want to insure
  • Your date of birth
  • Driving licence information
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Once you purchase a policy, you can drive the insured car straight away. But remember, as soon as the policy expires, you must make sure you’ve got valid cover in place if you need to drive it again. Some policies will let you top up the cover for up to 30 days extra, depending how long you need it for.

Will my no-claims bonus be affected if I need to make a claim?

If you had an accident while driving the insured vehicle, you would need to make a claim on your short-term policy to cover the costs involved, but it’s worth knowing that it will not affect the no-claims bonus belonging to the owner of the vehicle you’ve insured with short-term insurance.

Furthermore, it will not affect your no-claims discount either, as a temporary car insurance policy is completely separate from your standard annual policy.

Read more: What is a no claims bonus and how does it work?

Temporary business car insurance

If you commute to work every day, you must be covered for ‘Social, Domestic, Pleasure and Commuting’ (SDPC) use with your standard car insurance policy.

If, however, you commute to additional places for work purposes or driving your vehicle is part of your job, you will need to make sure you are covered for ‘Business’ use on top of your standard cover. If you don’t, you’ll be driving around with an invalid insurance policy and you won’t be able to make any claims in the event of an accident - it’s also illegal, so you could face having an IN10 conviction if you are caught without the right cover.

Note: If you are a delivery driver, you’ll need special hire and reward insurance, so always make sure you have the right insurance policy in place for your exact driving needs.

If you need ‘Business’ use coverage, you’ll find that premiums are a lot more expensive as you are at an increased risk of being involved in a car accident, due to being out on the roads more.

For this reason, you may decide to get short-term business car insurance if you only need to travel for business purposes once in a while or for a one-off business trip.

Temporary car insurance for international drivers/non UK residents

If you’re travelling to the UK and you need to borrow someone else’s car to drive for the duration of your trip, you can purchase short-term cover. Just bear in mind that temporary car insurance is more expensive for international motorists (regardless of a good driving history) than it is for UK residents as insurers feel that someone who is not used to driving on UK roads poses more of a risk (there is an increased chance of them making a claim).

It’s also important to know that the country which you’re travelling from can have an impact on you securing cover. If you’re coming to the UK from countries in Europe, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, you may find it easier to get short-term cover than someone who resides at a different country.

Some insurers may even allow your no claims bonus to be transferred over, depending on which country you’re coming from.

If you intend on hiring a rental car, you usually don’t need to arrange your own car insurance policy as it’s often included in the price, but just be sure to check this with the rental company you’re using.

If you intend on borrowing a friend’s or a family member’s car, it might be worth them adding you as a named driver to their policy, as this could work out cheaper than getting short-term car insurance.

Temporary car insurance for convicted drivers

These days, it’s easier for drivers with convictions to get insurance thanks to a range of specialist providers across the UK.

However, if you’re a motorist with some driving convictions looking to get temporary cover, you should be able to get a policy, but it’ll all depend on the type of convictions you have.

All insurers are different and have specific terms for insuring drivers, especially those with convictions, but generally, provided you haven’t acquired 6 penalty points on your licence in the last two years and you haven’t face a disqualification or driving ban during the last five years, you should be able to get a short-term policy.

Whether or not you get accepted for cover will also depend on any other risk factors you pose to the insurer, so they will take into account your overall situation and make a decision based on that.

Note: Temporary car insurance is likely to cost you more if you have convictions and you must declare them during the application process. Do not lie about your convictions as this will invalidate your car insurance policy, and this could land you in more trouble.

Temporary learner driver insurance

If you’re new to driving and you want to practice in a borrowed car, such as your parent’s, or your own car, you will have to find a temporary insurance provider that offers cover to young learners.

As a learner driver, you will be covered providing you are driving while supervised by an adult and have a provisional driving licence.

Whether you’re learning to drive or newly qualified, you can get short-term cover for a day, a weekend, a week, a month or even longer (up to 5 or 6 months, depending on your provider).

Secure a cheap temp cover quote for learners with Bobatoo today:

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How much does short-term car insurance cost?

The price of temporary car insurance (as with standard car insurance) will differ from driver to driver and will also depend on the provider you choose.

The cost largely depends on the following:

  • Length of cover
  • Location
  • Type of car to be insured
  • Driving history (number of claims previously made, etc.)

For more information on the cost of car insurance, read our guide that explains how car cover is calculated.

Where can I buy cheap temporary car insurance in the UK?

The best way to get a cheap short-term car insurance policy is to shop around online; you can get started with Bobatoo today - simply tap the green button below to get started and receive a free, no-obligation quote for temp cover.

Alternatively, read our guides below to see how you can save on car insurance and get the cheapest deal, as well as other important things you should know.

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