What car insurance do you need?

Closeup of driver's hands on steering wheel

When it comes to the different types of car insurance that are available, there are three main types of car cover that you need to know about before you take out an insurance policy in the first place.

Whether you’re looking for temporary car insurance, or you plan on using your car for social, domestic, pleasure or commuting purposes, you still need to be fully aware of the types of cover available and the different car insurance uses.

In our guide about car insurance and the type of cover you need, we’ve got you fully covered so you can be better prepared when it comes to finding an insurance policy, either through a car insurance broker or simply by searching for a policy online and we’ll also show you how to choose the right policy for you.

What type of car insurance do I need?

It’s important to know that car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK, but determining what type of car insurance you need and the level of cover you want, depends on how much you’re willing to pay and how much protection you want to have.

Third-party only

Third-party car insurance is the most basic level of car insurance and it’s the minimum legal amount of cover required by law in the UK. This type of policy covers your liability for any damage you cause to other people’s property or any injury that they sustain as a result of your driving.

It doesn’t cover the cost of repairing your own vehicle.

It’s also important to note that just because it’s the most basic form of insurance required, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s always the cheapest type of policy.

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Third-party fire and theft

This level of cover offers you protection against the costs incurred as a result of third-party damage caused by fire, theft or attempted theft. It gives you protection against third-party costs and repairs or a full replacement of your vehicle.

While it offers more cover than third-party only cover, it still doesn’t give you protection against accidental damage if it was your fault.

Comprehensive car insurance

Comprehensive car insurance, also often referred to as being fully comp, is the most extensive type of car insurance you can get.

This level of cover gives you protection and covers third-party costs and damages to your vehicle, even if you were at fault. However, while it is the most comprehensive level of cover that you can get, that doesn’t always mean it’s the most expensive.

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Specialist car insurance

Specialist car insurance encompasses types of insurance policies that aren’t considered to be “standard”. While you can get insurance for specialist circumstances from many traditional insurers, there are also dedicated providers who specialise in individual policies. You might need to get specialist car insurance for the following:

How much is it to add business use to your car insurance policy?

The exact cost of adding business use to your car insurance differs between providers and other factors such as the driver’s history, the make and model of the car and more.

However, you can usually expect that by adding business use to your car insurance, the cost of your insurance will increase. This is because people who use their vehicle for business purposes tend to drive more miles than the average motorist and they also tend to drive when the roads are much busier, thus inferring that they’re more at risk of being involved in an accident which is why the cost of insurance goes up.

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Things to consider before getting a policy

In order to find the right car insurance policy for you, there are several things you need to do.

  • Compare quotes to find the cheapest (and best) deal for you. You’ll need to think about the type of insurance you want and the level of cover you need to ensure that you get the right level of protection for you.
  • You’ll then need to get all the correct documents in order before you purchase a policy, including your valid driving licence, details of the vehicle you’re insuring and proof of any no-claims that you have from previous vehicles and insurance policies.
  • Think about how much voluntary excess you’re willing to pay. Usually, the more you’re willing to pay, the cheaper your premiums will be, but it’s essential that you’ll be able to cough up the excess payment if you need to make a claim.
  • When you apply for car insurance, ensure that you’re being as honest with the provider as possible and always declare any unspent driving convictions you have or any claims that you’ve made previously so that you don’t risk your policy being invalidated.
  • Consider whether you want to add breakdown cover to your policy. While it’s not a legal requirement, it can help to give you peace of mind if you need roadside assistance in an emergency.
  • Think about whether you need driving abroad insurance as well. Some car insurance policies offer you cover if you plan on driving your vehicle abroad, but if it doesn’t come as standard, you might want to consider adding it to your existing policy if you drive abroad a lot.

Do I need car insurance if I’m not driving my vehicle?

In the UK, you must declare your vehicle as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) if you’re not driving it. If you fail to have a valid car insurance policy in place, or you don’t declare your vehicle as off-road, then you could face a huge fine and penalties.

Even if your vehicle is going to be off-road for only a couple of weeks, it’s still important to keep your insurance policy in place or declare it SORN if you’re not driving it at all.

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