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Get permission before you get behind the wheel
Before you do anything else make sure you have permission from the vehicle's registered owner to drive it
Select a one day insurance provider
Look at what's included, as well as any age restrictions and maximum vehicle values that might apply
Enter a few details about the car and yourself
Nothing complex here, just a brief account of who you are and your driving history
Apply for the policy and wait for confirmation
One day car insurance takes just a few minutes to apply for and be confirmed in most cases
One-day car insurance is a type of temporary or short-term car insurance that covers you to drive a car for 24 hours.
It’s illegal to drive in the UK without insurance, but if you only need cover for a very short period, a one-day policy may be a convenient way to ensure you’re driving legally.
One-day car insurance could be a good option if you are:
borrowing a car from a family member or friend
driving a car you’ve just bought from a seller
driving someone else’s car in an emergency
learning to drive in a family member’s or friend’s car
hiring a car to go on a trip
test-driving a car before buying
looking to go beyond third-party cover when using a courtesy car
driving a vehicle you only use occasionally, like a classic car
If you have comprehensive annual car insurance, you may already be insured to drive another car, but this protection is likely limited to third-party cover – meaning there’s no payout if you injure yourself or damage the car you’re driving.
Not everyone, or every vehicle, is eligible for one-day car insurance. There are specialist policies available that cover most of the population, but before you apply it’s worth considering:
Insurers may set a minimum and maximum age to take out a one-day policy.
The maximum vehicle value you can get cover for – as cars costing more than this won’t be covered.
The standard excess that’s payable in the event of a claim. Here’s how car insurance excess works.
Short-term policies are available from several brokers, a few of which are listed above. Temporary car insurance may be able to cover you from one hour up to 28 days depending on the provider and policy.
The average cost for a one-day policy is just £42¹, but how much you pay will depend on how much of a risk the insurance company considers you to be. If you’re younger or have less experience, then you may end up paying more than an older driver.
There are ways to bring the cost down, such as paying a larger up-front fee, opting for a higher excess or driving a less valuable or less powerful car.
If you need short-term cover for longer – for example, for three to six months – it can be cheaper to take out and subsequently cancel an annual policy, but you do need to factor in cancellation costs.
There are a few ways to cover yourself to drive a car in the short term. You could:
Take out a full insurance policy that you later cancel. However, cancellation fees as high as £70 mean this method generally costs more than a one-day policy
Be added as a named driver to a policy already existing on the car. However, this may incur a policy alteration charge, and it could cause the policy to rise in cost if you are deemed a greater risk than its current drivers
Use a ‘drive any car’ clause if you have one on another policy. This will mean you’re legally allowed to drive the car, but these clauses generally only offer third-party cover
Existing policies can also come with restrictions regarding your age and profession that can see some drivers excluded:
|1 day car insurance||Added as named driver||Drive any car clause|
|Cover level||Fully comprehensive||Same as the main policy||Third party only|
|No claims impact||None||Yes - but on their policy||Yes|
|Work restrictions||No||No||Some jobs excluded|
|Car restrictions||Limited by value||No||No|
"One-day car insurance can be a great option if you need to drive someone else’s car for a short period - especially as you can generally sign up in a few minutes.
"Just be aware that the cheapest one-day car insurance quote isn’t always the best one. So make sure you check it’s the best policy for your needs first. Breakdown cover, for example, is often an optional extra rather than included as standard."
It’s illegal to drive in the UK without insurance. Do so and you could face a fixed fine, six points on your licence and your car being seized and destroyed.
You’re likely to have a greater choice of quotes if you have several years’ driving experience and a full UK licence. However, there are specialist providers out there that offer temporary car insurance to those with less experience or different licence types, and other providers that cover learner drivers.
If you have points on your driving licence, previous motoring convictions or a history of several insurance claims you might find it difficult to get temporary insurance cover. It’s worth shopping around, however, as some providers will be happy to cover you.
Most insurers also apply limitations to the value of the car and will usually cover drivers for cars worth up to £50,000.
It can cover damage to your and another driver’s car after an accident. It can also cover theft, vandalism, fire and more.
Most short-term car insurance policies will include fully comprehensive cover, although some insurers may be able to offer third-party or third-party, fire and theft cover.
Comprehensive cover will typically include loss or damage caused by vandalism, theft or fire; damage to the car in an accident; accident recovery and repair; legal cover in case of death or injury to other people; and legal cover for damage to other people’s cars or property.
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By comparing car insurance, UK car owners could save money on their policy. The best value car insurance will offer the cover at an affordable price. Choose a cover plan from the best UK car insurance companies and see the online discounts they offer.
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Last updated: 27 April, 2022