Find a short-term car insurance policy by comparing temporary cover options with these providers.
You'll only find results from genuine companies. Our data experts check each company before we add them to our comparisons.
Temporary car insurance can be a cheap and useful option if you only need to use a car for a day, a single trip or a few weeks. To take out a policy first get permission from the car's owner, then:
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
Temporary (or short-term) car insurance can be used when you only need to take a car on the road for a short time. This could be for an hour, a single day, a few weeks, or somewhere in-between.
You can apply in a few minutes and get covered almost as fast. Short-term policies offer fully-comprehensive cover as standard, although extras like breakdown cover are usually an optional extra.
Temporary insurance may be useful as a cheap, convenient and more flexible alternative to amending your existing car insurance policy if you need to drive a different car. On the other hand, it may not be suitable for you – you need to compare prices and know exactly the level of cover you need in order to find out.
It’s illegal to drive in the UK without insurance, but if you only need to drive for a brief period, a short-term policy may be the best way to ensure you’re covered.
For example, one-day car insurance could be a good option if you’re:
borrowing a family member or friend’s car
driving a car home after buying it 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
topping-up cover when using a courtesy car
driving a vehicle that you only use occasionally, like a classic car
Not everyone or every vehicle is eligible for temporary car insurance. There are specialist policies available that cover most of the population, but it’s worth checking the following criteria before you apply.
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 will not be covered.
The standard excess that’s payable in the event of a claim. Here’s how car insurance excess works.
Temporary car insurance is quick and easy to set up. If you’re arranging it yourself to use someone else’s vehicle, you’ll need their permission.
The same applies when you’re buying a car and you want to be covered from the moment you pick it up. In that case, you’ll be setting up your daily car insurance before the vehicle technically belongs to you, so you’ll need permission.
The good thing about short-term car insurance is that your no-claims bonus won’t be affected if you need to make a claim – although you will still need to tell your insurer if you’ve been in an accident that’s your fault.
It also works on rental cars. It’s a good way to get more comprehensive cover than comes as standard and can be used in the EU as well as in the UK.
Short-term cover is not, however, a replacement for an annual policy. There are restrictions on how many temporary car insurance policies you can take out in a year.
You’ll need to share some information with the temporary car insurance provider to get a policy. This includes:
The cover you get as part of a comprehensive temporary car insurance policy will usually be identical to that of a comprehensive annual policy, although a few companies will only offer third-party cover on short-term policies.
If you don’t know which kind you need, you can compare the two levels of cover to see which suits you best.
As with all insurance policies, there are some exclusions that apply to short-term car insurance. These include:
damage or theft because the keys were left in the ignition
the car being driven by someone not named on the insurance
the type of vehicle not being covered by the policy
using the vehicle for a purpose that’s excluded in the policy’s terms and conditions
There are also rules as to who can get temporary insurance. You’re likely to struggle if you:
have any motoring convictions or points on your licence, or pending prosecutions
are a new driver who’s had their licence less than a year
are under 21 or over 75
are looking to drive a vehicle that exceeds a certain value
"Short-term car insurance can be a great option if you need to borrow or use a car you don’t own for a day, a week or even a month.
"It’s not a replacement for an annual policy, and almost always costs more per day than traditional insurance, with limits on how often you can use it as well."
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.
You can, but a temporary car insurance policy bought for the UK isn’t likely to give you as much cover in Europe. A fully comprehensive UK policy might only offer third-party cover in Europe, for example. That means you could face a huge bill if you need to claim, and you’d also have to find a way to get the car back to the UK.
It might be better to buy specific, temporary European car insurance.
You can pay for extras when you do this, such as European breakdown cover or additional drivers.
You need to give the insurance provider the same information you’d need for a UK temporary car insurance policy, and you’ll also need to provide your passport details to drive in Europe.
The factors that might influence the price of your daily car insurance include:
where you live
your driving history
what vehicle you want to insure
Those aren’t necessarily things you can change, so getting a daily or weekly insurance policy can be expensive. Your best bet is to shop around, remembering that it’s more important to find the right temporary car insurance than it is to find the cheapest policy possible. You may want to consider searching for annual car insurance if you plan to insure your car for longer than three months.
It’s the right cover – not the cheapest price – that should be the most important factor to consider. You can compare short-term car insurance policies to find out which cover is appropriate.
Short-term car insurance always works out more expensive than annual insurance because you pay day by the day. The excess fee can often be higher, too
Don’t focus too much on finding cheap short-term car insurance, decide what cover you need first
Always compare short-term car insurance to find the best deal for your needs
You can compare temporary car insurance at the top of this page.
There are three main ways to cover yourself to drive a car in the short term. You could:
Take out a full insurance policy and cancel it when you no longer need it. Factor in cancellation fees, which could total as much as £70
Be added as a named driver to a policy already existing on the car. This may incur an extra cost in the form of a policy alteration charge, and may increase the price of the policy if you are seen as riskier than the current drivers
Use a ‘drive any car’ clause on a policy you already have. You’ll be legal to drive the car, generally with third-party cover only
These also often come with restrictions surrounding your age and profession that can see some drivers excluded as shown in the following table.
|Short-term 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|
Most insurers offer policy terms of between one and 28 days, but some will cover you for up to three months.
Yes, it can be, especially if you’re a younger driver. Some insurers will set an excess of as much as £1,000 for short term cover. It may be better to compare younger driver car insurance quotes first.
Driving an electric vehicle is a great option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint. However, it can also be a great option if you are hoping to keep your driving costs low.Read More
This guide explains why your occupation counts when looking for car insurance. It also reveals the job titles insurers like and dislike.Read More
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.
We have always aimed to provide the best possible services to bridge the gap between our users and our clients. Over the years, we have been thrilled to be recognised by various prestigious bodies and organisations for those efforts.
Last updated: 27 April, 2022