Compare temporary car insurance

Find a short term car insurance policy by comparing temporary cover options with these providers.

  • Compare leading providers
  • Arrange cover in minutes
  • Get cover for £42 a day¹

How to find cheap temporary car insurance

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:

1

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

2

Select a one day insurance provider

Look at what's included, as well as any age restrictions and maximum vehicle values that might apply

3

Enter a few details about the car and yourself

Nothing complex here, just a brief account of who you are and your driving history

4

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 car insurance providers

8 results found, sorted by affiliated products first. How we order our comparisons. Commission earned affects the table's sort order.
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Safely Insured Short Term Car Insurance
European cover
Third party only as standard
Policy term
1 day to 84 days
Standard excess
£500
Safely Insured compares quotes from the UK’s leading temporary insurers, you can find the right policy for a price that suits you. Comprehensive cover from 1-84 days for drivers between the ages of 19-75, Also offering Impound & Learner Driver Cover.
This is an insurance broker.
Eligibility
Available Direct
Available Online
Minimum Age19 years
Maximum Age76 years
Permanent UK Resident
Sterling Short-Term Car Insurance
European cover
Third party only as standard
Policy term
1 day to 30 days
Standard excess
Varies
Download Sterling's short term app. Sterling's temporary car and van insurance offers the same protection and level of cover of an annual policy, and is brilliant value for money. Sterling covers a wide variety of vehicles and drivers aged 21 or over.
This is an insurance broker.
Eligibility
Available Direct
Available Online
Minimum Age21 years
Maximum Age79 years
Permanent UK Resident
dayinsure.com Short Term Car Insurance
European cover
Third party only as standard
Policy term
1 hour to 30 days
Standard excess
£250
For peace of mind all dayinsure's temporary insurance policies are underwritten by Aviva, their key partner, or other insurers and breakdown cover is provided by RAC. Dayinsure covers drivers aged 18 to 75 and is available for Cars, Vans and Motorhomes.
Eligibility
Available Direct
Available Online
Minimum Age18 years
Maximum Age75 years
Permanent UK Resident
Online User Experience Award Winner: Digital Experience Awards 2020
Tempcover.com Short Term Car Insurance
European cover
None
Policy term
1 hour to 28 days
Standard excess
Varies
Find flexible temporary car and van insurance from Tempcover in just 90 seconds. From just 1 hour up to 28 days, drivers aged 17-78 can find a policy to suit hundreds of everyday situations when a few hours, days or weeks insurance is all you need.
This is an insurance broker.
Eligibility
Available Direct
Available Online
Minimum Age17 years
Maximum Age78 years
Permanent UK Resident
dayinsure.com Learner Driver Insurance
European cover
None
Policy term
2 hours to 5 months
Standard excess
£250
For peace of mind all dayinsure's temporary insurance policies are underwritten by Aviva, their key partner, or other insurers and breakdown cover is provided by RAC. Dayinsure covers drivers aged 18 to 75 and is available for Cars, Vans and Motorhomes.
Exclusively available to learner drivers.
Eligibility
Available Direct
Available Online
Minimum Age17 years
Maximum Age35 years
Permanent UK Resident

What's temporary car insurance?

Temporary, or short-term, car insurance can be used when you only need a car for a short time. This could be for an hour, a few weeks, a single day, or somewhere in between.

You can apply for short term car insurance in a few minutes, and get cover almost as fast. Policies offer fully comprehensive cover as standard, although extras like breakdown cover normally need to be added on.

It may be useful as a cheaper, more convenient and flexible alternative than amending your existing car insurance policy, but it might not be suitable for your needs, so compare it with annual policies to find out what's best for you.

Why do I need temporary car insurance?

It's illegal to drive in the UK without insurance, but if you don't own a car or you need to borrow one for a short period, then short-term car insurance may be the best way to make sure you are covered when you drive.

For example, one day car insurance could be a good option if:

  • You are borrowing a family member or friend's car
  • You've just bought a car and want to drive it away from the seller
  • You need to drive someone else's car in an emergency
  • You are learning to drive in a family member's or friend's car
  • You are hiring a car to go on a trip
  • You want to test drive a car before buying
  • You are using a courtesy car and you want more than third party cover
  • You only drive occasionally, for example a classic car which you don't use all the time

Can I get short term car insurance?

Not everyone, or every vehicle, is eligible for temporary car insurance. There are specialist policies available that cover most of the population, but before you apply it's worth checking:

Your age

The minimum and maximum age you need to be to take out a one day policy

The car's value

The maximum vehicle value you can get cover for - as cars costing more than this will not be covered

The excess

The standard excess that is payable in the event of a claim. Here's how car insurance excess works

How does temporary car insurance work?

Temporary car insurance is quick and easy to set up. If you're arranging it yourself so you can 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's yours, 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 need to tell your insurer if you've been in an accident that's your fault.

It also works on hire cars, if you want more comprehensive cover than comes as standard, and can be used in the EU as well as in the UK.

But it's not a replacement for an annual policy. There are restrictions on how many temporary car insurance cover policies you can take out in a year.

If you're planning to use the car for more than a month it can work out cheaper to take out an annual policy and then cancel it - although be aware that most car insurance providers will charge a cancellation fee for this, so make sure you take that into account.

You'll need to share some information with the temporary car insurance provider to get a police. This includes:

  • Your name and address
  • Your licence details
  • Your driving history
  • Details about the car you're insuring
  • When you want the cover to start
  • How long you want the cover for
  • Your passport details (if you're getting temporary European car insurance)

Is temporary car insurance expensive?

The average cost for a one day policy is just £42¹, but how much you pay for one day car insurance will depend on how much of a risk the insurance company considers you to be.

So the younger you are or the less experienced you are, could mean you end up paying more than an older driver.

There are things you can do to bring the cost down, such as paying a higher up front higher excess and choosing a less valuable or less powerful car.

If you need short-term cover for longer, for example one or two months, it can be cheaper to take out then cancel an annual policy.

Find out whether you need short term car insurance

"Short term car insurance can be a great option if if you need to borrow or use a car you don't own for a day, a week or even a month.

"But 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."

What about 3 month or 6 month car insurance?

If you want cover for just three or six months it's still likely to be cheaper to take out an annual car insurance policy and then cancel it when you don't need it any more - that's even taking into account the cancellation fee.

Does temporary car insurance offer the same cover as annual car insurance?

The cover you get on a comprehensive temporary car insurance policy will be identical to what you'd get on a comprehensive annual policy.

The difference is that only a few short-term car insurance companies will offer third party only cover.

If you don't know which kind of cover you need, you can compare the levels of cover to see which suits you best.

If you don't know which kind of cover you need, you can compare the two levels of cover to see which suits you best.

What is not included with short-term car insurance?

As with all insurance policies, there are some exclusions that will apply to short term car insurance. These include:

  • Damage to 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 temp cover car 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

  • Drivers under 21 or over 75

  • Vehicles that exceed a certain value

Can I get cheaper short term car insurance?

Getting a daily car insurance policy or weekly car insurance can be expensive. But your best bet is shop around.

If you're hoping to find cheap temp cover, it might be helpful to know what could affect the quotes you receive.

The factors that might influence the price of your daily car insurance include:

  • Your age

  • Where you live

  • Your driving history

  • What vehicle you want to insure

Remember that it's more important to find the right temporary car insurance than it is to find cheap temporary car insurance. You may want to search annual car insurance if you want to insure your car for longer than three months.

Alternatives to temporary car insurance

There are three main ways to cover yourself to drive a car in the short term.

The first is to take out a full insurance policy then cancel it later. But with cancellation fees of as much as £70, this will generally cost more than a temporary car insurance policy for less than a few weeks.

The second is to be added as a named driver to a policy already existing on the car. This can mean a policy alteration charge for this and could see the policy rise in cost if you are seen as riskier than the current drivers.

The third option is to use a "drive any cars" clause you have on another policy.

This means you're legal to drive the car, but is generally limited to third-party only cover. So any damage to the car itself will not be covered while you are behind the wheel.

These also often come with restrictions about your age and profession that can see some drivers excluded.

Short-term car insuranceAdded as named driverDrive any car clause
Cover levelFully comprehensiveSame as the main policyThird party only
No claims impactNoneYes - but on their policyYes
Age restrictionNoNoOver-25s
Work restrictionsNoNoSome jobs excluded
Car restrictionsLimited by valueNoNo

How to find cheap daily car insurance

With car insurance, having the right level of cover is the most important thing.

Finding cheap temp car insurance shouldn't be the priority, you need to compare short term car insurance policies to find out which cover is appropriate.

But of course you need to find insurance that you can afford.

  • Short term car insurance always works out more expensive than annual insurance, because you pay day by day. And the excess fee can often be more costly, 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 then find the best deal for your needs

You can compare temporary car insurance at the top of this page.

Can you get daily car insurance for driving in Europe?

A temporary car insurance policy that you've bought for the UK isn't likely to give you as much cover for driving in Europe.

A fully comprehensive UK policy might only give third-party cover in Europe. That means you could be faced with a big bill, 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.

Buying temporary or short term car insurance to drive in Europe

You can pay for extras when you do this, such as breakdown cover or additional drivers.

You'll need to give the insurance provider all the same information you'd need to for a UK temporary car insurance policy. But you'll also need to give your passport details to drive in Europe.

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¹Figure from Tempcover for average policy purchases in December 2020


Last updated: 26 August 2021