Short term car insurance is ideal when you only need a car for a few days or weeks. There are a variety of circumstances when this happens.

  • Shared driving: If you're going on holiday with friends or family, you may decide to share driving duties. Instead of amending your own policy, it can be more convenient and cheaper to get temporary car cover to protect you during your trip.

  • Borrowing: Whether you need to borrow a friend's van for a holiday or your own car is in the garage, temporary car insurance cover is a simple way to protect yourself for a short period. Read more about it in our guide here.

  • Test driving: Many car dealers let you borrow a car to test drive for a period of time. If you're testing an expensive vehicle, getting a comprehensive temporary vehicle insurance policy may give you more protection.

Short term car insurance policies typically tend to last from one to 28 days, but some policies will cover you for up to three months.

When is an annual policy is better than cheap temporary car insurance?

If you need temporary car insurance for a month or more, it can work out cheaper to buy an annual policy. You will need to pay a cancellation fee when you no longer need it, but it could still save you money.

This is because short term cover is more expensive per day than annual insurance. Getting a one day car insurance policy or a one week car insurance policy can be expensive. But if you get a policy beyond that, such as a one-month or two-month car insurance policy, they may be more expensive than getting an annual policy because you will be charged on a per day basis.

Remember the cost of any cancellation fees will affect how much you pay out, and they can cost up to 70.

Does short term car insurance offer the same cover as annual?

The cover you get on a temporary car insurance policy will be identical to what you would get on an annual policy. The only difference is only a handful of short term car insurance companies will offer third party cover.

What are the exclusions?

As with all insurance policies, there are some exclusions that will apply. 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

  • Any motoring convictions or points on your licence.

Short term car insurance FAQs

Q

Can I get car insurance for a temporary period?

A

Yes you can get short term car insurance that can last from one day up to three months. Here is when you should consider short term car insurance.

Q

How long does short term cover last?

A

Most insurers offer policy terms of between one and 28 days, but some will cover you for up to three months.

Q

How old do I have to be to get short term cover?

A

Some insurers will only cover you if you are between 21 and 75, but many will cover you. Compare temporary cover for under 21 year olds and 18 year olds.

Q

What is car insurance excess?

A

It is the amount you have to pay towards any claim you make. Find out how car insurance excess works here.

Q

Is the excess higher on short term policies?

A

Yes it can be, especially if you are a younger driver. Some insurers will set an excess of as much as 1,000 for short term cover.

Q

Can I drive a car without insurance?

A

No, it is a legal requirement to have at least third party car insurance cover to drive in the UK.

About our car insurance comparison

Q

Who do we include in this comparison?

A

We include short term car insurance policies available from our panel of insurers and brokers. They are all regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information about how our website works.

Q

How do we make money from our comparison?

A

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.