Can 18-year olds get temporary car insurance?

Most companies that offer temporary car insurance do not cover those below the age of 25, but it is possible for younger drivers to get short-term cover, if they've held a full driving licence for at least 12 months.

Temporary or short-term car insurance for younger drivers is hard to find but it is possible to get cover if you shop around.

You can compare car insurance policies for new drivers and drivers who are 18 but any car insurance policy quotes you get for temporary insurance will be expensive.

Why is temporary car insurance for 18-year olds expensive?

All car insurance is more costly for the younger and less experienced driver. Figures from the Department for Transport in 2018 show that around one in five new drivers are involved in a crash during their first year on the road.

Insurers, therefore, consider youth to be the biggest risk factor when pricing car insurance premiums. Other factors and statistics insurers consider include:

  • New drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents and make insurance claims

  • Young drivers between 17 and 24 are three times more likely than drivers from any other age group to be injured in a car accident

  • When young drivers crash there are often other young people in the car as potential "third-party" claimants

Short term or one day, car insurance

Temporary car insurance for one day is a good option if you only need cover for 24 hours, and it is cheaper than buying an annual policy and cancelling it.

As well as the age of the driver you will also need to check the policy's other acceptance requirements, including:

  • The maximum vehicle value you can get cover for - as any vehicle costing over this amount will not be covered

  • The standard excess that is payable by you in the event of a claim.

  • Find out how car insurance excess works here.

Lowering the costs of temporary car insurance for 18-year-olds

While temporary car insurance for younger drivers is expensive, there are a few ways in which you can lower the costs.

  • Increase the excess on your policy - but be sure that you can afford it because the excess set by insurers can be as much as 1,000 for drivers who are 18

  • Driver a smaller car - if you need temporary insurance when borrowing a friend's car, don't borrow an expensive and powerful vehicle, borrow a car with a small engine because these usually cost less to cover

  • Shop around for short term car insurance - compare as many quotes as you can and only get cover for the exact period you need it, because you could end up paying over the odds for 24 hours of cover you do not use

Adding a young driver to an existing policyholder's cover

If you cannot find affordable temporary cover you could try being added as a named driver to someone else's policy. The more experienced the named driver, the less expensive it's likely to be for you to be added.

The policyholder will pay extra on top of their premium to have you added and, if it is only for a short-term period, they will have to pay administrative costs to the car insurance company to have you removed again.

You will need to the permission of the policy holder to do this, and it could mean the cost of the insurance goes up and their no claims bonus could be at risk if you have an accident.

Learner driver car insurance

If you have not passed your driving test and want to get some road practice in a family member's or friend's car, you will need to look for specialist learner driver insurance, which is also a form of temporary car insurance.

You must have a qualified driver sat next to you, and some insurers specify that they must be at least 25-years old.

Learner policies range from just a few days to five months of cover. Alternatively, if you think it's going to take a while before you pass your test, you can get annual learner car insurance.

Temporary car insurance for 18 year olds FAQs


Why is temporary car insurance for young drivers more expensive?


Young drivers pay more for car insurance because insurers consider their inexperience makes them more like to have accidents and make claims. Those claims may involve injuring other young people making the claims cost more.


Can I get car insurance for just a short period?


Yes, you can get cover that lasts from one day up to a month. Here is when you should consider short term car insurance.


What is the youngest age I can get temporary cover?


Many insurers will only offer temporary car insurance if you are over 25, but there are a few that will cover 18-year-olds, so long as they've had a full driving licence for at least a year.


Can I get temporary cover with a provisional licence?


No, but you can get a temporary learner's policy with a provisional driver's licence. Here is how to find the right learner's policy.


Do I need insurance as a learner?


Yes, you must be insured if learning in your car or someone else's. Find out how to get learner drivers cover here.


Does temporary cover include breakdown?


Most temporary car insurance policies will not include breakdown cover as standard, but you may be given the option to add it at an extra cost.


What happens if I do not have car insurance?


It is illegal to drive in the UK without insurance it and you could face a fixed fine, six points on your licence and your car being seized and destroyed.


Is the excess higher on short term policies?


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.