Most companies that offer temporary car insurance only offer cover to those over the age of 25, but younger drivers are able to get short-term cover. Compare quotes here to get the best price.

If you are under 21 temporary or short-term car insurance can be expensive, but it is possible to get cover if you shop around. Find out in this guide how to get the cheapest quote possible.

Can I get temporary car insurance if I am under 21?

Some temporary car insurance providers will offer cover to drivers under the age of 21, providing they've held a valid driving licence for at least 12 months.

Drivers aged between 17 and 20 are considered by car insurance companies as a much higher risk due to their inexperience and insurers that do offer temporary cover may set restrictions, such as:

  • You must have held a valid driving licence for at least 12 months

  • You must not have eight or more penalty points on your licence

  • You must not have any pending prosecutions

Day insurance for young drivers

Most temporary car insurance policies offer cover from between one to 28 days, but you can get cover as a learner for up to five months.

The cost of short-term cover is calculated per day, so ensure you are only paying for the length of cover you need.

  • Think about what you need the cover for, for example if you are home from university and need to borrow a family member's car

  • Work out how many days you are likely to need the vehicle

  • Arrange for a policy that will cover this period - take into account any days spent picking up and returning the vehicle

  • Compare prices and policies to find the best deal

If you just need one day car insurance, you can compare policies here.

You should also look at exactly what a car insurance policy covers.

Temporary car insurance or annual policy?

If you need insurance for more than a month it could work out cheaper to buy an annual policy and cancel it, even though you will need to pay a cancellation fee.

This guide shows how cancelling an annual policy can be cheaper than short term cover.

Compare annual car insurance here

Temporary car insurance for students under 21

If you are a student under 21 then temporary car insurance 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.

Lowering the cost of temporary car insurance for under 21s

Temporary car insurance is expensive for the under 21s, but there are ways in which you can help mitigate some of the costs.

Increase the excess on your policy - ensure you can afford to do this, however, because the excess set by insurers can be as much as 1,000 for young and newly-qualified drivers

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

Be a named driver on someone else's car insurance policy

If you are struggling to find affordable temporary cover you could try asking a family member to add you as a named driver on their policy.

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.

It is also a risk for the main policyholder to add you as the cost of their insurance will increase and their no claims bonus may be affected 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 under 21's - FAQs


Why is temporary car insurance for under 21's more expensive?


Young drivers pay more for car insurance because their inexperience makes them more like to have accidents and claims plus young driver claims tend to be more expensive because other young people get injured.


Can I get car insurance for a short term?


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 or practicing on the road in your car or someone else's. You do not need separate cover to learn in a qualified driving instructor's vehicle. Find out how to get learner drivers cover here.


Does temporary cover include breakdown?


Most temporary car insurance policies will 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.