The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Can I buy short term car insurance?

If you don’t need annual car cover, short-term or temporary car insurance could be the solution you need. We take a look at when a short-term policy might come in handy, what it covers and crucially, what exclusions you should know about.

Can you insure a car for a short period of time?

Yes, you can. Most mainstream car insurance providers offer short-term car insurance ranging from as little as 24 hours up to a few weeks or months. Some insurers are also able to offer car cover by the hour which is ideal if you’ve made last-minute plans.

Who is temporary car insurance suitable for?

Short-term car insurance can be the most cost-effective way to insure a car for a number of reasons, for instance if:

  • You need to borrow someone’s car.
  • There’s an emergency or if someone you know is temporarily out of action and you need to drive their car.
  • You’re learning to drive in a friend or family member’s car.
  • You’re buying a car from a private seller and need to drive it back to yours.
  • You only drive for certain months of the year, for example if you have a classic car and only use it over the summer.

How does short term car insurance work?

Short-term car insurance works in a similar way to any other type of car insurance. When you search for policies, you’ll be able to specify the length of time you need it for and choose any other extra features for a small increase in cost, for example, breakdown cover.

One of the great advantages of short-term car insurance, is that it can sit alongside your annual policy too. It means that if you’re borrowing a friend’s car and have an accident, your claim won’t affect your own 12-month policy and it won’t affect theirs either.

What does short term car insurance cover?

Short-term and temporary car insurance typically comes as a comprehensive policy which is the highest level of cover available. That means policies will cover damage to other people’s property and will also cover the cost of repairing or replacing the car you’re driving if it’s damaged or stolen.

A few insurers offer third party, fire and theft as an option, but your choice of provider may be limited if this is your preference.

Can I buy temporary business car insurance?

If you don’t usually use your car for work but need to, you can also buy short-term business car insurance. Just let your insurer know how you’ll be using your car, for example whether you’re travelling to one or several locations or using it to deliver samples or packages, and they should be able to arrange a policy for you.

What exclusions should I know about?

Almost all insurance policies come with conditions and exclusions (events not covered by your policy). These will be clearly set out in your policy documents and will vary by insurer so it’s important to check what they are. That said, many are based on similar themes and typical exclusions include:

  • Theft because of negligence. for example, if you leave keys in the ignition and the car was stolen.
  • Driving other cars. temporary policies usually only cover you to drive the vehicle named in the policy.
  • Additional drivers. only people named on the policy will be covered.
  • Driving outside the terms of your policy. you’ll only be covered for the type of use specified in the policy. So, if for example, your temporary policy covers social and leisure use only, you won’t be covered to drive the car for business or commuting purposes.

Needless to say, if you don’t abide by the terms and conditions outlined in your policy, your insurer can refuse to pay out if you need to make a claim.

Does short-term car insurance come with age restrictions?

This depends on the insurer. Some do have minimum and maximum age limits and won’t cover drivers under 19 or over 75. However, despite this, if you are a younger or more experienced driver, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding short-term cover that fits your needs.

How much does short term car insurance cost?

Just like annual car insurance, the cost of short-term cover will depend on a whole range of different factors, including:

  • The make and model of the car you want to insure
  • Your age and where you live
  • Your job
  • Policy length
  • The policy you choose and the features it includes
  • What activities you need the policy to cover, for example, business use, commuting or just social and leisure

Insurers will use all this information to work out your risk profile; in other words, what the chances of you being involved in an accident are. The higher the risk, the more you can expect to pay for car insurance.

Search for great value short-term car insurance

Whether you need car insurance for 12 months or 12 weeks, you shouldn’t have to pay over the odds for it. To help you find car insurance that gives you the reassurance you need, at a price that fits your budget, we’ve teamed up with Quotezone so that you can access a wide range of quotes from leading insurers. Start your search right here simply by telling us what you need.


The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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