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We can all agree that taking up a full policy that lasts for up to 12 or 6 months on a rental vehicle or a car you borrowed from a friend isn’t such a smart move.
So what do you do if you must drive but you don’t need full insurance cover?
Well, it turns out you can buy a temporary or short term car insurance policy that covers you for just a few hours or a couple of days instead of a full plan.
In this post, we’ll be going over what this type of insurance policy is all about and how you can buy one without stress. Let’s dive right in.
Table of Contents
What is a temporary car insurance policy?
A temporary car insurance is a type of car insurance policy which covers your car for a short period.
There are various reasons you may be needing this type of cover.
Typically, insurance companies provide cover for a standard period of 12 months or 6 months.
When cover is only needed for a few days or weeks, people tend to look for companies that offer short term vehicle insurance options. That can be a one day, five days, 10 days or even a month car insurance policy.
You can take up a temporary insurance cover for a single day or a few hours if you are driving a car abroad temporarily, using a rental car or borrowing a car to learn how to drive. Hourly policies are available and most companies have plans that cover you for as long as 30 days.
Some of the features and benefits of a temporary car insurance policy include:
- Damage to the car due to vandalism, theft, natural calamity or fire
- Legal liability for loss or damage of personal property
- Cover for minimal damages like dents, scratches, misfuelling
- Immediate cover
- 24/7 support
- Personal cover for accidents.
If you need a bigger size vehicle, you can also subscribe to a temporary van insurance.
Some of these features and their terms vary from one provider to the other. Be sure to inquire for the features an insurer offers before you buy.
Who’s a short-term cover for?
A temp car cover isn’t for everyone. Purchasing temporary car insurance cover is not a smart way to continuously insure your vehicle.
Hence, it is not a viable option for everyone. It is only advisable in some cases and due to some specific reasons. So, who is it for then? Here are some of the scenarios where getting temporary car insurance is a good idea:
- Travelling and visiting a country on a short period: a permanent insurance cover is not needed if a cheap temp car insurance can cover you for your period of visit. Since most people typically have to resort to hire or borrow a car on and off on when they are on a trip, getting temporary insurance will help avoid car hire excess insurance fees that rental companies typically charge.
- Renting a car, borrowing it or using a car sharing service: if you are renting or borrowing a car for a while or on some occasions, but not long enough for a full cover or 6 months car insurance, then you only need a short term driving insurance.
- Getting a new car: you can get a temporary cover if you intend to buy a car that you will be holding temporarily and putting up for sale within a short period.
- Supplementing an existing insurance plan: if you are not satisfied with the liability limits on your current cover you may take on cheap temporary car insurance to complement it.
- Learning to drive or testing a new car before buying it.
- Borrowing a van to move your things to a new home: then you must go for a specific short term van insurance.
- Driving in emergency situations may also require an immediate cover.
- In-between insurance policies.
How much does temporary auto insurance cost?
How much you will pay for your short-term cover will directly depend on the time you need your policy to last.
Generally, you will pay less on temporary car insurance than you will have to pay on a full policy, except if you need to start a temp cover for above 6 months.
For example, Admiral, a leading car insurance provider in the UK offers temporary car insurance from £7.69 an hour, £23.45 per day and £184.35 per month.
Getting a weekly car insurance (or a one month car insurance) allows you to be very flexible and pay your car insurance for the exact time you need it.
But that’s not all. How much you pay depends largely on the type of car you are getting insured and how you will be using it. Your driving and insurance history and how long the cover will last also comes to play here.
The cost also varies from one company to the other which is why shopping around and using a short term car insurance compare tool might help.
How long can I get covered for a temporary car insurance?
In case of temporary car insurance, you can get an hourly or daily cover to as much as 28 or 30 days. This means getting a simple weekend car insurance or 7 days car insurance is very much possible.
Nevertheless, you may also find companies that offer 3 months car insurance or whose temporary insurance can be up to 84 days. This is still a viable alternative to buying a full car insurance policy to be covered for a 6-month or 1 year period.
It is mostly a flexible cover and a cheaper option. The minimum and maximum period of cover may vary depending on the insurance company you are buying from.
Can I get short-term cover if I already have an annual policy?
Yes, you can get a temporary cover in addition to your standard annual policy.
And the good news? Making a claim on this short term plan will have no effect on your no-claim bonus on your annual policy so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
What are the short-term car insurance restrictions or exclusions?
You will find below a list of most common exclusions you may find in temporary cover:
|Age||Age is one of the commonest exclusion clauses in short term insurance plans. |
Most insurers will cover people within 17 to 75 years of age. Nonetheless, many insurance providers will not provide cover for a young driver especially if he/she is below 25 years.
|Driver’s experience||Temporary car insurance policies are harder to find for inexperienced drivers or provisional licence holders. However, some specialist insurers also cater to this category of people by creating special plans for learner drivers.|
|Driver’s record||You may also find it difficult to get a temporary or 14 days car insurance cover if you have points on your license or have been convicted of motoring offenses in the past. These limitations may also apply if you have a history of several claims.|
|Car value||Some providers also limit the value of cars they can cover. They may refuse to insure vehicles that are worth up to £50,000 or more.|
As you will very well find out, 1 week car insurance is not a total replacement for an annual insurance policy but a temporary substitute. In fact, most insurers place restrictions on how many times you can take on monthly car insurance within a year or limit the number of days you can take within 12 months.
Other common exclusions for daily or monthly car insurance policies include:
- Damage or theft because the driver left the key in the ignition
- Accident when the car is being driven by someone not listed as the driver on the insurance certificate
- Driving a vehicle that is not covered by your policy
- Using the car for a purpose not included in the original terms of the cover.
Can I drive someone else’s car with a temporary car policy?
Most short term plans are flexible enough to allow you to drive another person’s car when you have a temporary policy. For example, RAC allows you to drive someone else’s car. However, some insurers such as Tempcover only cover you for vehicles listed in your policy.
What’s more: you can even add extra drivers in your own car under your temporary cover. This is a perfect plan if you intend to share the driving with someone else while on a road trip or you are lending out your car to your partner occasionally. Adding another driver to your annual car insurance could affect the price of the policy. Thus, a short term cover is a better alternative especially if the person will only be driving the car occasionally.
How to get a short term car insurance cover?
Getting a short term car insurance cover isn’t all that complicated although the process of getting one isn’t exactly the same as getting a regular policy.
To begin with, not all insurance companies offer this type of cover. What this means is that you will need to be specific and thorough in your search. We summarized for you above the main and best insurance companies offering short term cover.
Nevertheless, finding quotes for short term insurance cover is still quite easy. A simple search on the internet should turn up a list of companies that offer days or months car insurance.
How to get a temporary car insurance quote?
Once you have found an insurer that meets your specific needs, you can easily arrange for a short time car insurance. Of course you will need to provide some basic information these include:
- Personal details including your contact address
- Your license information
- Your driving history
- The starting and ending date of your cover
- Details of the vehicle you wish to insure.
By the way, you should take just as much care with getting a short term motor insurance as you would with a permanent policy. The goal here is not merely to find cheapest temporary car insurance. You want to ensure that the cover adequately protects you in case of any eventuality.
Which short-term policy terms to check?
There are several factors to keep in mind if you will choose the right policy for you. They include:
- Coverage included and specific terms (especially potential expensive additional fees such as breakdown cover, roadside assistance, renewal fees etc.)
- Age limit
- Policy duration limit (up to 30 days usually)
- The company’s history for stats and records especially on claims on temporary covers like yours.
Be sure to discuss with the owner of the car you intend to get a temporary cover on (if it is not yours). They might have a policy in place already. In this case, you may not need to purchase an emergency car insurance especially if the old one will cover you. Also, if you have a policy in place already, check to see if it covers rental cars or if it can be upgraded to cover it. This way you don’t go through the stress of taking out a new policy.
Temporary car insurance for traveling in Europe
If you are on a business trip or vacation anywhere in Europe and you need to drive for a few weeks or days, a short term policy can be a simple and affordable way to get the required cover for your trip. Typically, this includes all EU countries.
Your temporary car cover only gives you third-party coverage. Also, it will only allow you to drive your own vehicle. Hence, it is not the same level of protection as a full cover.
Some insurers such as InsureDaily and Insure4aday may also include additional destinations outside the EU, such as Switzerland or Andorra. The list of countries included in your cover should be clearly outlined in your insurance policy documents.
Third party only cover plan means you may have to pay for damages to your car and the cost of transporting it back home in case of an accident. Hence, if you are planning to drive when you are abroad, you should notify your insurer and see if the policy can be made more comprehensive or extended to include driving in Europe or include terms such as third party fire or third party theft.