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Temporary car insurance

Paul Prowse

Emrank/Flickr

If you want to get your car insured without the expense of an annual policy, temporary car insurance could be for you.

How does temporary car insurance work?

Temporary car insurance policies (some insurance websites call it short term car insurance, or simply temporary cover) give you the option of insuring a vehicle for a period of between one and 28 days.

What is short term car insurance best for?

It can be a time consuming task arranging short term cover with your existing car insurance provider. You will have to negotiate numerous changes to your current policy, when you’re probably already happy with it the way it is.

What’s more, if you want short term cover because you’re planning to drive an unfamiliar vehicle – or a friend or relative needs to drive your car – you could be putting your no claims bonus at risk.

Let’s face it – you’re far more likely to make a claim on car insurance when you’re driving a vehicle you’re not used to, or you’re on holiday facing unfamiliar roads.

Short term car insurance can also be useful if:

  • You want immediate cover
  • You want to protect your no-claims bonus (temporary motor insurance enables you to use a vehicle without risking any current no claims discount you’ve built up)
  • You’re hiring a rental car for a holiday, a van to move your possessions, or taking a vehicle for a test drive
  • You need to insure a friend or relative to drive your car – or are insuring yourself to drive theirs
  • You’re looking for insurance for a learner driver
  • You need insurance for a minibus, van or other hired group vehicle
  • You want comprehensive cover – whether as a private motorist, or for commercial or community purposes

What types of short term car insurance are there?

Most temporary car insurance is split into either:

1.    One day car insurance: get immediate cover for 24 hours

2.    Temporary car insurance: anything between one and 28 days

Of these two types, you will often choose between the following types of cover:

  • Third party cover: this is very basic cover that only covers damage that you (or your passenger) cause to another person or property. It doesn’t cover you against any damage to your vehicle or yourself
  • Third party, fire and theft cover: as above, but this cover will repair or replace your vehicle if it’s stolen, or damaged or destroyed by fire
  • Comprehensive cover: this extends third party, fire and theft to also cover damage to your own vehicle should you have an accident. This will cost more than simple third party cover, but is almost always worth getting when you consider the extra protection (and peace of mind) this type of cover provides

Cheap temporary car insurance

The price you pay for short term car insurance can vary hugely and depends on a number of factors: the age of the insured member, the type of vehicle you are insuring, where you will be driving, and so on.

So it pays to get at least a couple of quotes. The good news is you can get a quote online fast. One of the benefits of short term insurance is that it is quick and easy to set up with most companies.

Short term car insurance for young drivers

Temporary car insurance can be useful for parents who want to insure their kids while they learn to drive as provisional drivers. Or you might want to let them drive the family car during the holidays. Short term car insurance lets you do this without leaving your no claims bonus at the mercy of your son or daughter, who thinks that a handbrake turn is a suitable parking manoeuvre for Sainsbury’s carpark.

However, most short term car insurance is only available to older drivers – typically aged at least 23 or more. But there are exceptions.

We recommend the insurance company Provisional Marmalade as being the best for young drivers at the moment. They insure drivers as young as 17 a lot younger than most other insurers are willing to go.

They re cheap too, with their prices starting from just £2.81 a day. This is far preferable to putting a young driver on your own policy, which can be prohibitively expensive a quote of two to three thousand pounds is not uncommon!

Swinton is also worth checking out – they insure 21 year olds if they meet the necessary conditions (for example they must have held a full EU driving license for at least a year to qualify).

So don t panic there is provisional car insurance out there for young drivers that won t break the bank!

Car insurance you can pay monthly

Short term car insurance gives you the option of paying monthly for your insurance. This is useful if you require a flexible policy (for example, a family member who will only need to drive your car at Christmas time and the summer holidays).

When it comes down to cost per day, bear in mind that short term car insurance is more expensive than an annual policy.

However, if you only need to be covered for a few days or weeks, short term car insurance could save you literally hundreds of pounds. It will also save you the hassle of changing your existing policy. Finally, bear in mind that if you lose your no claims bonus after putting your son/daughter/relative/holiday car on your existing car insurance, you will likely end up paying more on your main insurance policy anyway.





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