Can I insure a car I don’t own?

Cars covered in snow

The world of car insurance can seem a bit complicated, especially if you are a new driver. Everyone knows that you need to be insured to drive a car but what happens when you don’t own the car? Are you able to drive your parents car? Can you borrow your friend’s car for a weekend? There are several different ways you can get insurance on a car you don’t own. 

Before you drive any car you must have insurance. In some counties it is the car that must be insured, in other countries it is the person that is insured but in the UK it is both.

Car insurance terminologies

First of all let’s break down some of the technical jargon – 

  • Owner – This is the person that purchased the car so technically owns it. 
  • Registered Keeper – This is the person that is responsible for the car. They will make sure that the car is taxed, has it’s yearly MOT and is responsible for paying any speeding tickets.
  • Main Driver – This is the main policy holder and would be the person who does the most amount of driving in the car. 
  • Named Driver – When you take out an insurance policy you can add a named driver. You may wish to add your spouse or one of your children.

If you go to insure yourself on a car that you do not own, you will be asked if you are the owner or registered keeper. Some insurers will want to speak to the keeper first. Ultimately it is the registered keepers decision who they have insured on their car. 

So what are your options for insurance? It all comes down to how often you are planning on driving the car. 

Full Insurance Policy

You could take out a full insurance policy, however some insurers will not give a full policy on a car that you do not own and if they do, it may be more expensive than a policy on a car of your own.

If you are only planning on driving the car once in a while this probably isn’t the most cost effective option. 

Named Driver

For a small admin fee the main policy holder can add you on to their insurance as a named driver. This is perfect if you are driving the car regularly. Do make sure though that you are not driving the car more than the main policy holder as you could unintentionally be committing insurance fraud. 

Fronting: This is a type of insurance fraud where you would list the cheaper driver as the main policy holder and the more expensive driver as a named driver to try and bring the cost of the insurance down. The person who drives the car the most should always be the main policy holder. 

The cost to insure each driver comes down to several factors – 

  • Their age.
  • Their marital status.
  • Where the car is kept both during the day and at night.
  • Their driving experience.
  • History of driving convictions.

Temporary Car Insurance 

As the name suggests you can obtain temporary car insurance for a certain number of hours, days or weeks.

This is a good option if you are borrowing a friend’s car for a week for example.

Like with all other insurance policies, the cost will vary for everyone and depends on your age, the vehicle you are insuring and your driving experience. 

Driving Other Car Insurance 

This type of insurance used to be more common but some insurers do still offer it to drivers over twenty five years old.

On your own comprehensive insurance you may be insured to drive other cars. It will be stated in your policy documents if you are. Most DOC policies are only third party and if it is not listed on your policy certificate then you are not covered.

It is important to make a final note that before you drive any car you must have insurance. In some counties it is the car that must be insured, in other countries it is the person that is insured but in the UK it is both. An individual must be insured on an individual car and it is at the discretion of the registered keeper who they decide to have insured to drive their car.  

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