Temporary car insurance is a growing market in the UK where drivers can often get much cheaper and more efficient deals than paying for an annual policy.
The needs of motorists are becoming more flexible and there are now a range of short term products lasting from 1 to 28 days that cater for those situations where a standard policy is not suitable.
For instance, students that live at home during the summer months but are away in the city during the academic term may only use a vehicle for a few weeks at a time. In this scenario, temp cover could be the perfect way to ensure they are covered while driving for the few weeks they need.
For those who already have an annual policy for their main vehicle, but need to drive a friend’s van or car for a short time may also benefit from a short term quote. Taking out a separate policy will often also protect your existing no-claims discount you may have built up should anything unforeseen happen while borrowing another motor.
Before deciding whether a temp motor insurance policy is what’s wanted, all the details are needed as to what it is, how it could be useful and what’s in the policy that is bought.
Basically it’s exactly what it says – an insurance policy for a vehicle that lasts just a short time – usually from a day to a month. Almost all cars and vans can be insured this way, and sometimes a motor bike or even a motorhome; different insurers will insure different vehicles, so ask around.
There are a number of occasions when one of these policies might be the best way to go forward. If a situation or requirement crops up that is only going to last a short time so it’s not worth adding on to a regular policy, a short term policy can be not only cheaper but safer, as it could protect the no claims bonus on the main policy if a claim has to be made.
Other possibilities for suitable situations might include taking a test drive in a car when interested in buying; driving said car home once it is bought; borrowing a car from a friend for a particular journey (or hiring a car for that journey if no suitable friend offers a car); going to collect a car and bring it home (or taking it from home to its destination); allowing the kids to borrow the car while they’re home from university for a couple of weeks; making it possible to share the driving with a friend on a long journey; getting proper insurance on the courtesy car from the dealer that’s servicing or fixing the usual car; the odd emergency when the regular driver in the family breaks a leg and can’t drive for a few weeks – or even, if lucky enough to own a really special classic car or something like an off-road sportster, temporary insurance for that rare occasion when it gets to go out on the road!
Short term cover usually comes in all the varieties that the normal version does – comprehensive, third party fire and theft, etc – although they are most commonly comprehensive, and generally last a specified period from one to twenty-eight days. Not surprisingly, the insurance companies will usually only allow these policies on drivers of some maturity and experience – ie with a full licence held for at least a year (or in some cases longer), over 21 and often not over a maximum age, usually in the region of 75.
The price of such a policy in comparison to standard annual cover is such that it’s highly unlikely that anyone would try to repeat them on an ongoing basis, but the insurance companies do usually put a limit on how many any one person can take out in any twelve-month period just to make sure – sometimes as a total number of days per 365, other times just the number of policies. However, short term policies can of course be taken out *as well as* a regular policy (remember that gorgeous sports number or classic car that’s getting its occasional airing?) if required.
The insurance companies themselves also tend to place restrictions on these policies, and a driver will usually find themselves uninsured for damage and/or theft if they leave the keys in the ignition, allow persons not actually listed on the insurance certificate to drive the vehicle or let the car be used for a purpose the cover doesn’t include.
Temporary or not, these are motor insurance policies, and as with the regular annual ones, drivers will find the premium adjusted according to their own age, experience and driving history, the residential location and, of course, the particular vehicle for which a quote is being obtained. However, different companies place different weightings on these factors, so it is always worthwhile going to several different companies before deciding which one suits you best.