How to buy short term car insurance

from a single day to several months


If you just want car insurance for a short period, there are several ways in which you can buy it.

1) Specialist short term car insurance companies

There are a number of companies that specialise in providing insurance cover from between a single day and 28 days for Uk motorists. These policies can often be renewed as they expire, if you need cover for a longer period.

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2) Buy a yearly policy and cancel it

If you buy a yearly policy you are entitled to cancel it at any time, and receive a refund for any unexpired portion, subject to the terms and conditions of the company that issued it. These T&Cs will include penalty charges for cancellations. Some companies make quite small charges (around £25 seems to be a minimum) but others can charge considerably more. It isn't really possible to say which insurers offer the lowest charges since their offers can change without notice.

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In conclusion, this technique may be economical if you need to insure a vehicle for several months, but it is likely to be more trouble than it's worth for a short period. In addition you would need to be very careful indeed about checking the insurers' documentation, so that you would be fully aware of the penalties you would face for early cancellation.


3) Specialist pay-as-you-go brokers

It is possible to buy policies that work in a similar way to the above 'buy then cancel' policies, with the difference that the broker you deal with has already selected an insurer, or insurers, who charge little in the way of cancellation fees. The way it can work is: you either pay the full premium in advance; or a deposit, which includes cancellation fees, followed by monthly repayments with a (quite stiff) interest rate. You are then, it is claimed, free to cancel at any time and then simply stop your payments, or qualify for a refund if you have already paid in full.

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4) Get added to a policy as an additional driver

You want to lend your car to someone? Phone your current insurer and ask for this person to be included on your existing policy. You want to drive someone else's car? Get the owner to contact his/her insurer in the same way. You will probably have to pay an administration fee and there may, or may not, be an extra premium to pay.

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