How to buy short term car insurance

from a single day to several months

Young drivers of 19 or over, with full driving licences which have been held for at least six months, can now apply for short term car insurance for between one and 28 days. This can be really useful if you want to borrow a friend or relative's car, take over the driving at short notice for someone who's had a drink or two, test drive a car that you're thinking of buying, or even drive for just a short whilst you're home from your job, or university, for a short while and you don't to go to the (considerable) expense of paying for a full year's cover.

What sort of car can I drive?

The insurers have a list of cars that they are prepared to cover. This includes most of the more popular cars on UK roads today, although they may not accept some older models, or very expensive vehicles. You might be offered cover for your a late model Jag or Merc but there is usually a maximum sum that they will pay out in for the car you are driving the event of a serious accident or write-off; this is usually about £40,000 although they will, of course, settle third party claims that are covered by the policy. The vehicle will (of course) have to be taxed, and insured by the owner for his or her own use, so cars which are subject to a SORN cannot, unfortunately, be covered. The way to find out whether or not the car you are thinking of driving is unsurable is to get a quote, it will only take a minute or so to get one and you won't have to give any personally identifying information at this stage.

What documentation will I need?

If you accept the quote and want to go ahead and buy a policy (and you're a UK citizen), you'll need the number plate details of the car or van, and your driving licence details. If you are a foreign of EEC citizen, you'll also need to have your passport details to hand. Once you have bought a policy you will be given a link to access your documentation, including the insurance certificate, online. You can download this and print it, or store it on your mobile phone, if you wish. You would not be under any legal obligation to do this but it is advisable; if you were stopped by a police officer for any reason it could be very handy to be able to prove that you were insured, particularly in thos first hours that it takes for the Motor Insurance Database to update.

Where can I drive it?

Cover is comprehensive throughout the UK, and third party only (or the equivalent) through the countries of the EEC. There is an option to upgrade this to comprehensive cover in the EEC for an extra premium, if you wish. It is a condition of all policies, though, that journeys both begin, and end, in the UK; this means that you cannot, normally, use this type of policy to export a vehicle.

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