If you need to drive someone else’s car, it’s important to have the right sort of insurance. If you don’t, it’s the same as not having insurance at all in the eyes of the law and it could result in penalty points and a hefty fine. In the worst case scenario you could even be disqualified from driving.
To make sure you stay on the right side of the law, comparison site for cheap car insurance in the UK, mustard.co.uk, answer some commonly asked questions about driving other cars.
Can I drive other cars on my insurance?
It’s a persistent myth that having comprehensive cover automatically means you can drive someone else’s car. In the past, comp cover did often mean you could drive other cars with the owner’s say so, but this isn’t the case anymore.
Whether or not you can drive someone else’s car will depend on the terms and conditions set out in your policy. If your policy includes ‘driving other cars’ (DOC) cover then yes, you can get behind the wheel of someone else’s vehicle (so long as it’s roadworthy and you have their permission of course).
If you don’t have DOC cover then no, you can’t drive someone else’s car using your own insurance policy.
If I have DOC, does it give me the same level of protection as my car insurance?
No, DOC provides third party only cover regardless of the type of policy you have.
So, even if you have comprehensive insurance with DOC cover, when you drive other cars, you only have third party protection. This means if you cause an accident, your insurance will compensate the other driver for injuries and damage you cause, but it won’t pay to repair the car you’re driving. You also won’t receive any compensation if you’re injured.
Can I add DOC cover to my car insurance policy?
If your policy doesn’t include DOC cover, it’s usually available as an optional extra for a small increase in your premium, but insurers aren’t obliged to add it just because you want it.
In the vast majority of cases, adding DOC cover to your policy won’t be an issue but if insurers’ consider you to be in a high risk category, they might not let you have it. This often rules out young drivers because under 25s are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident. Similarly, if you work in the motor trade or are frequently on the road, you could also struggle to get DOC cover as your job increases your exposure to risk.
Drivers with convictions or anyone who’s made a recent claim on their car insurance could also find it tricky to get DOC cover.
How can I drive someone else’s car without DOC?
DOC cover is really only meant for emergencies or one-off situations. For example, if a friend or family member can’t drive and needs you to run errands in their car on an ad hoc basis.
If you do need to borrow someone’s car for any length of time, consider these two alternatives instead:
Short-term car insurance — best for temporary use
If you’re borrowing a car for a limited period of time, for instance, if you’re sharing the driving on a road trip or borrowing a car while you’re visiting family, short-term or temporary car insurance could be a good option. Policies are incredibly flexible and you can buy cover for as little as an hour, up to a few days, weeks or even a couple of months.
Temporary car insurance also counts as a standalone policy. If you make a claim, it won’t affect your no claims bonus (NCB) if you also have standard annual car cover. It also won’t impact the car owner’s insurance or NCB.
Be added as a named driver — best for longer-term car sharing
If you’re using someone else’s car on a long-term basis (like your parent, partner or spouse’s car) you can ask to be added as a named driver.
However, unlike temporary car cover, being a named driver does affect the policyholder’s insurance. Adding a named driver can increase premiums if the driver is younger,
inexperienced or has penalty points. On the other hand, if an older or more experienced driver is added, it could lower premiums. Named drivers claiming on the policy will also impact the policyholder’s NCB (unless it’s been protected).
Compare cheap car insurance in the UK
Car cover is essential but it shouldn’t mean having to pay over the odds for it. At mustard.co.uk, you can compare a wide range of quotes from leading UK insurers which means you can be confident about finding a policy that suits your needs and your budget. So, for peace of mind and car insurance you can rely on, head on over and start comparing.