If you’ve got fully comprehensive car insurance, you might assume the cover includes the ability to drive someone else’s car too. But you should never assume anything when it comes to your car insurance – you need to be sure about the answer to the question “can I drive another car on my insurance?”
Some comprehensive policies do not cover driving another’s vehicle at all. That means that if you do get behind the wheel of a friend’s car, you won’t be insured and will actually be breaking the law. The punishment for this is six to eight penalty points on your licence, an unlimited fine and even being disqualified from driving.
If your comprehensive policy does allow you to drive other cars, you might not have the same level of cover as you do when driving the vehicles named on your policy – your level of cover might drop down to third party only, leaving you liable for your own damage , which could prove very costly. Either way, it’s essential you understand your policy’s terms and conditions and if in any doubt, you call and speak to your insurer first.
Even if your policy says you’re covered to drive other vehicles, make sure you check with your insurer to see exactly what your policy covers. Also, this cover is intended for limited usage; if you’re regularly driving someone else’s car, sometimes the best thing to do is to get put on that person’s insurance.
Temporary car insurance
This is a type of policy that enables you to drive a vehicle, even if it’s someone else’s, and pay by the day, up to a set number of days. You can also insure extra drivers on your car for a short time on this policy.
While you can usually take a test drive with a dealer and be covered under their motor trader policy, this is not the case with private sellers. If you’re buying a car privately it’s vital that you have the correct level of cover in place before you take your potential new wheels for a spin. In the first instance check your existing policy to see if the policy allows you to ‘drive another car with the owner’s permission’. If this is not the case, one option is to take out a temporary insurance policy when cover can be purchased by the day.
Find further information here on car insurance or speak to one of our RAC advisers on 0330 159 1019 to get a quote.