Standard car insurance policies run for 12 months with the option to renew your policy with the same provider or switch to another insurance company offering a better rate.

Temporary car insurance, also known as short-term car insurance, is typically available from as little as one hour up to 30 days, although some policies will provide cover up to three months.

Usually, you're given fully comprehensive cover with a short-term agreement which protects your vehicle as well as the other person's in the event of an accident; however, some policies only offer Third Party, Fire and Theft protection.


As the name suggests, the need for temporary car insurance is fleeting and not a long-term solution to being covered as a driver.

There are certain situations where you don't need a whole year's cover and a couple of days or weeks will suffice. Temporary car insurance can be a cost-effective way to legally drive a car on a short-term basis.

Borrowing A Car

Even if your own insurance is fully comprehensive, you won't automatically be covered to drive someone else's car. If you need to drive a friend's or family member's car, temporary car insurance can come in handy.

Of course, you could be added to that person's insurance as a named driver, but if you make a claim, it will affect their no claims bonus. It's also not necessarily the cheapest option.

If your car is in the garage and you aren't offered a courtesy car, you might be able to borrow a car to get you where you need to go. In this example, taking out temporary insurance is useful because it would cover you for the day your car is supposed to be in the garage. Plus, if your car needs to be kept for a longer period of time, you could take out another similar policy.

Renting A Car

If you go through a reputable rental company, they will provide their own insurance to protect you while you're driving their car which is bundled into the hire price.

However, many hire companies only offer Third Party cover as standard, so taking out your own short-term Fully Comprehensive policy will protect you in the event of an accident.

Share The Driving 

When you're going on a road trip, you might want to share the driving responsibilities. Rather than putting multiple people as named drivers on one policy, each driver can take out their own temporary insurance cover.

Using An 'Occasional Car'

Temporary car insurance is perfect if you have a classic car, sports car or something similar that you only drive at the weekends or a few times a year.

Rather than taking out a policy for a full year, you can have cover for the exact times that you're going to drive your occasional car, helping you to save money.

Learner Driver

Taking out an insurance policy for a driver with a provisional license or adding them as a named driver can be expensive over a 12 month period or doing it a month at a time.

Most learners will only use the car a couple of times a week, so having temporary insurance in place for those times will help to reduce costs and keep your no claims bonus in tact in the event of an accident.

Bought A New Car

Most dealers will either provide drive-away insurance for you after you've bought a car, or have a recommended provider for you to call and arrange temporary cover with while you're in the dealership.

If you're buying from a private seller you will need to have a short-term policy in place to take a test drive and to drive it home after making the purchase.

When you test drive a car at Avon Valley Garage, our insurance policies ensure that you're fully covered when you go for a test drive in any of our used cars.



The short answer is yes. The long answer is that if you're under 25, have points on your license or previous motoring convinctions, you will find it more difficult to get temporary car insurance. However, there are specialist providers out there to cover these areas of the market.

Drivers with a full, clean UK license and several years' driving experience should have no difficulty in finding short-term insurance, it's just a case of shopping around for the best deal.


Similar to standard car insurance, the cost of temporary car insurance will depend on a number of factors including:

  • Length of cover
  • The car you want to be insured on
  • Your age
  • Your license type
  • Your driving experience
  • Where you live
  • Amount of excess you're willing to pay

Short-term cover is calculated per day, so the longer the policy, the more you'll pay. You can compare the cost of temporary car insurance at all the top comparison websites to see exactly how much you could be paying.