Can I drive other cars on comprehensive insurance?
Published 22 April 2016
We take a look at whether a comprehensive policy covers you to drive other cars.
There are generally three types of cover that you can buy as a UK motorist – third party, third party fire and theft and fully comprehensive. The level of cover you’ll receive will depend on the type of insurance you go for.
As you’d expect, fully comprehensive gives you a good level of cover, but does it cover you to drive someone else’s car with the same level of protection? Let’s find out.
‘Driving other cars’ cover
At one time, driving other cars (DOC) cover was included as standard in most fully comprehensive insurance policies but it’s less common now. Some insurance companies do still offer DOC cover, but it’s only intended for emergency use and is subject to certain regulations.
Usually, it has to be a car you don’t own or you’ve hired, and you generally have to be over 25. Certain occupations can be excluded too – if you work in the motor trade, for example.
This type of cover tends to only protect you to drive cars with third party insurance. This is the minimum cover you need legally to drive a car and will pay out for any damage to a third party vehicle or property in the event of an accident.
Third party insurance won’t pay out for repairs or replacement of a car when driving, but will cover injuries caused to third parties including your passengers but not to yourself. If you only have third party or third party, fire and theft insurance you won’t be covered to drive other cars.
Things to consider
Driving someone else’s car should never become a substitute for a full car insurance policy. If you’re going to be driving someone else’s car on a regular basis, you could ask them to add you as a named driver on their insurance policy.
If you’re a new driver, adding someone else as a named driver could help you to get a more reasonable premium. Just don’t be tempted to consider fronting. This is where an older driver insurers a vehicle under their name even though a younger person will be the main driver. Fronting is illegal and can come with severe punishments if found out.
Only need to drive a vehicle for a short period? You could consider short-term motor insurance policies. For more information on how long a short-term insurance policy will last, check out our blog.
Lending someone your vehicle
To drive your car, a friend or family member will need to have their own short-term insurance or be listed as a named driver on your policy. If they’re going to be driving your car regularly, it could be more cost-effective to add them as a named driver rather than keep taking out multiple short-term policies.
You should consider your no-claims bonus when adding a named driver to your policy, as this could be at risk if they need to make a claim. To understand exactly what a no claims bonus is, read our blog.