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What is day insurance?

One day car insurance has been around since 2005, and has become increasingly popular with motorists in the UK because it offers suitable, cost-effective cover when the driver only needs to use a car for a short period as opposed to regular car insurance policies

Some people don’t require a car on a day-to-day basis, of course, either because they live in the middle of a city or large town, or because they prefer to walk or take public transport.

However, there are times when having the use of a car would be enormously convenient…and other times when it might be essential.

Fortunately, one day car insurance means you can borrow a car from a friend or a family member for a day at a time and take out temporary car insurance to cover you while you’re driving it.

It’s also worth noting that many insurers offer drivers the option to choose a temporary policy that ranges from 1 day to 28 days, so if you’re planning a slightly longer trip this type of cover should still meet your needs.

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What is covered by day insurance?

Day insurance policies are typically fully comprehensive, so you will be covered for damages to your own vehicle as well as the third parties in the event of an at-fault accident. As the name suggests, fully-comp is the most comprehensive level of cover a driver can get in the UK, and as such it’s generally the best car insurance option. This type of policy includes everything that’s covered by Third party, fire and theft, but will also cover the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle of an at-fault driver. This type of insurance will also pay out if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, which isn’t covered by lower levels of cover.

How much is one day car insurance?

The cost of one day car insurance is dependent on your risk factors to the insurer, these are unique to you and so average cost data may not be applicable to your situation. An insurer will try their utmost to minimise their risk of having to make a claim. Given the nature of insurance, each company will naturally have to pay out for claims made for insurable events to their policy holders. Each insurer will naturally try and avoid being left out of pocket by these claims and so careful premium calculations are used in order to adjust for the risk of a customer making a claim. Essentially this means that insurers will assess each customer based on statistical data for their risk of making a claim. This means that they can charge the correct amount for their policies to make profit without suffering financial loss should a claim be made. Each driver will have their own risk profile and so the best way of finding out what your insurance cost will be is to compare multiple quotes.

The Typical factors which influence your risk profile include:

  • Car – The car you wish to insure will play a big part in your premium cost. Aside from more valuable cars being more expensive to insure, If you are driving a more powerful car then you will also pay more on your premium. 
  • Age – Most insurers will not offer day cover for drivers under 19 years old, some may even require a minimum age of 21. If you are a younger driver who meets the minimum age requirement you’ll likely face higher premiums as your risk factor will still be greater than an older driver with more experience behind the wheel.
  • Claims – If you have a history of previous claims then your premiums will be higher than what they otherwise would be. A no claims bonus will often be offered to drivers who have a history absent of claims.
  • Add ons – If you opt for additional coverage through add-ons such as breakdown cover and window protection your premiums will naturally be higher. This is because extra coverage will cost you more, even if you are only taking out a one day car policy.

In all, the easiest way of getting a good idea of how much you can expect to pay for your desired level of day cover is to compare multiple lenders. This will give you a good idea of what prices are currently on the UK insurance market for your requirements.

How do I find the cheapest day insurance?

Many mainstream insurance providers in the UK don’t offer policyholders one day insurance, but there are a growing number of specialist firms that do. With many people needing to borrow cars from friends or family for a variety of reasons without being named as a policy holder, more insurers are realising the demand in this market.

The key to finding the cheapest day insurance policy is to compare quotes from multiple lenders each of these insurance providers and go with the one that offers the best policy at the lowest price.

There are also some practical steps you can take to ensure you get offered lower prices on your day cover.

  • No claims – Being a good driver is obviously something that happens over time and is more a habit than a skill. However avoiding claims can significantly push down your premium costs so always observe the road rules and be a responsible driver.
  • Only opt for necessary add-ons –  Add-ons can be great for an extra peace of mind however opting for too much can end up costing you more than necessary.
  • Opting for a higher excess – It’s important to weigh up whether a cheaper premium is worth the increased risk that you’ll have to fork out a significant lump sum if you’re ever involved in an accident, but if you are determined to reduce the upfront cost of your insurance you could opt for a higher excess.

A list of UK-based insurance providers that specialise in One Day Car Insurance is available here.

Can I get day insurance if I’m under the age of 21?

Quite a few temporary car insurance providers do insist that their policyholders must be at least 21 years old, but there are one or two firms who will offer 1 day cover to drivers aged 19 or older.

If you’re under the age of 19 then your only option is likely to be temporary learner driver insurance (it probably goes without saying, but that type of cover is only suitable if you haven’t passed your driving test yet).

The reason many insurers put such age restrictions on their policies is to prevent undue risk on their part when it comes to the likelihood of a claim being made. This is due to the fact that younger drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in a serious accident.

As a result many insurers are hesitant of insuring younger drivers for day insurance on cars that aren’t theirs.

What are the age limits when taking out one day car insurance?

Most insurance providers have a minimum age limit of 19 when taking out day insurance, and some may even insist that policyholders are at least 21 years old.

If you’re under the age of 19 you will likely only be able to take out temporary learner driver insurance.

Older drivers should also bear in mind that most temporary car insurance companies have an upper age limit of 75, so if you’re in your 80s you might struggle to find a suitable one day insurance policy.

How long do you need to have held a full driving licence to take out one day insurance?

While there may be one or two insurers that are willing to offer day cover to young drivers that have only just passed their driving test, the vast majority will only provide cover if you’ve held a full driving licence for at least a year.

The main exception is temporary learner driver insurance, which is available to drivers with a provisional driving licence.

If I have fully-comp insurance will I already be covered to drive a friend’s car, or will I need to take out One Day Insurance too?

In the past most fully-comprehensive car insurance policies provided their policyholders with third party cover for other cars, which meant you could borrow a vehicle from a friend or a family member without having to take out temporary insurance.

Some fully-comp policies still include this ‘any car’ cover, but a growing number don’t. That’s why it’s vital that you double check your policy documents before you get behind the wheel of someone else’s car…and take out day insurance if your fully-comp policy doesn’t include this cover.

Can one day car insurance policies include additional named drivers?

Yes, some one day car insurance providers allow motorists to take out day insurance for up to two drivers, which could be handy if you’re planning a road trip and would like to split the driving between yourself and a friend. 

If you are on holiday, UK insurance provides you with Third Party cover for driving in the following countries:

  • the EU (including Ireland)
  • Andorra
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Serbia
  • Switzerland

You may need to carry a green card to drive in other countries, including:

  • Albania
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Moldova
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
Is one day car insurance suitable if my car has been impounded?

When a motorist is picking up a car that has been impounded they will need to have insurance for the vehicle before they can drive it away. However, temporary insurance that is only valid for one day won’t be suitable in this case, because the rules stipulate that the car has to be insured for at least 30 days.

Fortunately, one or two providers of temporary car insurance do allow drivers to insure the vehicle for up to 30 days, so temporary insurance should be suitable if you ensure it covers a 30-day period.

Can you earn a No Claims Bonus with this type of temporary car insurance policy?

A No Claims Discount (or No Claims Bonus, as it’s also known) is usually based on the number of years a driver has gone without making an insurance claim, and as such it isn’t usually possible to earn this type of bonus when you take out short-term car insurance instead of annual insurance. However given that this policy is obviously for the short term, the contribution toward your no claims bonus will only be in effect as long as you avoid making a claim. 

DO NOT avoid informing your insurer of a accident through free of loosing your no claims bonus. Even if you believe that the damage to your car is not worth a claim and won’t be noticed, this can later go on to impact future claims. Insurers communicate with each other more than many people know, this means if you are involved in an accident and do not tell your insurer, the third parties insurance may still record your details. If it later comes to light with your insurer that you withheld disclosing an incident, you run the risk of your insurance being made void. This can be particularly disastrous if you are contacting your insurer because you need to make a claim. The best policy is to be transparent with your insurer even if it means loosing your no claims bonus. This can prevent your insurance policy being made void by non-disclosure, It can also prevent future difficulties finding coverage with other insurers.

Is one day insurance an option for learner drivers?

Yes, many temporary car insurance specialists have created short-term car insurance policies specifically designed for learner drivers, which can be hugely helpful if you’d like to practice in a friend’s or family member’s car when you’re learning to drive.

It’s important to stress, though, that if you are learning to drive in a friend’s car you must be accompanied by someone who is at least 21 years old and has held a full driving licence for at least three years.

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