There are increasing insurance options for drivers. One of the newer ones is temporary insurance. Cheap temporary car insurance can be worthwhile in certain circumstances, not in others. Read on to find out if it’s for you.
How temporary is temporary car insurance?
Temporary car insurance is basically cover that lasts for pretty much any period of time that is less than the year we normally insure for. You can get insurance that will cover you for an hour, a day, a week, a month, up to six months and pretty much any defined period of time that’s less than a year.
What are the benefits?
Some people will save a lot of money because you’re not paying for insurance you’re not using. Take the example of an 18 year-old or younger learner driver who is always accompanied by a qualified driver. They will find a couple of months temporary cover much cheaper than paying for regular insurance. And remember, when they pass their test, they’ll have to change insurance anyway.
Equally, if there’s a young driver in the family who spends most of their time away at university, it may make financial sense to cover them for a certain number of days per year so they can drive when they come home.
Another benefit of using temporary car insurance for a young driver is if they have a mishap, it won’t affect the no claims discount of the policy’s main driver.
Adding drivers to cars
It’s a common misconception that if you buy car insurance for one vehicle, it covers you to drive every other vehicle. It doesn’t. And if it does, it will probably only be third party. So if, for example, you’re buying a car and want to test drive it, getting very short-term cover is a sensible thing to do.
Equally, if you want to borrow someone else’s car, or perhaps the main driver falls ill or injures themselves. Or perhaps you have relatives coming from abroad who may want to borrow your car. In any of these cases, day insurance can be a logical course to pursue.
What are the disadvantages?
It can be pricy. Put a young driver on for a short amount of time and it can be quite expensive. In fact, in some instances it might be more expensive than simply adding them to the main driver’s policy. And some temporary insurance providers won’t cover drivers under 25 at all.
As with all insurance, it’s horses for courses and in this case, it definitely pays to shop around. Don’t discount regular insurance. Although temporary cover definitely has its place in the motoring world, in some cases it can be the more expensive option.
I’ve been writing about cars and motoring for more than 25 years. My career started on a long-departed classic car weekly magazine called AutoClassic. I’ve since pitched up at Autosport, Auto Express, the News of the World, Sunday Times and most recently the Daily Telegraph. When I’m not writing about cars and motoring, I’m probably doing some kind of sport or working in my garden.