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Can I drive someone else’s car on my insurance?

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You shouldn’t assume that you can drive someone else’s car on your car insurance policy, regardless of your relationship with them. Legally, a friend’s or partner’s car is no different from a stranger’s if you don’t have the correct cover in place.

So, when can you drive someone else’s car on your insurance? Our guide explains it all, from the meaning of driving other cars (DOC) cover to the alternatives, such as named driver or temporary car insurance.

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  • You should always check if you have DOC cover before getting behind the wheel of someone else’s car, as cover isn’t guaranteed
  • DOC cover only provides third-party insurance, meaning you can’t claim for any damage to the car you’re driving
  • Named driver cover and temporary car insurance can offer greater protection if you need to drive someone else’s car

Am I insured to drive other cars on my policy?

Whether or not you’re insured to drive another car on your insurance depends on whether you have DOC cover. This benefit was once included as standard on most comprehensive car insurance policies and was intended to be used in emergencies only. However, it’s now harder to find this feature, and when it is available, it comes with certain eligibility criteria.

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To be eligible to drive other cars on your insurance, you typically need to meet all or some of the following requirements:

 

  • You have a comprehensive car insurance policy
  • You’re aged 25 or over
  • Your occupation doesn’t involve driving vehicles
  • You don’t have any driving convictions
  • Your own vehicle hasn’t been written off
  • You have the permission of the car’s owner
  • The car you want to drive already has insurance
  • The car you want to drive doesn’t belong to you
  • The car you want to drive hasn’t been taken out on a hire purchase agreement

How does driving other cars cover work?

The main thing to know about DOC insurance is that it’s only available as third-party cover, even if your policy is comprehensive or third party, fire and theft.

So, if you were to get into an accident when driving someone else’s car, you’d only be covered for any damage or injuries caused to other people and vehicles involved in the incident. You wouldn’t be able to make a claim for damage to the car you were driving.

That’s why you shouldn’t rely on DOC cover if you need to regularly drive someone else’s car. Alternatives, such as being added as a named driver or taking out short-term car insurance, can provide a greater level of protection.

How do I know if I have driving other cars cover?

To check whether you have DOC cover, you can look at your certificate of motor insurance. It will state everything you are and are not covered for, including whether you can drive other cars.

If you can’t find your policy documents, you can contact your insurance provider directly to check if you have this benefit.

How can I drive someone else’s car if I don’t have DOC cover?

If you must drive someone else’s car, some options provide greater protection and may be easier to get than DOC cover.

Being added as a named driver

If you regularly use someone else’s car, such as a partner’s or parent’s vehicle, you could be added as a named driver to their policy. This would allow you to drive their car whenever you needed.

You’ll be able to drive under the same level of cover as the car’s owner. However, if you have an accident, it will affect the main driver’s no-claims bonus.

If you are added as a named driver, you can’t use the car more than the policyholder. If you do, that’s known as fronting, which is a form of car insurance fraud.

Getting temporary car insurance

If you don’t need constant access to someone else’s car and only want to drive it occasionally, you could consider temporary car insurance.

Short-term cover is available for as little as one hour up to a maximum of three or so months. This is perfect if you just want to borrow someone’s car for a weekend trip or to move house.

Temporary car insurance is a separate policy from any annual cover you or the car’s owner has. So, if you do get into an accident, it won’t affect anyone’s no-claims bonus.

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If you get caught driving a car without insurance, whether it’s yours or someone else’s, you can potentially face:

 

  • A £300 fine
  • Six penalty points on your licence

 

If the case were to go to court, you could face an unlimited fine and disqualification from driving.

Can anyone drive my car?

The same rules apply to people driving your car as they do to you driving someone else’s. It’s not enough to just give them your permission.

So, someone can only drive your car if one of the following applies:

  • They have DOC cover and it’s an emergency
  • They’ve been added as a named driver
  • They’ve taken out temporary car insurance

Driving other cars FAQs

If you have DOC cover, you’d be able to drive your partner’s car. However, this should only be used in emergencies.

A better option is to be added as a named driver on their policy so you can use their car as and when you need to.

You won’t be able to drive someone else’s car under your own policy if you’re a young driver under 25.

However, you can be added as a named driver to their policy, or you could take out temporary car insurance.

There are a few different ways to approach family car insurance:

  • Take out a multi-car insurance policy that allows you to get cover for more than one vehicle at once
  • Add multiple named drivers to your policy
  • Allow your family to drive your car using temporary car insurance as and when needed
  • Take out learner driver insurance on your car for anyone starting their driving journey

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade. 

Connor is the personal finance expert for Independent Advisor, guiding readers through everything they need to know about car insurance and home insurance. From how much it costs to the best insurance providers in the UK, he’s here to help you find the right policy for your needs. 

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs. His commentary was featured in sites such as The Mirror, the Daily Express and Business Insider

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, Reuters and the Evening Standard

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.