• How to find the best temporary or short-term car insurance How does temporary car insurance work?

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    Temporary car insurance offers cover for between 1 and 28 days. Some companies even offer insurance for a set number of hours if you only need cover for a very short period.
    It can be used for you to drive someone else’s car or for another person to use your vehicle.
    There are many reasons people use temporary insurance but popular uses include for moving house, sharing a road trip or long drive, borrowing a friend’s car, adding a son or daughter to a policy while they’re back from university or driving a new car off a forecourt.
    In some cases it makes more sense to buy temporary insurance than to add a named driver to an existing 12-month policy.
    However, a short-term policy cannot be used replace to a full car insurance policy, even if you only use your vehicle a couple of times a year. It is illegal to keep a car that is not insured or registered with the DVLA as off the road.
    You shouldn’t need it for hire or rental cars because they usually come with insurance. Read more about how you can save money with excess cover for hire cars here.
    What does temporary car insurance cover?
    Most short-term car insurance policies offer similar cover to longer term insurance. Temporary policies are usually comprehensive but companies do offer third party, fire and theft.
    The cover is often immediate so you can buy it on the same day you need it and any claims should not affect the no claims bonus of the vehicle being driven.
    Because the cover is immediate it means it can be used for test driving a car or driving a vehicle home if you decide to buy it at a dealership.
    Many temporary policies allow business use and cover vans up to a certain size.
    Some policies include European cover or give you the option to pay more for it. So it’s possible to have short-term cover if you’re borrowing a car to drive to France, for example.
    There are a few exclusions.
    Many temporary car insurance policies have an upper age limit of 75 and the lower age limit can vary. For some companies, it starts at 21, which makes it difficult for young drivers to get short-term cover. However, The AA’s lower age limit starts at 18 and InsureDaily covers drivers from 19 to 75 years old.
    There are separate short-term policies for learner drivers (often 30, 60 or 90 days) offered by companies like Marmalade. Find out more about learner driver insurance here.
    If you have points on your licence or motoring convictions it can make it difficult to get temporary cover. Also, some providers will not cover non-UK licences so you should shop around and compare cover levels if you’re planning on letting a visitor to the UK or an expat with a foreign licence use your car.