Being able to take someone else’s car for a spin is not as straightforward as it seems.
It used to be that if you had fully comprehensive car insurance for your own vehicle, you would usually be granted a Driving Other Cars (DOC) cover, allowing you to drive someone else’s car at third party level only.
However, DOC cover is no longer granted automatically and is now less common. In fact, most car insurance providers will need you to request it especially or pay extra for it.
Driving Other Cars (DOC) cover was initially intended for emergency purposes only, not just popping to the shops or picking up the kids from school. Today, you will need more concrete cover in place or check the terms with your insurance provider.
Check the Small Print
If you think you might have the extension to drive other cars, you will need to contact your insurer or check the terms and conditions of your policy to confirm what cover you have.
Above all, if you are under the age of 25 and classified as a ‘young driver,’ you are considered to be higher risk and less likely to have this extension automatically.
What Happens If You Are Caught Driving Without Insurance
Being caught driving without car insurance is a very serious offence and if stopped by the police, it can result in the following:
- 6 to 8 points off your license for four years (out of 12 points)
- Minimum fine of £300 (and often higher)
- IN10 driving offence added to your license
The result of having an IN10 driving offence on your record is one of the biggest black marks you can get on your insurance record and will significantly increase the cost of your annual premiums in the future.
Similarly, you can also receive an IN10 offence if someone else is using your car without insurance, since the police see it as posing the same risks to third parties.
Can I Drive My Partners or Spouse’s Car?
You cannot drive your partner’s vehicle without the correct insurance. Even though you have purchased the vehicle and it may be sitting in your driveway or garage, you are not automatically granted third party cover.
This is something that is likely to catch a lot of motorists out. For this reason, it is common that you add yourself as a named driver when purchasing the car to begin with.
What Insurance Do I Need to Drive Someone Else’s Car?
You legally require just third party only cover in order to drive a car on UK roads. This cover gives some form of protection towards other third parties including other drivers, vehicles and pedestrians you come into contact with. With third party only, if you were involved in a crash or accident, it would cover any repairs or damages to the other injured party, but not for yourself or your vehicle.
If you would like additional cover, you can apply for the next level of third party, fire, flood and theft or the highest level which is fully comprehensive car insurance to protect third parties and your own vehicle and wellbeing too.
Become a Named Driver
Adding yourself as a named driver means that your name is on the insurance policy and you can drive the vehicle legally. This is usually for a parent, spouse, son or daughter and assumes that you share part of the driving.
In some cases, if the main driver is a young person and the named driver is a parent, it may significantly reduce the cost of car insurance because you are adding someone who is more experienced and deemed a lower risk. However, the parent must indeed drive the car regularly and not be named for the sake of lowering the cost – otherwise this is known as fronting, which is illegal.
Get Temporary Car Insurance
Temporary car insurance is available for 1 day, 1 week or 1 month and is perfect if you need to drive someone else’s vehicle for work, holiday or other domestic purposes. The flexibility of temporary car insurance means that you can extend it for as many days as you would like and on a pay-as-you-go basis.