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

March 10, 2023 by

Some insurance policies let you drive a car other than your own; we explain all

All cars on the road must legally be insured, with six penalty points and a £300 waiting in the wings if you are caught without cover.

But while it is generally assumed that all comprehensive insurance policies allow you to drive any other car with the owner’s permission, in many instances that is not the case, and you risk committing a fairly serious offence if you do so.

What is DOC (Driving Other Cars) cover?

Third party insurance will only pay out for damage sustained to other people’s cars in an accident, and is the legal minimum level of cover you must have if you are driving a car.

Comprehensive insurance will also cover your vehicle for loss or damage, but another benefit of comprehensive cover is that in many instances it will provide third-party insurance to drive someone else’s car, assuming you have their permission.

But, there’s a but: not all comprehensive policies provide this benefit, which is known as ‘Driving Other Cars’ (DOC).

You’ll need to look out for this clause when taking out a new insurance policy (it is usually displayed fairly prominently in comparison sites), or you can ring up and ask the provider whether it is included in the policy before you take it out.

Can I add DOC cover to my insurance policy?

You may be able to, but it may also be that this would require cancelling your existing policy and taking out another. Even if you can update your policy, there is likely to be an administration charge on top of the additional cost DOC is likely to add to your premium. It may therefore be more prudent to investigate other methods of insurance if you need to drive another car. Do also note that DOC cover tends only to be available to people aged over 25.

If I don’t have DOC cover, how can I drive another car?

Temporary car insurance, or temp cover is one answer here.

Your existing insurer may well be able to sell you temp cover, and this may well be cheaper than changing your existing policy. Temp cover is also available from dedicated third-party firms, from as short a period as one day, to up to a month.

Another option that’s well worth exploring is getting yourself added to the insurance policy of whoever the car belongs to. It’s certainly worth comparing the cost of doing this, against the cost of temp cover or changing your existing policy.

What’s the punishment for driving another car uninsured?

As mentioned above, you can expect six penalty points on your licence, meaning you will lose your licence if you have had it for less than two years. There will also be a fine, and in some circumstances the car you are driving could be confiscated.

Do also note that you should not use DOC cover if you are regularly driving a car other than your own: it’s intended for occasional emergency use, plus if anything happens when you are driving you will not receive any money from the insurance company for damage sustained to the car.

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