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How to insure a car you don’t own

Worry not. Our helpful guide explains the options available to you.

Last updated: 11/03/2022 | Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whether you don’t drive often or don’t have access to your own car, sometimes it may be necessary to drive someone else’s vehicle.

In This Guide:

Can I insure a car I don’t own?

You can insure a vehicle you don’t own, but you must tell the insurer that you’re neither the registered keeper nor the owner. The registered keeper is the person named on the registration certificate; the owner is the person who bought it. Often this is the same person but occasionally it isn’t.

You may find that non-owner insurance is only available in specific circumstances, such as when the registered keeper or owner is a partner, parent, employer or leasing company. Some car insurance companies may only insure you as the main driver if you’re also the registered keeper.

But fear not, there are a handful of other ways you can get insured on a car you don’t own.

How can I get insured on someone else’s car?

  • Add yourself as a named driver: Adding yourself as a named driver to the owner’s existing policy is a great way to use a vehicle you don’t own. Visit our guide on named driver insurance for full details.
  • Buy short-term car insurance: Policies usually last 1-28 days, though some can cover you for a few months.
  • Take out your own policy on the vehicle: It is possible for more than one insurance policy to exist for a single vehicle. However, this can complicate matters when making a claim.
  • Check you’re not covered already under your own fully comprehensive policy: While not as common as they once were, many fully comprehensive policies have clauses that give third party cover when the policyholder is driving someone else’s vehicle.

How does non-owner car insurance work?

Non-owner car insurance works the same way as standard insurance, except you must inform the insurer you’re not the registered keeper or owner.

Other than that, the terms and conditions of your policy will be determined by how you’re insured, whether that’s as a named driver, through temporary car insurance or under your own comprehensive policy.

Is insuring a car I don’t own more expensive?

On the whole, you’ll pay more in premiums for a vehicle you don’t own than one you do. This is because insurers – rightly or wrongly – believe you’re more likely to claim on a vehicle you don’t own and therefore place you as higher risk.

If you’re looking for non-owner insurance, then it’s usually cheaper to be added onto the owner’s existing policy rather than taking out your own car insurance. For temporary cover, short-term policies are, typically, more expensive than standard premiums, though could still be the cheapest option if you know you only need insurance for a set period.

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