Third Party Car Insurance

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The most basic kind of car insurance that you can get is third party insurance. This covers you in the event of any damage caused to a third party or their property; a car that you crash into, for example.

Third party insurance will not cover you against damage to your own vehicle though, and so you may want to opt for a higher level of cover, depending on what you think you’ll need.

In This Guide:

What will third party insurance cover me for?

If you take out a third party insurance policy, you’ll be covered against any damage you cause to anyone else or their property, including your passengers.

So if you crash into someone else’s car, or drive into someone’s garden wall, the costs of repairs will be paid out by your insurer.

The same goes for any injuries caused to your passengers, or any accidents caused by your passengers.

What will be missing from a basic third party car insurance policy, though, will be cover against any damage to or theft of your own vehicle.

What alternative levels of cover are available?

If you think that basic third party cover isn’t quite enough cover for you, then you might want to opt for the next level up – third party, fire and theft (TPFT) insurance. This will give you all of the basic third party cover, as well as cover for your own vehicle against fire damage and theft, including any damage caused in the event of a theft (or attempted theft).

If you want more than this still, you can go for fully comprehensive cover, which is the highest level of cover available – though the actual specifics of each fully comprehensive policy will vary slightly from provider to provider.

Is third party insurance good value for money?

As a general rule, given that basic third party insurance offers the minimum cover possible, such policies tend to be the cheapest car insurance on the market.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting good value; you may find that if you go for a policy offering more cover, you actually get more for your money.

This is because statistically speaking, drivers with only third party cover actually tend to be involved in more accidents, or at least make more claims, than those with, say, a fully comprehensive policy. This leads insurers to bump up the premiums to account for the increased number of pay-outs being made.

This doesn’t mean that every third party policy is a bad deal though – if all you need is the minimum level of cover, then we’ll help you get it at the best price available.

How to get cheap third party car insurance

One of the best ways to keep your premiums low is to build up a good no claims discount by driving carefully and safely over time. This can take a while though, of course, the longer the better, but the discounts you get are often very large.

Whether or not you have a no claims discount built up, if you want to make sure you get the cheapest third party cover available, you’ll need to shop around online. By using our third party car insurance comparison service, you can do just this with little effort and lots of reward. Just let us know what kind of policy you’re after, and we’ll bring you up a list of the best car insurance quotes on the market that meet your requirements.

Frequently asked questions

Is it mandatory to get third party car insurance?

Yes and no! Third party car insurance is the minimum acceptable level of car insurance in the UK. So, it is mandatory to get at least third-party car insurance. You can, however, take out a higher level of cover, called comprehensive car insurance instead. Comprehensive insurance covers your own car for damages, theft and fire as well as a third party's vehicle.

Is third party car insurance cheap?

Third party insurance is generally the cheapest insurance option, but this isn't a hard and fast rule. In some cases, comprehensive insurance can be cheaper. An example of this is in young driver insurance. Many young drivers, who are considered a high-risk group, take out third-party insurance. If a large amount of these drivers are then involved in accidents, and claim on their third party insurance, the cost of the policies they have will consequently go up, and in some cases this means comprehensive policies can be cheaper!

Should I get fully comp or third-party insurance?

A general rule would be to decide on the minimum level of cover you need personally. For example, if you need your insurance to cover the cost of repairing your car in case of an accident, you should get fully comprehensive insurance. If your car isn't too expensive to repair, and you want to save some money up front on your premiums, third party might be the way to go. Once you've decided the minimum insurance level you need, run a car insurance comparison to see which policy will work best for you.

What are the three types of car insurance?

The three main types of car insurance available in the UK are third party only, third party fire and theft, and fully comprehensive. Third party only insurance covers you for damages to another car when you make a claim. Third party fire and theft insurance covers you for this, as well as damage to your car by fire, and to replace your car if it is stolen. Fully comprehensive covers all of this, as well as damages to your own car if you have an accident.

What does “hit by third party” mean?

This is the term used to show that an accident was the fault of a third party (another driver), for example if another motorist drives into the back of your car at traffic lights. In some cases, this means your insurer can reclaim the payout from the third party's insurer, allowing you to maintain your no claims bonus.

What is third party only insurance?

Third party only is the minimum insurance level allowed on UK roads. It covers you for damages to another driver's car if you’re involved in an accident. However, it won't cover you for any damages to your own car, or the contents of your car. It's therefore generally only taken out on vehicles that are fairly cheaply repaired or replaced.

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Last reviewed: 1 August 2021

Next review: 1 September 2021