Am I insured to drive someone else’s car?

You need to be careful when driving someone else’s car because if you are not insured, you could be breaking the law.

Every different insurance company that we work with at Call Wiser has different terms and conditions when it comes to driving other peoples’ cars. For most of the insurers that we deal with, if you have a fully comprehensive policy, you will have something called a ‘driving other cars extension.’ This means that just the main policyholder, not the named drivers, will be able to driver another person’s car but with third party cover only.

By having third party cover only, it is the most basic level of cover and means that you can claim insurance for any damages, compensation or injuries inflicted upon third parties as a result of your driving. However, this means that you will not be able to claim any damages to the vehicle that you are driving. So if you borrow your friend’s car and get into accident, any repairs or replacements will have to come out of your own pocket.

The driving other cars extension is designed to be for emergency use and not as a long-term solution for using someone else’s car. Typically, the following criteria applies for the driving other cars extension to be effective:

  • The car does not belong to the driver and is not hired to them under a hire purchase agreement;
  • The car is being driven with the owners expressed consent;
  • The policyholder still has their vehicle and it has not been ‘written-off’;
  • The policyholder is aged 25 or over;
  • The policyholder’s specific motor insurance certificate expressly stipulates they have the driving other cars extension;
  • The vehicle they are looking to drive is itself insured;
  • The policyholder’s occupation is not connected with the motor trade or an occupation which requires them to regularly drive other vehicles.

You Need To Read The Small Print

It is important to read the small print on your insurance policy when it comes to driving someone else’s car. To have the driving extension, it needs to be present on your motor certificate or insurance, otherwise you are not eligible to use other vehicles. If you do not have your motor certificate of insurance because it has been paperless since 2013, you can always request it from your insurance provider or Call Wiser.

You will typically have access to driving other cars extension if you have a fully comprehensive policy but depending on your insurer, you may get the same privilege if you have basic third party or third party, theft and fire cover too.

As per the criteria above, your age, occupation and type of vehicle are very important. You must be older than 25 to exercise the use of driving other cars extension and the insurance policy may depend on your occupation. Insurers consider that some occupations may require you to use other peoples’ vehicles more commonly such as carers, nurses, policemen, mechanics and paramedics.

Many insurance policies don’t allow you to drive your partner or spouse’s vehicle and this is something that many would consider obvious. This stresses the importance to check the conditions on your policy very carefully.

What Happens If You Get Caught Driving Someone Else’s Car?

If you are caught driving someone else’s car without insurance, there can be very serious consequences for both the vehicle owner and the driver. Accordingly, if you are caught without the correct insurance, it can lead to heavy fines, 6 to 8 penalty points and prosecution.

The IN10 is the offence for using a vehicle without insurance and the IN12 is giving consent to someone to drive your car without insurance (Source: Penalty Points Endorsement)

In a real case, a young girl from London was caught driving her Mum’s car without insurance and together they received a fine of £5,000. (Source: This is Money)

You must be very carefully when using someone else’s car. You must avoid getting a driving conviction or it will make it harder and more expensive to get insurance in the future.

The Best Option: Be Added To The Policy as a Named Driver

To avoid the potential consequences and small print mishaps of driving someone else’s car, the best option is to be added to someone’s policy as a named driver. This simply involves the main policyholder adding you to their policy so that you can drive their vehicle as often as you like. At Call Wiser, we allow customers to add additional drivers to their policy at any point. We require basic details of the named drivers including their contact details, driver’s license and claims history. We process everything via email so we can get your named drivers insured as soon as possible.

But if you don’t want to put another driver on your policy for a long period of time, you can simply opt for short term car insurance. Here, you will be required to pay just a few pounds to cover someone and you can choose how long for such as 1 day, 14 days, 28 days or more. This is ideal for someone who needs to be insured to drive your car because they are moving house, going to University or going on holiday.

At Call Wiser, we are dedicated to finding the best car insurance policies for our customers. Working with over 30 of the top insurance companies in the country, we can compare different deals and offers to find the best way to insure your additional drivers. Simply call us today on 0333 003 3270 for a free and no obligation quote.

Even if you have questions about whether you can drive someone else’s car, our team of insurance experts are based in our head offices in Andover, Hampshire and they are ready to take your call.

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