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Picture this: you’re running late for your friend’s wedding and your car decides to give up on you. As in, it just won’t start. So you’re “stranded” on your driveway. You know someone who might be willing to let you borrow their car. But you are definitely not insured to drive it. 

Now let’s consider another scenario. You don’t have a car, but you’re dying to buy that gorgeous armchair from IKEA. But you don’t want to pay for delivery and wait for ages to get it. You want it now. Today. You call up your friend who has a spacious SUV, and she’s more than happy to let you borrow it to pick up your dream chair. But again, how do you drive it without insurance? 

Both scenarios might sound like an impossible conundrum, but here’s the good news: you can absolutely use short term car insurance to drive someone else’s car. Whether you’ve got your own car or haven’t owned one since you got your licence five years ago, short term car insurance can help. 

But what exactly is short term car insurance? And how can you use it to borrow someone else’s car? Read on to find out.

Person in orange with blue car and trees and sun in the background.

What is short term car insurance?

Short term car insurance is exactly what it sounds like – insurance cover that lasts for a short period. This can be anywhere between an hour to a few weeks. It’s perfect for those times when you need cover quickly. Need to borrow a friend’s car to run to IKEA? No problem. Planning a road trip and want to split the driving with a friend? Easy peasy.

The best part? Arranging the cover is quick and easy. You can take out a policy that lasts as long as you need it in a matter of minutes. Many short term car insurance policies, like Zixty, are app-based so you can do everything on the go too. Win win! 

Short term car insurance isn’t just about convenience. It also offers flexibility. Maybe your car broke down and you need a temporary solution before you can get it fixed. Or maybe you’re a student going home for the summer and only need cover for a few weeks to borrow your mum’s car and see your friends. Whatever the reason, short term car insurance has got you covered.

Short term car insurance isn’t meant to replace your trusty annual policy if you already have a car. But it can help you drive other people’s cars in a pinch whether you’re a car owner or not. 

What type of cover does short term car insurance offer? 

Short term car insurance offers pretty much the same level of cover that you would get with an annual car insurance policy. With Zixty, for instance, you get comprehensive cover which means it covers damage to your car and other people’s cars too. 

But there are additional add-ons that you can purchase too, much like you might do when you take out an annual policy. These include features like breakdown cover and excess protection. 

Breakdown cover will ensure that your car is covered for any breakdowns that might happen, so that you never have to worry when you’re on the road. Excess protection, on the other hand, will help you in paying the excess that might be levied on you in case of an accident. 

So while short term car insurance is flexible and easy to arrange, you don’t have to compromise on the level of cover you receive either. 

How do I use short term car insurance to drive someone else’s car? 

Now that you know what short term car insurance is and what level of cover it provides, it’s time to take out a policy. But how do you do that? 

Well, to start, you need your friend’s permission. You can’t take out a policy and drive their car without their permission, because that would be theft and we don’t condone that. Plus, we doubt they’d stay your friend for very long if you went around taking their stuff without asking.

Once you have permission, things get pretty straightforward. As the driver borrowing the car, you’ll need to take out a short term car insurance policy, rather than the owner of the car. So you take out the policy, not your friend. 

Most short term car insurance providers have specific eligibility criteria that drivers must meet in order to be covered. Be sure to double-check that you meet these criteria before taking out a policy.

Then, taking out the policy itself is actually simple. With Zixty, all you need to do is download the app, fill out a few details about yourself, scan your licence, and get a quote and away you go! You could be on the road in less than five minutes with a car insurance policy that offers you comprehensive cover while you’re on the road. 

Man with blue hatchback car with trees and the sun in the background

Can I use the Driving Other Cars (DOC) extension to drive someone else’s car?

Lots of people think that if they have a fully comprehensive car insurance policy, then they can automatically drive other people’s cars under the DOC extension clause. But this type of cover is super misunderstood and way more limited than you might think. 

To start with, typically DOC cover is intended for emergency situations only. It’s not a substitute for regular insurance cover. If your friend needs to go to hospital and you must drive their car to get them there, that’s when DOC comes in handy. But if you’re planning to borrow someone’s car for a few days, DOC isn’t the solution.

It’s also a common misconception that having comprehensive car insurance automatically grants you the right to drive other vehicles. In reality, more and more comprehensive policies don’t come with a DOC extension. So, no, you can’t just hop into your neighbour’s sports car and take it for a spin, even if you’re fully insured. 

If you do have DOC included in your policy, keep in mind that you’ll usually only have third-party cover, not comprehensive cover. This means that if you get into an accident while driving someone else’s car, only the damages to the other car will be covered. Any damages to the car you’re driving won’t be covered under the DOC extension.

So if you need to borrow someone’s car for a day or two, short term car insurance might be the way to go. 

What happens to my friend’s NCD if I am in an accident while driving their car? 

So, you’ve borrowed your friend’s car, and you’re driving with short term car insurance from Zixty. Unfortunately, you’ve been in an accident. You have your own policy and need to make a claim, but what happens to your friend’s No Claims Discount (NCD)?

Firstly, let’s clarify what NCD is. It’s a discount given by insurance companies to drivers who haven’t made a claim on their policy in the past year. This discount can increase each year up to a maximum, depending on the insurance company’s policy. 

Now, the good news is that your friend’s NCD won’t be affected by your claim. This is because you have a separate policy with Zixty, and your friend’s NCD is part of their own policy. So you can claim on your Zixty policy without affecting your friend’s NCD. 

Driving someone else’s car with Zixty’s short term car insurance 

So, you’ve learned all about short term car insurance, who can use it, and what level of cover it provides. But why settle for the bare minimum when you can opt for Zixty’s short term car insurance policy and enjoy a range of benefits? 

Not only is it a quick and easy process that you can arrange via the app, but the free Zixty Miles add-on is also a huge perk. With Zixty Miles, you can drive in an environmentally conscious manner and reduce your carbon footprint. The app rates your driving skills from 1-10 and even offers tips on driving more economically. And that’s not all: Zixty will plant a tree for every policy taken out and carbon offset up to 100 miles of each day’s journey. 

To sum up, with Zixty’s short term car insurance policy, you can be sure that you’re not only taking care of yourself but also making a positive impact on the environment.