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Temporary car insurance is basically the no-strings-attached fling of the car world. It’s flexible, convenient, and only there when you need it. No drama llama. Unlike your last Tinder match. But we won’t go there.

Temporary car insurance gives you the flexibility and freedom you need in the modern world. Whether you want to borrow your bestie’s car, need short-term cover while waiting for an annual policy, or just need cover stat because you’re in an emergency, temporary car insurance policies have got your back.

Unlike your typical annual policy, with a temp policy, you only pay for the cover you need. Policies can last from as little as an hour to as long as a few weeks. You’re in charge!

Plus, with app-based insurance, you can arrange cover in minutes and get more cover in just a few taps if you’re not ready to let go yet.

So we don’t blame you if you want to get your hands on one ASAP. But with so many products out there, how do you pick the best one for you?

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

Understanding your needs: What do you need from a temporary car insurance policy?

Before you start researching policies and requesting quotes, you may want to think about what you actually need from a temporary car insurance policy.

There are all sorts of reasons why you might need cover. Here at Zixty, we did our own research to work out why people buy policies, and the reasons ranged from borrowing a car for a special occasion to emergency situations where someone needed cover fast.

Your reason for wanting a policy will likely also help you work out what you actually need from a temporary car insurance product.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you dive head-first into quotes.

How long do you need a temporary car insurance policy for?

Temporary car insurance policies can last anywhere between an hour to a few weeks depending on the provider. Working out how long you need the policy for will help you shortlist providers and figure out whether temporary car insurance is right for you.

How quickly do you need your cover to start?

If you’re in an emergency situation, you might need cover right away. If that’s the case, you’ll probably want a policy that can be arranged in minutes, rather than hours, with as little fuss as possible.

At Zixty, for instance, you can get a quote in minutes once you download our app. You can scan your licence, fill out your details through the app and then take out cover that can start in as little as five minutes.

Bonus points: You don’t even have to speak to a human on the phone. Whew.

Do you need specialist cover?

People often think they can take out temporary car insurance to get cover in any emergency sitch. That’s not really true, though. Sure, it’s flexible and covers lots of life’s unexpected situations.

But bear in mind that there are circumstances where you might need specialist cover. For instance, if your car has been impounded and your car insurance policy has been invalidated, you’ll need to secure a valid policy to collect your car from the pound.

But, many temporary car insurance policies won’t cover you on this occasion. You’ll normally need a specialist policy for impounded cars instead, which is a different product altogether.

And that’s just one example.

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

Is temporary car insurance the right product for you?

Even if you meet all the criteria for a temporary car insurance product, you might find that it’s not the right policy for you after all.

For instance, if you need a policy because you plan to drive your mum’s car twice a week for the rest of the year, you may want to think about whether a temporary car insurance policy makes sense for you.

Sure, it could work. But, financially speaking, it could be cheaper to be added as a named driver on her policy.

Ultimately, it’s your decision. But, a temporary car insurance policy might not always be the right product for you.

What factors should you consider when comparing temporary car insurance?

If you’ve decided you want a temporary car insurance policy after all, you’ve probably gone and got yourself a few different quotes to compare.

But before you sign on the dotted line, there are some things you should think about when buying a temporary car insurance policy.

Factors like the price of the policy, optional add-ons like breakdown cover, whether you can protect your excess, exclusions, general customer experience, and, of course, the company’s values, might all come into play here.

Is the price right for you?

Let’s face it, the price is always going to be a sticking point when it comes to any purchase. Temporary car insurance is no different. If you have a set budget, that’ll probably guide your choice here.

That being said, if you find lots of cheap policies way under your budget, have a look at what they offer before you commit to the cheapest option. Sure, slashed prices are great, but the cheapest policy might not offer everything you want.

Does the policy offer breakdown cover?

Many temporary car insurance policies will offer an optional breakdown cover add-on. But you may wish to check to make sure this is on offer when you pick a provider.

If your chosen policy doesn’t offer breakdown, and you’re really set on a particular provider, you may want to look into whether the car you’re borrowing already has breakdown cover and whether it would apply to you if the car breaks down while you’re driving it.

If not, and if you don’t want to forego breakdown cover, you may wish to look into separate breakdown cover policies.

Blue hatchback car with trees and the sun in the background

What is the excess like?

The excess is the amount of money you have to pay if you make a fault claim. We have a super detailed article here telling you all about exactly what it is and how it’s worked out if you’re interested.

But basically, you may wish to find out what the excess is before you take out a policy. You can also look into whether the policy offers any kind of excess protection insurance as well. This allows you to claim back a portion of your excess.

For instance, here at Zixty, we offer Zixty Excess Protect which, if you add it, allows you to claim back £250 in the event of a fault claim.

What is actually covered by the policy?

Making sure the policy provides the cover you need to drive is your responsibility.

Typically, temporary car insurance offers comprehensive cover. But, there are some important differences between comprehensive cover offered by temporary policies and fully comprehensive cover offered by annual policies.

As is always the case, you should check the details before buying.

Is there an app?

Never underestimate the massive convenience that comes with a well-designed car insurance app. A decent app isn’t just a place where you can quickly access your car insurance docs or get a quote.

Picture this: your car’s broken down on the side of the road. You’re all alone, you’re not exactly sure where you are, and you know absolutely nothing about cars. An app-based car insurance policy with breakdown cover could allow you to request help through the app itself and even send your exact location using GPS.

An app might seem like a nice-to-have extra, but its benefits should not be disregarded when you’re shopping for a temporary car insurance policy.

Does the company align with your personal values?

The times, they are a-changin’ and nowadays, you’re well within your rights to look under the company’s bonnet, so to speak. The product itself might look shiny and affordable, but what lies beneath the surface?

Basically, does the company actually pass the vibe check?

As in, does it stand for what’s important to you? It’s totally up to you whether you want to give your money to a company with a fair, transparent structure, or maybe even a company that goes the extra mile and tries to do what’s right for the planet.

Buying a policy from a company that aligns with your values always feels like the cherry on top. And why not? We’re living through the roaring twenties and nobody’s about to hand over their cash to companies that don’t walk the talk.

Blue car with trees and the sun in the background

Zixty: The eco-conscious temporary car insurance

Since you’re already here and thinking about taking out a temporary car insurance policy, we thought we’d throw our hat in the ring.

We don’t like to sing our own praises…much.

Okay, that’s a total lie. We love to #humblebrag about what we’ve got on offer. But, stick with us, and you’ll see why!

At Zixty, we don’t just offer awesome temporary car insurance policies.

With us, you also get:

  • A brilliant app-based policy that lets you manage your whole experience from your phone.
  • A super simple and transparent excess structure; it’s the same flat rate for everyone.
  • The optional Zixty Excess Protect add-on that lets you claim £250 of your excess back.
  • A breakdown cover optional add-on that allows you to get help at the tap of a button.
  • Cover that lasts anywhere from an hour to a few weeks.

But that’s not all.

We love trees. And the planet. And our insurance products reflect this. That’s why we introduced Zixty Miles. Zixty Miles is a free optional add-on that you can enable through the app. When you do we offset all your journeys up to 100 miles each day while you have an active policy with us.

Aaaand we give you an EcoScore. That basically shows you how eco-conscious your driving is. We also give you lots of tips to make your driving even more eco-conscious. But not in a judgy way, we promise.

Basically, we’re the full package. So, what do you think? Swipe right?