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Whether you’re borrowing a car, sharing a car, or buying a car, it’ll need insuring. You can’t drive it in the UK without the proper car insurance in place and that’s a fact. But if you need a short-term solution, you may be looking for alternatives to annual insurance policies. So when might you need temporary car insurance?

Let’s say you’ve found a gorgeous second-hand Chesterfield sofa on Preloved. It’ll be the perfect accent furniture to show off in your living room. You’ve reached out to the seller, who conveniently lives only a few miles away, and he’s even willing to knock off a couple of quid off the asking price if you can collect it tomorrow.

That’s great and all, but there’s one problem. Saving second-hand furniture from the tip comes with the need for your own transport. Random dudes on Preloved don’t tend to throw in free shipping.

Luckily, your dad has an estate he could let you borrow. And your friends are willing to help you carry the chunky Chesterfield up two flights of dangerously narrow stairs to your flat, too. All in exchange for an extra cheesy pizza. The stars have aligned. Soon, you’ll be the proud owner of a pre-loved sofa that’ll be the envy of your whole friend group.

Except, you can’t drive your dad’s car uninsured. And he’s got a job to go to tomorrow.

That’s where temporary car insurance comes in. It provides car insurance when you need it for anything from an hour, up to a few weeks.

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

What exactly is temporary car insurance?

Temporary car insurance provides cover for a certain period of time. It can range from as little as an hour to up to 28 days or sometimes more. That means if you’re going on holiday, sharing a car with friends, or borrowing a car from someone else, temporary car insurance can provide cover while you’re using the vehicle.

If you’re borrowing a car, whether that’s for a test-drive, or to get a domestic job done, you’ll need the driver’s permission to drive their car. But as long as you and the car you intend to drive tick all the right boxes, you should be able to take out a policy in a matter of minutes.

How much does temporary car insurance cost?

The cost of temporary car insurance depends on lots of different factors. As with annual car insurance, your driving history will be looked at before you’re offered a quote. The car you drive, your driving history, how long you’ve had your driving licence and much more will be taken into account. Each price is tailored to your individual circumstances.

We’ve taken the time to compile a bunch of handy tips about ways you can find cheap short term car insurance. But, like that Rolex you bought on holiday for €30, cheap isn’t always best.

Because you’re only paying for the time you need, temporary car insurance doesn’t have to break the bank. At Zixty, we offer temporary car insurance that can cover you for as little as one hour. Want to see how little it might cost? Check out our starting prices for our policies and see what it might cost to get on the road today.

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

What does temporary car insurance typically cover?

Temporary car insurance is designed to be a fully featured car insurance policy – offering comprehensive cover. Just because it’s for a shorter duration than annual, that doesn’t mean it’s short on cover. But there are some important differences between comprehensive cover offered by short-term insurance and fully comprehensive insurance cover offered by annual policies.

As is always the case with car insurance, you need to check the details before buying to ensure you’re getting the cover you need.

Why do people use temporary car insurance?

Temporary car insurance is an excellent solution in many situations where you need to drive someone else’s car. Getting hold of a gorgeous Chesterfield sofa is just one reason why you might want temporary car insurance.

But temporary car insurance also works great if you want to test-drive someone’s car, share a long drive, borrow a car for a special occasion, or even arrange a few weeks of cover while you look for the perfect insurance policy for your new car.

And what about buying a car? If you’ve just bought some new wheels, you’ll need insurance to get your new ride home. With cover from an hour to a few weeks, short-term car insurance lets you get home, and take your time finding an annual policy.

Here at Zixty, we carried out a survey to find out why people take out temporary car insurance policies. Among the top reasons for taking out a policy, respondents listed special occasions, buying a car, or an emergency situation.

Blue hatchback car with trees and the sun in the background

Zixty: Temporary car insurance with a sustainable twist

When it comes to temporary car insurance policies, there are many providers on the market. You can take your pick. But, at Zixty, we offer something a little more for those of you who drive occasionally but also care about the planet.

Did you know that with a Zixty temporary car insurance policy, you could carbon offset your journeys and even become a carbon-neutral driver? Yup, that’s right!

When you take out an insurance policy through Zixty and opt to enable the free Zixty Miles add-on, you get an EcoScore every time you drive. This score tells you how sustainable your driving is and how you can improve it to become a more eco-conscious driver.

Plus, we’re all about making an impact here and now too. So we also carbon offset your journeys up to 100 miles a day while you’re a customer, and plant a tree every time you take out a policy. How’s that for a sweet green deal?

Temporary car insurance: Is it worth it?

There are a few scenarios that make temporary insurance so worth it. Your bog-standard annual car insurance is nice and all, but you might not be covered if you want to share the driving with your friend in their car.

From test-driving a potential car to picking up a bulky item, sometimes we can’t drive our own cars. And sometimes we don’t even own a car. Whatever the circumstances, temporary car insurance can provide flexible cover quickly and get us on the road in minutes.

Of course, there are circumstances where an annual car insurance policy could make more sense.  For instance, if you’re planning on driving your parents’ car fairly regularly over the year, it might make sense to request to be added as an additional driver on their policy instead. This could work out cheaper than taking out a temporary insurance policy every week.

But, if you know you’ll only be driving your parents’ car a few times a year, you could consider taking out temporary cover on an ad-hoc basis. Depending on how frequently you need to drive, taking out temporary cover only when you need it could work out cheaper than being added as an additional driver on your parents’ policy.