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Driving Other Cars cover (DOC) is an insurance feature that allows you to hop behind the wheel of someone else’s ride even if you’re not named on the insurance policy for that car. But, before you go thinking it’s all fun and games, DOC coverage has some serious restrictions.

For instance, DOC is really only designed to be used in a genuine emergency. It’s not there to replace short term car insurance, for example.

Also, the DOC extension pretty much always comes with a slew of restrictions and caveats, if it’s included as part of your comprehensive policy at all. It often isn’t, despite what you might think.

But don’t panic! We’re here to demystify just what Driving Other Cars means for you. Let’s dive in.

What exactly is DOC all about?

DOC stands for Driving Other Cars, and it’s a feature on some car insurance policies that allows you to legally drive someone else’s car in an emergency situation.

But before you go thinking “sweet, this means I can borrow my friend’s convertible for a road trip,” throw that idea out the window.

DOC is not meant to be used as ad hoc cover – there usually needs to be a genuine reason why you can’t use your insured car.

And don’t even think about driving without the car owner’s permission, because DOC usually requires both their consent and yours in order to be valid.

Also, it’s possible there might be limitations depending on your relationship with the person whose car you’re trying to borrow. For instance, some DOC policies don’t allow you to drive your partner’s car.

Bottom line: DOC can be a great option in a genuine emergency when the normal driver can’t drive. But it’s not really designed for taking turns on a long drive, for instance. That’s where day car insurance like Zixty comes in.

Do I need my own insurance to use DOC?

You need your own car insurance to use DOC, but having your own insurance doesn’t mean you’re covered to drive other cars necessarily.

Before you borrow someone else’s car, double-check your own policy to see if DOC is included, and make sure the car you want to drive has its own coverage too.

DOC used to be all the rage, but since people abused it left and right, it’s not always included in policies anymore.

So before you try to hop in your mate’s car, make sure your policy actually has the benefit and make sure you know how it works.

If it doesn’t – time to call an Uber. Or maybe take out Zixty’s temporary car insurance, because it might just work out cheaper and cover you for what you intend to do.

Can I use Driving Other Cars to drive someone else’s car?

DOC is not a free pass to drive anyone’s car whenever you want. DOC usually applies in an emergency when your friend can’t drive their car, but it’s not meant for convenient joyrides in your friend’s sweet ride.

Basically,  if you want to borrow a car for the day and cruise around town, don’t count on DOC to have your back.

Play it safe and make sure you’re covered with the proper insurance for non-emergency car use. Like Zixty’s temporary car insurance, for example.

What’s the difference between Temporary Car insurance and DOC?

Say you’re in a pinch and need to borrow bae’s car. But to do that, you’ll need some short term car insurance. You may be able to get yourself added to their policy, but this can be fiddly and might not be too attractive price-wise. And, if you have to make a claim while driving their car, it could cost them in lost NCD. That’s right – not DOC, but temporary car insurance, could be what you’re looking for.

People often conflate the two, but they’re very different and serve different purposes.

For one thing, short term car insurance often comes with cover similar to what you would get with a comprehensive policy while DOC usually only gives you basic third-party coverage.

DOC isn’t really designed for your quick wine run to Tesco. It’s meant to cover you in a genuine emergency. You might consider running out of wine an emergency, but your insurer might not see it that way.

DOC is more of an add-on that’s been designed with emergencies in mind. You can really only use it in very specific circumstances.

Also, to use DOC, you must have a car that you own and insure. The insurance might include DOC. Don’t assume it does, though.

Temporary car insurance is totally different. You don’t need to own a car, you don’t need to have insurance, and you don’t need to use it only in an emergency.

Bottom line: As long as you have temporary car insurance, you can borrow your bae’s car to do the wine run.

Bonus points, temporary car insurance usually includes overseas cover, although this may be limited to the minimum required by law where you’re visiting and there might be some geographic restrictions. With DOC, tough luck, you’re very unlikely to be covered abroad.

Also, temporary car insurance can often be tailored to include breakdown cover which means you’re covered if the car breaks down. But that’s unlikely to be the case with a car driven under DOC. You should probably check with the owner of the car to understand whether their breakdown cover would apply if you drive it under DOC.

You’re probably getting the gist of it by now. DOC is a very limited form of cover that only really applies in specific circumstances. Temporary car insurance tends to offer a lot more in terms of coverage and it’s much more flexible.

Driving Other Cars (DOC): An Overview

Ah, DOC. That golden ticket to borrowing your friend’s extra car when yours is in the shop. Oh, wait, no, that’s not right at all.

DOC is a clause that is sometimes found in car insurance policies that allows you to drive other vehicles with permission from the owner, but there are some major catches. For instance, DOC is really only designed to be used in a genuine emergency.

And DOC also usually only provides third-party insurance. So if you damage your mate’s car, you’re out of luck and might be on the hook for all costs.

In most cases, have a look into temporary car insurance. This type of coverage is designed to be purchased for a set amount of time and provides insurance that is similar to comprehensive cover.

DOC might seem like an easy solution, but it’s rarely used appropriately because people misunderstand it.