Skip to main content

Quick disclaimer: Hey you! If you’re here because you need emergency car insurance right now, we’ve got you sorted! We can get you insured and back on the road in minutes. Yup, for real! Just download our app right here to get started. 

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s dig into what emergency car insurance is and why you might need a temporary policy in a pinch.

We get it, usually, car insurance is something you arrange once a year. You look up renewal quotes when renewal time comes around, take out a policy that works for you, and then forget all about it for another twelve months or so. Unless something changes because then you’d have to tell your insurer (duh).

But, temporary car insurance is a little different. It’s only meant to last a short period as the name implies. So what is it all about?

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

What is emergency car insurance?

Emergency car insurance is a colloquial term for temporary car insurance. Some people call it short term car insurance, day car insurance, or instant car insurance,  but it’s all the same thing.

It’s a car insurance policy designed to last anywhere between an hour and a few weeks, and it can usually be arranged fairly quickly. Here at Zixty, for instance, you can get a policy in just a few minutes by using our app.

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

What is an “emergency” in the context of temporary car insurance?

Temporary, or emergency car insurance, is designed to help you in a pinch. A “typical” emergency where you might need to arrange a temporary car insurance policy could look something like this:

You and your boyfriend are driving to your best friend’s wedding in his car. You’re not insured to drive it. Halfway through the journey, he gets a raging headache and needs to pull over. He thinks he’ll be just fine if he can have a paracetamol and close his eyes for the rest of the journey.

You hop on the Zixty app, fill out a few quick details about yourself, scan your licence, and  bish-bash-bosh, you’re back on the road in mere minutes.

There are all sorts of situations like that in life where you need to take the wheel fast (literally) to avoid delays or getting stranded.

An emergency is a pretty broad term when it comes to temporary car insurance. Is your friend getting a little sleepy behind the wheel? Are they genuinely feeling ill? Did they “accidentally” have wine at dinner making it impossible for them to drive home safely and legally?

As long as they give you permission to drive their car, you can usually get a temporary car insurance policy and get back on the road in minutes.

Let’s look into a few other “emergencies” where you might need temporary car insurance.

Your car just broke down.

Have an important job interview to attend? Too bad. Your car has decided to take the day off. It just won’t start. You know how it goes; everything that can go wrong will go wrong and, usually, at the worst possible time.

But, temporary car insurance could save the day here. If a friend or relative who lives nearby is willing to let you borrow their car, you could get to your interview in time. All you’d need is a temporary car insurance policy. Sorted.

Your car’s been stolen.

If you thought a car breakdown was bad, you’ve probably never experienced the pure horror that comes with realising your car’s just…gone missing. Or, stripped of parts…

And while having your car stolen is a special kind of nightmare we hope you never have to experience, temporary car insurance could be helpful here too.

How? Simply borrow your mum’s car to get to important appointment while your car’s missing. A temporary car insurance policy can last as little as an hour, so you’ll literally only be paying for the cover you use.

They’ve just announced train strikes. Again.

Train strikes… they’re just a part of life now, aren’t they? But they can still be a major inconvenience. If you live within walking distance from a train station, you might not even need to drive during the week.

But, if train strikes are announced, it means your journeys will likely be disrupted. As in, you won’t even be able to get to work. And if #wfh isn’t an option, you’ll probably still have to make your way there somehow.

Luckily, if you know someone who’s willing to let you borrow their car for the day, all you’ll need is temporary car insurance to get you to work. Zixty’s temporary car insurance policy covers personal business use, so you’ll have no trouble commuting to your place of work or even taking meetings with clients at different work sites.

Blue hatchback car with trees and the sun in the background

Can’t I just use the Driving Other Cars (DOC) extension on my own policy?

The short answer here is a very dubious maaaaaaybe. But you should really triple-check your policy wording if you’re planning on using the DOC extension to drive in an emergency.

We only say that because people assume that a fully comprehensive policy automatically means they’ve got the DOC extension as standard. But that’s not really the case. Many policies no longer include it. In fact, one comparison site found that 93% of the comprehensive policies on the site did not have DOC as standard.

And for those of you who do have the DOC extension on your policy, what you’ll usually find is that it only covers you in very specific circumstances and it’s generally third-party insurance only. Basically, while a DOC extension can be a handy feature in certain, very limited circumstances, it’s not a carte blanche to borrow anyone’s car for just any reason.

Blue car with trees and the sun in the background

How quickly can I get emergency car insurance?

Emergency car insurance is designed to be flexible and quick to organise too. Here at Zixty, we could get you back on the road in minutes with our app-based car insurance policy.

So the answer to the question “how quickly can I get emergency car insurance” is pretty quickly. As in, the Starbucks coffee you bought while you were filling out your details on our app will probably be too hot to drink still. Your boyfriend’s paracetamol will definitely not have kicked in yet.

Emergency car insurance is just that; a policy designed to help you out in a pinch and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

And with Zixty, you get lots of extra features too. We have an optional breakdown cover add-on, the Excess Protect add-on that’ll allow you to cover part of your excess and… Zixty Miles.

Zixty Miles is a free, optional feature that you can choose to enable. If you do so, we’ll plant a tree every time you take out a policy with us. And we’ll also carbon offset your journeys up to 100 miles a day each day while you’re a customer. Why shouldn’t emergencies have a silver lining, right?

The point is, just because emergency car insurance is there to help you in an emergency   doesn’t mean it’s a “no frills” policy. We like to think we’re the full package anyway.