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Picture this: You’ve planned a fun hiking weekend in the Peak District. You’ve booked the pub with the big, roaring fire, you’ve dug out your hiking boots from the back of the closet, and you’ve even done a few walks in the local park to prep for the trek.

Then, your car breaks down. There’s no way it’ll be fixed in time to set off. Disaster. You’re pretty sure your booking is non-refundable. But wait!

Your friend comes to the rescue and offers to let you borrow their car. You still need insurance to drive it though. So what do you do?

You take out short term car insurance, that’s what.

This type of insurance gives you coverage for a set period of time, ranging from just a few hours to a few weeks. It can come in handy if you’re borrowing a car, or even if you’re test-driving a new potential purchase.

But don’t think short term coverage means skimping on quality – these policies give you solid cover, though there are differences, and you need to know what they are before parting with your cash.

When can you use short term car insurance?

Short term car insurance is a great option if you have a licence but don’t have a car yet. Or, if you have both, but need to borrow someone else’s car for whatever reason.

What might that look like in real life? There are all sorts of scenarios where you might choose short term car insurance.

Borrowing a friend’s car for a road trip? Test-driving that dream car before making a big purchase? Just bought a new ride and need some coverage until your annual policy kicks in? Need your uncle’s estate to move your stuff to your new pad? Short term car insurance has got you covered.

It’s flexible, easy to arrange, and can last just a few hours – allowing you to hit the open road without any stress or worry.

Check out our article comparing the difference between annual car insurance and short term car insurance here.

Do you need an insurance policy in place to use short term car insurance?

One of the best things about taking out a short term insurance policy is that you don’t generally need to have a car or annual insurance in place to do so. Short term insurance like Zixty is designed to cover you in those times when it just doesn’t make sense to take out an annual policy.

Buying a car? Don’t stress. You don’t need to arrange annual car insurance immediately if you don’t have time to shop around. Just download the Zixty app and take out insurance with us to get your car home safely and legally.

Borrowing a car? No worries. As long as the owner is happy to lend it to you, you’re fine. But definitely ask for permission. Borrowing a car without permission is also known as stealing, unless your name’s Jack Sparrow and you’re a pirate, in which case you’re fine and the rules don’t apply to you.

Sharing a car? Be our guest. It shouldn’t be all on your BFF to drive 5 hours straight just because they own the car. Do your part by taking out temporary car insurance and split the drive with them.

Is temporary car insurance expensive?

You may be wondering whether temporary car insurance is more expensive than other types of policies. And if you were to look at the total price for an annual policy and compare it to temporary car insurance for the same duration, you may find that an annual policy is much cheaper.

But the question is, would you take out temporary car insurance instead of annual car insurance? Probably not, as the two policies have very different purposes.

Your annual car insurance will likely insure you and your own car for the whole year. Temporary car insurance insures you to drive other people’s cars in a pinch. It also works to insure a new car that you’ve just bought while you’re looking for annual insurance.

Temporary car insurance is super flexible, so you only pay insurance when you need it. If you’re planning on borrowing your parents’ car a couple of times a month, it might make more sense and may work out cheaper to take out temporary car insurance than to get added as a driver on their policy, but you’ll need to do the maths.

At Zixty, you can get temporary car insurance starting from just £11.71 for the day.

What requirements do you have to meet to take out short term car insurance with Zixty?

So you’re in need of some short term insurance, but you don’t know where to look? Well, you’re in luck, because that’s what we do here at Zixty.

But wait, before you download our app, ensure you meet all our main requirements first.

You need to be between 19 and 75 years young, have a valid UK driver’s licence that’s been held for at least 6 months, not have had any driving bans in the last five years, and have no more than six points on your licence.

You also need to have been a UK resident for at least 12 months and have no more than two claims in the last three years.

What requirements does the car have to meet for temporary car insurance with Zixty?

We insure a broad range of cars here at Zixty, but there are still some requirements the vehicle will need to meet.

For example, it’ll need to have a valid MOT, not be modified, and not be a rental or hire car.

What are some circumstances when short term car insurance won’t be the right product for you?

Short term car insurance won’t always be the right product for you. For example, here at Zixty, we can’t offer short term car insurance to get your SORN-ed car to an MOT appointment, or back from the police pound.

Our car insurance also isn’t available if you’re learning to drive. You’ll need to have had your full UK licence for at least 6 months before you take out insurance with us.

We have a detailed article covering several scenarios when it might make sense to take out short term car insurance, and a few scenarios where it won’t suit your needs. Check it out.

What happens if the police stop you for not having insurance?

Like all insurers, we’re required to declare your insurance policy to the Motor Insurance Database. Once we do this, it can take a couple of days for the MID database to update (this is true for every insurer in the UK). If the MID sounds more like a government department or a Will Smith film, why not check out our guide to AskMID.

If the police pull you over for being uninsured, you’ll be able to access your insurance documentation via your phone.

Our app stores all the information regarding your car insurance, so if the police pull you over and ask for proof of insurance, simply whip out your phone and show them the details stored in your app.

This should hopefully satisfy any queries the police have.

Sometimes, you may be asked to go to the police station anyway. That is something that could happen regardless of your insurer though, and it’s down to the police officer to determine.

What is short term car insurance: An overview

Short term car insurance is a type of temporary coverage that lasts for a shorter period of time compared to traditional car insurance. It still offers a similar level of cover to your typical annual policy though.

This might come in handy if you’re borrowing a friend’s car for a road trip, for example. It’s also helpful if you’re just not ready to commit to long-term insurance coverage for your new set of wheels and need time to shop around.

Short term policies usually have flexible options for coverage length – anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks – so you can have peace of mind knowing you’re protected on the road without having to sign your life away on an annual contract before you’ve found the perfect deal.