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Many drivers need to drive someone else’s car from time to time, whether in an emergency situation or if your car is being repaired.

Some drivers assume that they’re covered to drive other people’s cars without double-checking if their insurance allows it. However, this isn’t always the case, so you must check whether you’re insured before getting out on the road. 

At GoShorty, we’ve put together this guide to help you make sure that you’re insured to drive other cars and to keep you out of trouble.

Am I Insured If I Borrow A Car?

A comprehensive car insurance policy might also include driving other cars insurance (DOC). However, this is no longer included as standard by insurers, as this type of cover is only intended for emergency situations.

So, even if you have a comprehensive insurance policy, don’t assume that you also have DOC cover. You must check your insurance documents or speak to your insurer to find out if you do.

Driving Other Cars Insurance (DOC) Explained

Driving other cars insurance covers you when you drive someone else’s car, but the other person must also have their own insurance policy in place. If you have a DOC, then you don’t need to buy temporary cover or be a named driver on the other person’s policy.

Typically, you can only include driving other cars cover as part of a comprehensive car insurance policy. It usually can’t be added to third-party car insurance policies, however, with DOC insurance, you can get third-party coverage when driving another person’s car. 

It should, however, be noted that insurers usually won’t agree to add DOC coverage to your policy if you’re under 25. This is because insurers view younger drivers as high-risk since they have less experience. If you have any criminal convictions or have made claims on your car insurance policy, insurers may be reluctant to give you DOC cover in this instance as well.

Remember, DOC cover isn’t usually automatically included in comprehensive car insurance policies, so double-check you have it before you drive someone else’s car.

Can I Drive Someone Else’s Car If I Don’t Have DOC Cover?

If you don’t have DOC cover, there are other ways to be insured so that you can drive someone else’s car. If you’re planning to drive a family member or friend’s car regularly, you can ask to be added to their policy as a named driver.

You could also take out temporary car insurance, which is a great idea if you’re driving someone else’s car as a one-off.

How Can I Tell If I Have DOC Cover?

If you’re unsure whether or not you have DOC cover, check your insurance documents. If you can’t find them or they’re hard to understand, get in contact with your insurance provider for advice.

Unless you specifically asked to have DOC cover included when you took out your car insurance policy, it’s unlikely that you have it.

Does DOC Insurance Cover Me To Drive My Second Car?

DOC doesn’t usually cover a second car that you own. It is designed for emergency situations where you have to drive someone else’s car and doesn’t extend to your second car or any other cars you may own.

If you own more than one car, your other cars will need to be separately insured.

Is It Best To Get Temporary Car Insurance Instead?

Temporary car insurance is ideal if you’re going to be driving someone else’s car for a short period of time. At GoShorty, we offer fully comprehensive temporary car insurance policies to drivers aged 18 to 75.

Your temporary insurance policy from GoShorty is designed to give you maximum flexibility. Our policies start with one hour of coverage and go up to 28 days. We also offer some of the lowest excesses around for temporary car insurance policies.

Discover our guide for information on how you will be covered whilst taking out temporary car insurance – What does temporary car insurance cover?

Do I Need My Own Car Insurance Policy?

In the UK, it’s illegal to drive a car without a valid insurance policy in place, so it’s absolutely vital that you make sure your own insurance policy covers you for the car that you’re driving.

If you drive someone else’s car and you don’t have DOC cover, temporary cover or are not a named driver, you won’t be insured to drive that car.

Always bear in mind that drivers, not cars, are insured. So, even if the car owner has an insurance policy for their car, every driver that uses the car must be insured.

However, there are certain times when you don’t need to arrange for your own insurance policy. For example, driving a professional driving instructor’s car during a lesson or driving a hire car won’t usually require you to take out insurance. This is because the insurance cover will be included in the cost of the driving lesson or hire.

What’s Third-Party Cover?

So, you’re aware that you can’t add DOC cover to a third-party policy. You’re also aware that DOC insurance usually only gives you third-party coverage on other cars. 

But what does third-party insurance actually cover? The answer depends on which type of third-party cover you have.

There are two types of third-party cover. The most basic one is called third-party only and covers you for any damage you cause to someone else’s car or property in the event of an accident. It also covers you if you cause any injuries to someone else.

However, it doesn’t cover you for any damage caused to your own car during an accident. Depending on your policy, it may cover you for injuries to passengers in your own car, but it won’t cover you for any injuries to yourself.

The second type of third-party insurance is called third-party, fire, and theft. This type of insurance also covers you for damage caused to other people’s cars and property, as well as injuries to other people. Plus, it covers you if your car is damaged in a fire or gets stolen.

Most people who take out third-party cover do it because they assume that it will be cheaper than comprehensive cover; however, this is not necessarily the case.

For experienced drivers with good driving histories, the comprehensive cover tends to be the same price or even cheaper than the third-party cover. So, it’s usually best to opt for comprehensive cover, as it’s unlikely to cost more and will give you the maximum amount of coverage.

Are Other People Insured To Drive My Car?

If you plan to let other people drive your car, they will need to be insured to do so. They will either need to have DOC coverage, a temporary insurance policy, or to be added onto your own policy as a named driver.

It’s also possible to take out an ‘any driver’ insurance policy. This means that anyone is insured to drive your car. These types of policies are useful for businesses where several people might need to drive the same car on a regular basis.

However, it’s relatively rare for insurers to offer this kind of policy, and they tend to be very expensive. It’s generally not worth taking out one of these policies unless it’s for business purposes.


What happens if I’m in an accident whilst driving someone else’s car?

If you’re in an accident whilst driving someone else’s car, how you’re covered will depend on the type of insurance coverage you have in place. 

If the accident is the third party’s fault, their policy will cover any damage to the vehicle you’re driving and cover any injuries to you or your passengers.

If the accident is your fault, the policy you have in place will at least cover any damage or injuries caused to the third party.

What’s the penalty for driving without insurance in the UK?

If you’re caught driving without insurance in the UK, you will most likely receive a £300 fine and six penalty points on your licence. If you have to go to court, you may be banned from driving and receive an unlimited fine.

How can the police tell if a car is uninsured?

The police in the UK use Automatic Number-plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to catch uninsured drivers. When a car passes an ANPR camera, its number plate is read automatically and checked against the records of the Motor Insurance Database.

The police can then identify whether a driver is insured or not.

Find Temporary Car Insurance With GoShorty

Having the right kind of car insurance is important to guarantee your safety whilst on the road. For more information about temporary car insurance, check out our website where you can receive a quote in minutes. 

You’ll also find plenty of useful information like how to get insured on someone else’s car and adding temporary drivers to your car insurance in our blog.