Allowing someone else to drive your car without proper insurance can land you in a lot of trouble. It is illegal for anyone else to drive your car unless you enlist them as a named driver to your insurance or get them to take out either short term car insurance, learner insurance, or Driving Other Cars (DOC) insurance.
Some people think that having fully comprehensive car insurance means they’re fully covered for everything. Don’t take the title too literally! Fully comprehensive cover has a lot of limitations, and the inability to permit others to take the wheel is one of them.
Even with expensive insurance, the terms of your policy may not even permit you to drive someone else’s car.
So, what are the legal implications of allowing someone else to drive your car, and what is required to do it legally?
Can someone drive my car?
Standard car insurance does not permit you to let someone else drive your car. Although fully comprehensive car insurance does cover you broadly, one thing it doesn’t cover is letting someone else drive your car.
Not only is it illegal to allow someone else to drive your car without proper insurance, but it will also render your insurance policy invalid.
Unless someone is listed as a ‘named driver’, or has taken out insurance that otherwise permits them to drive your car, you should not let anyone take the wheel besides yourself!
Does my insurance policy allow someone else to drive?
The only way your insurance may allow someone else to drive your car is if they have a fully comprehensive policy with DOC. Sometimes, these policies include Driving Other Cars cover, but this has become rare in recent years.
No third-party insurance or third-party fire and theft policy permits other people to drive your car.
Am I allowed to drive someone else’s car?
You cannot take the wheel of someone else’s car unless you are properly insured to do so. Just as you cannot permit anyone to drive your own car uninsured, you cannot drive someone else’s car without DOC or temporary insurance.
How can someone legally drive my car?
Allowing someone else to drive your car cannot be done without the proper insurance policy cover.
There are several insurance policies that can permit a family member, partner or friend to drive your car, including getting them to take out either DOC, temporary, or learner driver insurance, or by listing them as a ‘named driver’ on your car insurance.
Similarly, you could also drive someone else’s car by doing any one of the above things.
Driving other cars insurance
Driving Other Cars cover permits someone to drive a car that doesn’t belong to them in an emergency. This means that should you pass out at the wheel or otherwise be unable to drive safely, a DOC driver could legally take over the wheel and drive your car to safety.
This type of add-on cannot be used to commute or drive leisurely. Nor can it be taken out by individuals who own more than one car with the intent of using it to avoid taking out an insurance policy for their second car.
If caught doing either, a DOC driver will be punished the same as anyone else driving without proper insurance.
How do you get Driving Other Cars insurance?
DOC cover once came as part of most fully comprehensive car insurance premiums, but this is no longer the case. Now, DOC cover is mostly an add-on option when taking out car insurance. It only provides third-party cover, meaning that if they were to have an accident while driving, they would be fully liable to cover the cost of damages to the car.
Requirements for Driving Other Cars insurance
There are stringent requirements that must be met to take out the Driving Other Cars cover. Like with any policy, the insurance company will review the background of the applicant and judge whether they should be allowed DOC insurance. These requirements include:
- The person cannot work or be associated with the motor trade business
- The person cannot be under the age of 25
- Have fully comprehensive insurance – DOC is not available on any other insurance types
Listing someone as a named driver on your insurance policy gives the other person a little more liberty when it comes to driving your car – not just in emergencies. A named driver is permitted to use your car occasionally when you’re not using it. They could use it to run errands or occasionally commute.
They cannot, however, use it daily or more regularly than you, the main driver. If you don’t remain the predominant user of the vehicle, your car insurance policy may be rendered invalid.
Not only does this allow the named driver to drive your car as they please, but it also provides them with the same level of cover that the premium grants you. For example, if your policy grants you fully comprehensive cover, then the named driver who uses your car will also receive this insurance level.
You can select anyone as your named driver, including family members, your partner, and friends. Some car insurance premiums only permit one named driver per vehicle, while others tend to permit around four.
How to add a named driver to your car insurance?
To add a named driver to your car insurance policy, you’ll need to contact your insurance company and provide details about the additional driver. Just like with any insurance policy, the company will then review the named driver’s background information and either accept or reject this addition to your car insurance policy.
Does a named driver need a separate insurance policy?
No, a named driver doesn’t need another insurance policy on top of being a named driver. They are only a secondary driver of the vehicle, so they don’t need to worry about taking out their own policy for the car.
Who is to blame if a named driver crashes?
If the named driver is involved in an accident, then the main driver suffers the consequences. Although the main driver was not responsible for the crash, the crash still occurred in your vehicle. You took out the insurance policy, so you are completely responsible for anything that occurs to the car.
This is the biggest drawback of permitting named drivers, as if they need to make a claim, you lose your no-claims bonus.
Temporary car insurance
Temporary car insurance permits someone else to drive your car freely for a period of up to 28 days. The other driver can use your car for whatever they wish, whether it be a small trip or a couple of days worth of commuting, as long as it falls within the timeframe agreed. There is generally no limit to how much the other driver can use your car within the period.
How do you get temporary cover?
Temporary cover can be arranged easily with your insurance provider and can even be limited to just one hour temporary insurance. It’s also possible to top up on days once the initial period has ended. For that reason, temporary cover is definitely the most flexible way to allow someone else to drive your car. Weekly temporary car insurance is also available.
What is temporary car insurance normally used for?
Temporary car insurance is used for a variety of things, including:
- Test driving a car
- To make driving long distance easier (a passenger with short term insurance can take over when you get tired)
- Delivering or collecting a vehicle
- To allow visiting friends or family to drive freely without their own car
Learner driver insurance
Learner driver insurance, as the name implies, is only suitable for learner drivers. If you have a family member or friend that is learning to drive that doesn’t have their own car, then they can take out learner driver insurance to use your car.
They can also take the car out on the road for practice, as long as they are supervised by anyone over the age of 25 who has a full driver’s licence and 3 years’ worth of driving experience.
When it comes to sitting their driving test, as long as the learner driver insurance is still valid, it can be used for the practical examination. If the driver passes, the learner driver insurance will be valid for 3 hours, regardless of the amount of time the insurance policy previously had left.
These 3 hours are meant for the learner driver to drive the car home safely and return it to you.
How do you get learner driver insurance?
Sometimes referred to as provisional car insurance, learner driver insurance can be taken out as either short term insurance or long term, from one hour to 90 days. During this period, the learner driver can use your car for driving lessons, going on short (supervised) drives, and sitting their test.
What happens when you are caught driving someone else’s car?
If uninsured and you are caught driving someone else’s car, or if you are pulled over while someone else is driving your car, you will face the consequences of driving uninsured. This could result in a fine of £300 and 6 to 8 penalty points added to your driver’s license.
It doesn’t matter if you have fully comprehensive insurance for another car; you will be treated as if you have no insurance policy at all.
In worst-case scenarios, such as if an uninsured driver crashes while driving your car, you and the driver will go to court, and both of you could have your licenses revoked. You will also likely be charged an unlimited fine.
It is your responsibility to stop other people from driving your car. If you know that someone is driving your car and they aren’t properly insured, both you and the uninsured driver will face consequences.
Use GoShorty to let someone else drive your car
If you want to allow someone else to drive your car, get properly insured with GoShorty! We specialise in temporary car insurance, temporary van insurance, and learner driver insurance.
We offer daily temporary car insurance, as well as hourly, weekly, and even monthly premiums. We can also provide providing specialised cover for drivers under 21 and temporary cover for students. For learner drivers, we provide insurance per day, week, or month, which provides plenty of time to perfect motor skills!
Get a temporary car insurance quote from us today and see how easy it can be to allow someone else to drive your car!