Have you ever wondered, “can you drive any car with comprehensive insurance?” If so – this guide is for you. Years ago, many fully comprehensive car insurance policies automatically granted third-party cover to drive someone else’s car. Unfortunately, times have changed.
Nowadays, being able to drive other vehicles on your comprehensive insurance policy is not typically something that’s included. In fact, not all insurers provide this as an option.
For this reason, never assume that you’ll be insured to drive another vehicle – that quick spin in your friend’s car may actually be illegal, so be sure to check beforehand! To find out more about driving other cars (DOC) cover, read along as we answer your questions.
Can I Drive Other People’s Cars On My Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy?
Probably not. There was a time when driving other cars (DOC) was a standard part of a comprehensive insurance policy, granting the policyholder cover to drive someone else’s vehicle. Needless to say, they would have also needed permission from the car owner.
However, these days, DOC isn’t usually included – even if your policy is fully comprehensive. Likely, your own insurance won’t offer any cover if you drive another car.
If you’re unsure what cover your vehicle insurance does and doesn’t provide, always check your policy documents – this should tell you if you have DOC cover. Alternatively, you could contact your insurance provider to confirm what you’re covered for.
Can I drive someone else’s car if I don’t have my own car insurance policy?
It’s vital to know that only car insurance policyholders can drive a car. If you haven’t got your own car insurance, either as a named driver on someone else’s car or as the main driver on your own vehicle, you won’t be legally covered to drive.
Keep in mind that it’s the driver who is insured, not the vehicle. So, although the owner may have insurance for the car, each driver will need to have their own policies. This could be temporary cover, driving other cars cover, or as a named driver.
What Does Driving Other Cars Cover Mean?
Driving other cars insurance is a clause that allows the policyholder to drive another person’s vehicle without needing to be a named driver.
If this clause isn’t included in your policy, you won’t be covered to drive other vehicles, even if it’s fully comprehensive cover.
What Is The Difference Between Driving Other Cars’ Cover And Adding A Temporary Driver?
DOC, or driving other cars cover, is for emergencies such as if a family member or friend has an accident or falls ill and you need to drive them to a hospital. DOC is third-party only, which is the lowest cover level available.
If you’re involved in an accident, the policy will provide cover for damage sustained to the other vehicle. Any damage caused to the vehicle you’re driving would need to be covered by you.
On the other hand, adding temporary cover for the driver provides longer and higher level coverage than DOC cover, which is meant for infrequent or occasional events.
For example, if your child is visiting from university, temporary student car insurance or young driver temporary car insurance would allow them to use your car while they’re staying with you. They wouldn’t be able to do this with DOC cover.
What Cover Level Will I Have If I’m Insured To Drive Someone Else’s Car?
This depends on your policy, so read the small print carefully. If you do have cover, it’s usually third party only, and this will be stated on your insurance certificate.
Third-party car insurance means that if you have an accident with another vehicle and you’re at fault, only the damage caused to the other car will be covered.
You’ll be liable for the damage caused to the car you’re driving, and you also won’t be covered if the vehicle is stolen or sustains fire damage. It’s possible to have a higher level of “driving other cars” cover; if you’re eligible, it will be stated in your insurance policy documents.
How Can I Get Insurance Cover to Drive Someone Else’s Car?
You can get cover that allows you to use someone else’s car by adding your name to the car owner’s insurance policy or taking out short-term insurance. You could even apply for hourly car insurance if you’re only getting insured on someone else’s car for a short period.
Driving other cars (DOC) cover is only designed for sudden, unexpected situations, so if you need to borrow someone else’s car now and then, you can ask them to add you to their policy. This means you’ll have the same cover level as the policyholder.
Remember that the main driver registered on the policy must be the person that uses the car the most. As a named driver, you should only drive the vehicle occasionally.
Beware of “fronting”, though. This is when an experienced driver insures the car in their name, but a younger driver uses it the most. This is usually to reduce the younger driver’s premium, but this practice is illegal, and you could end up invalidating your policy.
Another thing to remember is that you won’t be able to build up a no-claims bonus if you’re a named driver or taking out temporary cover.
What Is A Short Term Car Insurance Policy?
Short-term covers you to drive a vehicle from 1 hour to 28 days. This is a good solution if you have to borrow a friend or family member’s car for a short period. It’s also a good idea if you have family or friends visiting and they need to use your car during their stay.
What Happens If I Drive Someone Else’s Car Without The Right Insurance Policy?
It’s a criminal offence to drive a car without the correct insurance. If the vehicle is insured, but you don’t have the right cover to drive it, you’ll get 6-8 points on your license and a fixed penalty charge of £300 for being uninsured.
This will then increase the cost of your insurance premium. However, you may find it hard to get a quote anyway: many providers won’t cover drivers with a conviction as it would make them far too high risk.
If you go to court and are found guilty, you’ll be given an unlimited fine and disqualified from driving.
Can I drive my partner’s car?
As we’ve discussed, DOC cover isn’t normally included in the policy these days, even if it’s fully comprehensive car insurance. Unless your insurance policy states otherwise, you will only be able to use your partner’s car if you’re the named driver, your partner has ‘any driver’ cover, or you’ve taken out temporary car insurance.
If you know you’ll need to drive your spouse’s car, temporary monthly car insurance may be useful.
Can I get insurance that allows anyone to drive my car?
An “any driver” policy means that anyone can drive your vehicle. No maximum number of people can drive your car, so anyone with your permission will be insured to drive it.
This form of car insurance is not very common because most people only have one or two named drivers that they add to their policy. Another reason for it being uncommon is because it can be rather expensive.
This is because the insurance company won’t know who is driving your car at any one time. They won’t know the person’s driving history or experience, which makes calculating the risk of a claim being made almost impossible.
Can I drive someone else’s car in an emergency?
No, even if there’s an emergency, the usual rules will still apply. You’ll only be able to drive other cars if there’s a DOC clause in your own insurance policy, you’re a named driver for that particular car, or you’ve taken out temporary insurance to drive the vehicle.
Can I drive a van with DOC cover?
DOC cover isn’t usually granted for driving vans. This is because the definition of a van varies wildly – it could be more like a lorry than a car. It’s also because there’s a risk of the driver switching from personal to commercial use.
This would warrant a completely different type of policy as DOC cover isn’t designed for commercial use.
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