If you’re on the road with “fully comp” insurance, you might think you’re fully covered for the full range of driving possibilities. After all, it is fully comprehensive.
But even if you’ve got fully comprehensive insurance, you can’t assume you’re covered driving another car. This isn’t something that’s automatically included, and in fact — it’s not even offered by many insurance providers.
It can be a complex area, but if you start driving another car (and you aren’t appropriately insured), you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
So, if you’re asking can I drive another car on my insurance, here’s everything you need. We cover “driving other cars” insurance, temporary car insurance, named drivers — and what you need to know to drive someone else’s car.
Can I drive a different car on my insurance?
It’s a common question: am I insured to drive any car on my current policy?
You might assume this is legally allowed if it’s a medical emergency or you’ve got the owner’s permission. But to cut straight to the chase, the answer is probably not.
You usually can’t drive another car on your insurance.
This might be surprising, especially if you’ve assumed your “fully comp” insurance covers, well, a full range of scenarios.
“Driving other cars” (officially known as DOC) isn’t a standard feature of car insurance policies. This is a specific clause in insurance policies that lets you get behind the wheel of other vehicles even if you aren’t a named driver on their policy.
What is “driving other cars” (DOC) insurance?
DOC cover is intended for sudden or emergency situations. For instance, if you need to take a friend or family member to hospital.
This is because DOC insurance typically provides “third-party cover”. Third-party insurance is the minimum level of cover you can get. If you have an accident, it only covers damage to other cars, property and people. You’re still responsible for any damage caused to your vehicle.
Getting a higher level of DOC cover might be possible, but this will come at a premium. Talk to insurance providers, who’ll give more information on cover and costs.
To find out whether you have DOC insurance, check your policy documents. If you’re unsure what your policy does (and doesn’t) cover at any point, get in touch with your insurer. They’ll let you know what you’re covered for, and what add-ons you can get.
If you don’t have DOC cover on your insurance policy, you aren’t covered for driving other cars.
There are things you can do though, like getting added as a named driver on someone else’s insurance or taking out a temporary policy, which we’ll cover in more detail below.
But, simply put, if you drive any car without insurance — you’re breaking the law. This could put you at risk of hefty fines, penalty points on your driving record and driving disqualifications.
Does fully comprehensive cover driving other cars?
If I am fully comprehensive, can I drive another car?
Again, probably not.
The best way of getting DOC cover added to your “fully comp” policy is to speak to your provider. If they offer this, it will come with extra costs, which your insurer will explain.
You’ll probably have to meet additional criteria, which could include:
- You’re over 25 years old
- You don’t have current driving convictions
- You don’t have claims on your insurance policy
- You already have fully comprehensive cover
- The car you’re adding also has fully comprehensive cover
- The car you’re planning to drive must be roadworthy and have a valid MOT
If you need to drive a friend or family member’s car now and again (as opposed to a one-off emergency), it makes sense to look into becoming a named driver on their policy. You could also consider temporary cover.
What insurance allows me to drive other people’s cars?
You still have options if you don’t have (or can’t get) DOC cover on your policy.
There are three main routes:
- Ask the person who owns the car to add you to their insurance policy as a named driver. It’s important you have the same level of cover as they do, letting you drive their vehicle legally.
- Take out a temporary car insurance policy for the car you want to drive. This is usually done online (and takes a matter of minutes), allowing you to get straight on the road. Cover normally lasts between 1 and 28 days.
- Ask the car owner to apply for “any driver car insurance”. This type of insurance allows anyone else to drive their vehicle.
Can anyone drive my car if they are not on my insurance?
We’ve covered the rules for driving someone else’s car. But what if you want to let a friend or family member drive your car? Do the same restrictions apply?
If you’re wondering, can somebody else drive my car? It’s all about the level of cover you have.
Just as you need appropriate insurance to drive any car, someone else will also need the same to drive yours.
To drive your car, another driver must either:
- Have DOC cover.
- Be a named driver on your insurance policy. This is a standard option for family members driving each other’s cars regularly. In this instance, a multi-car policy (i.e. insuring multiple vehicles with the same provider) could help you save money.
- Get temporary insurance before they drive your car.
Alternatively, you can get any driver insurance policy. As the name suggests, this allows anyone to drive your car anytime. There’s no limit to the number of people who can drive your vehicle. As long as your friends and family have your permission to get behind the wheel of your car — they’re insured.
This type of insurance isn’t that common though. As insurers don’t know who’s driving your car, calculating the risks is notoriously tricky. As a result, these policies are pretty expensive. Generally speaking, having a few named drivers on your existing policy is a more cost-efficient way to go.
Can I drive an uninsured car on my “fully comp” insurance?
If you’ve got DOC insurance as part of your fully comp policy, you can drive any other car (with the owner’s permission). In effect, you’re insuring any vehicle you drive.
Be careful here though, as your DOC cover might stipulate the car you’re driving is insured. In this case, you won’t be able to drive an uninsured car. Read your policy carefully and talk to your insurance providers if you’re unsure.
The police could also stop you if they spot you driving an uninsured car. While you are covered if you’ve got appropriate DOC insurance, this isn’t a commonly known area of the law. So to avoid any potential problems, carry a copy of your insurance documents with you.
Of course, once you stop driving the vehicle (for instance, leaving it parked on a public road rather than on private property), it will be uninsured again. This could leave the owner open to prosecution for having an uninsured car on the road.
What are the penalties for driving uninsured?
If caught driving uninsured, you could face profound consequences if the police pull you over.
The penalties will differ depending on the offence and how long you’ve been driving. But they could include:
- Getting 6-8 points on your driving licence.
- A fixed penalty fine of £300. If your case goes to court, this figure could increase.
- You could lose your licence if you’ve only been driving for two years or less. This is the case even if you have a clean licence.
- It will probably increase the cost of future car insurance. Many insurance providers are hesitant about covering motorists with convictions for driving without insurance, as they’re considered “high risk”.
It isn’t just the person driving that suffers consequences from being uninsured. The car owner could also be prosecuted for allowing someone without insurance to drive their vehicle.
Their insurer might also cancel their insurance policy, especially if they have to cover any third-party damage or injury costs. In this instance, insurers could also take legal action against the car owner to recover these costs. This will further impact the owner’s ability to get car insurance in the future as well.
In summary: can you drive another car on your insurance?
It’s vital to know whether you can drive another car before getting behind the wheel of someone else’s vehicle. While most fully comprehensive policies don’t automatically provide DOC cover, you might be able to arrange this with your insurer.
Alternatively, getting listed as a “named driver” on someone else’s policy or taking out temporary cover are two of the best options. The consequences can be severe if you’re caught driving uninsured — both for the driver and the car owner. So it always pays to check your cover and get proper insurance in place.