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Can you drive someone else’s car on your insurance?

  • 3, Aug 2020
  • Read time: 5 mins
When are you allowed to drive someone else’s car, and just as importantly, when is someone allowed to drive yours? Say, you’re out with friends for the evening when the designated driver asks you to be the taxi service instead. They insist that you’re road legal because they will be in the car with you. Do you take the car keys and get behind the wheel?

Person with car keys in hand.

How do I check to see if I'm allowed to drive another car?

If you're not already added as a 'named driver' on their policy, then another way to find out whether you’re covered to drive another person’s car is to check your car insurance policy wording. This was sent to you when you took out your cover. As well as going into detail it includes an overview or summary of your cover. Having agreed to the conditions of the policy when you took out the insurance, it’s always worth going back over the document wording to ensure you are always fully aware of your legal entitlement.

Your policy document will list what you are covered for. For example:

What's covered

  • Accidental Damage
  • Vandalism
  • Malicious Damage
  • Personal Accident up to £5,000
  • Personal Belongings up to £250
  • Temporary Hire Car when using our Recommended Repairer
  • Third Party Property Damage up to £20 million
  • Theft or Attempted Theft of Vehicle
  • Theft of Contents
  • Unlimited Third Party Personal Injury
  • Fire
  • Windscreen Replacement and Repair
  • Replacement Locks up to £1,000.

What is not covered

  • Cover will not apply if the car is being used for a purpose or being driven by a person not covered by the policy
  • Cover will not apply while driving under the influence of drink or drugs, or failing to provide a specimen
  • Damage caused by mechanical, electrical, electronic or computer breakdowns, breakages or failures. (This may be covered by your breakdown cover.)

Car insurance falls into three main types:

  • Third party
  • Third party, fire and theft
  • Comprehensive

Third party covers you in the event of an accident for any damage caused to someone else's car or property; not your own. With third party cover you will have to pay for any damage out of your own pocket. Third party, fire and theft also covers you for damage to your car as a result of fire or theft.

Comprehensive cover (or fully comp) provides cover for damage to your vehicle, and the third party’s car or property. Comprehensive may also cover you for personal injury, personal belongings, windscreen damage or emergency assistance. It is the fullest cover available.

This is a snapshot of what these different types of car insurance offer. It would be wrong to assume, however, that because you have the fullest level of cover available (fully comp) you’re entitled to drive someone else’s car.

Don't assume comprehensive means 'everything'

It was once common for comprehensive cover to allow policyholders to drive another person’s car, but on a third party basis only.

Today, the situation is more complex. At MORE THAN we don’t insure anyone under the age of 25 to drive another person’s car. Plus, our comprehensive cover does not automatically cover you to drive another person’s car, regardless of age. It is possible, but this will depend on a variety of factors, including your occupation, and usually the cover is for emergency purposes only.

What is DOC cover?

There are certain types of cover that legally allow you to drive someone else’s car, while not being a named driver. You might have heard of one such allowance called DOC cover (Driving Other Cars).

This is usually intended for emergency use only. Of course, we can't speak for other insurers, but at MORE THAN we provide DOC cover subject to age and occupation. While we don't charge for DOC, you will need to check your policy documents to see if you have the cover.

Can I drive someone else’s car in an emergency?

With MORE THAN it may be possible for the policyholder to drive someone else’s car in an emergency, but only with the owner’s permission. Always check your policy documents for cover details. With DOC (Driving Other Cars) the level of cover is third party only.

Should you have an accident damaging the car you’re driving in an emergency, third party will not cover you for any damage to the car. It will cover you for damage to a third party’s car or property. Repairs to the vehicle you’re driving may come out of your friend’s pocket.

How can I regularly drive someone else car?

If you drive another vehicle regularly then you should ensure you are added as a named driver on their policy. This may have an effect on their premium at the quote stage, mid-term or when they come to renew. However, you will be awarded the same level of cover as the policyholder.

It’s quite simple and you can be added as a named driver at any time. You will have to supply information about your driving history, including occupation plus any motoring offences or convictions.

Can someone else drive my car if they aren’t on my insurance?

A person can legally drive your car if they are a named driver on your policy. It's easy to add a named driver to your policy. Just access your online account, plus there's no admin fee. Or, contacting your insurer to add them as a named driver is usually a straightforward task. You’ll need their driver’s licence and past driving history details to do so. If they are not a named driver on your insurance then the policy will provide no cover if they are driving.

Find out more about our car insurance.

Manage your policy to make mid-term adjustments, including adding named drivers.

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