You can purchase auto insurance that lasts as little as a day from some insurers for a fraction of the cost of annual coverage.
Of course, purchasing such a policy is only useful if you need coverage for a few hours or a single day. But there are plenty of scenarios where it can come in handy to make sure you’re only covered for as long as you need.
Here, we explain how one day auto insurance works and what to look out for when purchasing a policy.
What is car insurance for a day?
As the name suggests, this is simply an auto insurance policy that lasts 24 hours, with the same level of comprehensive coverage you can get with an annual policy.
One-day auto insurance can also be referred to as “term” or “short-term” auto insurance.
If you have an annual auto insurance policy on your primary car, it may already provide third-party coverage for driving someone else’s vehicle if it has a Drive Other Cars (DOC) clause.
However, this is less common than before, so always check your police documents.
Even if you find a DOC clause on your policy, remember that it will not pay for damage to the car you are driving, only damage to other drivers. In this case, for more peace of mind, you can take out a one-day auto insurance that offers all-risk coverage.
One-day auto insurance can also be a cheaper and easier way to be covered compared to modifying your existing policy to add another car.
In addition, any non-claims discount on your primary policy will not be affected in the event that you need to make a claim.
When would you need it?
You might be wondering when it’s worth buying a single day of auto insurance, but there are a number of scenarios in which it can come in handy. Here are some examples:
An emergency or an unforeseen event: You may need to borrow a car to support a family or relative in the short term.
Test drive: If you are in the market for a new car and buying from a private seller you will need to be insured, this is where short term coverage can come in handy.
If you buy from a car dealership, they will often have their own coverage for test vehicles – but that isn’t always the case, so be sure to check.
Share the drive: If you are going on a long trip with other people in a car – a vacation rental for example – you can agree to share the driving. If you are not insured to operate the vehicle, purchasing short-term insurance can be easier and less expensive than modifying your own policy.
Borrow a car: If you are borrowing a car from a friend or family member, you may also want to purchase a one-day policy. Perhaps, for example, you are moving or just going on a day trip.
Can I purchase 1 day auto insurance on all cars?
While this type of coverage is generally available on all cars with a valid MOT, many insurers will not provide temporary coverage on vehicles with a market value over £ 50,000 or £ 75,000.
If you need more coverage than that, you’ll have to look to a more specialized provider.
The number of car seats is also likely to be limited, to no more than eight, for example.
Where can I purchase overnight insurance?
You can request a quote from your own insurer, but it’s best to do a quick comparison for a one-day auto insurance policy. This way you know you are getting the best deal not only in terms of price, but also in terms of coverage.
If you’ve been driving for a few years and have a full UK license, you should get a wide range of quotes. However, if you have less experience, you may want to consider specialist providers for short-term coverage.
Also keep in mind that some insurers will not cover drivers under 25, while many cap the upper age limit at 75.
It is still possible to purchase one-day insurance if you have driving convictions, as long as they are not recent.
Points on your license are also acceptable, but many insurers can limit them to, say, new or less.
How much does one-day auto insurance cost?
Like any insurance, the cost of coverage depends on details, such as the value of the car, the model, as well as your zip code and the level of risk you pose to the insurer as the driver.
However, this may be the most cost effective option if you only need coverage for one day.
You can also change the cover to lower the price, for example by opting for a higher voluntary deductible. This is the amount you are required to pay in the event of a claim.
When does coverage start?
The start time for a day’s insurance policy is generally flexible. You can choose to start the countdown from the minute you set up the policy, or at a time that suits you.
It will then run for 24 hours from that point.
It is also possible to purchase temporary car coverage from one hour, up to 30 days, and in some cases longer.
Anything else you should know?
When you buy a one-day auto insurance policy, you can pay for top-ups, such as breakdown coverage or additional drivers. You can also add European driving coverage if you are planning a day trip to Europe.
Before paying for any extras, however, determine if you really need them, as they are likely to increase your premiums.