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Monthly Car Insurance Can Fill a Gap

For most of us, car insurance, like other forms of insurance, is a long-term commitment. You buy your policy and you pay those premiums month after month, year after year. Car insurance is of course a legal necessity, so you'll need it for as long as you're driving a car.

Why Get Short-Term Car Insurance?

There are some circumstances, however, in which a short-lived insurance policy is the answer. One example of this is if a relative comes to stay with you for a week and needs to use your car. Other examples are when a friend lends you a big car or a van so that you can make a trip to a flat-pack furniture store, or so that you can move house. A one-day insurance policy will work out much cheaper than hiring a van for the day.

Where Do I Get This Amazing Insurance?

You can buy short-term insurance online. Most providers won't sell you a policy over the phone. You'll need to enter your vehicle details and your driver's license number, as well as your credit or debit card details. Most short-term car insurance providers have encrypted websites so your details will be safe.

Who Can Get Short-Term car Insurance?

Most drivers with a valid UK, EC and EU licence can buy short-term cover. Some drivers with certain criminal convictions won't be able to buy it, though. You can't buy a policy on behalf of someone else, as it only covers the named driver. You can, of course, buy it to drive a car that isn't yours - as long as you have the owner's permission (and we suggest you check this)! Provisional licence-holders can't get short-term cover, unfortunately; drivers need to have held a full licence for at least a year. If you're under 20 years of age, or over 75, then short-term insurance may not be possible. Drivers from outside the EU, even if they hail from the US or Australia, can't get this type of cover either.

Why Don't I Just Get Added to an Existing Policy?

Three words: no claims bonus! Many people worry about losing this most precious of discounts, and lending a van to stressed house-movers carries more than the usual risk of a prang! By buying a separate temporary policy, the car owner can maintain his no claims bonus even if there's a bump.

Can I Insure My Old Banger for its Final trip to the Breaker's Yard?

Sadly no. As emotional as this journey may be, if your car is worth less than £1,500 or so, most providers won't be able to insure it. You'll have to let it go into that dark vale uncovered, no matter how much you love it. You will probably be able to use a one-day policy to recover an impounded vehicle, though, which is handy. Plant and hire vehicles can't be covered in this way, and neither can any cars without a UK number plate or with more than eight seats. Hired cars can be covered.

Anything Else I Need to Know?

Short-term car insurance can be more flexible than you think. A basic policy won't get you roadside recovery, or comprehensive cover for overseas travel (third party cover is included as standard), but you can add these extras to your policy for a small fee.