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Found the perfect car and need to drive it? We have you covered.

Whether you need insurance to test drive a car or you need drive away insurance after purchasing, we can help. If you already own a car, your insurance policy may give you 3rd party cover on other vehicles however a lot of sellers won’t accept the risk of you driving without comprehensive cover. The reason why is because, if you don’t have comprehensive cover and you are unfortunate enough to have an incident, there could be a dispute about who is responsible. No one wants a big bill for a car they are just about to own! We recommend installing our app and getting your profile set up to help save you time on the day when you want to test drive, particularly if you are trying a few cars out. It will only take a few minutes and if you have any problems we are happy to help!

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What to look out for when test driving a private car

According to the AA and other motoring organisations, there are a number of essential checks to do when test driving a car. Firstly, you should insist on driving it from cold, on a variety of road types, for at least 30 minutes – it’s normally wise to inform the seller you intend to do this before you set off.


Are you meeting the seller at their address or somewhere else? If it’s a random location, does the car really belong to the individual or are they a dealer, acting as a private seller to avoid liability?

If the location looks a bit suspect, ensure you are not unaccompanied and avoid carrying cash where possible.


It may sound obvious, but making sure that the car is comfortable from the start is important. Try getting in and out a few times, especially if you’re contemplating a sports car.

Take time to adjust the seat, steering, mirrors and lumber support to make sure you can get into a position that works for you. If you can’t, perhaps it isn’t the right car for you!


Make sure that you have decent visibility around the car. Feeling able to estimate the dimensions can make a big difference in determining whether you love or hate your new car. One way to check this is to get someone to walk around the car, standing different distances away from it to help find the blind spots.

Also, try to reverse park and reverse round a corner (be careful not to scratch the alloys in the process!).


Paperwork isn’t foolproof, but it can give you a good understanding about the person you’re buying the car from. Someone who has been careful to keep every receipt, document and piece of vehicle history in a neat file, is probably more likely to have looked after their car.

For vehicles over 3 years old, it’s possible to check that the mileage fits with it’s MOT History – if it has been going up in steady increments, but hasn’t in the last year, ask the owner what has changed.


If you have a family, you may want to consider whether there’s space for all the children’s things: think buggies! Likewise, if you play a lot of sport, such as golf, it’s worth making sure there’s space in the boot for your equipment.


There can be an incredible difference in the noise levels between cars – this is especially noticeable on the motorway! If you’re going to spend a lot of time on faster roads, make sure your test drive includes a bit of motorway driving.

One last tip…

When buying anything, especially secondhand, being slightly suspicious is very sensible. If you don’t feel comfortable about something, trust your gut or get a paid second opinion – it could be a sound investment!

Driving tips breakdown

  • Make sure the engine is cold before you start
  • Look in the mirror to check for any smoke plumes when you start
  • Listen for any strange rattles and watch the rev. meter to check that the tick-over is consistent
  • When moving the car, look to see if there is any oil left where the car was parked
  • Is the steering tight? Can you move the steering wheel without moving the wheels?
  • Are there any strange squeaks or rattles from the suspension?
  • Does the car feel as if it has done the mileage that’s been stated?
  • How high is the clutch?
  • Do all the electrics work correctly?
  • Does the car come with a spare key and does it work?

Drive away car insurance

If you are looking to buy a car, it is always sensible to test drive it yourself. That way, you can really get a feel for what the car is like.

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Who we cover

Insurance is available to learner drivers between 17-45 and full licence holders between 19-65 (although if you’re aged between 19 and 21, you must have held your licence for at least a year and have no at-fault claims). It is available on vehicles with and without another insurance policy on the car (full policy rules).

Short term car insurance: how it works

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Create an account

Download the Cuvva app and sign up in minutes.

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Find your vehicle

Enter your registration plate.

App screens showing one hour, two hours and three hours of insurance

Pick a policy

Get cover for as little as one hour, or as long as 28 days.

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Pay for the policy and drive away. You can extend it in seconds.

What our customers love


What a fantastic app and company to use. Cuvva have made something that used to use up a fair amount of time and effort into something so simple! Once set up on the app it actually takes 30 seconds to be insured!


Easy to use and gives peace of mind. My husband could borrow my friend’s car for a couple of hours work – no hassle whatsoever.


The whole concept behind Cuvva changes the rules on car insurance and creates a genuinely useful and innovative way to think about driving. I would recommend the app without any hesitation.