Car sharing insurance: how it works, and what the rules are

You can use temporary car insurance to borrow someone else’s car, or insure someone else on your car for a little while.

But the rules around car sharing and insurance can get pretty complicated. So here’s what you need to know.

In the UK, you’re only insured on specific cars

In the UK, specific drivers are insured on specific cars. That means you (usually) can’t drive other cars, and other people can’t drive your car - unless you add them as a named driver.

That’s why, if you want to drive a car you don’t own, you might need a separate policy for that car. If you only need to borrow the car for a little while, you can use temporary car insurance.

The owner’s insurance isn’t affected

When you buy temporary car insurance, the owner's insurance isn't affected. Even if you crash the car and have to make a claim, they wouldn't have to pay more for their car insurance policy. This applies to learner drivers, too.

That’s because it’s a separate, stand-alone policy.

Some short-term car insurers won't cover you unless you have a specific relationship with the owner - and you have to prove that relationship exists - but Cuvva doesn't.

It also wouldn't affect their no-claims bonus, if they have one. 👍

An alternative to named drivers

If the owner adds a named driver to their policy, and the named driver makes a claim, it can affect the owner’s insurance. Sometimes, the owner will lose their no-claims bonus. And sometimes, they’ll have to tell insurance companies about the named driver’s claim in future. And that can make the owner’s insurance more expensive.

Dual car insurance

Dual car insurance is when you have two policies for the same person on the same car. It’s not illegal, but it is a waste of money. It means you end up paying for two policies, but you won’t be able to get double the pay-out.

But don’t worry - temporary car insurance doesn’t count as dual insurance, because the insurance is for a different person - not the owner.

You don’t have to have an underlying policy

Even though you can drive someone else’s car with our short-term insurance, you can also use it to drive your own car. For as long as your policy is active, you don’t need an underlying one.

Just make sure you don’t break Continuous Insurance Enforcement laws.

Continuous insurance enforcement

There’s an insurance law called Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE). It means cars have to be insured all the time, even when they’re not being driven. (Unless they’re declared off-road. But that’s a whole other topic.)

If you use temporary insurance to borrow or share a car, make sure the car still has insurance when the temporary policy runs out.

(Ultimately, it’s up to the registered keeper to make sure the car’s always insured. But if you’re borrowing a car, make sure you check, too.)

Business insurance

There are different “classes” of business insurance.

Class 1 business insurance only covers the driver. Class 2 business insurance covers named drivers, too.

If the owner’s insurance comes with class 2 business insurance, that only applies to named drivers on that policy. It wouldn’t extend to you if you were using a temporary policy to drive their car. That’s because temporary car insurance is a separate policy.

Luckily, our short-term car insurance policies come with class 1 business insurance. That means you can borrow someone else’s car and use it for some business activities. So if you do need to borrow a car to get to a place of business, you’ll be covered.

But a lot of other temporary insurers don’t cover you for business use. So if you’re buying elsewhere, make sure you check the policy docs.

Remember that the business insurance that comes with our short-term insurance only covers the person who bought the temporary policy. It doesn’t cover anyone else. So if the owner’s insurance doesn’t give them business cover, they’re not covered to drive just because you’ve got a temporary policy with business cover.

Not all drivers are eligible for car sharing

Car sharing insurance tends to be riskier than year-long policies, so a lot of short-term car insurance companies have pretty strict criteria about who they can cover. Pricing is based on the details of the person getting the short-term policy,

They'll look at things like:

Even if you can get covered, the insurance price and the excess might be higher than you'd expect. It's because temporary car insurance companies tend to have different ways of figuring out the price.

How the owner's insurance is affected

There's no direct effect on the owner's car insurance when you take out short-term cover on their vehicle. But if you got into a scrape, it could be pretty inconvenient for them.

We don't offer courtesy cars, so if you crashed the vehicle and it had to be taken in for repairs, the owner would have to get by for a while without their car. 🚗

We also don't cover "legal expenses or uninsured loss recovery". Which basically means that, if you got stuck in an incident that wasn't your fault, they'd need to recover the costs from the third party driver themselves.

Sharing your policy documents

It's also a good idea to send the owner the policy documents when you buy your temporary car insurance policy. That way, they'll know your insurance is fully comprehensive.

You can share your policy documents in the app when you buy your policy.

To do that, you need to buy your policy, and then open up the policy documents.

Tap the little green "Export" button in the bottom-right corner, and then you'll be able to send them to the owner.

We'll also send your policy documents by email. Feel free to forward them to the owner - or anyone else who needs a few details about the policy.

Some short-term car insurers won't cover you unless you have a specific relationship with the owner - and you have to prove that relationship exists - but Cuvva doesn't.

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Cuvva is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. (#690273)