Found the perfect car and need to drive it? We have you covered.
What to look our 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 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
How it works
Create an account
Download the Cuvva app and sign up, in minutes.
Search for the vehicle
Enter the registration plate of the vehicle you want to get covered on.
Choose how long
From 1 hour to 28 days, to cover all your driving needs.
Pay for the policy and drive away. There's even the option to extend!
Watch how our drive away insurance works
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.
Have a 2nd car but don't drive often?
Subscription works best if you rarely use your car.
Frequently asked questions
Who can we cover?
We have worked hard with our underwriter to offer insurance to as many people as possible. It is currently 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).
We only offer cover to holders of UK DVLA licences, on cars valued between £0 – £40,000 and up to insurance group 49 for experienced drivers. Check our full short term insurance policy rules for full details on who we can and cannot cover.
What vehicles can you cover?
Currently, we can insure cars and vans. There are a number of variable rules set by our underwriter that effect what vehicles you can get insured on such as how long you have held your licence and the insurance group of the vehicle. Also, there are some set rules, which are:
- cannot be older than 20 years old
- cannot have modifications of any kind
- cannot be scrapped
- cannot be impounded
- must be valued at above £1 and below £40,000
- cannot be older than 20 years
- must be between insurance groups 1 - 20
- cannot have modifications of any kind
- cannot be scrapped
- must be valued at above £1 and below £20,000
That is not an exhaustive list but it gives you a good indication of what vehicles we can currently insure. As we continue to grow, the range of vehicles we can insure should always keep expanding.
To see if we can insure you on a specific vehicle it's best to get a quote in our app.
How does our pricing work?
Like all insurers, our underwriter looks at a number of rating factors when calculating the cost of your insurance and your suggested risk, compared to other drivers. The biggest determinants of risk in our insurance model are:
- Vehicle insurance group
- Location of the vehicle for temporary and postcode of registered address for subscription)
- Claims and Convictions
So, by taking the factors above for 2 individuals aged 22 and 40: 22 year old
- Driving an insurance group 40 car (Porsche Boxter)
- Located in the riskiest possible area (often in a city)
- Has 3pts for speeding, but doesn’t have any claims
- Has held his licence for 55 months
40 year old
- Driving an insurance group 1 car (VW Up!)
- Located in a safe rural area
- No points, no claims
- Has held his licence for 20 years
Here is an example of how their insurance could be priced using fictitious multipliers for 1 hour of cover:
|Factor||Multiplication factor||22yr old insurance group 40, location 16, 3pts, no claims licence held for 1yr||40 yr old, insurance group 1, location 3, no points, licence held for 20 years|
|Base premium (1 hour)||NA||£5||£5|
|Age (19 – 60)||1 – 2.2||£5 x 2.2 = £11||£5 x 1 = £5|
|Licence held||.6 – 1.8||£11*1.8 = £19.8||£5 x .6 = £3|
|Insurance group (1 – 49)||.75 – 1.8||£19.8 x 1.8 = £35.64||£3 x .75 = £2.25|
|Location (1 – 16)||0.7 – 1.6||£91.08 x 1.6 = £57.02||£2.25 x .7 = £1.57|
|Claims and convictions||1 – 1.2||£57.02 x 1.05= £59.87||1.57 x 1 = £1.57|
|Total premium before IPT, commission & admin fee||£59.87||£1.57|
These are obviously extreme examples and most users would fall within a far smaller price difference bracket. In reality, there will always be a minimum premium which for Cuvva is currently £7.92 including IPT, commission and admin fees. In the future, we would like our pricing to rely on data rather than assumptions - driving behaviour will therefore be a major determinant rather than arbitrary factors like age.
What will you need to purchase insurance from us?
To purchase temporary car insurance through Cuvva, you will need to download our app on your phone. To register, you will need to have:
- A photo of government approved photo ID (typically, this will either be your passport or your Driving Licence)
- A UK DVLA driving licence number (we use this to check whether you have any motoring convictions and to verify the name, address and date of birth)
- Your own UK debit/credit card to make the payment
- Declared all incidents (at fault/not at fault) that you have been involved, as a driver, passenger or named driver, in the last 5 years.
- Been a resident in the UK for the past 3 years or have been a long-term resident within the last 5 years who’s back visiting the UK.
- Permission from the owner of the vehicle
How do you get quotes and purchase?
Once registered in the Cuvva app, getting a quote takes seconds. Simply enter the number plate of your car and you can generate a quote instantly. Once you have selected the amount of time you’d like to be covered for, you’ll need to take a photo of the front of the car (so we can see it isn’t damaged) and purchase. All our policies start instantly so once you’ve completed the payment, you can start driving immediately. At present, you can’t purchase in advance but this might be an option in the future.
Can your account be used by others?
Given the app is downloaded on your phone, linked to your own personal debit/credit card and with all the policies in your name, your account cannot be used by anyone else for purchasing insurance. They just need to download the app from their own device, complete a profile and can then starting using Cuvva. Short-term policies are also associated with one vehicle and cannot be transferred over, mid-policy. If you think you may be switching, we would recommend buying a few short-term policies.
Can you use Cuvva abroad?
The Cuvva app only currently functions in the UK, given your location is a factor in how we price your insurance. While you can only purchase policies in the UK, it is still possible to transport a car to the continent. We can, however, only offer very minimal 3rd party cover aboard (as required by EU law) so if you have an incident, we would be able to do very little to help and recovering your car would be your responsibility.
What happens if I run out of time or battery?
Don’t worry! You can extend your policy in the app in a couple of clicks. We would, however, recommend you give yourself some leeway and don’t have any last minute panics with no phone battery. You should not, under any circumstances, drive without insurance.
What do you do if you have an incident?
All claims are handled by the Underwriter, so you should call them as soon as possible.
If significant damage has occurred or anyone has been injured, you should call the police. If the police do arrive, get the name and number of the police officer and take note of the crime reference number you are given. Other things you can do: - Take pictures of the incident with your phone. - Record the names and contact details of those involved and any witnesses. - Even if you think it may have been your fault, we would recommend not making any admission of fault or apology at the scene.
What can't Cuvva be used for?
Common examples include:
- Insuring rental cars
- Releasing a car from the pound or getting road tax
- Racetrack days
- Vehicles under a fleet policy
If you're ever in doubt, please get in contact with support by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by using our in-app chat.
Short-term No Claim Bonus?
Unfortunately, you cannot earn any no claims bonus on our short-term car insurance product but you can on our subscription policies. If you buy 13 subscription policies in succession without any breaks in cover and don’t have any claims, you will have built up a 1 year NCB!
Cancellations and refunds
As a provider of short term car insurance, Cuvva and its underwriters are under no obligations to offer refunds (ICOBS 7.1.3 if you are interested). When you purchase a policy from us, we:
- Pay a fee to check Claims and Underwriters Exchange (CUE) to ensure that your declared claims/incidents history matches the insurer database
- Pay Stripe (payment provider) for administering the payment
- Issue a certificate of motor insurance on behalf of the underwriter
- Add your VRM to the MID
Many of these processes cost time and money, so, given the short-term nature of the policies, a cancellation/refund is an added cost. It is, however, always possible to cancel a policy if you wish to do so.
N.B. If you have active insurance on a vehicle you have sold, we would recommend that you cancel your cover immediately. If a claim were to come in from the new owner, this could end up as a claim against your insurance!
If you have a problem using the app or purchasing insurance and you would like to speak to us, the easiest way to do so is using our online chat function. This can be done in app, on the website (using the speech bubble) or by emailing email@example.com. On average, we will get back to you within 2 minutes!
Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE)
Once you’ve selected the policy you would like, we have to check the CUE database before you can make a purchase. This holds a log of all incidents and claims within the past 5 years involving cars, vans and motorbikes/scooters. If your declarations do not match CUE your purchase will fail. It is therefore very important to declare any incidents from within the past 5 years, both at fault and not at fault, and as the driver, passenger or named driver. By not declaring these, you may not be able to purchase with Cuvva for a number of months.
Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE)
In 2011, the government introduced the Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules. These stated a requirement for a car to either be registered with a Statutory Off Road Notification with the DVLA or to have valid motor insurance. If you are caught without valid insurance, your car will likely be impounded as the police’s ANPR systems will automatically alert them if you are driving without insurance.
Motor Insurance Database (MID)
All purchased car insurance policies are added to the MID (Motor Insurance Database) and any policy can be checked by visiting the AskMID website. Unfortunately, the database updates irregularly, sometimes as little as once a week and, in addition, the police ANPR camera database is updated weekly. This can mean that the police may stop you for “driving without insurance” when you are fully insured. If this happens you can show the officers your policy documents and ask that they do a live MID check.