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Temporary car insurance - what you need to know

Short term car insurance is what it says on the tin - insurance cover for vehicles such as cars or light vans for short periods of time; perhaps just one day, a weekend, or any number of days up to four weeks (28 days). When you buy a temporary policy like this you need to decide at the outset just how many days you wish to be insured for and if you want to buy another policy you have to wait until 15 days after the previous one has expired; this isn't the insurers being awkward, but the government in their wisdom have decreed it.

Temporary cover works on a 24 hour day basis. That means that if you buy a day's insurance policy for a car at 11.45 on a Saturday you'll be covered until 11.45 on the following Sunday; and you can book the cover beforehand, to start on a date and time that you specify, up to four weeks ahead. This means that you don't have to stay up until midnight to get a full day's insurance the following day, which is what a lot of drivers still do.

The vehicle to be insured can be either one that the driver owns, or one that he or she has borrowed. It CANNOT be a motor which has been hired and it cannot be one borrowed from a car or van hire company.

Temporary policies include comprehensive cover for driving in the UK as well as third party only for driving within the EU. This can be temporarily upgraded to comprehensive for Europe too, as an optional extra. If you are going to drive in Europe on a short period policy the journey must begin and end in the UK.

Uninsured driving can result in draconian penalties for both the driver and the owner of the vehicle, if it belongs to someone else. Insuring it on a short term basis like this could save you a lot of problems! is a trading style of Prudent Plus Ltd of Booths Hall, Booths Park, Chelford Road Knutsford Cheshire WA16 8GS. Quotes are provided by Sky Insurance Services Group Limited with whom we have a trading agreement only and who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority no. 469048. We receive from them a commission of £16 per policy purchased; this will not affect the premium you pay for your policy in any way.