Can You Insure A Car You Don’t Own?

In this guide

All cars that are driven on UK roads need to have insurance. In most cases, insurance covers the vehicle, not the driver of the car, meaning that you may not automatically be covered when driving someone else vehicle. 

If you need to borrow a friend’s car or are using a different vehicle you don’t own; you need to get insurance. Thankfully, it’s not too complicated to get insurance for a car you don’t own, with the most common type people use in this situation being temporary insurance. That said, there are options when getting insurance for a car you don’t own. Here’s everything you need to know. 

You may need to drive a car you don’t own for many reasons. Whether you’re renting a car for a road trip, borrowing a friend’s vehicle while they’re out of town, or have a company car owned by your business, there are many legitimate scenarios where you can find yourself driving a car you don’t own. 

As long as you have insurance covering you for the period you’re driving the vehicle, it’s legal. That said, when getting insured on a car you don’t own, you must be wary of fronting. 

Fronting is a type of insurance fraud you can inadvertency find yourself doing if you’re not careful. Fronting is where the person listed as the car’s primary driver isn’t actually the person doing most of the driving on the vehicle. As a different driver is listed, it can impact the insurance cost, making it cheaper. 

This often happens when new, inexperienced drivers are added to insurance for a car that used to be owned by a more experienced family member. The new driver may be using it the most, but in the insurance documents, the parent may be listed as the main driver, despite not using the car as regularly. This is illegal and something to consider when getting insured on a vehicle that’s not yours. 

How to Insure a Car You Don’t Own? 

The steps you need to follow to get insurance on a car that’s not yours are similar to regular insurance. That said, one of the main differences is that you need to inform your insurance provider that you’re not the car’s registered owner. When doing this, the insurance is known as a non-owner insurance policy. 

When getting this type of insurance, the registered owner’s name appears on the registration documents. Non-ownership insurance has a few specific conditions you need to meet to get it. The main one is that you need to have a close link to the registered keeper to be considered. For example, you need to be a: 

  • Parent
  • Partner
  • Employer 
  • Leasing company

Different ways to get insured on a car you don’t own

If you want insurance for a car you don’t own, check to see if you’re already covered before doing anything else. It is uncommon, but some fully comprehensive insurance policies include cover for drivers and other vehicles. It’s worth checking, as it can save you a bit of money. 

If you’ve looked and still need insurance for a car you don’t own, there are a few different ways you can go about it. That includes: 

Getting a new insurance policy 

One of the main ways you can get insurance for a car you don’t own is by getting comprehensive coverage for that vehicle. This works as usual, with the caveat that you need to declare that you’re not the registered owner or registered keeper. When getting this type of cover for a car you don’t own, you may struggle to find as many options, and it could be a pretty expensive type of insurance. 

Become a named driver 

If you’re regularly driving a car you don’t own, such as sharing a car your partner owns, then adding yourself as a named driver to the policy can be one of the best choices. When you become a named driver, you’re added to an exciting insurance policy on the car and only have to pay an administration fee to get added. 

Do note that the newly named driver’s details could influence the total cost of the insurance premium. For example, adding an inexperienced male driver may increase the total cost of the insurance, but it can still be cheaper than taking out a completely new policy for a car you don’t own. 

Temporary insurance 

If you need to drive someone else’s car for a short time, this is a great option that ensures you only get cover for the days you need it. You can get a policy that can last anything from a few hours to a month, and it is great if you need to borrow someone else’s car while yours is getting repairs, for example. 

This type of insurance for a car you don’t own can often be one of the cheapest options and is favoured over becoming a named driver as it doesn’t alter or change the existing insurance policy. 


Insurance is always required when driving on UK roads, regardless of what car or vehicle you’re driving. This means that if you find yourself behind the wheel of a car you don’t own, you will need to get insurance for it. Doing this is entirely legal, and it’s actually illegal to drive someone else’s vehicle without insurance. 

Thankfully, there are many different options that you can choose from, which enables you to get insurance for a car you don’t own that suits your situation. If you want to share a vehicle owned by your partner, need to borrow a car for a short period, or require insurance for a company car, options are available. 

When getting insurance for a car you don’t own, make sure that you do it properly and ensure that the main driver still uses the car the most. If not, you could get in trouble for fronting, a type of insurance fraud that can lead to nasty consequences like invalidating your policy. 

Alexander Thomas
Alexander Thomas
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