Last updated April 30, 2021
Historically, it was standard policy to be able to drive other cars (DOC) on your comprehensive car insurance, but today most policies don’t provide the option to do so as standard, with some not even offering it as an additional extra. So before you get behind the wheel of your friends or family members car, it is important to understand what you’re covered for on your car insurance policy to avoid breaking the law and putting your licence at risk.
If you have the minimum level of insurance (third-party or third-party fire and theft) it’s unlikely you’ll be able to drive another car as part of your policy. Nevertheless, it may be possible to have it included in your policy as standard or an extra, so you should check your policy documents to know if you can drive somebody else's car.
If you have comprehensive car insurance for your own vehicle, there is a possibility that you are able to drive another car as part of your policy, despite it being less common than in the past. Again, you will need to check your certificate of insurance or contact your insurance provider to find out if you are insured to get behind the wheel of another vehicle.
How to add DOC to your policy will depend on the insurer and some don’t offer it as an option at all. However, where it is an optional extra, the criteria may include:
To find out how to add DOC to your policy, you should contact your provider or log in to your account to see if it is an option.
If you want to drive another car, there are other options available. Firstly, you could be added as a named driver on the policy of the car you want to drive. This will allow you to legally drive the car, but you must ensure that this is less than that of the main driver, otherwise you could be breaking the law. Adding yourself as a named driver on someone else’s policy will provide you with the same level of cover as that person, meaning if they’ve got fully comprehensive cover, you will have the same. To add yourself as a named driver, you will need the policy holder to contact their insurance and see if it is possible, which may incur an additional cost.
Secondly, you could get insured on another car through a temporary policy. This type of policy is ideal if you want to use another car for a short amount of time, such as if you were to drive a parent’s car on a long car journey. By choosing comprehensive temporary insurance, you will have a higher level of cover than if you added DOC to your policy, where you would only be covered for third-party damage.
If you are thinking about getting behind the wheel of another car, you should always check your insurance policy first to ensure you’re not breaking the law for driving without insurance. If you are still unsure after checking your policy documents, you should call your provider to check.
If you are caught driving without insurance, you will receive an IN10 conviction, which will result in 6-8 points on your driving licence. This means you will lose your licence if you have been driving for fewer than two years and is likely to increase your renewal premium, even if you’re an experienced driver. As well as the points on your licence, there is a minimum fixed penalty fine of £300 for driving without insurance and you could be taken to court.
It is possible to get an any driver insurance policy, which allows anybody with a valid licence to drive your car. However, this insurance policy type is uncommon and many insurers may not even offer is as an option. Due to the risk being increased by anybody being allowed to drive your vehicle, you can expect this type of policy to be more expensive than the more common third-party and comprehensive policies.