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Drive away insurance

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  • Flexible cover from 1 hour to 28 days

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  • Get instant cover or buy a policy up to 28 days in advance

When would you need drive away insurance?

Drive away insurance is usually taken out when:

  • You need to drive a new car home
  • You’re picking up a car for a friend
  • You’re picking up a car for work

You need to drive a new car home: To drive any car on the road, you need insurance. This includes a new one you’ve just bought and need to drive home. But what if you don’t want to dive straight into a 12-month policy before hitting the road? This is where drive away insurance can come in handy. It lets you to take out cover for just long enough to get your new car home, where you can then look for the right annual policy to suit your needs.

If you’re buying from a dealership, they may offer you their own drive away cover - but you don’t need to accept this, and you may be able to find a better deal by comparing quotes with us.

You’re picking up a car for someone else: If you’re collecting a car for someone else, you’ll need to be insured to drive it. If you already have insurance of your own on another car, you might assume that it’ll cover you, but this is rarely the case. Some fully comprehensive policies do come with driving other cars cover (DOC), but this is usually for emergencies only, meaning that if you were to have an accident in the car you’re collecting, you’re be unlikely to be covered for any damage caused.

Drive away insurance can be a sensible option here, as you can take it out for exactly as long as you need to get the car safely home.

You’re picking up a car for work: In this instance, you’d need temporary business car insurance. This works in the same way as standard drive away insurance, but covers you for business use too. Note that any driving you do as part of your job that isn’t your normal commute is classed as business driving.

How much is drive away insurance?

One hour


One day


One week


The exact cost you’ll pay depends on several factors, including:

  • The make and model of the car you’re insuring
  • How many hours or days you need to be covered
  • Your age, driving history and licence points

On average though, short-term cover costs £20 an hour, £38 a day or £114* a week, but it's best to get a quote to see what you get based on your personal circumstances.

It’s worth bearing in mind that, on an hourly basis, drive away insurance tends to be more expensive than standard car insurance. But the flexibility it gives you means you only pay for the cover you need.

*Tempcover data September 2023.

Am I eligible for cover?

The conditions for taking out a temporary car insurance policy are slightly stricter than for standard annual policies.

To get drive away insurance you’ll need to:

  • Be aged between 17 and 78
  • Have been a permanent resident in the UK for at least 12 months, or be a British expatriate who has previously been a resident of the UK
  • Hold a full or provision UK licence, or a full EU licence
  • Have received no more than 7 licence points in the last 3 years
  • Have not been disqualified from driving in the last 2 years
  • Have no more than 2 at-fault claims made against you in the last 3 years
  • Have no criminal convictions, or an ASBO or CBO.
  • Have never had a previous policy declared void by an insurer

There are a few other things to be aware of too:

  • Your car must be worth between £1,500 and £65,000
  • Your car must be roadworthy, with a valid MOT
  • Your car must be taxed, unless you're using your drive away insurance to tax it

What's covered with drive away insurance?

As with all temporary insurance, drive away cover is only available as a fully comprehensive policy. This means it’ll provide cover for:

  • Your car, whether it’s damaged in an accident, a fire, an act of vandalism, or is stolen
  • You, if you’re injured in a crash
  • A third party’s car, if it’s damaged in a collision
  • A third party’s property, if you damage or destroy it
  • The cost of any claims made against you if you injure a third party

There are also a few add-ons you can get with your policy. You’ll need to pay an additional fee to get these:

  • Breakdown cover, available in a range of levels to allow you to pick the cover that works for you
  • Legal expenses cover of up to £100,000 for legal costs and uninsured loss recovery
  • Excess reduction cover, which reduces your excess amount to as close to £100 as possible

What do you need to get a drive away insurance quote?

When you get a quote for drive away insurance through us, you need to tell us some things about you and the car you’ll be driving:

Personal details:

  • Your name and address
  • What type of driving licence you have
  • How long you've held that licence

Car details:

  • The registration of the car, or the make and model
  • Its estimated value
  • When you wish the cover to start
  • How long you need the cover for
  • When you wish the cover to start
  • How long you need the cover for

We'll ask you 'what's your reason for cover?' For drive away insurance, please select 'buying or test driving a vehicle'.

Can you tax a car with drive away insurance?

Yes you can.

You need to have a valid insurance policy before you can tax a car, and you’ll need tax before you can drive it home. It’s also worth remembering that you can’t transfer existing car tax from one owner to another - you’ll need to tax your new car under your name before you can drive it.

If you’re buying a brand new car from a dealership, they'll usually arrange the vehicle tax for you. But if you’re buying privately, make sure you have it in place.

The maximum fine for driving an untaxed vehicle is £1,000, or five times the amount of tax chargeable, whichever is greater.

Need more help?

What do I do when my policy runs out?

Once you’re safely back home, you’ll need to either fully insure your car before your drive away insurance runs out, or declare your car as SORNed. Once it’s SORNed, you can then take as long as you need to shop for insurance. Just keep in mind that there are some rules around SORNing a car that it’s handy to be aware of.

Can I buy a drive away policy in advance?

Yes, you can choose the exact start date of any temporary policy. This means that, if you’re picking up a car at midday tomorrow, you can take out a policy that’ll start at that exact time, avoiding the need for you to do so at the side of the road.

Can I drive a new car home without insurance?

No. Driving without insurance is illegal and the consequences could be serious.

If you’re caught driving without insurance, you risk:

  • An unlimited fine
  • 6 points on your licence
  • A driving ban.
  • Your car being impounded by the police

What our car insurance expert says

"Finding the right insurance can take time. If you’re buying a new car and don’t want to rush it, drive away insurance can cover you until you get home. Just be aware that once it runs out, you’ll need to SORN your car or take out another policy, otherwise you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law."

Marc Pell, Managing Director at Tempcover
Managing Director | Tempcover Tempcover logo

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Page last reviewed: 05 October 2023

Reviewed by: Marc Pell

Confused.com's temporary cover solution is provided by Tempcover LTD. Tempcover LTD are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm reference number 746985. Tempcover LTD is registered in England No. 9923259 at office: 2nd floor, Admiral House, Harington Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 4BB. Confused.com is an intermediary and receives a percentage of commission received by Tempcover LTD.