"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."
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?
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 £23 an hour, £38.88 a day or £114.93* 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 April 2023.
Need more help?
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.
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.
What our car insurance expert says
Types of car insurance
offers short-term comprehensive cover from one hour to 28 days.
lets you insure one or more cars on the same policy.
lets you prove you’re a safe driver, and save money on your policy, even if you’re inexperienced or seen as high risk.
covers you if you use your car for work, including travelling between offices or across the country.
for those who are new to driving or hold a provisional license.
find cover for as little as 1 hour all the way up to 28 days.
Car insurance guides
Uncover 2023 UK statistics on temporary car insurance. Explore usage patterns, customer satisfaction, and top providers for short-term car coverage needs.
Drink driving increases over the summer months. We look at the worst offending areas and why people might be risking an extra pint before driving.
With the UK car insurance industry increasing in size each year, we share all you need to know about the competitive car insurance providers and policies
Tailgating and unclear indicating are the most hated driving habits according to our data. Here's what you can do about these annoying driving traits.
Your parking questions are finally answered.
Hay fever is a cause of accidents in the UK. Here's how you stay safe if you have hay fever and you need to drive.