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Fully comprehensive car insurance

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What is comprehensive insurance and what does it mean?

Comprehensive car insurance, or ‘fully comprehensive’, is the top level of car insurance you can get.

It provides cover for you and your car if you’re involved in an accident, whoever’s at fault.

Comprehensive policies cover:

  • Repairs
  • Damage to property
  • Any personal injury claims made against you

You should also be covered if your car is stolen, vandalised or damaged by fire - although it's always best to check your policy documents to see exactly what you're covered for.

What is and isn't covered by comprehensive insurance?

What does comprehensive insurance cover?

  • Cover against injury to other people
  • Damage caused by flooding
  • Damage to other cars

Some policies offer you a range of policy add-ons as standard, too. Others might charge you extra to add them to your policy.

Typical add-ons include:

What isn’t covered by comprehensive insurance?

  • Damage or injury caused when drink-driving or under the influence of illegal drugs
  • Driving without a valid licence
  • Theft caused by carelessness 

To help lower your risk of theft, always lock your car, close windows and keep valuables out of sight. It's also worth considering additional security like an immobiliser, car tracker or a steering wheel lock. As well as making your car more secure and less appealing to thieves, they might also lower the cost of your insurance.

What’s the difference between comprehensive, third party fire and theft and third party insurance?

The difference is in what they cover.

  • Third-party insurance is the lowest of the car insurance policy types you can get. It's the minimum level of cover you need to legally drive on the roads.
  • Third party, fire and theft provides the same cover as third-party, but also covers your car if it’s stolen or catches on fire.
  • Fully comprehensive is the highest level, and typically covers you for a lot more.

Is fully comprehensive cheaper?

Even though it offers a higher level of cover, you might find that comprehensive insurance actually works out cheaper than third-party policies.

This because, traditionally, a lot of high-risk drivers tended to go for third-party cover as a way of lowering their insurance costs. Insurers have adjusted their pricing to reflect this.

Fully comprehensive Third Party Fire and Theft Third Party Only

If a lower level of cover gives you what you need, it's still worth comparing the cost of all levels, just in case there's a difference based on your own circumstances.

There are ways you can make savings on comprehensive insurance:

  • Planning ahead: Our data shows the later you leave it the more you might pay, with around 25 days1 before your policy ends being the best time to renew.
  • Paying a higher excess: The more you're willing to contribute to the cost of a claim, the cheaper your insurance costs might be. Just make sure you're able to pay this amount if you need to make a claim.
  • Named driver: Add a more experienced driver who may occasionally drive your car, especially if you’ve recently passed your test
  • Comparing quotes: when your policy comes up for renewal, compare to find a great deal

*Confused.com Q4 2023 price index data

1Based on Confused.com data October - December 2023.

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**Single annual policy. New and former Paramount+ subscribers only who sign up at ParamountPlus.com. Subscription required. Auto-renews unless cancelled. 18+. Just Eat website account required, geographical exclusions apply. One regular hot drink per month for a year, only available via the Confused.com app. T&Cs apply

How much is fully comprehensive insurance?

The average price for a fully comprehensive policy is £995*. Your insurer takes several factors into account when calculating the cost of your car insurance, so exactly what you pay is unique to you.

This includes:

  • Your age
  • Your occupation
  • Where you live
  • Your car's insurance group
  • Your driving history
  • Your estimated annual mileage
  • Your class of use

For a general idea of how much a policy might cost you, here's the average price customers pay according to their age:

Age Average car insurance premium*

*Confused.com Q4 2023 price index data

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How do I get a quote?

If it's your first time getting a quote with us, you'll need to let us know:

  • Your title, name and date of birth
  • Your age, address and occupation
  • Any points on your licence and relevant driving conviction codes
  • Previous claim details
  • Details of any named drivers you want to add to your policy
  • Your driving licence number
  • Information about your no-claims bonus
  • Registration number (or make and model) of your car
  • Any modifications made to the car
  • Your estimated mileage

If you’ve used Confused.com before, log in and we’ll have your details stored. Just be sure to check your details are accurate and up-to-date.

Can I drive any car with comprehensive insurance?

No, you can't always drive any car if you have fully comprehensive insurance. You'll need to check whether your policy has a driving other cars (DOC) clause.

If it does, you’re good to go, but it's likely to be third-party only cover. If not, you need to contact your insurer before driving another vehicle.

Some fully comprehensive policies come with driving other cars clauses as standard, but you may need to request it for others. So never presume you have it.

To be eligible for driving other cars cover, you usually need to:

  • Be 25 or over
  • Have fully comprehensive cover
  • Have a policy that includes a driving other cars clause
  • Ensure the car you’re driving is already insured
  • Ensure the car is roadworthy

Also, having fully comprehensive cover doesn’t automatically mean anyone can drive your car either.

If you want to share your car with other drivers, you can usually add them to your policy as named drivers.

Otherwise, you need any driver car insurance, which allows anyone to drive your car with your consent.

Why choose Confused.com?

  • In 2002, we launched as the first price comparison site for car insurance. Based in Cardiff, we help over 5 million customers a year with their policies so we know what we're talking about when it comes to insurance
  • We're not owned by an insurance company and we're 100% independent. This means you'll see the best prices available to you based on your information, and not for any other reason.
  • Need help with your insurance? Our Cardiff-based team is here to support you. Take a look at our contact page to find ways to get in touch.
  • And if you're still not convinced, with Confused.com Rewards you can choose a free gift when you buy car insurance**. You'll have 4 different rewards to choose from and you're free to choose whichever one you want!

What our car insurance expert says

"Despite fully comprehensive giving you the highest level of cover, it's not unusual for it to also be the cheapest policy. And that includes third-party. Depending on your insurer, you might also benefit from extras like free windscreen or breakdown cover. That's a win-win!"
Louise Thomas, Motor Insurance Expert at Confused.com
Motor Insurance Expert

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Page last reviewed: 24 January 2024

Reviewed by: Louise Thomas