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Fully comprehensive car insurance

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1Correct as of December, 2022

What is comprehensive insurance?

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

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

It covers car repairs, damage to property and 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's the difference between third party and comprehensive insurance?

The difference is in what they cover.

Third party insurance is the lowest level of car insurance you can get, and is the minimum level of cover you'll need to legally drive on the roads.  

Fully comprehensive is the highest level, and typically covers you for a lot more. 

There are three main types of car insurance:

  • Third party
  • Third party, fire and theft
  • Fully comprehensive

 

  • Third party covers damage to other people and other cars if you’re involved in an accident. But you might have to pay for any damage to your own car.
  • 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 covers all of the above, plus any damage to your car.

Is fully comprehensive insurance more expensive?

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

This is because, traditionally, a lot of high-risk drivers tended to go for third-party cover as a way of lowering their insurance costs.

This resulted in a higher number of claims on third-party policies, which in some cases has increased the cost of third-party cover.

When you get a quote, it's worth checking the cost of all levels of cover, just in case.

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What does comprehensive insurance cover?

Fully comprehensive insurance should cover:

  • Full repair costs of your car, even if you're at fault     
  • Any damage you cause to a third party's property
  • Your car if it's stolen or damaged by fire

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

Typical comprehensive insurance add-ons include:

What doesn't it cover?

Comprehensive insurance likely won't allow you to claim if you:

  • Were drink-driving or under the influence of illegal drugs     
  • Don’t have a valid licence
  • Were careless with your car security, leading to theft

To avoid these scenarios, you'll need to be a responsible car owner.

To cut down on theft, always lock your car, close any windows, and keep valuable possessions out of sight.

For more car security tips, try our guide.

How much is fully comprehensive insurance?

Your insurer takes a huge number of factors into account when calculating the cost of your car insurance, so exactly what you pay is unique to you.

These factors usually include:

  • Your age
  • Your occupation
  • Where you live
  • Your car's car 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 premium2
18
£1,581
21
£1,289
25
£971
35
£685
45
£550
55
£429

2Confused.com Q3 2022 price index data

Compare fully comprehensive car insurance quotes

How do I get a comprehensive car insurance quote?

If you already have car insurance you should find all the information you need in your current insurance documents.

Don’t worry if you don’t have these or can’t find them. Typically, you need the following information to compare comprehensive car insurance quotes:

Personal details

  • 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

Car details

  • Registration number (or make and model) of your car
  • Any modifications made to the car
  • Your estimated mileage

  • Or, if you’ve used Confused.com before, log in and we’ll have your details stored. Just make sure everything is still accurate and up to date.

    Need more help?

    How can I get cheaper comprehensive car insurance?

    There are several ways to get cheaper comprehensive insurance:

    • Planning ahead our data shows the later you leave it the more you might pay, with 21 days before your policy ends being the best time to renew
    • Paying a higher excess, as the more you're willing to contribute to the cost of a claim, the cheaper your premiums might be
    • Adding a named driver to your policy who may occasionally drive your car, especially if you’ve recently passed your test
    • Comparing quotes when your policy comes up for renewal to find a great deal

    Do I need comprehensive insurance?

    While every driver's needs are different, comprehensive insurance does offer some useful benefits. 

    Just like third party policies, it covers you for any damage you do to someone else's vehicle. 

    But where it differs is in the cover it provides you and your car. This means if you’re involved in an accident - even one where you're at fault - you won't have to shell out for expensive repairs. You'll only have to pay your excess.

    This alone can make it a good choice for most drivers.

    If you’re driving an old car that’s not worth fixing, though, you might want to investigate third-party cover. But bear in mind that third-party might not always be the bargain you expect. Sometimes it can even cost more than fully comprehensive insurance.

    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 clause.

    If it does, you’re good to go. If not, then 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 may be able to 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.

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    What our car insurance expert says

    Even though it gives you a higher level of cover, comprehensive insurance is often the same price as a third party policy. It can even be cheaper! So don't presume a lower level of cover automatically equals a lower cost.

    To get the best deal, it's a good idea to compare quotes for various policy types to find the right cover you for you, at the right price.

    Alex Kindred car insurance expert signature

    Alex Kindred

    Car insurance expert

    After buying car insurance, 96% of Confused.com customers would recommend us (based on 109241 Reviews.co.uk respondents - as of 21/07/22). Read our reviews