Canadian? Want to insure a borrowed car for a short time?
If you are from Canada, and you want to drive a borrowed car in the UK for a few days or weeks, then short term car insurance may be the answer to your problem.
Why should I need short term insurance?
If you are a Canadian citizen visiting the UK for any purpose, whether it be for leisure or business, or even if you have relocated for work or education, you may need a car. Unfortunately, hiring one can be quite costly, and you have probably already discovered that getting an annual motor insurance policy can be even more pricey - not to mention hard to find!
If you require a vehicle, you can ask your friends if they have one that they are able to lend you. However, in the UK, the legislation states that all motorists must have, at the very least, third-party liability insurance when they drive in public areas. This is because the expense of taking care of another person's clinical costs and/or repairing their vehicle if there is a collision can be costly.
If you are caught driving without a valid insurance policy or if you permit someone else to drive your car without insurance, then you will be subject to serious repercussions. Depending on the level of the offence, it could even result in a prison sentence.
Fortunately, people from Canada who possess driving licences can apply for economical car insurance for brief periods of time while visiting the UK.
What does UK car insurance cover?
When it comes to vehicle insurance, there are typically two popular types: Third-party Liability and Comprehensive. Third-party Liability only provides cover for any damage or injury caused to another person if you are held responsible for a road traffic accident. Comprehensive insurance, however, not only covers that, but it also covers the cost of repairs or even complete replacement of your own vehicle if it has been danaged in an accident or fire, or even stolen.
Typically, you can choose to buy additional coverage such as roadside assistance or the use of a complimentary car, if your car is damaged in an accident.
However, most mainstream annual insurers will only offer reasonable quotations to people with UK driving licences, who actually own the car they are driving
What is so different about short term car insurance?
Not only can you apply for car insurance for as brief a time span as just one day, but you can also acquire short-term policies which will cover vehicles that have been borrowed. This can be immensely helpful for those who are only going to drive in the area temporarily.
Whilst a standard short term policy covers a driver for up to 28 days, it is possible for some motorists to buy insurance policies for a maximum of 84 days. Even then, if they require protection for a longer period of time, most companies will allow consumers to renew their policies once the current one expires.
Except for a few differences, short-term policies are comparable to yearly plans. Typically, the cover is comprehensive, so any harm to the vehicle you are driving is normally included; and you might be able to access extra services like roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown for an extra fee - which is beneficial if you find yourself stranded in a foreign country.
Would I qualify for cover?
Different insurers have different acceptance criteria. However the following restrictions may apply:
- You would need to be aged between about 19 and 75
- You may need to have held a licence for at least three years
- You would need to have had a reasonable driving and motorist convition record
- You will need to show proof of identity including your driving licence and passport details. as well as the address of the car owner
- The car would have to be on the insurer's approved list, and be fully roadworthy with a current MOT certificate and Road Fund Licence (in other words, it must be taxed).
For more information see our frequently asked questions page..
If you are not sure whether or not you would qualify then why not apply for a quote anyway, and you would find out very soon. You would be under no obligation whatsoever and no credit card details would be asked for until you actually bought a policy.
As a Canadian with a Canadian driving licence you can apply for short term car insurance to drive a UK registered car in the United Kingdom provided that you have the permission of the owner. The application for is quick and esy to complete provided that you have the following:
- The registration details of the car you want to insure
- The name and address of the car owner
- Your licence and passport details
There is a panel of insurers, all of whom have their own acceptance criteria, and your application will be compared against those criteria and you should receive a quote, or possibly several quotes, online immediately. Within a couple of minutes you could have your insurance in place and the policy available to you online.
Do bear in mind that owing to security and data protection measures you may not be able to actually buy a policy until you have arrived in the United Kingdom; although you should be able to get a quotation from Canada with no problems.