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What is it?
Brief period car insurance allows you to temporarily cover a car or light van for small lengths of from one single day up to a maximum of four weeks. Unlike a normal yearly policy it is not necessary for the driver to actually own the vehicle to be insured, provided that it is being driven with the owners' express permission, so you could insure your own car, a borrowed vehicle or one you were sharing the driving of.
Who can buy it?
Motorists between the ages of 18 and 75, who either hold a provisional licence or who have held a full UK licence for a minimum of six months (or an EU - issued licence for at least a year) can apply. A reasonable driving record with no more than six penalty points and/or one fault claim within the last three years would normally be expected.
What sort of cars can be insured?
They must be UK registered with not more than 8 seats and be unmodified except for disabled use or converted to use LPG. Each insurer has a fixed list of cars or light vans which can be accepted. Vehicles which are not included on these lists cannot be covered; however they usually include most of the popular cars on UK roads today.
Does it take long?
It should take about a minute to get a quotation. If everything is in order you should be able to get a policy issued within a couple more minutes or so. Because the policy is bought online you can apply for one at any time you wish.
It is possible that you will be given more than one quotation, and different insurers have different underwriting criteria so premiums and benefits may differ.
How do I buy it?
Click on the link, fill in just a few details about yourself and the car you wish to insure and if all goes well you will get at least one quotation. If one is acceptable you could fill in the rest of the easy proposal form, pay by credit card and have a policy in place almost immediately. Alternatively you could book the policy to begin at any time over the following 28 days. The documentation would then be available for you to download if you wished to, or you would have the option of having them posted to you for a small extra fee.
What is covered?
As with every insurance policy you should check the documentation to ensure that you know exactly what you are getting for your money. In general, however, cover is usually comprehensive for travel within the UK and the equivalent of third-party only for travel through other countries of the EEC, with an option to upgrade this also to comprehensive. Optional roadside assistance is also available for a small extra premium. If you do travel into the EEC the journey must begin and end in the UK.
Is it safe?
All the insurers which offer policies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority whose aim is to ensure that financial services companies which operate in the UK remain stable and solvent with healthy competition. In the very unlikely event of a regulated company becoming insolvent the FCA operates the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, a fund of last resort which individuals can apply to for compensation. You can confirm that an insurer is authorised by the FCA by checking their register.
Is it expensive?
Judge for yourself - a quote should only take a minute or so. You may be pleasantly surprised.
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