Buying a car off Ebay?
Car insurance for just 1 day, why would anyone want to buy that? Well just imagine: you've found your ideal car on Ebay, bid for it over several days, and finally put in the successful, highest bid! All you have to do now is go and pay for it, and bring it back home. You'll have to insure it of course; subject to the owner's agreement you can test drive it using your existing car insurance which covers you for driving any vehicle that doesn't belong to you (but only with third party cover, so make sure you don't damage it) but once you've paid for it and it belongs to you that provision wouldn't apply any more. You've used insurance comparison sites in the past, though, and know how to get a good deal so insurance isn't a problem. Or is it??
You've seen photos and a description of the car written in glowing terms but you haven't seen the car itself yet. What happens if you buy the insurance, but when you actually see the vehicle that you've agreed to buy the engine smokes, the gearbox rattles, or the interior smells like an old dog kennel?
It has been estimated that around 20% of car sales on Ebay fall down when the buyer actually inspects the goods and you can refuse to complete the transaction on the basis that the description of the car was misleading, but what about the insurance you've paid out for? You can cancel it of course under distance selling regulations but you know that insurance companies usually share data on this type of failed transaction so will you be offered such a tempting deal next time? And how long will it be before your premium money is refunded, a few weeks or a few months? Would you need that money for insurance for a different car in the meanwhile? And if the insurance company agreed to switch the insurance to the other vehicle would you be expected to pay the full price for the policy rather than the discounted Internet rate you'd originally purchased (yes you would, if most people's experiences are anything to go by)?
These are all complications that countless motorists have had to face when deals like this have gone wrong, and they are not easy to unravel.
There is a better way - get all the car's details and take out a one day insurance policy on it. You can do it through your mobile phone after you've inspected the car if you wish.
Make sure the cover is fully comprehensive - even if you don't finally buy it after all you'll be covered if you prang it during the test drive, and the first journey home, when you're not only excited with your new purchase but also driving an unfamiliar vehicle over unfamiliar roads would probably be the most dangerous period of your entire ownership of it with a far higher risk of accident. Fair enough, it will cost you a few pounds extra but you'll have the peace of mind of knowing that you're covered not only against the possibility of enormous bills if you had an accident, but also a huge fine and penalty points - possibly even leading towards the loss of your driving licence - if you were spotted making an understandable driving error by a sharp eyed police officer.
Buying a single day's insurance policy only takes a few minutes online and you can usually opt for immediate cover or postpone the start of the policy for a few days to give you more leeway in deciding when to collect the car. Once you have brought it home you can then relax and arrange a conventional policy online, secure in the knowledge that you have bought a good car at a fair price.