Can you drive someone else's car?

Wednesday 9th March 2022

car security at home

In many cases, having a comprehensive car insurance policy will not mean that you are legally able to drive someone else’s car. It is important to double check your insurance policy before you get behind the wheel of a car that is not your own – otherwise you could be driving illegally.

Can I drive another car on my insurance?

If you can drive another car, then your insurance policy will state ‘Drive other car’ or (DOC). This means that you can drive a car that has been rented or borrowed from a third party – however, it is important to note that many insurance policies do not have DOC. This insurance protection is more commonly reserved for employees who drive company cars.

If your car insurance does cover DOC, this will usually be on a third-party basis only – meaning that you are covered for the damage made to the other person’s car but not the car you are driving. In this scenario, if the borrowed car you are driving gets into any scrapes, you will have to cover the cost from your own pocket.

If you have comprehensive car insurance, this most likely means your insurance policy will only cover any damages that happen to your own car, or the other car in the accident.

How can I check that I have DOC insurance?

You can check your policy statement and documents to see if you have DOC insurance – you may have a form of it as part of your policy. It is important that you triple check the type of DOC you have a few insurers may give you a version DOC that is only eligible on company cars. Some DOC policies may limit your eligibility to claim if they specifically refuse to cover cars of a certain make or model. Or you may not be able to make a DOC claim if you are driving a car that belongs to your household, e.g., the car of a spouse or parent.

If you don’t have DOC insurance, you can most likely add it to your comprehensive car insurance policy for an extra fee. Drivers over 25-years-old are more likely to get DOC cover as they have had more experience driving and accidents are less likely to occur.

What if I am a named driver on an insurance policy?

If you are listed as a ‘named driver’ on someone’s insurance policy, it means you will legally be able to drive that person's car. However, the named driver is not permitted to drive the vehicle more than the main driver. If the named driver uses the car as their main form of transport this will void the vehicle insurance altogether.

What’s the punishment for driving another car without DOC?

If you are caught driving another person’s car without DOC insurance – you will receive a hefty fine. You could also receive 8 points on your license and in some instances, you may even be banned from driving.

The owner of the car could face even more profound consequences as they could be prosecuted for allowing an uninsured person to drive the car. On top of this, the owner will have to cover any third-party damages in case of an accident and would also be liable for the cost of repairing their own car. Insurance companies take breaking their policies very seriously – not only will they cancel your insurance they will take legal action to get payment.

Maintain your vehicle for emergencies

If you do need to drive another person’s car, it’s helpful to ensure that it’s in the best condition possible, especially if you’re driving this as a third party. To best ensure you avoid any mishaps on the road, that’s why it’s important that you get your car regularly serviced. Ensure your tyres are often checked and your MOT is booked early. By maintaining these simple steps, you can save a lot of hassle when making an insurance claim.

Book a servicing appointment with a local centre near you. Or, for more information, contact our helpful team today. 

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