I go to the UK, and a friend offers to let me borrow his car for 4 weeks, free of charge.

The the friend lives in the UK, it's his car, the car has a UK license and insurance. I am a foreigner in the UK on holiday and have a foreign drivers license that allows me to legally drive in the UK.

I know all this at least 1 month in advance.

What's the proper way to get insurance for the car for these 4 weeks?

  • Car owners who let someone else drive their car can be convicted of an offence if that person isn't properly insured. First off, I’d ask your friend to check if they can temporarily add you to their existing insurance policy. If not. an internet search will lead you to companies that provide short term insurance eg moneymaxim.co.uk/short-term-car-insurance-uk-overseas-residents – Traveller Jun 29 '18 at 17:35
  • @Traveller Please don't answer questions in the comment section. – pipe Jun 30 '18 at 9:55
  • @Pipe I didn’t post it as an answer because I wasn’t certain it was definitive – Traveller Jun 30 '18 at 10:54
  • @Traveller Stack Exchange was designed to get rid of those answers. If you write it as an answer, people can downvote if it's wrong. No such thing is possible with a comment. – pipe Jun 30 '18 at 13:03

I can confirm that is possible and easy to add a foreign visitor with some insurance companies at least. I have temporarily added friends and family to my insurance a number of times. One point for the owner to consider is that his no claims discount could be affected if you need to make a claim. So, your friend would need to have a high level of trust in you. Even if the car is worth little, you could cost him a lot.

One thing that you should not do is simply get in the friend's car and drive. It is very rare for UK insurance policies to cover any driver. Most only allow the policy holder and specific names only.

Policies here often offer cover for the policy holder to drive other cars. However, even when the policy is comprehensive for your car, this cover is usually only third party. Your home policy might have something similar but check carefully that it would be valid here. If you have an EU policy then it might be okay but still check carefully. If you have a non-EU policy then I doubt it but you could ask. Either way, bring some good evidence of cover if you do this.

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By far the easiest way to do this is to get your friend to add you to his insurance. This is usually a very low cost option - some insurers will do it for free in some cases. Once done you are totally covered and legal to drive.

If this is not an option for some reason, you might try getting this added to your insurance. Some companies will allow you to add coverage for overseas rental cars, and they might stretch it to a borrowed car.

Failing that, your own short term coverage.

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