Ask the Expert: Who can insure my son to drive my car when he visits the UK?

Not all companies offer temporary cover for expats returning to the UK, but it can be done
Not all companies offer temporary cover for expats returning to the UK, but it can be done - Alamy

Dear Alex,

I need comprehensive cover for my car for 31 days to allow my son, who lives in Australia, to drive it during his visit to Britain this summer. My insurer will not add him to my cover as he is not permanently resident here. What can I do?


Dear DW,

Temporary cover for expats returning to the UK and borrowing a friend or relative’s car shouldn’t be too hard to arrange, but unfortunately some companies simply don’t offer this service because they deem the risk of an accident caused by a driver from abroad being unfamiliar with the British road system to be too high.

But it can be done. Certain dedicated temporary insurance providers, such as Tempcover, will insure non-UK drivers on their specific temporary policies, which will be separate to your own policy with Lloyd’s.

Some providers limit cover to a maximum of 28 days, which might mean you’ll have to shave a few days off the start or end of your son’s trip during which he isn’t able to drive your car. However, there are providers offering as much as three months of temporary cover – though they might prove a touch more expensive.

One thing to check before you buy, though, is the rules for each provider, because they vary. Some insurers, for example, will only cover expats who still have UK licences, or who have switched them for EU ones. If your son has an Australian licence, the pool of providers will be narrowed.

I’d also suggest that if your son plans to return to the UK repeatedly, you shop around for an insurer that will cover drivers with non-UK licences as a temporary addition. Most of the time, it’s cheaper to add a driver to an existing policy than it is to take out a separate temporary policy, so if you don’t mind doing the legwork, you might reap the rewards later on.

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