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If you’ve lived in the UK your whole life, you might assume UK auto insurance is similar to the rest of the world. But what you might not know is that the UK is quite different in terms of how your vehicle is insured. Instead of insuring the vehicle as a whole, UK insurance companies insure the driver. This means that no one except for yourself can drive the vehicle, which can be a pain in certain circumstances when you need someone else to drive your car.

In other countries, you can allow others to drive your vehicle for a short period of time. In this article, we’ll take a look at whether or not you have any options for a similar type of insurance in the UK!

The United States

In the United States, insurance companies typically allow individuals to drive other people’s cars if they are only using it occasionally. The person will need permission from the driver if they want to use the vehicle. If the person is regularly using the vehicle, then they are typically not covered unless they are named on the insurance plan. This means that if you have an employee using your vehicle on a regular basis, you’ll need to speak to their insurance company.

The United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, there is typically a named driver that is allowed to drive the vehicle under the insurance plan. In most cases, no one else is allowed to drive the vehicle – not even for a day. This can seem like a major hassle if you need to borrow someone in your family’s car to run an errand. If you end up having an accident, you won’t be covered for any of the damages. In addition, you can end up losing your license or having to pay large penalties.

How to Drive Another Vehicle

At the end of the day, you will need to request to be named on the insurance of someone else’s vehicle. You can typically do this for short periods of time if you only need to borrow the car for a few days or weeks. In addition, the older you are and the better your driving record is, the less likely it will cost you a lot of money.

Regardless, it is expensive to add another driver onto the vehicle – hence why so few drivers in the UK have other drivers named on their insurance. There’s also a chance that your current car insurance policy will allow you to drive other people’s vehicles – if this is the case, you can drive third-party cars for short periods of time without adding your name to their insurance.

Lastly, if you don’t want to be named on the other person’s insurance, you can purchase your own insurance for the vehicle if they give you permission to do so.

Short answer: Unless you run a business that requires the vehicle to be insured (such as an auto showroom), you cannot insure the vehicle instead of the person, you’ll have to name each driver on  your plan if you want them to have access to your vehicle.


Never drive someone else’s vehicle unless you have insurance. It may seem like a risk-free situation if your destination is close, but it could end in financial ruin if an accident happens. In addition, police in the United Kingdom are skilled at catching uninsured drivers – it’s truly never worth the risk.