If you have fully comprehensive insurance you might believe you are covered by your policy to drive any car. Increasingly this benefit does not come as standard on fully comp policies, so you’ll need to look into alternative options.
What is DOC?
The driving other cars, or DOC, extension is a benefit included in some car insurance policies. DOC allows you to drive another person’s car, with the owner’s permission and be covered by your own insurance policy.
Who can have the driving other cars extension?
Not everyone with fully comp cover is eligible for this extension on their policy. The most common requirement is that you need to be at least 25. This is because young drivers are considered by most insurers to be high risk. If you turn 25 in the middle of your policy term, DOC won’t automatically be added to your policy. You’ll usually need to call up your insurer and ask for DOC, but be aware you may need to pay an additional fee.
Even if you are over 25 you are not guaranteed to have DOC. The second most important factor is your occupation. Occupations deemed high risk by insurers may be excluded from having DOC. This includes most occupations in the motoring industry so contact your insurer to check if you are eligible.
The driving other cars extension is not intended for or suitable for regular use. In fact it is designed to be used in emergencies only e.g. if you need to get an injured person to hospital quickly.
Another common mistake is thinking that you can drive anyone’s car under DOC. Actually the cover cannot be used to drive a car belonging to your spouse or partner.
The level of cover provided under DOC is Third Party Only, even if your own policy is fully comp. If you while crash driving a mate’s car your insurer would cover the third party involved. However, repairing your friend’s car is down to you. This is definitely something to bear in mind before hopping into someone’s car!
How can I drive someone else’s car?
There will always be times when you need to drive someone else’s car. To make sure you are fully covered you can purchase temporary insurance instead of relying on DOC.
If you regularly drive someone else’s car, the most cost effective option is usually being added to their policy as a named driver. Occasional drivers, e.g. less than once a month, could ask to be added as a temporary driver. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that you may need to pay an admin fee. Remember, if you do have an accident while named on a policy, it could affect the owner’s No Claims Bonus.
Alternatively you could use Car Sharing Insurance. You can purchase your own short-term insurance for a friend or family member’s car from 1 hour to 60 days. The instant cover is available online making it perfect for spontaneous journeys. You can even use this cover as soon as you have passed your test!
Car Sharing Insurance provides fully comprehensive cover for the temporary driver. If they need to make a claim, the owner’s policy isn’t affected. Car Sharing Insurance offers peace of mind for both owners and drivers. It’s the perfect affordable, flexible solution for your car lending and borrowing needs.