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Motor insurance

Car

You must have motor insurance to drive a vehicle on UK roads.

If you own a vehicle you are legally obliged to have motor insurance.

Even if you do not use your vehicle you are still required to insure it, unless you officially register your vehicle as off the road. You can find information on how to do this here.

Guaranteed asset protection (GAP) policies can be bought in addition to, but are not a substitute for, your motor insurance policy. GAP insurance protects against your vehicle decreasing in value over time, and may help ensure you are able to obtain a new vehicle if yours is written off or stolen. 

Types of motor insurance

There are three main types of motor insurance:

  • Third party 
    this is the minimum cover required by law in the UK. It covers you against costs that arise as a result of injuries you cause to other people and damage to their vehicles

  • Third party fire and theft
    basic third party cover with added protection against your vehicle being damaged, stolen or destroyed in a fire

  • Comprehensive
    this is the highest level of cover available. It protects against:
    • injuries to other people and damage to their vehicles
    • your vehicle being damaged, stolen or destroyed in a fire
    • medical expenses and accidental damage
    • damage or theft of vehicle's contents

Third party policies do not cover costs that arise as a result of damage to your own vehicle – for this you need comprehensive motor insurance.

In addition to considering the level of cover, if you use your car as part of your employment, you will need to ensure that you are covered for ‘business use’.

If you carry passengers who are charged a fare, you will need to ensure you have the appropriate level of ‘hire and reward’ insurance.

If you are unsure what level of cover you need for how you use your vehicle, you are advised to contact your insurer or broker directly and check. Not having the right level of cover may potentially invalidate your policy.