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Driver Requirements

Like any other kind of insurance, temporary car insurance depends upon risk. Insurers have certain requirements for drivers in order to protect themselves from the possibility of a claim. These requirements vary by insurer, but they often address things like age and driving history, among other characteristics.


One of the biggest factors in the cost and availability of car insurance is one's age; the same is true for short term cover. Young drivers are the riskiest drivers, from the insurer's perspective. 20% of young drivers will get into an accident in their first year on the road. One out of eight British drivers is below 25 and yet this age group includes one out of every four motor fatalities. If insurance is all about risk – and young drivers present the biggest risk – it's not surprising that insurers generally refuse cover to young drivers. Their definition of 'young' may vary, however. For some, the minimum is 25; others have a minimum of 23. This may also change depending on the type of vehicle.

Driving History

Understandably, driving history is important. One's driving history represents a pattern of behaviour. From it, insurers can estimate the likelihood of a driver making a claim. The ideal would be for a completely clean driving record, but for those who have had issues in the past, insurers have guidelines for what they consider an acceptable risk threshold. Some require that drivers have at most 8 penalty points over the last 36 months. They may also limit the number of fault claims; some require at most 2 fault claims in any three-year period, not just the last three years. Some require that a driver not have been disqualified from driving at any point in the last three or five years. It's also important that drivers have no pending prosecution or police enquiry.

Miscellaneous Factors

Insurers may also have various other requirements for drivers who want to purchase short term insurance. Some limit eligibility to residents of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and the Isle of Man. Some merely require permanent residence in the UK. Some require a valid, full UK driving licence, held for at least the last year. Others offer to cover drivers licensed in the EU, New Zealand, or Australia. Insurers may also limit drivers to certain uses of the vehicle or any other requirement they deem appropriate.

Given the variability in driver requirements, it's important to investigate the details of the policy. Many insurers offer examples of their policy documents online, so drivers can check for themselves.

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