Can I Drive Other People’s Car on My Insurance?

Caeva O'Callaghan | October 18th, 2023

Driving other people’s car is sometimes necessary, but are you covered?

Yes, you can drive other people’s cars on most car insurance policies sold in Ireland. But you need your own car insurance policy in your own name to have cover.

It’s very useful to have more than one car at your disposal. Whether for emergencies or sheer flexibility, it’s good to know how your insurance will cover you before you jump behind the wheel.

In this article, we’ll answer questions like:

  • Will my insurance cover me if I drive someone else’s car?
  • Am I covered by my own insurance or the owner of the car I’m driving?
  • What does Third Party Cover mean?

Under standard car insurance policies, you will be okay to drive someone else’s car. It should go without saying you need the owner’s permission to do so, or else your cover will not be valid.

Driving other people’s cars

It might not be immediately clear, but if you’re over 25 you should be able to drive anyone else’s car who gives you permission. This is because standard car insurance policies sold in Ireland usually include a section called Driving Other People’s Cars.

When you drive someone else’s car, it will be your own insurance policy which covers you in the event of an accident. This means the kind of cover you’ll have will depend on your policy, not the owner of the car’s. You should check your policy before you drive, as not all car insurance policies include this section.

If you have a Driving Other People’s Cars cover, you do not need to be a named driver on the car owner’s policy. This is useful for emergencies, as adding someone as a named driver can be a lengthy process and may cost extra.

But it’s important to remember that Driving Other Cars should only be used for the very occasional or emergency use of another vehicle which is not owned by you – and it only applies where you have the owner’s permission to use their vehicle. You can’t just use it to pop to the shops whenever you need.

If you regularly share the car with its owner, it may have implications for the availability of this cover, or may even impact you in the event of a claim.

If you’ll need to use the car regularly, it really is worth becoming a named driver on the policy. This is to ensure you have full cover when you need it.

What does Third Party Only cover mean?

The Driving Other People’s Car section of your policy will only include third party cover. Third Party Only (TPO) cover is the minimum insurance Irish law requires you have to be able to drive in Ireland.

Third party car insurance covers damage to others as a result of an accident that is your fault. Damage to the car you’re driving is not covered by third party car insurance. Nor does it cover you if the car is stolen.

For example, imagine you are reversing out of a parking space with several vehicles around you and misjudge the distance between your car and the one behind. You back into it, smashing its headlights and denting its bumper and backs into it. Meanwhile, the car you’re driving also has a dent on the rear.

With TPO coverage, the insurance company will cover the damage done to the other car. However, the car you were driving will not be covered, so you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

Exclusions and conditions

Always check the wording of your policy thoroughly, as your cover may be different from others. The Driving Other People’s Car section usually only applies only while being driven in Ireland or the UK, and only to private passenger vehicles.

For example, it will not include:

  • Vans
  • Car-vans
  • Jeep-type vehicles with no seats in the back
  • Vans adapted to carry passengers

You also won’t have Driving Other People’s Car cover when driving hire cars and commercial vehicles. There should also be no other policy in force that covers you driving the car already.

If you are unsure if your car insurance policy covers driving other people’s car, call us today and we can advise you accordingly!

If you are not sure what level of cover you have for driving another person’s car, talk to our car insurance agents and they can check your policy. They know all the angles! You can talk to us any weekday between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051. All our agents are trained experts and can help you with all your car insurance questions.

If you need an instant car insurance quote online, our quote system searches the Irish market to help you find the right car insurance for your particular needs. We look forward to helping you today!

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.