Open Driving vs Driving Other Cars

Caeva O'Callaghan | March 9th, 2023

The Difference between Open Driving and Driving Other Cars

There seems to be quite a bit of confusion between “open driving policies” and a car insurance policy which allows driving other cars. I will attempt to explain both so that the differences become clear.

Open Drive means that a person can drive a car with the permission of the car owner. It is a really useful addition to have on your policy. Say you have relations visiting from overseas – they can hop in your car to run an errand or sight-see. The cover your have on your car insurance policy will apply to all drivers of your car, so if they have a tip and you have comprehensive cover, the damage will be insured under your policy. This could of course affect your no claims bonus so you should consider the driving ability of the person before you hand over the keys to the car.

There are different types of open driving. Full open driving is the widest type and means that anybody can drive your car with your permission as long as they have a driving license. Restricted open driving is normally like full open driving but between certain ages – normally 25 and 70 years of age. Sometimes, restricted open driving can also specify that the driver must have a full license or even a full European license.

Driving Other Cars is very different. If you, as a car owner and therefore a car insurance policyholder, have a Driving Other Cars extension (and most car insurance policies have this extension) it means that you can drive a car belonging to another person, with their permission of course. If you have an accident while driving this car, your own car insurance policy will cover the third party element of the claim and even the own damage element of the claim if the extension is “Comprehensive Driving Other Cars”. So from your point of view, it is better to be named on a policy when driving a car that belongs to somebody else rather than depending on your driving other cars extension from your own car insurance policy.

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