Any Driver Car Insurance

Is ‘open policy’ cover worth it?


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By Cai Bradley
Updated on Wednesday 7 October 2020

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‘Any driver’ insurance can make life a lot easier if you tend to share your car with other drivers on a regular basis.

With an ‘any driver’ car insurance policy (also known as open policy car insurance), your vehicle can be used by any other person who has your permission, but there are some pros and cons to consider before purchasing the cover as an add-on or a standalone policy.

In this guide:

What is any driver insurance and how does it work?

Any driver insurance is a type of specialist car insurance policy which allows anyone to drive your car legally, as long as they have permission from you. This can include friends, family members, employees or someone you have just met.

It is very convenient if you tend to share your vehicle with friends or family on a regular basis, but it can be expensive due to the issues it causes for insurance companies, as anyone could be driving your vehicle at any given time.

Don’t mistake this policy with ‘Drive Other Cars’ insurance, which allows you – the policyholder – to drive other people’s vehicles in emergencies.

Who is any driver car insurance for?

Any driver car insurance can be a useful policy for both personal and business use, as long as it makes sense under your individual circumstances. It certainly isn’t for everyone, and it comes at a price, so make sure it’s the right policy for you before taking out cover.

Any driver insurance can be convenient for personal use if you know that family or friends (or sometimes even strangers) may need access to your vehicle on a relatively frequent basis, as they would be able to use the vehicle without having to take out their own separate policies – this includes temporary cover, named driver insurance or drive other cars (DOC) insurance.

Additionally to this, there is also the option of dividing the cost of any driver cover between family members or cohabitants, as you might find that this works out as being cheaper than owning several cars and having separate insurance policies.

Business car insurance for any driver

Any driver insurance is a reasonable option for some businesses, particularly if your company is reliant on the use of vehicles.

With this type of policy in place, your new and existing employees will be able to use your company cars immediately, without the need for any complex paperwork or sorting their own individual protection.

Any driver cover offers a level of flexibility that is rarely seen in the world of motor insurance.

Driving schools could also benefit from any driver insurance, but it’s important that you check that the policy covers those aged 17 and over, including provisional licence holders, before signing on the dotted line.

Another option for businesses is, of course, fleet car insurance, as discussed in our section on the alternative policies.  

Any driver car insurance for over 25s

Many car insurance companies will only offer policies to those over 25-years-old, but others will cover all ages (over 17 years of age).

Before taking out a policy, check with the provider to confirm what ages they cover, particularly if you or someone who may be using your vehicle is under 25-years-old.

It’s worth noting that age is a significant factor in calculating the cost of premiums, so the more experienced you are, the cheaper you should expect your premiums to be. However, as the insurer never knows who is driving your vehicle with any driver cover – it could be driven by recently-qualified 17-year-olds, for example – premiums can be quite expensive.

You might like: Car Insurance for Young Drivers

Can I lend my car to a friend in the UK?

You can only allow a friend or family member to drive your car in the UK if they are covered by some type of valid car insurance. This can be done through a number of different policies, including (but not limited to):

The cost of any driver insurance

The cost of any driver insurance is generally one of the most concerning issues relating to the policy, as it can be expensive due to the risk involved.

It is typically more expensive than a standard car insurance policy because any driver could be using your vehicle at any time, including high-risk drivers, which inevitably leads to more risk.

Similarly to regular cover, the cost of your any driver policy depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Your age and driving experience
  • Your drivers’ age and driving experience
  • Previous driving offences
  • The make and model of the vehicle
  • The class of use (business or personal use)

Generally speaking, your premiums will be higher if you or your drivers are under 25-years-old.

Also, according to Confused.com, policies for business use will be more expensive than they will be for domestic use.

Alternative options to share your car

If you’re put off by the price of any driver car insurance – particularly if you’re not sharing the cost between a few drivers – or you simply don’t think it’s the right policy for you, there are some alternative options to consider.

Temporary car insurance

Temporary car insurance can be a useful short-term solution, with policies typically lasting between one day and a few months.

It is cheaper than getting full, annual insurance if you only need short-term protection, but it can be expensive if the policyholder needs cover for more than two or so months.

Named driver insurance

If there is only one other person that is going to use your vehicle, it may be worth adding them as a named driver on your existing policy.

Named driver insurance means that the ‘named driver’ is insured to drive your vehicle, but must not use it more than you – i.e., the ‘main driver’. If the named driver ends up using the car more than you, you could be charged with a form of fraud known as ‘car insurance fronting’.

It is a cheaper option than an ‘any driver’ policy if there is only one person that’s going to be using your car.

Bear in mind, however, that a named driver could affect your own premiums if they increase the risk – if they are a new or inexperienced driver, for example.

A ‘drive other cars’ policy

If a driver has a ‘drive other cars’ (DOC) policy included within their standard insurance, they should be covered when driving your vehicle.

However, the primary purpose of a DOC policy is for emergency use – for example, if you need to use a partner’s car if yours is broken down – so it should not be used as a substitute for ‘any driver’ insurance if the driver intends on using the vehicle often.

Fleet business cover

Fleet insurance is a type of business car insurance policy that covers a ‘fleet’ of vehicles – this can include up to thousands of vehicles, depending on the provider.

Fleet insurance can be registered in the name of a company, a partner, or a director of a business, and the one policy can cover the whole of the business, making life easier for everyone and potentially saving money in the long-run (depending on the circumstances).

Compare quotes at Compare UK Quotes

When looking for cheap car insurance, you should always get started by comparing quotes:

Before committing to a policy, however, you should check that the provider offers the right level of cover for you and any optional extras that you require – including ‘any driver’ cover.

If you want to share a vehicle with a friend, family member, employee, or complete stranger, there are plenty of options out there to choose from, including ‘any driver’ car insurance, temporary cover and named driver insurance.

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