Can you buy car insurance for just a day?

Pros and Cons of One Day Car Insurance

If you're not a frequent driver, the cost of car insurance in the UK for a whole year could make your eyes water. Even if you're an experienced driver with a clean record, you can still be looking at anywhere upwards of 400 for the year for the very basic packages, rising to nearer to 1000 for a smaller excess and coverage of legal fees. Choosing one day car insurance can often be a cheaper way of getting yourself on the road, especially if you only need a car every now and then.

Advantages of One Day Cover

The multitude of companies, including most of the big name insurance brands, who offer one day insurance show that it's a growing and competitive market. The advantages of the cover include:
It's cheaper - a typical one day insurance policy could cost no more than 30, a pretty good deal if you do get into an accident, even if it's your fault.
You can drive more expensive cars - most companies will only alter the price by a few pence if you're driving a more expensive car, like on a track day.
Immediate cover - long term policies tend to take a few hours to kick, whilst one day car insurance starts from the minute that your bank details are processed.
No mileage - unlike a hire car agreement where you can get charged per mile over a certain limit, one day car insurance gives you the freedom to go as far as you need for only the cost of the petrol involved.

Disadvantages of One Day Cover

As with any insurance policy, you're taking a gamble on the likelihood of you needing it to pay out. However, in the UK, it's a legal requirement for every driver to have insurance before they get behind the wheel, and one day cover comes with plenty of drawbacks:
It's more expensive over time - if you only need it once or twice a year, you'll save a small fortune. However, if you find that you need it more than that, it'll often work out cheaper and more convenient to get a year-long policy.
No discounts - insurance companies reward good driving with a no claims discount which can amount to up to 70% off with some brands. You can't use this for a one day policy. Likewise, companies will often be willing to barter prices with loyal customers to retain them, but you'll have no history with the one day insurers.
Not everything's included - the cheapest one day car insurance isn't always the best or the most comprehensive. At a bare minimum, you'll need to make sure it's a fully comp insurance and how much your excess will be in the case of an accident.

In summary, you can buy single day car insurance from sites such as,  or one day car insurance is a bit of a gamble, but definitely worth it if you know you're a safe driver who'll only need it once or twice a year.

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