Purchasing a car is always an exhilarating experience, whether you’ve bagged a second-hand hatchback, classic car, or a brand-new sports car. But, with your new vehicle come new responsibilities. As you embark on your automotive adventure, one legal requirement that is a crucial aspect is ensuring you have the appropriate car insurance cover to get you on the road without a hitch.

In today’s fast-paced world, ensuring all your bases are covered can seem daunting, especially when trying to digest the jargon-filled world of insurance policies. But worry not! Our comprehensive guide to understanding drive-away insurance aims to shed light on the myriad choices available to new car owners, making it easy for you to navigate the complexities of car insurance providers and focus on enjoying your new set of wheels. 

And, if you need more information on temporary car insurance, make sure you check out the temporary car insurance tips in this article

Can You Drive Home a Car You Just Bought?

If you’ve just bought your car, you’re probably excited to drive it home. But before you can hit the road, there are critical legal requirements you must address, namely: tax, insurance, MOT, and ensuring your vehicle is roadworthy.  

These are essential to protect you and other drivers on the road, and neglecting these formalities can have severe consequences.

When buying a car, you must ensure it’s taxed before driving off with it. If you purchased your new car from a dealership, they might take care of the road tax for you. It’s still worth making sure the vehicle is taxed before collecting it. 

If you’re buying a second-hand car, you’ll usually need to tax it yourself. Tax is required regardless of the previous owner’s road tax status; it cannot be transferred between owners, so you will need to tax it when ownership is transferred to you. You can tax your car here

You will need to insure your car before you tax it. If purchasing a brand-new vehicle from a dealership, the dealer may provide temporary insurance—sometimes referred to as “drive away insurance”—for a short duration (typically between five and seven days). This type of cover allows you to drive your car home and gives you time to arrange a more permanent policy.

When buying a second-hand car, once you have the car details, securing insurance is usually your responsibility. This means you must find a policy that has the right cover before you tax your car. You could also take out “drive away insurance” to allow you to tax your car and drive it home. 

What Does Drive-Away Insurance Mean? 

Drive-away insurance is another name for temporary car insurance. It’s a short-term insurance policy that lasts long enough to allow you to drive your car home and either sort out an annual policy or SORN the vehicle. 

Most temporary car insurance policies provide cover that is similar to an annual car insurance policy. This is generally a comprehensive cover with some exclusions. 

A drive-away insurance policy can usually be arranged in minutes online, and, depending on the provider, it can last anywhere between an hour to a few weeks. This gives you plenty of time to shop around for a great price and an annual policy if you’re unsure what provider you want to go with. 

How Much is Drive Away Insurance?

Several factors might impact the cost of your drive-away car insurance policy. They are the same factors that will affect the premium of your annual car insurance policy as well. 

These factors can be broadly divided into two categories: what car you pick and your circumstances. 

Luxury sports cars, and classic cars for instance, can come with an increased risk of theft or accident, which means insurers are more likely to charge a higher premium. On the flip side, a modest hatchback will likely garner a more favourable rate due to its lower risk profile.

Much like regular car insurance, factors like your age, location, and driving history will come into play when calculating your drive-away insurance premium. Young or inexperienced drivers, for example, might have to pay more due to the increased risk of accidents associated with their demographic.  

 Also, if you live in an area with high car crime rates, your insurer could factor this information into the cost of your temporary cover.

It’s easy to get quotes online quickly, so it’s worth shopping around to ensure you get the best deal on your drive-away insurance policy.  

Determine How Long You Need Temporary Car Insurance

Temporary car insurance in the UK is available for a wide range of durations – as short as one hour to as long as a few weeks depending on the provider. This flexibility becomes especially beneficial when your insurance needs are less predictable, or your circumstances are expected to change in the near future.

If you need temporary car insurance to cover you to drive your car home, you can take out a policy lasting just a few hours. After that, you can either SORN your car or take out a more appropriate annual policy. 

Or, if you want to have your temporary car insurance for a little longer than that, you can do that too. This will give you plenty of time to shop around to get your car insured. The beauty of temporary car insurance is that it allows you to adapt the policy to suit your specific needs.