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Thousands of motorists unwittingly driving with invalid insurance

Patrick Christys
Apr 22, 2019

Thousands of motorists are having their cars seized and their insurance invalidated by mistake - make sure you're not one of them.

There is a clause in some car insurance policies that allows drivers to use other road users' vehicles, but many insurers are changing this clause without telling policy holders.

So thousands of drivers innocently hop in someone else's car and take it for a spin, only to have a bump and find out they've actually been driving without insurance.

According to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) more than 3,000 vehicles were seized between July 2016 and June 2018 due to the misunderstandings. 

The common misconception is that the Driving Other Cars (DOC) applies to everyone who's fully comprehensive on their insurance, but this simply isn't the case.

Many assume that just by having fully comp cover that they can drive any other vehicle and have third party insurance. 

Insurers are systemically removing the DOC extension from many of their premiums but motorists are seemingly unaware of this.

So, don't say we didn't warn you here at A Spokesman Said! Make sure you find the best car insurance deals on the market by visiting our website.

Alan Inskip, CEO of short term insurance provider, Tempcover explained that for a long time the ‘driving other cars’ extension covered you if you were in an accident and for damage to your car.

He said: “Fully comp cover would allow you, should the need arise, to hop in a friend or family member’s car with the peace of mind that should anything happen, you’d be fully covered.

“Now, just a few decades, or even a few years in some cases, later, the once all-encompassing extension is barely recognisable to the cover that was once offered.”

The DOC extension only applies if you are the policyholder and not a named driver. Motorists under 25 years of age are also unlikely to be offered this clause at all.

Mr Inskip added: “If you’re aged under 25, good luck getting this extension on your policy as almost none of the top insurance providers will offer cover for young drivers to drive another car.”

This clause is increasingly less common and even when it does appear there are several restrictions and caveats to it, so drivers need to evaluate and examine what these are when taking out cover.

Motorists could also face a number of penalties including six points on your licence, a £300 fine or your vehicle being seized by the police and in extreme cases have it crushed.

“If you were to borrow a car from a friend or family member or needed to use their car in an emergency and had an accident when driving that car, you and the vehicle owner could be left with a huge repair bill for the car, plus you’d lose your No Claims Discount,” Mr Inskip said.

“The onus is increasingly being put on drivers to find and interpret their individual policy wording before getting behind the wheel of another car."

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