Borrowing friend’s cars could see drivers ‘charged thousands’ due to insurance rule

Borrowing a friend or family member’s car could dramatically backfire with motorists at risk of being “charged thousands”, according to motoring experts.

Getting behind the wheel of other people’s vehicles is likely to be against the terms of their car insurance agreement and could see road users penalised if they are caught.

Road users must have Driving Other Cars (DOC) cover to be able to drive other vehicles without any legal issues.

However, these agreements have become rarer in recent years with insurance firms cracking down on the scheme.

Tim Alcock, motoring expert at LeaseCar.uk, warned road users could be slapped with severe punishments for breaking the rules in a major blow.

He explained: “We’re pleading with drivers not to make the mistake of assuming they can use someone else’s vehicle with their current insurance.

“It’s not as easy as being able to borrow a mate’s car for a short journey even for those who have taken out a fully comprehensive policy. The same goes for using a loved one’s vehicle even when living at the same address and sharing a surname.

“Fully comprehensive insurance doesn’t entitle drivers to take other people’s vehicles for a spin unless they have DOC included in their policy.

“It’s not just a simple slap on the wrist for those caught without the right type of insurance as it can range from a £300 fine with six penalty points to being charged thousands as well as a loss of license.

RAC Car Insurance has also reiterated that road users will not be able to jump behind the wheel of other models without any issue.

The insurance provider urged motorists to check the terms of their policy carefully before doing something which could land them in serious trouble.

They added: “Primarily, you will be covered to drive the vehicle stated in your car insurance policy but cover to drive other vehicles doesn’t generally come as standard.

“You should certainly check your car insurance policy terms and conditions before driving another vehicle. Some comprehensive car insurance policies include Driving Other Cars (DOC) cover, but this is becoming less common.

“If you expect to drive another car on occasion – such as a spouse or family member – it is advisable to be a Named Driver on their policy.”

But, even drivers with DOC agreements have to take extra precautions while using other vehicles as their level of cover will be downgraded to third party only. This means motorists will not be covered for any damage caused to the vehicle at the time.

Tim added: “While using someone else’s car it’s vital for drivers to take extra caution as DOC will only include third-party cover while using the other vehicle, even for those who have taken out fully comprehensive insurance.

“Every policyholder will have different terms and conditions so make sure to fully read it through to avoid a costly slip-up. Don’t take the risk of assuming fully comprehensive means fully covered, otherwise you may be left out of pocket and with no license entirely.”

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