Third-party car insurance
By law, every car has to be covered by car insurance – unless it's not on the road, and you've made an official Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). If you drive an uninsured car you could face a penalty and risk going to prison, as well as jeopardising your chances of finding car insurance in the future. With this in mind, many cash-strapped drivers search for the cheapest car insurance they can buy.
What does Third-party car insurance cover you for?
Third-party only cover is the lowest level of car insurance cover available. It covers you if you cause damage to other people, their vehicles and their property – including the costs of repairing any other vehicles, medical treatment costs for other road users, and the cost of any legal claims made against you.
What Third-party insurance does not cover
Third party cover does not provide any protection for you or your own car. In short, if you are at fault in the accident you won't be able to claim if you are injured, or if your car needs to be repaired or replaced. Equally, if your vehicle is vandalised, stolen, or set on fire, you also won't be able to claim anything for it. Because of these major limitations, Third-party only cover usually appeals to younger drivers who are looking for ways to bring their premium down. It may be suitable if your car is only worth a couple of hundred pounds, in which case it is not worth paying out several hundred pounds for comprehensive insurance cover that costs more than the value of the car itself.
Alternative levels of car insurance cover
If you live in an area where car theft is common, or vehicles are sometimes set on fire by vandals, it might be worth opting for the next step up on the car insurance scale: Third-party, fire and theft. As the name suggests, this offers additional cover in case your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire.
The third type of car insurance cover is comprehensive insurance, offering the highest level of protection. This type of policy covers you for everything that's included in Third-party, fire and theft, as well as any damage caused to your own vehicle – even if the accident is your fault, or if fault can't be attributed.