Can I drive someone else’s car?

This is a question we get asked quite a bit here at so we thought we should clear it up.

It’s a situation that crops up on a regular basis: something happens and for whatever reason we need to drive a friend’s car, or someone else asks to drive yours. But is it okay to get behind the wheel of another person’s motor?

There are basically two types of policy that cover this kind of scenario:


‘Driving Other Cars’ extension

This policy may come as standard, although, perhaps understandably, it is less likely to be included in the policy of a young or inexperienced driver. Section 5 of your car insurance certificate will clearly indicate whether or not you have this extension.

It’s also important to note that this type of cover only applies to the policyholder and not to named drivers.

‘Driving Other Cars’ allows you to drive a car belonging to another person (as long as you have their permission!) and if you have an accident, your own car insurance policy will cover the third party element of the claim. Own damage may potentially be covered but only if you have a ‘Comprehensive Driving Other Cars’ extension.

If you don’t have a ‘Driving Other Cars’ extension you cannot use another person’s car, unless that other person has…

‘Open Drive’

‘Open Drive’ means that other people apart from the policyholder can drive his/her car. Again, certain limitations may apply and specific criteria often vary from insurer to insurer but, in general, fully-licensed drivers aged 25-70 will be covered by an ‘Open Drive’ policy. In the event of an accident, the cover the policyholder has on their car insurance policy will apply to all drivers of their vehicle.

One thing you may want to be mindful of when availing of this feature is that any accidents that happen while another person is driving the car will have an adverse effect on the main driver’s no claims bonus. So, policyholders, be careful about who you give your keys to!

We hope this clears one or two things up for you. If you want to find out more about your policy or have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling us on 064 6634632 or by emailing [email protected]