When you buy a car unless you are using it as ‘off-the-road’ and aren’t actively driving, taking out car insurance becomes a legal requirement. Not doing so could land you with a fine of up to £5,000 plus possible disqualification. This guide will list and describe the three main types of car insurance with their sub-sections to give you a basic understanding of insurance’s basic features and ramifications along with what each type covers.

Third-Party Only

This type of car insurance is the minimum legal requirement and will cover damage to third parties including:

  • Injuries to other people or animals

  • Damage to others’ property

  • Passengers in your car injured in an accident caused by yourself

  • Accidents caused by passenger/named drivers on your policy

This type of insurance does not, however, cover any injuries or damage you or your car receive that is caused by yourself, as with Third Party, Fire and Theft insurance (TPFT).


Third Party, Fire & Theft (TPFT)

This provides all of the same features and benefits standard third-party insurance with additions to the basic cover if your car is:

  • Written off by fire

  • Stolen or damaged

  • Damaged due to attempted theft – provided you aren’t responsible



Comprehensive insurance includes all the features and benefits of third-party and TPFT insurances, with a few added components depending on which type you take out and which provider you are purchasing from. The main items covered are as follows:

  • Damage to your car that is not even your own fault

  • Cover for windscreen damage

Some insurance companies can even include a courtesy car with their comprehensive cover, but this is not always the case.

Other Types

Insurance providers can also offer smaller policies meeting motorists’ individual needs, that can vary depending on unique circumstances. Here are a few listed below:

  • Temporary car insurance – usually lasting about 28 days, this can perhaps be most suitable for the user who plans to sell or simply stop using vehicle soon

  • Multicar insurance – if a user is taking out more than one policy with the same provider, even at the same address, often a discount is offered by the insurers

  • Classic car insurance – policy tailored to the use of a particularly old, antique vehicle and its needs  

So, depending on what you are after, how much you use your car and what you use it for, you should think very carefully into which type of insurance to take out, as each can have a varying cost and each type can have slightly different features, depending on which company you are buying from.