What is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance – also known as fully comprehensive – is the highest level of protection you can have before hitting the road. It pays out if you damage your car or a third party’s vehicle and if you injure someone in an accident, even if it was your fault.

With comprehensive insurance, you’re also covered against fire and theft, so if you’re looking for complete peace of mind, this might be the insurance cover for you.

What is included in comprehensive insurance cover?

Different comprehensive insurance policies can offer different benefits, but, generally speaking, they will cover:

  • Accidental damage to your car or someone else’s car
  • Injuries sustained in an accident by you or someone else involved
  • Accidental damage to other people’s property
  • Damaged or stolen personal belongings
  • Windscreen repairs

Other benefits that may only be offered as optional add-ons might include:

  • Cover when involved in an accident with an uninsured driver
  • A courtesy car
  • Replacement of lost or stolen keys
  • Breakdown cover
  • Wrong fuel cover
  • No claims protection
  • Driving abroad cover
  • Legal protection

How car insurance works through Autedia

Get your quotes

Search over 110 different providers to find the cheapest car insurance option for you.

Compare policies

Check out the different types of insurance and choose between annual and monthly payments to build the perfect deal.

Click to buy

Once you’ve found the policy for you, simply click through to purchase online. You could be fully covered in minutes!

How does comprehensive insurance work?

It all starts with a quote. Complete our online application form, and you’ll be asked to input necessary information about yourself, your car, and any other drivers you want to include on your policy. This will allow our panel of over 110 insurers to provide you with an initial quote for comprehensive car insurance.

You can then choose the policy that works best for you; this might be the cheapest option or the one that offers the most coverage. Most insurers will also let you decide whether you want to pay for your comprehensive insurance in one annual or 12 monthly payments.

How much does comprehensive car insurance cost?

While you might assume that comprehensive car insurance is the most expensive option, it’s often the cheapest – even if you’re looking for young driver insurance!

On the other hand, drivers who choose third-party insurance are often greater risk-takers, which is reflected in the cost of the cover.

Even so, insurers take a whole range of factors into account when they work out the price of your car insurance, including:

  • Your age
  • Your job
  • Your driving history
  • The car you drive
  • The number of miles you drive each year
  • Where you live

How can I get cheaper comprehensive insurance?

There are many ways that you can cut the cost of your comprehensive insurance:

  • Choose a car from a low insurance group
  • Choose black box insurance
  • Park your car in a secure garage overnight
  • Pay annually rather than spreading the cost over 12 monthly payments
  • Agree to pay a higher voluntary excess
  • Add an alarm or immobiliser to your car to keep it safe

Can I drive any car if I have comprehensive insurance?

In the past, having a comprehensive car insurance policy often meant you could get behind the wheel of someone else’s vehicle – with their permission, of course!

Unfortunately, this is no longer standard, and you’re usually only covered for the car detailed in your policy.

Look out for a ‘driving other cars’ clause. Your policy might offer this to cover emergencies, but check the terms and conditions to find out more.

If you do have a ‘driving other cars’ clause, you’ll only be insured on a third-party basis. The damage won’t be covered if you’re involved in an accident in someone else’s pride and joy. You’ll only be covered for damage to the third party’s vehicle.

‘Driving other cars’ clauses are usually only offered to drivers over the age of 25.

What are the alternatives to comprehensive car insurance?

If comprehensive cover isn’t the right fit for you, there are three other types of insurance that you can consider.

Remember, it’s illegal to drive on UK roads without insurance.

Third Party, Fire & Theft Insurance

With a Third Party, Fire & Theft insurance policy, you’ll be covered for:

  • Injuries to other people but not yourself
  • Damage to another person’s car or property but not your own
  • Legal claims made against you after an accident
  • Theft of your car
  • Damage as the result of a failed theft attempt, e.g., door lock repairs
  • Fire damage to your car

While this type of insurance offers a good middle ground, you won’t receive any money towards repairing or replacing your car in the event of an accident. Your medical bills also won’t be covered.

Third Party Insurance

Third-party insurance is the minimum level of legal cover in the UK. It’s designed to safeguard other road users in the event of an accident.

You’ll be covered for:

  • Injuries to other people
  • Damage to another person’s car or property

As this is the bare minimum level of cover, you won’t be covered for any damage to your own car or injuries that you receive in an accident that’s your fault.

Black Box Insurance

Black box insurance – also known as telematics – can be a good option for young and newly qualified drivers who are looking for cheaper car insurance.

It requires a small device – the black box – to be installed into your car to monitor how you drive. If you avoid sharp breaking, rapid acceleration, and reckless cornering, you could qualify for a discount when you renew your policy.

FAQs - Comprehensive Car Insurance

What is compulsory excess?
Compulsory excess is set by the insurer and is the amount you’ll need to pay if you make a claim.

If you have a compulsory excess of £200, for example, and make a claim of £1,000, you’ll need to pay the first £200 and the insurer will pay the remaining £800.

Excesses need to paying even if the accident wasn’t your fault. However, in some cases, insurers may waive it and decide to settle your claim in full.

If you’re a young driver, you may have a higher compulsory excess than more experienced drivers.

What is voluntary excess?
Voluntary excess is the amount you’re prepared to pay on top of the insurer’s compulsory excess.

Generally, the more you’re willing to pay in excess, the lower the cost of your insurance premium.

What is a no claims bonus?
Drivers can earn a no claims bonus for each year they go without making a claim on their insurance policy. In return for being a safe driver, the insurer may offer a discount based on the number of years you’ve driven without claiming.

You can transfer your no claims bonus from one insurer to another. Insurers may also offer to let you buy ‘no claims bonus protection’. This typically enables you to claim once or twice in a set period without losing your bonus.

The best way to protect your discount is to avoid being in an accident that’s found to be your fault. An accident where the other driver was at fault shouldn’t impact your no claims bonus.

You could save up to £504*
*51% of consumers could save £504.25 on their Car Insurance. The saving was calculated by comparing the cheapest price found with the average of the next five cheapest prices quoted by insurance providers on Seopa Ltd’s insurance comparison website. This is based on representative cost savings from September 2023 data. The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.