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Car insurance puzzle

Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Car insurance puzzle

Several months ago on a Saturday afternoon I purchased a second hand car from a private seller and he took my own car in part exchange.
I phoned the insurance company to inform them about this and was advised they only took calls out of normal working hours that related to the reporting of accidents and all other matters had to be dealt with Monday to Friday 9-5 plus Saturday mornings.
So I now own a car I am unable to drive as my policy clearly states that in addition to the car registered on my policy I can drive any other car not owned by me with the owners consent. So I own the car, have valid insurance but am not insured to drive it ?
OK so I can go back on the Monday and do the transaction then but not very convenient if I or the other person is working odd hours and it's a considerable distance.
I Suspect most car insurance companies operate like this but why have such daft wording in an insurance policy ?Huh
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Car insurance puzzle

Pretty normal I'm afraid.
You either have to tell the insurers in advance or make other arrangements to move vehicles around - e.g. get a third party to drive it for you.
Crazy, but that's the way it is!
The other thing to beware is that it's not insured against theft etc. if you do conclude the transaction "out of hours" and get it delivered to your home. Also leaving it on the road may be technically illegal and probably unwise anyway.
itsme
Grafter
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Car insurance puzzle

It did not become a problem until a few years ago. My comprehensive  insurance never specified the car registration but stated Any Car owned by the policy holder. But I believed this had to be change so that the police database had a car registration against an insurance policy.
itsme
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Re: Car insurance puzzle

Quote from: HPsauce
- e.g. get a third party to drive it for you.

I would say that the only people that I know that could drive it are people that work in the motor trade as they have insurance to take care of this. As cars have to be insured even if they are driven by a third party on their insurance.
nadger
Rising Star
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Car insurance puzzle

That's true - vehicle has to already be insured before one could drive it, third party, on one's own insurance.
Last time I changed vehicles my insurers covered the vehicle I was going to finalise purchase on and also covered existing vehicle for 14 days which enabled me to sell it on eBay.
Community Veteran
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Re: Car insurance puzzle

I have had the same insurance company for more than 25 years or so. About five years ago I was stopped for speeding on the M3. During the "interview" in the police car the officers noted I seemed to be driving without insurance. Fortunately, I have for many years carried my certificate of insurance in the car (together with all those other documents a driver needs) I produced the certificate which was inspected and cross-checked, with an apology and a remark that their database is only as good as the people inputting the data.
Had I not had the relevant document to hand, my disabled wife and I would have been decanted from our car which would have been removed to a police pound (presumably at my expense) and we would be left to make our own onward travel arrangements after the police got us off the motorway.
Be warned the police database is not infallible.
Oh yes! I was still nicked for the speeding offence...
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Community Veteran
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Re: Car insurance puzzle

Easiest way around this is when you buy the car, put it in your partners name (or another member of the family you trust) and carry your insurance certificate with you which clearly shows you can drive other peoples cars with their consent. As soon as you get it home and arrange insurance on it you can then take ownership of it. Be careful though because some insurance companies will insist that the car is already insured by the owner for your 3rd party insurance to be effective.
Thats how I brought home one of our cars moons ago.  The deal wasn't done until quite late in the day so we went to collect it and the SO had it in their name (well.. it was going to be their car on permanent loan to me anyway so technically it was correct). Brought it all the way home like that over 200 miles and never got stopped once. The other thing to bear in mind is that its only insured when you are driving it. As soon as you get out of the car its uninsured so if you leave it on a public road the fuzz can remove it. Private car parks are ok though (Not sure what motorway service stations are classed as).
Quote from: Petlew
About five years ago I was stopped for speeding on the M3. During the "interview" in the police car the officers noted I seemed to be driving without insurance.
Had I not had the relevant document to hand, my disabled wife and I would have been decanted from our car which would have been removed to a police pound (presumably at my expense) and we would be left to make our own onward travel arrangements after the police got us off the motorway.

Not quite right actually fella. I got pulled by the rozzers on the M55 last year bringing back a car we'd just bought. Again it showed up as not being insured and I ended up having my interview in the back of their big plod car. I got asked every question under the sun to confirm my identity and then tons of stuff about my insurance and I didn't have a certificate with me to produce because I had only setup the temporary policy that day a few hours earlier over the phone. I got quizzed very intensively about almost every aspect of my life, ID, car details, previous cars, insurance details of past and present policies etc. He then let me go with a warning "I'll be in touch if the MIB say you're not insured in the morning". With that I asked for a receipt for being stopped (which he declined to give), a bumper/window sticker saying I'd been pulled by the law (again refused) and eventually threatened to stand in front of his plod car until I got a receipt. He got a bit snarly with me at that point and told me to get out of his way. He did eventually see the funny side of it but still refused to give me a receipt saying it was another 10 minutes of paperwork.
He was a decent enough bloke it turned out but his tone when he first had me in his car was one of "You're automatically guilty and I'm gonna bust you". Once he realised I was genuine and wasn't hiding anything he was quite happy to let me go with a warning that he'd be checking my policy in the morning. I can tell you though its not easy convincing a dedicated motorway plod that you're innocent and law abiding when you have no real proof other than what you tell them and they automatically think you're guilty. That was hard work.
At the end of the day as long as you're genuinely insured and truthful with the plods most of them are alright but you do need to be as honest as you can be because the plods have instinct and if they have the slightest doubt about you then they're going to take you in.
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Re: Car insurance puzzle

Last two times I changed car I rang the insurer (AA in both cases) and said I'd be picking up the new car at, say, 2pm.
I was then covered in the old car till 13:59 and the new one one minute later. Just made sure I arrived well before 2 and left after.
Albeit I was buying from a dealer but I don't think it could be any more complicated privately. I was also told that if the sale fell through then a quick call would have my old car re-instated.

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Community Veteran
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Re: Car insurance puzzle

Quote from: Mav
Last two times I changed car I rang the insurer (AA in both cases) and said I'd be picking up the new car at, say, 2pm.
I was then covered in the old car till 13:59 and the new one one minute later. Just made sure I arrived well before 2 and left after.

I don't even bother with the timing thing  - I just add a temporary extension/policy and have the new one insured at the same time.
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Denzil
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Re: Car insurance puzzle

Quote from: Petlew
Fortunately, I have for many years carried my certificate of insurance in the car (together with all those other documents a driver needs...

It is actually not a good idea to keep your documents in the car (at least, not the originals). It makes life so much easier for a thief if he takes it, because you have kindly provided him with all the documents as well! If you must keep documents in the car, take photocopies, and write "Copy" across them.
Community Veteran
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Re: Car insurance puzzle

You realise photocopies of your insurance certificate are not legal though don't you? - The police do not have to accept them under any circumstances (and nearly always won't).
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Denzil
Grafter
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Re: Car insurance puzzle

I know, a copy would not be considered legal proof, but there is no legal requirement to produce original documents on the spot anyway.  I suppose a lot would depend on the discretion of the individual officer. If you have been pulled because the car is not shown as insured on the Police National Computer for some reason, then at least you have the chance to explain the situation, and he might accept it. The officer can always phone your insurance company to confirm it, or give you a producer, so you can take the original to a police station within seven days. You are still asking for trouble by leaving original documents in the car. There is the potential for identity theft to consider as well.
Community Veteran
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Re: Car insurance puzzle

Quote from: Denzil
You are still asking for trouble by leaving original documents in the car. There is the potential for identity theft to consider as well.

Yes without a doubt I would never leave any documents like that in the car.
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