Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • Some auto insurance policies allow you to drive cars not registered to you or vehicles that you don’t own without many restrictions
  • The policy extension will only cover the policy-holder only and won’t apply for other named drivers
  • In order to prevent misuse, the policy extension is designed to be used in emergency situations only
  • To be fully covered while driving another car which you are not covered for, say a friend’s van, you need to be added as a driver since policy extension only covers third party damages in case of an accident
  • You can drive a van under your auto insurance policy but only if your policy extends a cover to other vehicles and the car meets all the necessary criteria

Just because you are fully licensed and have comprehensive coverage, you might assume that you are covered to drive other vehicles with the same level of protection, which is a common misconception.

Each auto insurance company has a unique definition of full comprehensive coverage. Some insurers might include an extension to other cars while others don’t.

Even if your insurer extends your cover to other vehicles, borrowed or otherwise, you will not get the same level of protection you have while driving your own vehicle. Most policy extensions will only have a third party liability cover.

When looking for auto insurance coverage, make sure that the policy extends coverage to driving other cars. It is not easy to find such a policy without extra costs, but you can compare as many quotes as possible until you find an acceptable rate.

Compare quotes today using our free rate tool above.

Criteria for Qualification for Policy Extension


Auto insurance companies don’t include other cars while selling auto insurance products, usually. You’d have to make a special request for that, and you will also have to pay additional costs.

It’s not guaranteed that the insurer will even allow this extension based on some factors like age and occupation.

People below 25 years old will not get policy extension to cover driving other cars and will have to get temporary coverage to do that or be named as drivers of that particular vehicle.

For the extension to drive other cars to take effect, the following specific criteria must be met:

  • The vehicle must have a clean record. Traffic police must have never seized it for being driven without insurance.
  • The car isn’t yours, and it’s not on a lease.
  • The owner of the car knows you are driving it and agrees to it.
  • You still have your car, and it’s not written off.
  • You are 25 years or older.
  • Your car insurance explicitly says that have a policy extension to drive vans.
  • The borrowed vehicle is also insured.
  • Your job does not require you to drive other vehicles regularly.

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– Age-Related Restrictions

The age restriction is the leading cause of denial of driving vans policy extension.

Some auto insurers, however, don’t place the age restriction on drivers. You can shop around insurers to find out who does and doesn’t apply these restrictions if driving vans is a large part of your daily activities.

– Certain Occupations

Insurers have the right to deny you policy extension to drive other vehicles if your profession is considered too much of a risk. There are occupations that a policyholder is more likely to be driving vans.

You are going to have check with your auto insurance company if your occupation qualifies. In most cases, occupations in the automotive industry are denied a driving vans extension.

– Your Spouse’s Car

You are not allowed to drive your partner’s car, or if you do, then the drive other people’s car extension will not cover you.

This type of coverage carries some very stringent stipulations. It is common that the vehicle cannot be a lease, but also coverage does not extend to your spouse’s car.

Coverage varies among many insurers. The best thing is to meticulously look at the terms and conditions of a potential policy before you make the decision to buy it.

Purchasing a coverage might cost you a lot of money only to find out that the policy doesn’t cover one particular instance you wanted to extend your policy to.

The Consequences

You will face dire consequences if you are caught driving a van without insurance or if you allow an uninsured individual to drive your car without coverage. You will be penalized which will raise your premiums.

Some insurers will refuse to insure your vehicle at all. Having a record will do the same to your rates too.

Avoid both of these mistakes if you want to have a relatively easy time with insurance companies and always ensure that you are fully covered.

If you have a coverage policy that allows you to drive a van with your insurance, always double check with your insurer if there is any bit of confusion. There could be other forms of restrictions that you don’t know about.

For instance, some auto insurance companies will apply geographical limits when it comes to borrowed cars. Drive the car beyond the allowed territory, and you are on your own.

Not Exclusive

A policy extension to drive vans depends on the auto insurance company and is not exclusive to car insurance coverage. This applies to motorcycles, too, but with more restrictions.

The protection provided by this coverage will always be a third party regardless of the policyholder’s level of coverage.

What that means is damages arising from an at-fault car accident as a result of the legitimate use of the policy extension will be taken care of by your insurance policy, not that particular vehicle’s insurance coverage.

If you plan to be driving vans a lot, make the necessary arrangements and purchase the right coverage. However, this type of coverage will come at a cost.

What you can do is comparison shop until you can find a pocket-friendly policy to minimize the additional cost. Get started today using our free tool.