Car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK, but it’s important to consider what level of protection is right for you. 

With more than 30 million Footnote [1] cars on our roads, bumps and prangs are going to happen. According to figures from our Aviva UK claims report, 350,000 Footnote [2] claims were made in 2017 and more than 99% Footnote [2] were settled. The most common? Third-party personal injuries (44%) Footnote [2].

What are the differences between car cover options?

Like their cars, not all drivers are the same. Most providers will offer different products to suit their customers’ needs.

Third-party, third-party fire and theft, and comprehensive are the three standard options generally available across the industry. But whatever you choose, make sure you have the right amount of cover for your needs. 

If you’re involved in an incident, you don’t want added worries at what could already be a difficult time.


Third-party is the minimum amount of car insurance required by law. It covers your liability for any injury or damage caused to other people or their property, but not the cost of repairs to your vehicle. 

Although prices vary depending on the insurer, these policies aren’t necessarily cheaper.

Third party, fire and theft

You’re protected for third-party costs and repairs to, or replacement of, your vehicle because of fire, theft or attempted theft. These policies give you added protection, but still won’t pay out for accidental damage if you’re at fault.


Comprehensive car insurance is the greatest level of protection available and covers third-party costs and damage to your vehicle even if you caused the incident. 

In a year, we repair nearly 120,000 vehicles, enough to almost fill every lane of the M25 if you placed them end to end Footnote [2].

Third-party versus fully comprehensive  

Drive a new or expensive car? Then a third-party policy may not be for you. If you’re involved in a collision that’s your fault, you could be looking at a sizeable bill if your own vehicle’s damaged. And you won’t be covered if your car is stolen. 

On the flip side, if you can pay for – or carry out – any repairs yourself, or buy a new vehicle, third-party cover might be an option worth considering.

For many people, it’s worth paying a higher premium for a fully comp policy for the peace of mind that comes with more protection.

However, don’t assume comprehensive is more expensive than third-party policies as prices will depend on your car and your provider. It’s worth checking all your options before deciding.

Optional extras to suit your needs

Aviva customers can choose from a range of optional extras to boost their car cover. If you opt for our Basic insurance, you’ll be restricted as to what you can add. For example, you can only add named drivers on your policy if they’re aged 25 or older. 

UK breakdown cover

This provides extra protection for your car, regardless of who's driving if it breaks down. There are four levels of cover, but this optional extra isn’t available with our Basic insurance. 

Protect your no claim discount 

Your price won’t go up as a direct result of making one claim. Again, this isn’t available with our Basic cover.

Courtesy car

You can carry on driving if your car is damaged, written off or stolen. This is available as an option for Basic customers but is included in our Regular and Premium cover.

Motor injury protection plus

This offers financial peace of mind if you, your partner or a named driver is injured in an accident while in the insured car. It isn’t available with Basic cover.

Foreign use 

Comprehensive cover for when you’re driving abroad. It can’t be added to our Basic insurance but is an option for Regular customers and is included in our Premium policies.

Motor legal services 

Expert legal support for you and your named drivers. If you have an accident, we also support any passengers who were in the car at the time. This is included with our Premium cover and can be added to our Basic and Regular options.

Not all insurers offer the same cover

Even if you’re comparing the same level of cover from different insurers, check what each one provides. Not all offer the same standard elements, for instance uninsured driver protection, replacement locks and child seat cover. 

Also, don’t assume the most expensive policy is the best or the cheapest is the worst. You’ll find a range of different prices for insurance policies, so check what’s covered as standard and which optional extras you might want to add.

Comparison sites

We’ve chosen not to appear on comparison sites, so if you use these to search for policies, make sure you also see what car insurance we offer.

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More articles about insuring your car

Questions about your policy, making a claim, or how to qualify for a no claim discount? Here’s where to find the answers.