Can I drive any car on a motor trade policy?

18 Aug, 2022

A motor trade or road risk policy is designed for people who drive other people’s cars as part of their business. So, you’d expect that you’d be able to drive any car on a motor trade policy, right?

Well, no. There are some rules about when you can drive cars that aren’t yours, who can drive the cars on your motor trade policy, and for what purpose. It’s important to know these rules so you don’t get caught out.

Who can get a motor trade policy anyway?

You might need a motor trade policy if you’re a:

  • Car sales person who needs to move cars around a forecourt
  • Vehicle mechanic, if you need to move cars around your premises / drive them to diagnose issues or test fixes
  • Motor trader, buying and selling cars
  • Valeter, if you have to move cars belonging to customers
  • Tyre-fitter, who needs to drive cars onto a ramp to change the tyres
  • Vehicle delivery driver for a repairs or sales company

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it gives you an idea of the kinds of work that requires a motor trade policy.

So if you have motor trade insurance, what cars can you legally drive on it?

You can drive your own cars on a motor trade policy

Most motor traders will put their own, privately owned vehicles on their motor trade policy. Plus, any vehicles you own as part of your business, e.g. a delivery or recovery truck.

Typically, you get both business use and personal use (aka social, domestic and pleasure) when putting your own vehicles on your motor trade policy.

Other people on your motor trade insurance can drive any cars on the policy

If your cars are on your motor trade policy, any drivers on that policy can also drive them. With motor trade, this usually means drivers over 25 with 3 years of a licence and UK residency. But – and this is crucial – they must be a named driver on the policy.

An unnamed driver can’t drive your vehicles on a motor trade policy, so make sure you stay insured and get them added. After all, this is one of the mistakes that can lead to a motor trade policy being cancelled.

If you only have your personal cars privately covered and they’re not on your motor trade insurance, anyone else who wants to drive them would need to be a named driver on your private policy.

You can’t just drive your friend’s car

Your friend or family member’s car will have its own insurance policy. If you’re not a named driver on that policy and their car isn’t included in your motor trade cover, then no, you can’t drive it. If they’re a customer of yours and their car needs to be driven by you as part of your business, then your motor trade policy should cover this.

How do I know what’s allowed?

You should check the details of your policy, as they can vary from insurer to insurer. If you don’t know for sure that you can drive a particular car for for a certain thing, it’s best to check. Your broker should be able to help you with this, too.


If you need guidance on what cars you can drive on a motor trade policy, speak to your broker or give us a call on 0121 248 9300 and our experienced team can advise you. Get in touch simply and easily below.