What Are The Best Third Party Only Car Insurances?

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Alexandre Desoutter updated on July 22, 2020

If you want to own a car you need to have car insurance. It’s a legal requirement and you don’t have much to say in the matter.

Fortunately, what you do have is plenty of choice! Between a plethora of third party, fire and theft or comprehensive policies available on the market, you might even be left confused and wondering which is the right one for you.

The real question is: is it worth sticking to the most basic, third-party policy to be able to save money?

Let us help you find some clarity with this all-you-need-to-know guide to Third Party Car Insurance. You will find third party insurance definition, what does exactly third party cover, quotes and even tips to lower your premium.

What is third-party car insurance?

Third-party insurance is the first and most basic level of car insurance you can get. It is mandatory by law to get this level of protection while driving in the UK.

With third party car insurance (or TPO), you are covered if you cause any accident or damage to someone else’s property when driving. It also covers personal injury caused to other passengers or road users.

Let us illustrate third party insurance meaning with an example.

You’re driving back home after picking up your kids and their friends from school. All of a sudden you lose control of your car, causing an accident. The kids are all ok apart from a few bumps and scratches, but you've caused significant damage to the front porch of someone’s house. If you have basic Third Party coverage in place, your insurer will normally take care of the expenses for the damage caused to the person’s house as well as the cost of medical treatment for the injured passengers or innocent bystanders. But, it won’t cover the damage to your vehicle or any personal injuries to yourself.

Simply put, it’s the least you can do for those who have been affected due to your negligence on the road.

Compare best third-party car insurance quotes

To give you an idea, here’s a quick comparison of monthly Third-Party car insurance quotes for Eco Car drivers between the ages of 31-40, living in the Greater London area.

Insurance providerMonthly premium
logo one call insurance£113.75
logo be wiser£127.58
logo sterling insurance£152.25
logo go girl 2£209.75
logo dialdirect£247.08
logo endsleigh£270.14
logo royal bank of scotland£289.66
logo post office£291.25
logo ms£300.75
logo rac£309.08
Third-party only car insurance comparison

There are many factors such as your age, type of vehicle, mileage etc that are taken into account to calculate your insurance quotes. Make sure you find cheap third party car insurance by using our online price comparator to find the right quote for your situation.

Is it cheaper to get third-party insurance cover?

Most often, no.

People often think that getting a third party only policy would be cheaper as it is the minimum car insurance coverage. But most of the time, it isn’t.

Let’s take a look at some comparisons between third party and comprehensive insurance quotes for eco car drivers between the ages of 31-40, living in the Greater London Area.

Insurance providerMonthly premium - Third-party OnlyMonthly premium - Comprehensive
logo sterling insurance£152.25£150.91
logo go girl 2£209.75£168.08
logo endsleigh 1£270.41£239.16
logo lloyds bank£288.58£281.33
logo budget£339.16£331.91
Third-party only vs. comprehensive monthly premium comparison

As you can see from the chart above, the cost of third party insurance for these drivers is usually higher than the cost of comprehensive insurance.

Why is it so?

The cost of your premium depends on your personal circumstances. For example, your age, where you live, the make and trim of your car, and how many miles a year you drive.

Risk has everything to do with the price of insurance policies. Typically, insurers assume that those who opt for this type of coverage are riskier drivers and hence, more likely to claim. As a result they increase the premiums on these policies. This is why 3rd party car insurance can be more expensive than comprehensive insurance in most cases.

Use our online price comparator tool to find more quotes and compare them easily.

Is third-party car insurance compulsory?


Like it or not, third party insurance is the bare minimum you need to drive legally on public roads. It has been compulsory since it was introduced with the Road Traffic Act 1930.

What does third-party only car insurance cover?

It covers everyone and everything other than yourself and your car.

The idea behind third-party only insurance is to protect those who have suffered injury or loss in the event of an accident that was your fault. If an accident is the fault of someone else, you will be covered as a third party under their TPO policy.

A third-party policy will cover any of the following injuries if you ever are involved in an accident:

  • Tiny injuries
  • Severe fractures
  • Partial disability
  • Permanent total disability (for example, in the case of paralysis of the limbs or loss of bodily parts because of the accident, the insurance company compensates the loss for the person)
  • Death (the coverage should be unlimited and depends on factors like the earning capacity of the affected and the impact on the family, etc.)
  • Property damage or any damage made to the third party’s car.

To illustrate what is third party insurance for car exactly, let us show you an example. For example, say you drive into someone’s car, damaging their rear bumper, breaking their tail lights and injuring the driver. Your third-party insurance would cover the cost of the other person’s car as well as his medical expenses.

To summarise, third-party only cover ensures that those who suffer loss or injury in a road accident for no fault of theirs, can be compensated.

What is not covered by third party only car insurance?

If an accident is your fault, any damages to your car or resultant injuries to yourself cannot be claimed.

Here’s a list of things that are likely to leave you on your own even if you have a third-party car insurance policy in place:

Third-party only exclusionsExplanation
Repairs and replacementThe cost of repairing or replacing your car is not covered under any Third Party Only policy.
Personal injuryThird party only does not cover you for any personal injuries you may have sustained in an accident that was caused by you.
Uninsured driverIf you are hit by an uninsured driver with no third party policy in place you will not be able to file a claim even though the accident was not your fault.
Fire and TheftThird Party Only does not cover you if your vehicle is stolen or damaged in a fire.
Driving another carYour Third Party Policy will not cover you if you are driving someone else’s car.
ModificationsAny physical or mechanical modifications you make to your car will not be covered under a Third Party Policy.
Third-party only exclusions table

Can I drive someone else’s car with third party only car insurance?


You are not allowed to drive another persons’ car with just Third Party car insurance.

Usually, those people who regularly drive other peoples cars would require to have their names listed as an ‘other driver’ in the insurance policy of the car they wish to drive. This option is only provided under a fully comprehensive insurance policy and in most cases you need to be at least 25 years old.

Learn more about Fully Comprehensive Car insurance.

Why get third-party car insurance?

For starters, it’s the minimum legal requirement.

If you are confident about your driving proficiency and are able to pay for any repairs or damages to your car yourself, third party only insurance may be the one for you.

But be careful because third party only premiums are often higher than fully comprehensive premiums because insurers include the higher risk factor in the price. You must always check upfront which insurer provides cheaper quotes for a TPO level of cover rather than comprehensive.

However, if you pay a high price for a TPO policy, this means that in the event that you do need to claim, you might end up paying less out of pocket than you would otherwise.

It’s always a good idea to have a telematics box installed. A telematics box records your driving patterns for evaluation by your insurer. Third party car insurance quotes for cars with telematics installed are typically lower. 

Does third party car insurance cover personal injury?

Yes, but only to others.

Your third party insurance does not cover you and your motor vehicle. It covers your legal liability for the damage you may cause to a third party only - bodily injury, death and damage to third party property - while using your vehicle.

The beneficiary of third party insurance is therefore, always the injured third party.

What is the difference between comprehensive and third party car insurance?

Think of it as night and day.

Third party is the minimum legal amount of insurance you are required to have.

Fully comprehensive car insurance is, on the other hand, the highest level of insurance you can possibly get for your car.

Not only does it offer all the protection afforded by third-party only (TPO) and third-party, fire and theft cover (TPFT) it also covers for any damage to your own car and any injuries to yourself.

Let’s try to understand the differences better with this comparative chart:

Coverage optionsComprehensiveThird-party Only
Vandalism or fireyesno
Windshield and glass damageyesno
Accidents involving animalsyesno
Damages caused by natural calamitiesyesno
Accidental damage caused by negligenceyesno
Personal injuries to selfyesno
Personal injuries to third partiesyesyes
Damages caused to third party vehiclesyesyes
Replacement vehiclesyesno
Coverage options available and exclusions Third-Party only vs. Comprehensive policies

As is clear from the above chart, third party insurance covers only two of the possible claims you are eligible to file, namely, personal injuries to others and damage caused to other vehicles. Nothing more, nothing less. Here is what a car insurance third party only stands for.

What is the difference between third party car insurance and third-party, fire and theft cover?

Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) is the next level of insurance after Third-Party Only (TPO) as it covers for damages caused due to Fire and Theft which are not covered under TPO.

As you can see from the chart below, TPFT offers all the same coverage offered under TPO but with additional fire and theft coverage.

Coverage optionsThird-Party Fire and TheftThird-Party Only
Vandalism or fireyesno
Windshield and glass damagenono
Accidents involving animalsnono
Damages caused by natural calamitiesnono
Accidental damage caused by negligencenono
Personal injuries to selfnono
Personal injuries to third partiesyesyes
Damages caused to third party vehiclesyesyes
Replacement vehiclesnono
Coverage options available and exclusions Third-Party Only vs. Third-Party Fire and Theft policies

How to get cheap third-party car insurance?

Car insurance prices are calculated using a variety of factors. Here are some top tips for finding cheapest third-party car insurances:

  • Shop around: every insurance provider offers different services and prices so always shop around to find one that is suitable to you. To find some of the best prices for car insurance on the market, use our online price comparator. It’s easy and accurate;
  • Drive responsibly: your driving history is also taken into account while calculating premiums. The cleaner your driving record, the lower your quote;
  • Install blackbox or telematics: some insurance providers (Hastings Direct, Admiral, More Than etc.) can now fit a clever device into your car that measures how well you drive. By having the device installed in your car, it's possible for you to prove that you drive safely, thereby decreasing your quotes;
  • Build up your No-Claim Discount or NCD: a No-Claim Discount is a count of the number of years in which you haven't made a claim on your car insurance policy. For example, a No-claims Bonus of five years or more is likely to give you a significant discount on your premium.

Or, have a look at our detailed article on how to get a cheaper car insurance policy.

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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.

In this sense, his role leads him to carry out steering and support work with all HelloSafe editors and contributors so that the editorial line defined by the company is fully respected. and declined through the texts published daily on our platforms.

As such, Alexandre is responsible for implementing and maintaining the strictest journalistic standards within the HelloSafe editorial staff, in order to guarantee the most accurate, up-to-date information on our platforms. and expert as possible. Alexandre has in particular undertaken for two years now the implementation of a system of systematic double-checking of all the articles published within the HelloSafe ecosystem, able to guarantee the highest quality of information.