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A volunteer removing a box of groceries from the back of a large car


Check you’re insured while driving as a volunteer.

Find out whether your car insurance covers you when you’re volunteering

If you’re thinking about volunteering as a driver for an organisation – perhaps to take elderly or ill people to appointments, to collect prescriptions or to pick up donated goods – then you’ll want to make sure you’re insured while on the road.

So does your personal car insurance cover you while volunteering, will the charity’s insurance cover you or do you need business car insurance?

Are volunteer drivers covered on their own car insurance?

It depends. Some car insurers cover volunteer driving within their regular insurance policies at no extra cost, while others might charge an extra premium or impose a higher excess.

Contact your insurer to find out if you’re covered. And even if you know you are, you should still contact them to let them know you’ll be using your car for this purpose. You should also include your volunteer driving miles when declaring your annual mileage.

Saga car insurance automatically covers you while your vehicle is being used for voluntary work in connection with a UK-registered voluntary or charitable organisation, as long as the work is voluntary and you aren’t getting paid for it.

What if you’re driving a vehicle that belongs to the charity?

If you're driving a vehicle that belongs to the charity or voluntary organisation, you should be covered by their insurance. But it's your legal responsibility as the driver to make sure that you have the right insurance, so always check with the organisation to be sure.

You may also be able to use your own car insurance for volunteer work if you have cover for driving other vehicles. However, this can be a complex area, so it’s important to contact and get written clarification from your insurance provider in this instance.

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Do volunteers ever need business car insurance?

No, if you’re driving as a volunteer, it’s unlikely you’d ever need business car insurance. You’ll either be covered by your own personal car insurance or by the organisation’s insurance.

The exception might be if you’re receiving financial reward, in which case this wouldn’t necessarily count as volunteering. But if the charity is just reimbursing you the standard HMRC rate of 45p a mile, or covering expenses like lunch, then that wouldn't be an issue.

Things to consider if you’re a volunteer driver

Once you’ve got your car insurance sorted for volunteering and you’re ready to get started, here are a few things to consider:

  • Records – you should keep clear records of journeys taken as a volunteer, noting down the mileage, time and date and purpose of the journey.
  • Expenses – you may be able to claim expenses for fuel, insurance, road tax, servicing, repairs and depreciation with HMRC if they come to more than the approved mileage rate.
  • Seat belts – all cars must legally have front and rear seatbelts and all passengers should wear seatbelts
  • Accidents – in the event of an accident, you should inform the organisation and the emergency services immediately.
  • Breaks – you should take a break for at least 15 minutes every two hours.

Who are Saga's car insurance policies underwritten by?

Saga’s car insurance policies, exclusively for people over 50, are unique products designed by us specifically for our customers. They are underwritten by a number of carefully selected insurers that provide high standards of quality and service.

Choose Saga for your car insurance

If your current car insurance doesn’t cover you for volunteering, then find out about switching car insurance providers or get a car insurance quote with Saga.