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Laid up car insurance

Own an unused car but still want it insured? Laid up car insurance can protect your vehicle, for less.

Laid up car insurance is designed to protect cars that are unused or in the process of being repaired or restored, and aren't currently on the road. It means your premium is cheaper, but you're still protected for things like fire, theft, or damage during transit.

What is laid up car insurance?

Laid up car insurance is designed to cover cars which are off the road, because they're currently being repaired or restored. It's a popular type of cover for car enthusiasts, who may be tinkering with a vintage vehicle in their spare time.

Typically, the car must be on private property or located at a workshop of some sort, to be eligible for laid up cover. It might also cover damage in transit, if you're moving your car from one location to another.

Who offers unused car insurance?

Laid up car insurance isn't a particularly common type of insurance, but there a few policies available in Australia, including:

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  • Your car won't be covered if it's in use.
  • Your car must be located at your address, car centre, or a professional garage or workshop.
Dawes logo
  • Your car won't be covered while it's being driven, other than for loading and unloading.
  • For vehicles that are not registered for use on the road or are currently undergoing restoration.
  • Your car will be covered while it's being loaded and unloaded for transportation.
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  • Your car won't be covered while it's being driven, other than for loading and unloading.
  • Your car will be covered while it's being loaded and unloaded for transportation, as well as during transit.
Ryno logo
  • Your car won't be covered if it's being driven.
  • Your car must be kept in your home or locked garage, at a workshop for maintenance or repair, on display at a car event, at an auction event or at a club event.
  • Your car will also be covered while it's being loaded and unloaded for transport, and during transit, to one of the above locations
Shannons Logo
  • Your car won't be covered if it's in use.
  • The car must be located within a private residence, at a Shannons auction event, or at a workshop for maintenance or repair.
  • Your car will also be covered when it's being loaded or unloaded for transport, and during transit, to any of the above locations.

Pros and cons of laid up cover

Laid up cover is designed with car enthusiasts in mind, so it's a particularly good option for people who have a rare or expensive vintage vehicle, which is currently off the road.

However, laid up cover isn't ideal for everyone's situation. The table below summarises some of the key pros and cons, to help you make a more informed decision.

✅ Cheaper than comprehensive insurance for rare or collectable vehicles.❌ May be more expensive than other policies, if your car isn't rare or collectable.
✅ Covers vehicles during transport and while on display at motoring events❌ Doesn't cover your car for any driving at all
✅ Covers stolen parts, vandalism and damage at a restoration shop❌ Must be kept on private property or a locked garage to be covered

What other options are there?

Laid up car insurance isn't right for everyone. For example, if you want the option of driving your car from time to time, or your car can't be kept in a locked garage, there might be a different type of insurance which is better suited to your situation.

  • Pay as you drive. Some insurers have specific policies which are aimed at drivers that rarely drive, or only drive short distances. Instead of paying for unlimited mileage, you estimate your average annual kilometres, and your premium is calculated based on that figure.

The less the drive, the less you pay. If your driving habits change, you just let your insurer know, and your premiums will be adjusted. Compare pay as you drive policies and you could get a cheaper premium, while keeping comprehensive insurance.

  • Policies that reward low-milage. Some insurers reward drivers for low-usage, even though they don't have seperate pay-as-you-drive policies. During the quote process, you let the insurer know your estimated annual mileage, and your premium is calculated accordingly.

If you're only doing a few thousand kilometres a year, policies that reward low mileage could be a great way for you to get comprehensive car insurance, for a reduced price.

Which insurers offer pay as you drive car insurance?

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Gold Low Kilometres Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder’s summary: Budget’s Gold Low Kilometre option offers comprehensive insurance with decent cover limits. Also, save 15% on your first year's premium when you purchase a new policy online.
Who it might be good for: Those looking to drive 10,000 km or less annually with a well-regarded insurer – Budget Direct won best value car insurance at the most recent Finder Awards.
ahm Comprehensive with Fixed Kilometre Plan
Agreed or Market
Finder’s summary: ahm's Fixed Kilometre Plan is available as an add-on with comprehensive cover. This “pay as you drive” insurance can save you up to 30% versus its regular comprehensive cover.
Who it might be good for: Drivers who are cutting down their ks, but who still want flexibility. With ahm you can pay per 1,000 kilometres and top up as needed. There’s also no excess to pay if you hit a Kanga, making it a good option for rural drivers.
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder’s summary: Huddle offers a short-term insurance option that comes packed with features. Get up to $2,000 in cover for stolen keys, roadside assistance and rental car excess cover (only in Australia).
Who it might be good for: Drivers looking for the most peace of mind against the unexpected – and who don’t mind paying a bit more for the extra security.
KOBA Pay per KM
Finder’s summary: KOBA uses a pay-per-km system – ideal if you drive less. Its app is easy to use and costs can be as cheap as 3¢ per kilometre.
Who it might be good for: Those who want to drive shorter distances over a number of months. This makes KOBA’s up-front fee better value for money.
Real Pay As You Drive
Finder’s summary: Avoid paying for kilometres you won’t drive with Real while making the most of a decent comprehensive policy. You’ll need to pay to add extras such as hire car cover and roadside assistance.
Who it might be good for: Those who drive under 15,000 kilometres and appreciate no policy cancellation fee.
Australian Seniors Pay As You Drive
Agreed or Market
Finder’s summary: Competitively-priced cover that has most of the features you’d expect with a comprehensive plan. Policy discounts of up to 20% are available to some who buy online. This includes a 5% saving for Seniors Card holders.
Who it might be good for: Older drivers looking to make decent savings by restricting their mileage. We found Australian Seniors offered the second cheapest rate out of 6 short-term insurance providers.

Which insurers reward low mileage?

We requested multiple quotes from over 30 different car insurance brands in Australia. We used the same driver profile, but changed the estimated mileage. Here are some the brands that offered a reduced price for lower estimated mileage.

Brand5,000km 7,000km15,000km30,000kmPotential saving between 30KM and 5KMGet a quote
Budget Direct




Get quote




More info






Get quote
Virgin Money




More info




More info
Australia Post




Get quote




Get quote




More info




More info




More info




More info

*Quotes accurate as of 23 April, 2020. Based on a driver profile of a 50-year-old woman, living in Sydney. Car details were for a 2015 Ford Fiesta, with an excess set as close to $800 as the insurer would allow.

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