Adding sitters to car insurance UK

Hello, we’ve arranged a sit with a lovely couple from the USA, we are in UK. We’ve offered them the use of our car while we’re away but we now can’t find an insurance company who will cover them. I’ve tried adding them to our existing policy ad an additional driver and I’ve tried various options for short term cover. Has anyone else found a way to make this work?

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Hello, we are sitters and our UK home owner has added us to her insurance without any problem. Any idea why your insurance refuses? (My partner has a UK driver’s license, so maybe the problem is that they have a US license?)

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What did your own car insurance company say why they can’t add them on? Just wondering if it’s because they drive on the right in the US so think they’re more likely to have an accident…

I did a two-week sit in the UK in July and the owners added me to their insurance with no problem. I was asked if I had an international drivers license, which I did, but then didn’t have to prove it. It cost the owners £40 for the two weeks. Maybe press them a little.

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When I started sitting in Fall 2019 I was added to UK auto insurance by 2 HOs - 1 in Somerset for 3 weeks and 1 in Edinburgh for 1 week.
But starting post-covid sits in Feb 2022, HOs have been unable to add me to their insurance - whether it is a change of rules or because I’m now 71 years of age?
In all 3 situations, we agreed that the HO would split the cost of car rental with me which saved me having to take a train (in one case we really had no choice as travel to and from the sit were on rail strike days).
I do have an intl license (which is just a multi-language translation of my US license).
Did a lot of ‘shopping’ to get reasonable rates. In 1 case I rented from Sixt and picked the car up at Stansted - about half the price of LHR or LGW. In another from Enterprise but rented from 1 of the second ring London locations. Renting from an airport or central location was 2x the price. And I avoided the congestion fee. Also check the car for ULEZ compliance.

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We did this previously in 2015 with Sitters from the US and we were the same added them as additional drivers and paid around £50. Not sure what’s changed since. We’re investigating a short term cover for the 2 weeks, we’ll see how we get on.

They didn’t go into detail just said they couldn’t offer cover as our sitters weren’t resident in the uk.


They do have US licences and our insurance said the problem is that they do not have UK addresses.


Thanks everyone for your replies. I managed to get a 15 day cover from Sterling Insurance, not cheap but cheaper than car hire.

Not sure how this has happened in the UK we’ve done this before without any problem but this time it just couldn’t be done.

Thanks again


Toml, I think it could partly be your age. My parents always rented a car when they came to visit us in Canada as soon as my dad turned 70, car rental sites always showed no rental cars available. If he changed his birth date they suddenly were all available again.

Hello @muir and welcome to the community forum. I’m glad you’ve come here to explore other homeowner and pet sitters’ experiences with your insurance conundrum.

A special thanks for answering each person’s questions, and for letting us know where you got coverage. That will help others who run into this same issue in the days to come.