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Short term car insurance? I thought, I'll never need that. I drove an almost brand-new XK Jaguar which I insured every year after combing the Internet for the cheapest possible price so why would I need to to go to a website to insure anything on a temporary basis? I found out last year, and it came as a huge shock.

I had applied for a job as a marketing director at a relatively new start-up company producing 3-D films and I had sailed through the first two interviews with flying colours. There only remained a chat with the managing director the following afternoon and I was confident that the job was mine. I was due to meet him at three o'clock in the afternoon and I knew that if I set off bright and early I would have plenty of time to drive down to their offices in Norfolk.

Life has a habit of kicking us in the proverbials. When I set off the following morning, full of the joys of spring, I turned the ignition key, the engine turned over rapidly but – it wouldn't start. For 15 minutes I sweated and cursed as the battery got flatter and flatter and finally gave up and called the AA. 20 min later the van arrived and the very efficient AA man told me that my fuel pump had packed up, getting it out was a major job so he was going to take my car off to the local Jaguar dealer. Brilliant. How on earth do I get down to Norfolk now?

My girlfriend's much maligned Fiat Punto was sat on the drive and she offered to lend it to me without hesitation but there was only one problem – it was only insured for her. Being a highly intelligent man I suddenly realised that perhaps there was more to this short term insurance lark than I had first thought! Ten minutes later I had a comprehensive policy in place and I was on the road ready to impress my future employers!

I didn't get the job. I later found out that the MD lost his wife to a younger man who drove a Fiat Punto so he hated that car and anyone who drove one. What a lucky escape – the company went bankrupt nine months later, by which time I had started my own very successful business providing a rescue service for stranded motorists. Life is strange sometimes.

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