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One-Day Car Insurance — A Common Myth - Insurify

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Jennifer Pendell

By: Jennifer Pendell

Edited by Jackie Cohen | Reviewed by licensed insurance agent, Amber Benka

Last Updated June 15, 2022

Why you can trust Insurify

Insurify partners with top insurance companies and is a licensed agent in all 50 states. However, the insurance experts writing our content operate independently of our partners. Check out reviews from over 3,000 satisfied customers, how we make money, our data methodology, and our editorial standards.

You may not drive regularly or have your own car, but there may come a time when you need to get behind the wheel. Say you’re borrowing a friend’s car or a family member’s car or you’re renting a vehicle for a road trip. Can you buy temporary coverage for a single day?

Insurers don’t usually offer insurance options for such a short period of time, but there are ways to make sure you’re covered and stay safe on the road. Make sure you’re getting the best auto insurance rates by comparing car insurance quotes with Insurify.

Quick Facts

  • Temporary car insurance is for people who are borrowing or renting a car, don’t drive often, or have a car in storage.
  • Most insurance terms are for 6 or 12 months.
  • Most reputable insurance companies don’t sell one-day insurance.

What is one-day auto insurance?

Can I get a one-day car insurance policy?

Need a super short-term car insurance policy? They exist if you know where to look!

One-day car insurance is a bit of a misnomer. Reputable insurance companies don’t provide one-day insurance policies. In most cases, you’re getting short-term auto insurance that covers your car for 6 or 12 months. Some companies say they have one-day car insurance but are really just scams to collect and resell your personal details.

However, it is still possible to insure a car for a single day as long as you choose the right coverage options. Here’s how.

See More: Best Car Insurance Companies

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When do you need a short-term policy?

There are several situations where you might need temporary auto insurance that covers a car for a single day. These are some of the most common ones.

Borrowing a Car

Driving a friend’s wheels for a day? Call the car owner’s provider and ask if they can have their insurance cover you for that day. Most insurance policies are written for the car, not the driver, so you will probably be able to get coverage.

If you regularly drive cars that aren’t yours, non-owner car insurance is another good option. The liability coverage will follow you instead of the car, so you’ll always be covered. However, know that a non-owner policy is usually only considered secondary coverage. It kicks in if the car’s owner’s policy doesn’t have high enough coverage limits to cover the damages.

Insuring a Rental Car

Call the rental car company and ask whether the vehicle’s car insurance covers you. If not, you can usually buy a temporary rental car insurance policy through the rental company.

See More: Cheap Car Insurance

Getting a Car Out of Storage

Hitting the road in a classic car? You don’t need extended coverage for vehicles you only drive on rare occasions. Consider classic car insurance that covers the vehicle’s full value.

Other vehicles you’ve kept in storage, such as cars you’ve been building, can be covered by temporary auto policies, too. It’s easier to do this if the car is already covered by an existing policy for things like vandalism and theft. Policyholders can simply call their current provider and ask to have more comprehensive coverage for the day they’re driving.

Driving on Rare Occasions

A usage-based insurance policy may be best if you don’t drive very often. Auto insurance companies that offer this option charge you only for the days you drive the car. If that’s not often, you can save a lot of money on your policy. You may have to install a tracker in your car to qualify for this type of discount.

Test Driving a Car

Taking a new car for a spin? Dealerships have to have full coverage for their whole inventory, so if you’re in an accident during a test drive, their insurance providers will cover the claims.

See More: Car Insurance Quotes

How to Sign Up for a One-Day Car Insurance Policy

Start by understanding your circumstances. Insuring a rental car is different from getting non-owner coverage so that you can drive your friend’s car.

Next, gather the documentation you’ll need to insure the car. This will include:

  • Your driver’s license
  • Your Social Security number
  • Bank or credit card information
  • Information on the vehicle you’ll be driving

See More: Best and Worst Sites to Compare Car Insurance

How to Get Affordable Short-Term Insurance Rates

Finding low insurance premiums starts with comparing auto insurance quotes. Use Insurify to find the car insurance you need in minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • It’s illegal for motorists to drive without car insurance. You’re risking having your license, registration, and license plate suspended, getting community service, and even facing possible jail time if you’re caught driving uninsured.

  • You can, but it will result in a coverage lapse that makes it harder to buy car insurance again later. Insurance companies may consider you high-risk, which means they’ll charge you higher rates for an auto insurance policy in the future. Avoid higher insurance costs by choosing a reputable insurer that understands your situation.

  • Many companies offer temporary car insurance policies that allow you to buy one- to six-month car insurance. Some of the major car insurance companies that offer temporary policies include Allstate, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, State Farm, and USAA.

  • There are many options. Consider alternatives like pay-per-mile auto insurance if you don’t drive often or non-owner insurance if you don’t drive your own car.

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  • Data scientists at Insurify analyzed over 40 million auto insurance rates across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how their car insurance premiums are priced by companies.

Jennifer Pendell
Jennifer Pendell

Insurance Writer

Jennifer Pendell is a personal finance expert. She specializes in breaking down dense subjects to make them easier for consumers to understand, with a particular interest in homeowners, renters, and auto insurance concepts. She studied at the University of Iowa.

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