How to Get One-Day Car Insurance

Besides Hugo, most auto insurance companies don’t sell temporary car insurance.

Catherine Collins
Catherine Collins

Catherine leverages her background in education and finance to write articles that help readers make informed decisions about their insurance and finances.

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Katie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Updated May 23, 2024

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*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 23, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 23, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

You may only need car insurance for just one day or a couple days at a time if you drive infrequently. However, most major car insurance companies only offer car insurance plans for periods of six or 12 months. As such, some questionable companies may advertise one-day car insurance. Use caution to avoid falling victim to a scam.

Luckily, one reputable company founded in 2021 offers short-term car insurance for as little as three days.[1] With Hugo, you can turn your coverage on and off so you only pay for the days you drive. Comparing car insurance quotes from Hugo and other companies can help you find affordable car insurance.

Quick Facts
  • Most insurers won't sell a policy for a term shorter than six months.

  • Hugo does sell shorter-term policies, but not every driver in every state will be eligible for them.

  • Drivers who only want to pay for the miles they drive can consider a pay-per-mile insurer.

One-day car insurance explained

Also called temporary car insurance, one-day car insurance is a type of policy that covers you for a single day or other short term. Most large insurers only sell policies that cover a minimum of six or 12 months and require monthly premium payments.

However, a few companies may allow you to buy coverage for a single day, a couple days, or another short-term period. To purchase just one day of coverage, you likely need to have previously set up coverage with the company.

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Where to buy one-day auto insurance

While several insurers advertise one-day car insurance, many of them aren’t legitimate. If you do need to find reputable one-day auto coverage, Hugo sells pay-as-you-drive liability car insurance.

Hugo is a newer insurance company that currently only offers auto coverage in 13 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The insurer plans to expand into more states in the coming years.

What one-day car insurance covers

Hugo has a few different car insurance coverage options:[2]

  • Flex: With Hugo’s flex plan, drivers can buy liability car insurance for a short amount of time. The shortest coverage time frame is three days, but Hugo also offers insurance plans for seven, 14, or 30 days of coverage. With this plan, you can elect to turn off your coverage on the days you don’t drive and turn it back on as needed. This policy type isn't available in all states. And it won't work for drivers with finance or leased vehicles, since they have to maintain full coverage at all times.

  • Unlimited basic: You can purchase insurance in the same short intervals as the flex plan, as well as a policy for up to six months. However, with the basic plan, you can’t turn coverage on and off. In addition to liability insurance, you can get medical and accidental death coverage with the basic plan.

  • Unlimited full: Hugo’s full plan is similar to the full-coverage insurance offered by many other insurers. Full-coverage insurance includes liability, collision, medical payments, and accidental death coverage. You can purchase this plan in the same short periods of up to six months, but you can’t turn coverage on and off.

How much one-day car insurance costs

Hugo doesn’t charge a down payment or hidden fees when you purchase short-term coverage, which cuts down on typical car insurance costs. Plus, you can save money on costs if you don’t drive often, by only paying for car insurance on the days you need it.

Compared to the cost of traditional car insurance plans, Hugo provides affordable monthly costs. Like most insurance plans, the cost of your plan will depend on your personal insurance needs, your driving history, the state you live in, and more.

See how costs from Hugo compare to average premiums in several U.S. states. The monthly costs for Hugo below depict average costs for 30 days of coverage.

StateAverage Quote: Liability OnlyAverage Quote: Full Coverage
Alabama$48N/A
Arizona$45N/A
Florida$107$173
Georgia$119$142
Illinois$77$167
Mississippi$23N/A
Ohio$87$240
Pennsylvania$111N/A
South Carolina$128N/A
Tennessee$64N/A
Texas$65N/A
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
StateAverage Quote: Liability OnlyAverage Quote: Full Coverage
Alabama$140$231
Arizona$180$278
California$127$268
Florida$368$501
Georgia$246$368
Illinois$133$210
Indiana$105$183
Mississippi$159$244
Ohio$122$206
Pennsylvania$143$251
South Carolina$218$309
Tennessee$125$222
Texas$205$311
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

When you might need one-day car insurance

You might need one-day car insurance in a number of different situations. Many people don’t realize that you might be liable and need insurance if you store a vehicle, borrow a friend’s car, or rent a car.

  • You don’t drive much. If you drive infrequently because you live in an urban area or work from home, you could save by purchasing a short-term insurance plan that allows you to pay for insurance only on the days you use it.

  • You’re borrowing someone else’s car. A friend or family member’s car insurance policy might not fully cover you if you drive their car. You can purchase short-term car insurance to cover you for the time you plan to borrow their vehicle if you don’t think their insurance covers you.

  • You want to insure a rental car. You can often purchase rental car insurance through your rental car company. However, you can compare prices and see if purchasing temporary coverage from Hugo costs less.

  • You’re putting a vehicle in storage. If you put a car in storage, speak with your insurance agent to see whether you need to insure it. After all, if something unexpected happens to your vehicle in storage, you’ll want coverage for any damages.

  • You need proof of insurance. You’ll likely need proof of insurance in a few different situations, like when buying a car, getting pulled over, or registering your vehicle at the DMV. Purchasing a flexible short-term policy can help you get insurance documentation quickly.

  • You only plan to own the car for a short time. For example, you may inherit a car that you plan to sell within a few days or weeks.

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Alternatives to one-day car insurance

If you don’t think one-day car insurance works for your situation, you have few alternatives to consider, whether you’re renting a car or want to regularly drive a borrowed car:

  • Standard insurance with early cancellation: You always have the option to purchase a traditional insurance policy and cancel it early. Make sure to check for early cancellation penalties prior to purchasing a policy.

  • Nonowner insurance: Many insurers offer nonowner insurance, which protects licensed drivers who don’t own a car when they borrow a vehicle.

  • Pay-per-mile insurance: This type of insurance only charges you for the miles you drive.

  • Rental car insurance: You can purchase a short-term policy through Hugo or your car rental company.

One-day car insurance FAQs

You can purchase car insurance with no deposit or down payment from Hugo. If you don’t know if one-day coverage works for you, learn more about how to shop for car insurance and typical costs of car insurance. Here’s some more information you should know about one-day car insurance.

  • Can you buy car insurance for one day?

    Yes. You can buy car insurance for one day. For example, if you rent a car for one day, you can typically purchase insurance for that day through the rental car company. And, a newer company, Hugo, specializes in offering short-term car insurance plans that last as little as three days.

  • What company sells one-day car insurance?

    Hugo sells car insurance in micro-increments. The shortest policy lasts three days. With the company’s Flex plan, you can turn coverage on and off one day at a time, depending on when you need to drive your car.

  • Can you get car insurance in one day?

    Yes. You can get same-day car insurance. For example, if you rent a car, you can purchase insurance at your car rental company the day you pick up your car.

    If you purchase a car, you legally have to purchase auto insurance. You can typically purchase car insurance the same day by reaching out to several insurance companies for quotes or using an online insurance-comparison tool to shop for the best prices.

  • Do you need auto insurance before buying a car?

    Typically, yes, you need to have auto insurance before buying a car. Most states require drivers to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance before operating a vehicle.[3]

  • Do you have to buy car insurance?

    If you own a car that you plan on driving yourself, yes, you have to buy car insurance in order to legally drive on the road. If you want to borrow a friend’s car for the day, it’s possible their insurance will cover you in the event of an accident or incident.

Sources

  1. Hugo. "Hugo Mission."
  2. Hugo. "Payment plans for every budget."
  3. Insurance Information Institute. "How much auto coverage do I need?."
Catherine Collins
Catherine Collins

Catherine Collins is a freelance financial writer and author based in Detroit. She's the co-founder of MillennialHomeowner.com and MomsGotMoney.com, and author of the book Mom’s Got Money: A millennial mom’s guide to managing money like a boss. She has written for US News, Huffington Post, Money, Business Insider, Investopedia, Entrepreneur, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications. She currently resides in Detroit, Michigan with her boy-girl twins and a rescue dog named Julep.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

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Daniel Roccato
Reviewed byDaniel RoccatoAdvisor
Headshot of industry expert Daniel Roccato
Daniel RoccatoAdvisor
  • 30+ years in financial services

  • Clinical Professor of Finance, University of San Diego

Dan is a well-recognized and widely quoted financial services expert, regularly appearing in a variety of national and local media as a subject matter expert.

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