How to Get Auto Insurance on the Weekend

Even though most in-person insurance agencies are closed Saturday and Sunday, you can call or get a quote online if you need insurance on the weekend.

Janet Berry-Johnson
Janet Berry-Johnson
  • 8+ years writing about insurance, taxes, and personal finance

  • Certified public accountant

Janet applies her experience in personal finance, taxes, and accounting to make complex financial topics accessible. Her byline has appeared on numerous web media.

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Katie Powers
Edited byKatie 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 July 27, 2023 at 5:00 PM PDT

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More than 80% of workers work Monday through Friday, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.[1] If you’re one of them, you likely have to take care of many non-work tasks on the weekend. And if you’re in the market for a new car, you’ll probably visit the car dealership on a Saturday or Sunday, too.

That sometimes poses a problem if you’re ready to buy. You typically must have proof of insurance to buy or lease a vehicle, and many insurance companies are closed on the weekends. Keep reading to learn how you can acquire auto insurance during the weekend. 

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How to buy car insurance on a weekend

You have a few options if you need to buy car insurance on a weekend.

Check with your current auto insurer

Before visiting the dealership, call your current auto insurer during business hours if you want to purchase coverage for your new vehicle through them. Ask questions about the best way to purchase coverage over the weekend. While the options vary by insurance company, you can often add a new vehicle to your current policy via a website or mobile app.

If you’re trading in your existing car for a new one, some insurance companies provide a grace period of anywhere from one week to 30 days, automatically extending your existing coverage to protect a newly acquired vehicle. In that case, you can just call the company on Monday and ask it to remove your old car and add the new one, and it’ll backdate the coverage to the date of purchase.

Car Insurance Grace Periods

Car Insurance Grace Periods

Add it during the week before

If you know which car you’ll buy ahead of time, arranging coverage in advance may be an option.

For example, say you’re buying a used vehicle from a private party. If you have all the information you need, such as the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN), you can contact your auto insurer to arrange coverage ahead of the purchase. That way, you can drive the vehicle around over the weekend with your insurance coverage in place.

Purchase coverage online or over the phone

Many large insurance companies offer weekend customer service hours, toll-free hotlines, or online access that allows customers to purchase coverage during the weekend.

In that case, securing coverage on a Saturday shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure you know the company’s weekend hours and what information it’ll need from you to get coverage in place immediately.

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Companies that sell insurance on Saturdays and Sundays

The following companies may be good options for getting coverage on the weekends:

  • Progressive: Progressive offers 24/7 customer service. You can apply online or call a customer service agent to get a quote or start coverage.

  • GEICO: You can receive an auto insurance quote from GEICO anytime through the company’s website or mobile app.

  • Allstate: Local Allstate agents may offer after-hours and weekend appointments. You can also receive an online quote at any time.

  • Nationwide: Nationwide allows you to purchase car insurance online and even print a proof of insurance card.

  • Liberty Mutual: You can find a same-day car insurance quote from Liberty Mutual. It also offers a mobile app where you can access ID cards and pay your bill.

10 Best Car Insurance Companies

10 Best Car Insurance Companies

Types of weekend car insurance

Whether you’re looking for coverage for a few days or mile-dependent coverage, many affordable options are available if you need insurance over the weekend.

Short-term car insurance

Short-term car insurance, also known as temporary insurance, is a policy that lasts less than six months.[2] Most reputable insurers don’t offer policies shorter than six months, so be wary of any advertisements that offer shorter policies because they have a high likelihood of being a scam.

That being said, Hugo Insurance is a reputable company that offers short-term policies. Hugo launched in 2021 and offers temporary, on-demand liability coverage. Depending on the plan, policyholders can receive coverage for as little as three days and stop and start their coverage as needed.

Hugo is currently only available in 13 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Keep in mind that short-term policies only offer liability coverage, which pays for damage you cause to others in an accident. Liability-only insurance won’t cover any damage to your vehicle and any subsequent medical expenses. If you only drive occasionally, Hugo may be a good fit for you. If you want more robust and customizable coverage options, Hugo may not be a good option.

Pay-per-mile car insurance

Pay-per-mile insurance is directly correlated to the number of miles you drive. Insurers charge policyholders by the mile, in addition to a monthly fee. Your insurer will use common driving risk factors, such as age, gender, and driving history, to calculate your base fee.

The company uses a telematics device to record how many miles you drive. This means that your premium will vary month to month. With pay-per-mile insurance, you can choose liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages.

Pay-per-mile insurance most benefits remote workers, students who live on campus, retirees, and low-mileage drivers. It’s not suited for regular commuters or drivers who travel more than 10,000 miles per year.

Metromile and Mile Auto both specialize in pay-per-mile insurance. Additionally, Allstate, Nationwide, and USAA offer pay-per-mile programs.

On-demand car insurance

On-demand car insurance describes insurance that you can turn on and off at will.[3] On-demand insurance benefits people who don’t drive often, work remotely, or students who live on campus. You’re only charged for days that the policy is active.

Hugo is an example of on-demand insurance. Hugo’s Flex plan allows policyholders to turn their coverage on and off at will, so they only pay for coverage when it’s on. For example, if you purchase a three-day policy from Hugo on Saturday and pause it on Sunday, you still have two days’ worth of coverage left in your policy.

Keep in mind that if you turn your coverage off, you won’t be covered in an accident, so it’s important to keep track of your coverage status.

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Do you have to buy car insurance on a weekend?

If none of the above options are available, you can’t simply wait until Monday to purchase insurance.

It’s illegal to drive without at least some auto liability insurance in every state except New Hampshire, according to the Insurance Information Institute. And if you buy the car from a dealership and finance it, most dealerships won’t allow you to drive the car off the lot without proof of insurance.

What if you don’t operate your vehicle?

The risk of penalties for uninsured driving understandably increases if you drive around without insurance, but it’s also risky to simply leave an uninsured vehicle parked in your driveway or garage until you get coverage.

Without coverage in place, you’ll have to make payments for damages and losses out of pocket. This applies if someone steals or crashes into your parked vehicle or if damages occur due to a falling tree, hail, or a natural disaster.

Insurance companies that view that period as a lapse in coverage place you into a higher risk category, making it difficult to qualify for insurance with certain insurers or subjecting you to higher rates.

Good to know

States that require car insurance apply the requirement to any vehicle parked or operated on the state’s roadways. So even if you don’t drive your car, it still needs to be insured.

If the authorities catch you driving without insurance, you may face fines and have your license or registration suspended. The penalties vary by state, but common charges include traffic violations, a misdemeanor, and even performing community service.

Financial consequences

Your vehicle may be impounded if you have an accident or the authorities pull you over while driving without insurance. To get your car out of impound, you must show proof of auto insurance and pay several hundred dollars in fees.

Those fees often include:

  • Initial towing fees

  • Daily storage fee charged by the impound lot

  • Impound lot release fee

  • Boot fee if law enforcement booted your car before towing it

The incident also appears on your driving record, which makes auto insurance coverage even more expensive. If you drive professionally for your line of work, you may also face negative consequences at your job.

How long does it take to buy car insurance?

Buying car insurance takes anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on how you prepare and whether you have a policy in place for another vehicle.

If you already established a relationship with an existing insurance agent or auto insurer, then adding a new vehicle should take just a few minutes. But if this is your first time purchasing car insurance, you’ll likely have to answer additional questions and authorize a credit check.

What documents do you need to purchase car insurance?

When you purchase car insurance, you’ll likely need to provide the following documents:

  • Driver’s license or state ID card and Social Security number

  • Address where your vehicle will be stored

  • Year, make, and model of the vehicle

  • The car’s VIN

  • Bank or credit card information to set up automatic payments

  • Proof of prior insurance (if applicable)

  • Information on any driving violations, accidents, or claims in the past five years

  • How far you drive to work each day

Having all this information on hand before making the call or going online makes the application process go smoothly.

How to save money on car insurance

Check out the following tips below to save money on car insurance any day of the week:

  • Compare car insurance quotes. Shopping around and comparing rates from different insurers is a reliable way to find the most affordable rates available to you. Rates vary widely from company to company, so you may be surprised at how much you can save.

  • Increase your deductible. By opting for a higher deductible, your monthly premiums will decrease. Only choose a higher deductible if you’re confident you’ll be able to afford it in the event of an accident or claim.

  • Bundle multiple policies. Bundling two or more of your insurance policies often results in some added discounts to help you with the cost of insurance. Many insurance companies offer discounts if you purchase multiple policies — such as auto, home, and renters insurance — through them.

  • Ask about discounts. Many insurance companies offer discounts that reduce your premiums. For example, they might offer a discount if your car has advanced safety features like airbags and anti-theft devices. Or you might qualify for a discount if you’re a student or AARP member. Never let an available discount go to waste.

Weekend car insurance FAQs

If you’re looking for car insurance coverage on a weekend, this additional information may help as you research your coverage options.

  • Do auto insurers sell car insurance on the weekend?

    Many large auto insurance companies do sell car insurance on Saturdays and Sundays. Some companies, such as Progressive and GEICO, offer 24/7 customer service hotlines, meaning you can get a quote or start coverage any time of the day or night. Other companies, such as Allstate, Nationwide, and Liberty Mutual, may offer same-day car insurance quotes online or via a mobile app.

  • When do you need to notify your auto insurer that you’ll be adding a new car to your coverage?

    Auto insurance companies usually give existing customers anywhere from one week to 30 days to make changes to a policy, including replacing an older vehicle. But it’s a good idea to check with your insurance company before you buy a new car. And once you get the vehicle, it’s best to formalize the change sooner rather than later.

  • What are the steps to get car insurance online or over the phone during the weekend?

    If you already have insurance, go online to see if you can alter your coverage. If not, check your insurer’s working hours and then contact your agent by phone if they’re available. If you don’t have insurance, Allstate, GEICO, Hugo, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, and Progressive all offer weekend and after-hours service. Have all necessary paperwork and information ready to ensure a smooth process.

  • Are there any extra fees or higher rates for obtaining weekend car insurance?

    Not necessarily. Signing up for coverage on the weekend isn’t inherently different from signing up for a policy during the week. However, a limited number of insurers operate during the weekends, so you don’t have as many options to choose from and may have to settle for a higher rate if you aren’t able to compare rates from multiple insurers.

    Always ask the insurance company you’re considering if it charges any fees.

  • Can you buy car insurance even if you don’t have a vehicle?

    You can buy car insurance even if you don’t have a vehicle. This is known as non-owner car insurance, and it’s designed for people who drive vehicles owned by other people regularly. These policies come in handy if you often borrow cars from friends or family members with low liability limits or if an insurance company won’t cover the vehicle while you’re driving it.

    You might also purchase non-owner car insurance if you frequently use a car-sharing service or rent cars. Buying your own insurance may cost less than purchasing coverage through a rental company.

  • How do you buy coverage for a new vehicle if you don’t have existing coverage?

    Purchasing car insurance coverage will likely take longer if it’s your first time. You’ll have to answer more questions and provide information about yourself, your driving history, and the vehicle. As long as you’re prepared with all the necessary information, you can expedite the process by shopping around and comparing multiple quotes online to match your specific insurance needs.

Sources

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Percent of employed people who worked by day of week." Accessed July 28, 2023
  2. Experian. "What is Short Term Car Insurance." Accessed July 28, 2023
  3. Experian. "What's O-Demand Insurance." Accessed July 28, 2023
Janet Berry-Johnson
Janet Berry-Johnson

Janet Berry-Johnson, CPA is a freelance writer with a background in accounting and income tax planning and preparation. She's passionate about making complicated financial topics accessible to readers. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and son and their rescue dog, Dexter. Visit her website at www.jberryjohnson.com.

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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