Temporary car insurance & short term policies | finder.com

Compare temporary car insurance and short-term coverage

Get a car insurance policy for less than six months.

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  • Pay by miles driven
  • Low base rates
  • Drive less, pay less

Cheapest for safe drivers: Metromile

Only pay for how much you drive with the Metromile app. Get rates from $29/month plus pennies per mile.

  • Rates from $29/month plus pennies per mile
  • Low-mileage drivers could save $611/year
  • All miles over 250 a day are free
  • Easy app and online claims plus 24/7 support

Compare short-term car insurance

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
All 50 states
Save up to 31% with safe driver discounts and bundling all your rides in one convenient policy.
Only pay for how much you drive with the Metromile app. Get rates from $29/month plus pennies per mile.
All 50 states
Enjoy premium perks like better car replacement and accident forgiveness plus local agent support.
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
All 50 states
Get free quotes from top insurers for the exact coverage you need in minutes.
All 50 states
It's quick and easy to get an online quote with Geico, and you might be surprised at how much you could save.
All 50 states
Drivers over 50 and AARP members enjoy special car insurance pricing and benefits.
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save.

Compare up to 4 providers

When can I get temporary car insurance?

The short answer: It depends. In order to drive legally, you’re required to carry at least the minimum coverage in your state.

Here are some situations where you might need short-term car insurance:

  • You’re renting a car for an extended period of time but don’t want to pay the rental company’s higher car insurance fees.
  • You’re borrowing a friend’s car that you intend to use on a regular basis.
  • You’re buying a car that you’ll resell in a short period of time.
  • You’ve moved and need insurance for a short time until you choose a new long term policy.

You may be able to avoid picking up temporary car insurance if:

  • You’re renting a car and opt for coverage through the rental company.
  • You’re renting a car and have a credit card that provides coverage on rental cars. Check the fine print of your credit card coverage, as they often offer limited protection.
  • If you’re borrowing a friend’s car for occasional use, your friend’s current policy will likely cover you.
  • If you’ll be driving a friend’s car on a regular basis, you’ll need to be added to the current policy or get temporary insurance.

What kind of short-term car insurance can I get?

Short-term car insurance temporarily protects you against damage and injury if you’re in an accident in your own car, a rental or one that you’ve borrowed.

Unlike your typical car insurance policy that covers you from six to 12 months at a time, short-term or temporary car insurance is typically good for up to 30 days. You specify the exact coverage you’d like and the specific days you’ll need it.

Short-term car insurance generally costs more than a regular policy. Pricing is based on the make and model of the vehicle, where you’re intending to drive and other factors.

Short term car insurance options

Compare the easiest option for getting car insurance for a day, a week, a month or however long you need it.

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What are the alternatives to short term insurance?

You can easily find companies that will provide temporary car insurance, but usually at a cost. Instead of opting for a lesser-known insurance company that specializes in temporary car insurance, consider a more flexible car insurance option.

  • Find a pay-as-you-drive car insurance policy. This type of policy allows you to enjoy all the benefits of comprehensive car insurance while only paying for the distance you drive. One drawback is that you’ll usually pay a small minimum amount, limiting your savings if you’re only using the car in the short term.
  • Pay premiums monthly. Choose a policy that allows you to pay your premiums monthly and cancel it when you no longer need coverage. To avoid a cancellation fee, take out a policy with one of these providers who don’t charge cancellation fees.
  • Add a driver to an existing policy. If you’re borrowing a relative’s or friend’s car for a temporary period, ask them if they’d consider adding you to their policy as a listed driver. Note that this could significantly increase the cost of coverage.
  • Rent a car. Though it’s an expensive option, you could rent a car and purchase insurance through the rental company.

When is an annual policy cheaper than temporary insurance?

Temporary insurance is flexible and can help you save money if you need a car for a matter of hours, day or weeks.

But if you’re going to use the car for at least two or three months of the year, it might be cheaper to take out an annual policy and then cancel it when you no longer need it, or to get seasonal insurance that only covers you during the time when you drive.

The drawback of taking this route is you’ll have to pick an insurer without cancellation fees that also sends prorated refunds. Otherwise you might be paying extra to cancel the policy. You may also pay more for insurance in the future if you show a lapse in coverage from on-and-off coverage.

However, when looking at the average daily rate, temporary insurance deals are more expensive than annual insurance policies.

Do I need temporary car insurance if I have a home in two different states?

Different rules and regulations apply, but if you’ll be driving between states, make sure your current policy meets the minimum requirements of that state. For example, Florida car insurance laws requires part-time residents — anyone staying 90 days or longer — to register and insure their vehicle in the state.

For other places, like Arizona, you’re required to register and insure your car there for stays of seven months or longer. Check with your vacation state and your current provider to learn what type of coverage you’ll need.

What if I’m at a college that’s not in my home state?

If you’re away from home attending college in another state and your permanent address is at home, you should get coverage in your home state. Most insurers will let you stay covered under your home address instead of your school address, but check with your provider to see if there are any exceptions or unique coverage for college students.

Can I get temporary RV insurance?

For campers, caravans or RVs that you only drive part of the year, some providers offer part-time RV insurance. Tell your provider how many months you use it and what kind of coverage you need, and you’ll be billed only for the months you drive your RV.

Also check with your provider for any special requirements — like how long your RV has to be parked or garaged before this kind of insurance kicks in. You also might need to update your insurance provider if your RV usage changes to make sure you’re covered when you use it.

Bottom line

While car insurance is required in all 50 states, specialty companies offer short-term coverage, usually at a higher price. Compare your car insurance options to find the best one for however long you’ll be on the road.

Get the cheapest quotes

Compare car insurance companies near you.

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Common questions about short-term car insurance

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8 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    VeronicaJune 14, 2019

    I’m from Canada and have a Canadian driver’s license. I would like to borrow my brothers car in Tennessee. How do I get coverage for 3 days?


    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJune 15, 2019Staff

      Hi Veronica,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      You’re currently at the right page for your short-term car insurance needs. Please see the comparison table and once you have chosen a provider that you consider taking out car insurance with then you may click on the green go to site button to be redirected to their official page and get quotes. You may also check with your brother’s policy if they will cover other permitted drivers since you’re borrowing his car.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


  2. Default Gravatar
    SvenMarch 5, 2019

    We bring our car from germany( german nationality) by ship into halifax and travel through canada and us west coast, apprx 3-4 month. Can you offer an insurance?
    Toyota Lancruiser, rebuild as a motorhome

    Hope you have a solution?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesMarch 6, 2019Staff

      Hi Sven,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      The page we are on offers a selection of providers that we could reach out to inquire about the insurance policies available during the 3-4 months you would be travelling. Kindly review and compare your options on the table displaying the available providers. Once you have chosen a particular provider, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to the provider’s website where you can proceed with the application or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. Hope this helps!


  3. Default Gravatar
    SteveJanuary 17, 2019

    I have a car that is registered in AZ. I dropped my insurance because I am living full time in Baja Ca Mexico which I have Mexican insurance. Can I purchase US auto insurance for one to two weeks to visit the US maybe three times a year?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJanuary 23, 2019Staff

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      If you are going to buy a policy that will cover you for a short time, your options might be limited and the premium could be higher than the average.

      Upon checking, I could see that you’re on the right page. Please check our guide as well as the comparison table to help you find the right insurer for you. You can compare based on the availability of roadside assistance, new car protection, and available states. You can then click on the “Go to site” green button to be redirected to your chosen insurer’s website. From there, you can ask more about their short-term insurance policy.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


  4. Default Gravatar
    frankAugust 31, 2017

    I am visiting North America from France for 3 months and I am bringing my car from home. Is temporary insurance available for the period I am in North America and can you advise which brokers would make this coverage available. thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JingAugust 31, 2017Staff

      Hi Frank,

      Yes definitely. If you are going to be staying in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or Washington, we highly recommend MetroMile. MetroMile is a pay-per-mile insurance provider that you can cancel at anytime. If you are going to be residing in a state not listed above, your best bet might be applying for a 6-month policy from a major reputable provider such as Allstate or Esurance.

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