Can You Get a One-Day Car Insurance Policy?

Be wary of insurers offering car insurance for one day. Car insurance companies don’t provide this option. As an alternative, you can buy traditional auto insurance, pay for a month’s premium and cancel your policy early. Rental insurance is also an option if you need to rent a car.

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Last Updated: 3/30/2022
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There are several reasons a driver might need car insurance for only one day. However, remember that car insurance companies don’t typically offer this product. If you encounter a provider that says they do, be wary: it may be an insurance scam. MoneyGeek explored several other temporary car insurance options to consider instead of one-day car insurance.

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What Is One-Day Car Insurance?

One-day car insurance is not a real insurance product. If you’re looking for a legitimate policy that only provides coverage good for 24 hours, you won't find it. Be wary of providers claiming they can do that. Major car insurance companies usually offer policies providing six months of coverage at a minimum.

If you’re borrowing someone else’s car, purchasing a separate policy may not be necessary. Your friend’s insurance may cover you if they give you permission to drive their vehicle. If buying insurance is still your best option, you may want to opt for rental insurance or mileage-based coverage instead. You can also consider getting a standard policy and canceling it early.

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Watch out for providers selling one-day car insurance. Most insurers don’t offer policies shorter than six months. You may fall victim to an insurance scam if you’re not careful.

Can I Buy One-Day Car Insurance?

If you’re wondering how to get car insurance for one day, the short answer is you can’t. However, there are creative ways to get temporary coverage. You can sign up for a standard policy and cancel it early or obtain rental or usage-based insurance. Insurers can recommend various approaches, depending on your particular needs.

When Do You Need One-Day Car Insurance?

One-day car insurance isn't an available insurance product. However, there are several reasons you might want to get temporary car insurance, like when you’re borrowing someone else’s car for a day or driving a rental. In some cases, you may need to present proof of insurance even if you don’t own a car. MoneyGeek outlined some of the most common situations where you could benefit from temporary coverage.

Situations Where You Might Need Temporary Coverage
  • Reason
    Solution
  • You need to use someone else’s car for an errand.
    You probably don’t need to buy one-day car insurance if you’re using someone’s car to run errands. Most policies have a permissive clause, meaning the owner’s coverage extends to you as long as they permit you to drive the vehicle.
  • You’re renting a car for a short time.
    It’s convenient to be able to drive while on a trip. Rental insurance is an excellent choice in this case. You can buy rental insurance from the car rental agent when you pick up your vehicle or call your insurance provider to find out if they offer a better deal on coverage. Another option is to contact your credit card issuer, as many of them also offer rental insurance if you pay for your rental using your card.
  • You don’t have a car, but you need to show proof of insurance.
    Purchasing car insurance when you don’t own a vehicle may not seem logical. If you need proof of financial responsibility, consider non-owner car insurance. This type of policy provides liability coverage at cheaper rates than standard auto insurance.

How to Get Temporary Car Insurance

Car insurers don’t offer temporary car insurance, so you’ll have to get creative if you only need coverage for one day, one week or even a month. Your car insurance company can offer several options for short-time coverage. A popular approach is signing up for a six-month policy and canceling it early. You can also consider non-traditional policies, which may be the cheapest temporary car insurance alternative.

MoneyGeek outlined six temporary avenues for temporary coverage below.

1

Buy a policy and cancel it early.

Purchasing a standard car insurance policy and canceling it before its term ends is a popular option. No matter how brief your coverage needs are, you’ll have to pay at least one month's premium. You can usually get a refund of the unused amount, but your insurer may charge cancellation fees.

2

Add a driver to your insurance.

If you share your car with someone who lives with you, you can add them to your insurance policy. Your insurance will cover them should they get into an accident while driving your vehicle.

3

Buy non-owner insurance.

Non-owner insurance is a good option if you need to show proof of insurance but don’t own a car. It provides liability coverage, which protects you from the cost of repairs or medical bills after a crash. This type of policy is more affordable than standard auto insurance.

4

Buy usage-based car insurance.

If you don’t drive regularly, usage-based insurance might be your best option. As the name implies, your premium is calculated based on your mileage. You can check with your insurer to ask if they offer pay-per-mile coverage.

5

Buy rental car insurance.

Rental insurance is best for drivers who need to rent a car. You can get this from the can rental agent, your regular insurance carrier or possibly your credit card company. If you regularly drive rental cars, non-owner insurance may be better for you.

6

Buy rideshare car insurance.

If you work for a rideshare company and have car insurance, this doesn’t mean you’re always covered. Typically, a standard policy’s coverage stops when you have a customer. Rideshare insurance ensures you’re still protected while on a trip.

Cheapest Temporary Car Insurance by State

If you’re leaning towards purchasing a standard car insurance policy and terminating it early, try to find an insurer that doesn’t charge a cancellation fee. This way, you’ll get a full refund for your unused premiums.

Gathering estimates is a great way to determine which company offers the cheapest temporary car insurance for you. You can use the table to see the average cost for one- and three-month coverage for all states and the District of Columbia.

Average Temporary Car Insurance Costs by State

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About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.