Temporary Car Insurance in Pennsylvania: The Cheapest Options and What You Need to Know

Major insurers typically offer car insurance policies that last for a minimum of six months. MoneyGeek looked into the different ways to get temporary car insurance in Pennsylvania based on a driver’s needs, from car owners looking for a short-term solution to those without cars who may only be driving temporarily.

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Last Updated: 8/15/2022
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If you’re a car owner looking for temporary car insurance, you may need to buy a policy that covers you for six months and cancel it before your term ends. A three-month policy in Pennsylvania costs $454 on average.

However, if you’re only visiting Pennsylvania or you don’t own a car but need to drive, purchasing rental car insurance may be the best option to get temporary coverage.

MoneyGeek also researched other scenarios where a temporary policy might be needed, such as buying non-owner insurance to get your license reinstated or working for a rideshare company.

Can You Get Temporary Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, temporary car insurance can mean different things. Car owners may get this type of policy by buying traditional car insurance and canceling it early, while those who rent or borrow cars may purchase rental car insurance or non-owner car insurance.

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HOW TO FIND TEMPORARY CAR INSURANCE IN PENNSYLVANIA TO FIT YOUR NEEDS

There’s no single way to get temporary car insurance in Pennsylvania since most insurance companies only offer policies in increments of six months to one year, but MoneyGeek explored other ways to get short-term coverage.

Buying a Six-Month Pennsylvania Insurance Policy and Canceling It Early

Reputable car insurance companies sell policies that last for at least six months. A six-month policy in Pennsylvania will cost you $909 on average, but you may turn it into temporary car insurance by canceling it early and getting a refund on the unused months.

For example, if you purchase a six-month policy and cancel after 90 days, you will pay roughly $454 instead of the full amount.

However, if you use this strategy, MoneyGeek advises against having a lapse in coverage since it can raise your insurance premiums later on.

Cheap Temporary Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

MoneyGeek calculated the cost of car insurance by a company in Pennsylvania for one-month, 90-day and six-month policies.

On average, the cheapest car insurance policies in Pennsylvania are offered by:

  • Erie: $332 per 90 days
  • Travelers: $333 per 90 days

MoneyGeek excluded cancellation fees in its calculations as most major insurance companies don’t charge fees for canceling policies before the term expires. They may also give refunds for the unused months of coverage.

Annual Cost of Car Insurance in Pennsylvania by Policy Length

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Altering Pennsylvania Car Insurance Temporarily Depending on Your Needs

You can alter your existing car insurance policy when you need to temporarily add or remove some coverages. This can often be the easiest solution when you need to change your coverage options. The most common short-term situations that call for adjustments to your policy are teen drivers going to college, storing your vehicle and letting someone borrow your car.

When You Should Alter Your Policy Temporarily

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You can request a discount or temporarily remove a child from your policy if they’re going to school elsewhere in Pennsylvania.

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If you’re storing your vehicle temporarily, remove everything but your comprehensive insurance from your existing policy. Or, if you’re in the military, use car storage discounts from USAA.

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Only add someone else to your policy if they are regularly driving your car.

Cheap Temporary Car Insurance for Students in Pennsylvania

You will have to add your child to your auto insurance policy if they are a licensed driver and live with you in Pennsylvania. This can increase your insurance rates. The cost of adding an 18-year-old driver to a policy in Pennsylvania is roughly $3,777 per year.

To save money, you can temporarily remove your child from your policy if they go to school more than 100 miles away, utilize distant student discounts or keep your child on your policy.

MoneyGeek found that it costs $630 per year on average to add a student to your policy for two months in the summer, whereas if you include the student for the whole year, you will have to pay about $3,777.

In Pennsylvania, Nationwide provides the biggest savings for taking a student off your policy.

Annual Cost of Adding an 18-Year-Old to Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

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  • Company
    Adding 18-year-old for two out of 12 months
    Adding an 18-year-old for the full year
    Difference
  • $3,256
    $543
    -$2,713
  • $3,391
    $565
    -$2,826
  • $3,971
    $662
    -$3,309
  • $4,038
    $673
    -$3,365
  • $4,600
    $767
    -$3,833
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WHAT IF I CAN’T GET A DISCOUNT?

Having your child study close to your home means you can’t temporarily remove them from your policy or get a discount. Shopping around to find lower rates may help you in this situation. MoneyGeek compared insurance companies to help you find the cheapest car insurance for teens.

What to Do About Car Insurance if You’re Storing Your Car in Pennsylvania

If you’re planning to temporarily store your car, you can save money by requesting a vehicle storage discount. You can also switch your policy to comprehensive-only coverage since it removes the liability insurance coverage you won’t need while your car is in storage.

In Pennsylvania, comprehensive and collision insurance with a $1,000 deductible costs approximately $499 per year, compared to an average cost of $1,187 for a policy with minimum liability insurance.

If you’re a military member on active duty, USAA will provide you with a car storage discount. It also has one of the cheapest policies in Pennsylvania, at an average of $991 yearly before the discount.

What to Do If You Let Someone Else Drive Your Car

You will have to add a member of your household to your car insurance policy if they drive a car you own. On the other hand, someone outside your home who drives your car will be covered by your policy as long as they have your permission to use your car.

Buying Rental Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

If you’re renting a car in Pennsylvania, you can forgo buying a car insurance policy by purchasing coverage from the car rental company. Almost all rental companies offer basic liability insurance as well as add-ons such as collision damage waivers, supplemental liability insurance and personal accident insurance. These coverages in total can cost you roughly $45 to $60 per day, depending on the company, but you can customize your policy to get a cheaper rate.

Finding Cheap Rental Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

MoneyGeek gathered data from Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and found that rental car insurance in the state costs around $45 to $60 per day. Rental companies Avis, Enterprise and Hertz offer coverages at roughly $55, $45 and $60 per day, respectively. Each policy includes protections like supplemental liability, collision damage waiver and personal accident insurance.

Keep in mind that you won’t need to buy all supplemental coverages if you already have an existing car insurance policy. Additionally, many credit card companies provide a rental car collision damage waiver to cover damages you might incur, so you can decline this add-on when your rental company offers to save money.

Cost per Day of Rental Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

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  • Rental Company
    Total Insurance Cost
    Supplemental Liability Cost
    Collision Damage Waiver Cost
    Personal Accident Insurance Cost
  • Enterprise
    $45
    $13
    $27
    $6
  • Avis
    $55
    $17
    $29
    $10
  • Hertz
    $60
    $19
    $34
    $7

Buying Non-Owner Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

Buying non-owner car insurance is the best option for those who don’t own a car but need proof of insurance coverage when filing an SR-22 to get their license reinstated. In Pennsylvania, it is also the cheapest way to get coverage for those who don’t have cars but drive regularly, costing an average of $790 per year.

How to Get Temporary Rideshare Car Insurance for Rideshare in Pennsylvania

If you are working for a rideshare company in Pennsylvania, you are automatically covered by insurance when you accept a fare or are in the process of transporting a passenger. However, if you haven’t accepted a fare or you aren’t driving a passenger, you will have a temporary gap in your insurance coverage.

Some states do not have rideshare insurance policies. However, MoneyGeek compared companies offering this policy to help you find the best rideshare insurance available.

Frequently Asked Questions About Temporary Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

Temporary car insurance in Pennsylvania can be confusing, but these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about short-term car insurance can help.

Methodology

MoneyGeek collected car insurance and non-owner car insurance quotes in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services across Pennsylvania. The sample profile for the policies is a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record and full coverage as detailed on our methodology page. The quotes for a student represent the average cost of adding an 18-year-old driver to a policy.

MoneyGeek calculated the quotes for the cost of one-month and three-month policies on a prorated basis, assuming a full refund from the insurance company. The rental car insurance costs in Pennsylvania were collected manually by MoneyGeek using the online tools of Avis, Enterprise and Hertz.

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.


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