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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently...

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business...

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Reviewed byBrad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Things to know...
  • It’s possible to purchase car insurance for just one day, one week, or a few days. This type of coverage is referred to as temporary coverage and is not available everywhere
  • Temporary car insurance doesn’t have premiums or any long term commitments; it’s a one-time payment for coverage for the entire period, and you’re done
  • You can choose any type of coverage you want, but mostly, one-week auto insurance policies come with basic coverages such as property damage liability and personal injury protection (PIP)
  • A temporary car insurance coverage is perfect for some specific instances when you might be driving someone else’s car on emergencies

The larger percentage of the driving population in the US doesn’t know that it’s possible to purchase temporary coverage when needed. Most auto insurance providers sell temporary car insurance policies that last anywhere between one day and one month.

There is a good chance that your current auto insurance provider offers short-term auto insurance products and if you are in need of such, all you have to do is ask.

If you are looking for a temporary auto insurance policy, be sure to shop around before you decide to purchase from a particular company. Go online and compare quotes from as many providers as you can.

Comparison shopping, when it comes to auto insurance, can make a huge difference in your rates. Enter your zip code above to compare today!

Is there any difference between a temporary and a short-term car insurance policy?

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Some providers may use the term short-term auto insurance policy when they refer to a temporary coverage.

The terms are used interchangeably in many cases, but they don’t mean the same thing. The difference between the two brief car insurance policy options is the duration of the policy.

  • A temporary car insurance policy is only valid for a period ranging from one day to a few weeks, usually not exceeding four weeks.
  • A short-term auto insurance policy, on the other hand, can extend from anywhere between one and six months.

Due to the longer duration, short-term car insurance is cheaper than the temporary cover. One week auto insurance policies fall into the temporary coverage category.

What coverage is included in a temporary auto insurance policy?


Usually, short-term auto insurance policies include property and bodily injury liability. However, just like with a traditional auto insurance policy, you can add any type of coverage you want.

The amount of coverage you purchase will depend on the level of protection you need, which is mostly determined by the value of the vehicle you will be driving.

If it’s a brand new or a high valued vehicle such as a sports car, you might want to include collision and comprehensive coverage on the policy.

Including such coverage options in your policy can drive your rates up. However, you can always compare quotes from other providers to obtain coverage at a cheaper price.

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Instances Where You May Need Temporary Coverage

There are some cases where you may need to purchase car insurance for a short length of time, say a week or a few days. For instance:

  • If you have a muscle car or a classic car and you are about to head off to a car rally to show it off, you can purchase temporary car insurance.
  • You can buy temporary car insurance when looking after someone else’s car for a short period. If a friend asks you to look after his/her car, get temporary coverage — especially if you are planning to use it.
  • If you are leaving town on official company business for a few days, chances are you will get a rental car to navigate the destination city. Typically, rental cars have insurance, but in the case of an accident, the coverage may not be enough. You can purchase temporary car insurance policy just to be safe.
  • If you borrow someone’s car for a week long holiday, you can purchase temporary one-week coverage to protect you from any accident-related losses.
  • If you are using someone’s car to commute to and from work when yours is in the garage for repairs, getting temporary coverage is a good idea.
  • When moving to a new city or state, you need a truck or van to move your belongings. You can borrow the vehicle from a friend to ferry your stuff to the new home. Make sure that you purchase temporary car insurance to cover you and your property during the move.

Just as long as you have the primary owner’s go-ahead, the reason you are purchasing temporary coverage for a car doesn’t really matter.

Temporary coverage allows you to go around the complicated one-year policies by providing cover as and when you need it. When shopping for a temporary auto insurance policy, it helps to get several quotes from different providers before you buy.

The Cost of Temporary Car Insurance


Temporary car insurance caters for your immediate auto insurance needs, and as a result, it’s a tad more expensive than traditional coverage.

You can reduce these rates by comparing quotes from other providers.

With most companies, the premium for this type of coverage is paid in advance. For the policyholder, there are no long-term payments or commitments of any kind.

What You Need To Get a Quote

Just like with traditional auto insurance, there are a few things/details you need to have at hand to purchase coverage — besides the car owner’s permission. These are:

  • Details of the vehicle you are buying the coverage for
  • Specific date and time you’d like the coverage to commence
  • Your personal information: name, address, driver’s license, etc.

The process of obtaining a one-week car insurance coverage is quite straightforward. If there are no issues on your side, you will get the coverage pretty easily.

You can optimize your coverage to include things such as dents, scratches, and alloy wheels. With options such as one-week auto insurance policy, there is no excuse for driving uninsured.

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