What You Should Know About One-Day Car Insurance

When you don’t need long-term car insurance, but you still need to drive legally, you can use short-term insurance. We'll cover the rare occasions you might need short-term coverage and how to find it.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

UPDATED: Jun 23, 2022

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The Rundown

  • One-day insurance for cars isn’t usually available, but you can get temporary insurance from most companies
  • Short-term car insurance lasts from a few weeks to six months
  • People usually need an excellent driving record and a history of on-time payments to get temporary auto insurance

Most insurance companies don’t sell one-day car insurance. A lot of the larger companies such as Allstate, Progressive, and GEICO don’t offer one-day or short-term auto insurance. However, short-term insurance can be useful for many people. There are also some ways to get car insurance for a day, such as going through temporary car insurance companies. Here’s some more information about one-day and short-term auto insurance, the benefits, and how to choose a plan that meets your needs. 

Are one-day, short-term, and same-day auto insurance the same?

One-day insurance, also known as 24-hour car insurance plans are rare, and short-term insurance is far more common. It usually lasts for a month or three months. Some states have minimum-term requirements for car insurance policies, so checking to make sure that temporary insurance is legal can be a good idea.

Plus as mentioned above, a lot of the larger named companies won’t offer short-term coverage. So if you’re looking for short-term auto insurance through GEICO, you’ll unfortunately be disappointed. Same-day insurance sounds a lot like one-day insurance, but it’s actually a different type of policy that activates on the same day you sign the agreement.

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Reasons for getting One-Day or Short-Term Car Insurance

One-day or short-term auto insurance can help protect you from accidents when you use a car temporarily. Below are some of the reasons that someone might need it.

Borrowing a Vehicle for a Short Time

When you borrow a car from a friend or family member, short-term car insurance might be a solution. However, the best approach is usually to ask the car owner to contact their insurer and temporarily add you to their policy. With most auto insurance companies, car insurance follows the vehicle and not the driver. This means that as long as you have permission from the owner to drive their vehicle, their long-term car insurance policy will provide coverage automatically. You can also choose non-owner auto insurance

Renting a Car

When you rent a car, it’s a good idea to ask what insurance the vehicle comes with. If you want more coverage, you can purchase a temporary car insurance policy through the rental company. You can also contact the long-term insurance company for your regular vehicle, as some providers automatically cover rental cars for their policyholders.

Driving a Car That’s Usually in Storage

A car that’s usually in storage, such as a vehicle kept at a vacation home, could be eligible for a garage or storage car insurance discount. Some companies offer policies that protect your vehicle from vandalism, bad weather, and other hazards while in storage. When you’re ready to use your car, you can contact your provider and get temporary coverage for that usage period.

Can anyone get short-term insurance?

Like many other car insurance policies, companies may deny coverage to young or inexperienced drivers, as well as people with suspended or revoked licenses who can’t drive legally. Those without previous insurance histories often can’t get temporary coverage because the company can’t verify proof of payment dependability. If you park or store your vehicle in a high-crime area, you may also be denied short-term coverage.

Many states require a minimum amount of liability insurance, and people who break the law by driving their cars without insurance may have trouble getting temporary coverage. Drivers who have been in several accidents or received any traffic tickets usually pay higher rates for long-term insurance, and they may not be able to get short-term insurance. Sports cars, classic cars, and other specialized vehicles could need specialized policies.

If you can’t find short-term coverage, you can still buy a six-month policy. However, canceling it before that period is over could make your rates higher with your next insurance company.

Final Thoughts on One-Day Auto Insurance

If you don’t have a long-term car insurance policy or you’re not sure your current policy will provide enough coverage, consider one-day, short-term, or temporary insurance. Many plans are available, and short-term coverage can help people who don’t drive often save money. To get the best rates, compare quotes with several companies. You can also consider a long-term policy. The answer to the question, “What auto insurance companies offer 12-month policies?” is a lot easier to answer than finding one-day car insurance, because there are many options for longer-term coverage. 

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