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Typically, auto insurance companies do not write one-day car insurance policies. Policy terms usually start at six months. There are many ways to get temporary auto insurance – even for just one day – but there is no such thing as a one-day car insurance policy.

This article will review short-term car insurance, how to get one-day car insurance, and tips on how to make car insurance more affordable.

The best way to get good coverage for a great price is to compare prices from the best car insurance companies side-by-side. Enter your zip code below or call (844) 246-8209 to get started comparing car insurance quotes.


In this article:

What Is One-Day Car Insurance?

One-day car insurance policies do not exist as a temporary car insurance offering. Most car insurance companies offer short-term policies that will protect you for a minimum of six months.

If you're searching for a one-day car insurance policy, it is important to look out for scams. No reputable car insurance providers offer one-day car insurance policies, but some companies pose as short-term providers to get your personal information. However, there are some ways to get short-term car insurance for certain situations.

When Do You Need One-Day Car Insurance?

There are a few instances when one-day car insurance might seem attractive. If you borrow a friend’s car, drive a rental car, take your antique car out for the day, or simply don’t drive often enough to own a car that would need car insurance, you might be looking for short-term car insurance. Each of these situations has a slightly different solution:

Why You May Need One-Day Car Insurance Solution
You Are Looking to
Borrow Someone Else's Car
If you drive a friend’s or family member's car frequently, you can ask them to list you as a driver on their policy. If you are driving someone else's car for one day, call their provider to see if you could be covered under their insurance policy. Typically, auto insurance policies follow the car rather than the driver.
You Are Looking to
Insure a Rental Car
If you are searching for short-term insurance to cover you while driving a rental car, it is worth reaching out to the rental car company. Most companies offer rental car insurance policies that cover you while driving the rental. It's also worth checking if your own insurance policy will cover rental car accidents or if your credit card includes rental car insurance.
You Are Looking to
Insure a Classic Car
If you are looking to insure a classic car that you drive infrequently, classic car insurance may be the best fit for you. It is specialized to fully cover your classic car's value and is intended to cover you when driving to car shows or when you just want to take the car for a spin.
You Are Looking for
Usage-Based Insurance
If you rarely drive your car, usage-based or pay-per-mile insurance may be the best choice for you. This type of insurance calculates the cost of an insurance policy based on how often and how safely you drive. This means that you only pay for the days your car is driven.
You Don't Think Car Insurance Is Worth It While driving your car legally requires you to have insurance, you many not think that car insurance is worth it for you. One option to consider is self-insurance. Self-insurance is not legal in every state, but some states allow you to insure your car yourself using personal funds instead of purchasing an insurance policy. Read our full article to learn more about automobile self-insurance.

Some drivers will attempt to get one-day auto insurance by purchasing an affordable, six-month policy from a reputable provider that doesn’t require upfront payment or have a cancellation policy. These drivers then cancel coverage when it’s no longer needed. This is not a practice that we recommend.

In most cases, this causes a lapse in coverage. You want to avoid this because it can make it harder to get car insurance in the future. Lapses in coverage cause you to appear risky to insurance companies and could lead to denial of coverage or much higher rates in the future. In the end, the best financial decision may be purchasing a strong policy.

Penalties For Driving Without Car Insurance

If you’re caught without car insurance while driving or involved in an accident, the legal penalties could be severe. You could be facing:

  • License suspension
  • Registration and license plate suspension
  • Fees to get your license and registration returned
  • Community service hours
  • Jail time from as little as one day to as long as three years, depending on the level of offense and state laws

The severity of the punishments for driving an uninsured car varies depending on your state, how many times you’ve been caught driving without insurance before, and many other factors.

Our Recommendations For Car Insurance

If you’re looking for temporary coverage, you’ll want a provider with no cancellation fees that offers the best price and coverage for a six-month policy. Based on that information, we think your best options are Geico and USAA.

Enter your zip code or call (844) 246-8209 to compare cheap car insurance rates from top providers.


Geico: Best Overall

Geico auto insurance is our choice for Best Overall in the industry. Geico has a range of car insurance coverage options that provide basic liability coverage and add-ons like roadside assistance, mechanical breakdown insurance, and rental car reimbursement.

Geico also has a usage-based program called DriveEasy that monitors safe driving habits to qualify you for discounts. Plus, Geico received high marks in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠ and the 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. The insurer has an A++ financial strength rating with AM Best and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

To learn more, read our full Geico review.

USAA: Best For Military

USAA car insurance is our top choice for U.S. military members and their families. USAA swept the board in several 2021 J.D. Power studies and has a strong financial strength rating from AM Best with an A++.

USAA also offers the standard insurance options, as well as a few add-ons. With USAA, military service members can get multiple discounts, like the military installation discount that could save you up to 15 percent on your car insurance premium for garaging your car on a military base. USAA also offers coverage like rental car reimbursement, travel expenses, roadside assistance, and the SafePilot® safe driving app.

To learn more, read our full USAA insurance review.

FAQ: One-Day Car Insurance

Can you insure a car for one day?

There is no such thing as a one-day car insurance policy. However, you can insure a car for a short period of time or get car insurance for one day in an unconventional way. For example, you may be covered by a friend’s auto insurance policy if you are driving their vehicle. Check with the provider before driving.

How much does it cost for one-day car insurance?

One-day car insurance policies do not exist. If you purchase a six-month policy from a reputable auto insurance provider, you might pay $500 in full for the policy, or the equivalent of just a few dollars a day.

What does one-a-day insurance cover?

Unlike one-day car insurance, one-a-day insurance refers to the New Jersey Special Automobile Insurance Policy (NJSAIP) program that helps make car insurance available to drivers enrolled in Medicaid programs who cannot get insurance.

How much does car insurance cost on average?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, drivers spent an average of $1,005 on car insurance in 2017, which is just over $500 for six months. Keep in mind that not all drivers purchase the same types of coverage or the same limits, so it’s possible that you could find cheaper car insurance than the national average. We think it’s a good idea to consider a six-month policy so you have peace of mind whenever you need to drive.


In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

  • Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
  • Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
  • Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
  • Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
  • Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
  • Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.

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