Temporary car insurance is short-term car insurance that protects you from damage and liability for a specified period. There are many reasons that you may only need car insurance for a day, a week, or a month, and this is what temporary car insurance is for. Typically, temporary car insurance is good for up to 30 days. After that, you may be able to extend it or purchase a regular policy for six to 12 months.
It’s better to be protected during this short time period rather than risking not having insurance. It can also be more cost-effective to purchase a temporary car insurance policy than pay for a regular policy. We reviewed more than a dozen temporary car insurance companies before deciding on the top choices. We selected these companies based on their type of coverage, cost, speciality features, and ease of obtaining a policy.
The 6 Best Temporary Car Insurance for 2021
Best Overall: Nationwide
Nationwide is our top choice for best overall temporary car insurance because it doesn’t charge cancellation fees so you can purchase coverage and cancel when you don’t need it. It also has an online estimator tool, can be set up in a few minutes, and offers collector and classic car coverage with lower rates and flexible usage.
Reputable company that offers coverage throughout the country
Quick to set up coverage
Offers specific coverage for collector cars and motorcycles
No formal temporary car insurance policy, instead pay and cancel
May not have the same personal attention as a smaller company
Doesn’t cover vehicles overseas
Nationwide was founded in Columbus, Ohio, in 1926 as an insurance agency with farming roots. It’s expanded to be one of the most well-known insurance companies with a strong financial backing and positive customer service.
Nationwide is our choice for best overall temporary car insurance because it’s a reputable company that offers nationwide coverage and it offers multi-policy discounts, and collector car discounts as well as motorcycle and watercraft insurance.
Nationwide offers non-owner policies that you can use for rental cars, Zipcars, or if you want extra coverage when driving a friend or family member’s car that doesn’t reside with you. These policies can only be inquired about over the phone with an agent. However, other policies can be easily found on their site. In fact, Nationwide provides an online estimate tool that gives you an auto insurance quote in just a few minutes. It’s also quick and easy to file a claim online or over the phone, and the site includes a claim tracking tool and even a tool to find a repair shop.
The average premium for Nationwide auto insurance is $1201.80 for a low-risk driver.
Read our full Nationwide review.
Best for Collector Cars: Hagerty
We chose Hagerty as best for collector cars because it offers guaranteed values on your collector car, flexible coverage, and in house claims. It also focuses solely on classic or collector cars so they know the ins and outs of the industry.
Flexible coverage options
Savings compared to daily drivers
Owned by classic car enthusiasts
Don’t offer coverage for daily drivers
No multi-policy discounts
Doesn’t cover high-risk drivers
Hagerty is owned by car collectors with a lot of knowledge and experience with classic and specialty vehicles. It’s headquartered in Michigan and has been in business since 1984. The company reinvests back into the classic car community through youth programs, educational resources, and historical vehicle programs.
Hagerty is the best temporary car insurance company if you have a collector or classic car that you want to insure. It also offers international insurance, watercraft insurance, and motorcycle insurance in some regions. Policies are underwritten by Nationwide, and you can get a quote by entering your information online or calling the company.
Depending on how you use your collector car, whether you keep it in storage, drive it daily, or enter it in shows, you don’t have to pay the full insurance rate with Hagerty. Specific rates aren’t published on their site, but they claim to save you up to 36% on premiums.
You need to file a claim over the phone with an agent and will get more personal service than some other larger companies. However, if you’re a high-risk driver or had a past DUI, Hagerty won’t insure you.
Read our full Hagerty review.
Best for Multiple Car Coverage: GEICO
GEICO is our choice for the best temporary car insurance for multiple car coverage because it claims to save you up to 25% on multi-car discounts which is the highest potential savings among the reputable car companies. It’s also a well-known company that provides multiple types of insurance in all 50 states.
Lots of discounts including multi-car
Coverage in all 50 states
Assortment of coverage including home and renters insurance
Doesn’t underwrite all its policies
Not many agents; only online or phone service
Lack of personal service
GEICO was founded in 1936 in Fort Worth, Texas, as an auto insurance company specifically targeted for federal government employees and certain categories of enlisted military officers. It has grown into a long-standing, reputable insurance company that offers nationwide auto insurance coverage. The company also offers home, renters, watercraft, and motorcycle insurance.
We selected GEICO as the best for multiple car coverage because of its higher-than-average discounts for cars kept at the same address as well as other discounts for being accident-free for five years. It also offers temporary car insurance in the form of non-owners coverage. So, if you’re using a work car, borrowing a friend’s car, or driving any vehicle that doesn’t belong to you, GEICO offers temporary coverage.
You can get a quote online and purchase a policy online, but GEICO does not publish its average rates. However, if you want a non-owner policy, you need to call the company. Additionally, you can file a claim online or over the phone.
Read our full GEICO review.
Best for Claims: Progressive
Progressive is our pick for the best temporary car insurance for claims because it makes filing a claim easy with its Photo Estimate Tool. You take a snapshot of the damage with your smartphone and upload it to a claims specialist. Progressive also offers discounts to 99% of its policyholders.
Variety of coverage including rideshares
Discounts for so many things
Easy claims process
Doesn’t insure cars worth more than $150,000
Doesn’t offer price estimates
Negative customer reviews
Progressive was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1937 by two brothers who saw a hole in the market and wanted to provide car insurance innovatively. It has grown into a nationwide company that now provides car insurance alongside home, renters, watercraft, ATV, snowmobile, and golf cart insurance.
We selected Progressive as best for claims due to its seamless claims process that can be completed from your smartphone in a matter of minutes. You can also track the progress of your claim online without having to call or wait to see what’s going on. This is especially helpful if you’re only driving a car temporarily and don’t want to deal with the hassle of waiting for a claims agent to get back to you.
The average cost for an annual premium for a safe driver with experience with Progressive was $510, which is very competitive. You can get a quote online or over the phone within a few minutes. However, Progressive doesn’t offer estimates so your credit may be pulled for a quote.
Read our full Progressive review.
Best for Pay as You Go: Allstate
Allstate is our choice for the best temporary car insurance company that offers pay-as-you-go insurance because you can get the same coverage and claims support but only pay for how far you drive. They offer a special program called Milewise so you can pay as you go and won’t be charged when you don’t drive your car.
Pay based on how much you drive
Many different types of coverage
Negative customer reviews
No loyalty discount
Costs are higher than some of the other companies
Allstate was founded in 1931 as a part of Sears, Roebuck & Co. It spun off in 1993 and has its headquarters in Northfield Township, Illinois. It offers nationwide coverage and also has operations in Canada.
We selected Allstate as best for pay-as-you-go coverage because of the Milewise feature. Milewise includes a daily rate, a per-mile rate, and a cost-per-day rate, all of which are designed for low-mileage drivers who want control over their insurance costs. If you only use your car once a week or don’t drive very far, it may be cheaper to purchase pay-as-you-go insurance instead of paying for a policy that charges you whether or not you’re using the car.
The average annual premium for a safe driver with experience is $1,150. You can get a quote online or over the phone. You can file a claim online, with an agent, or through the app. You can also track your claim on the app, and the company offers loyalty and safety discounts.
Read our full Allstate review.
Best for International Coverage: dayinsure
We chose dayinsure as our best temporary car insurance for international coverage because it offers temporary car insurance spanning from one day to one month. It has overwhelmingly positive reviews, it is one of the U.K’s leading insurance companies and you can have coverage in just a few minutes. However, it’s only available in the U.K and the E.U.
Short term insurance coverage
Covers non-U.K. citizens as well
Not offered in the U.S.
Doesn’t offer other types of coverage
No multi-policy or other loyalty discounts
Founded in 2004, dayinsure is owned by Aviva and is headquartered in the U.K. It offers temporary insurance coverage throughout the European Union and can be used on a U.K-registered car, van, or motorhome. It also offers business vehicle insurance, and the company has provided insurance to over one million policyholders who have driven over 250 million miles.
Dayinsure is the best choice for international coverage if you’re going to be in Europe and need insurance on a rental car, an RV, a friend’s car, or even a car that you have brought over there and don’t have insured.
You can get quick coverage with quotes online. You just need a few documents and can purchase the policy online or by phone. However, there isn’t any claim information online, so you will need to call them to file a claim.
All of the companies that made our list of the best temporary car insurance are reputable, have been in business a long time, and provide different types of coverage, discounts, and services. Some of the companies only offer a specialty type of insurance such as for vacation coverage or insurance on a classic car while others offer multiple different types of coverage.
Our overall recommendation is Nationwide insurance because it’s quick to get started, makes filing a claim easy, and offers a variety of insurance coverages with no cancellation fees.
|Temporary Car Insurance Companies||Why We Picked It||Standout Feature|
|Nationwide||Reputable company with special coverage options||Quick to set up coverage|
|Hagerty||Competitive rates for collector cars||Extensive classic car knowledge|
|GEICO||Offers the best multiple car coverage||Save up to 25% on multi-car discounts|
|Progressive||Best for filing claims from your smartphone||99% of customers get discounts|
|AllState||Best for low mileage drivers who can save when not driving||Only pay for miles driven|
|dayinsure||Best for covering your car temporarily while in Europe||Coverage available starting with an hour|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Temporary Car Insurance?
Temporary car insurance is a specialty type of insurance that is intended to cover your car for a short period of time, anywhere from an hour to a few months. It’s an affordable option that is more flexible than purchasing a regular auto policy that typically lasts for six months to one year. Temporary car insurance gives you the legal coverage you need without the expense and commitment.
Most car insurance companies don’t offer temporary car insurance policies online. You typically need to contact the company directly to find out how you can purchase the policy and how much it will cost. And if you’re a current customer, you might be able to have your existing policy adjusted to accommodate your temporary situation.
What Does Temporary Car Insurance Cover?
The type of coverage that temporary car insurance provides depends on the state you live in (or where you need coverage), the type of insurance you choose, and the company offering the policy. Typically, though, temporary car insurance covers liability, comprehensive, collision, uninsured motorist, and medical coverage.
You can choose to purchase less coverage, but need to purchase the state or country’s minimum requirements.
Who Should Get Temporary Car Insurance?
You should get temporary car insurance if:
- You want to prevent a lapse in coverage from your main auto policy.
- You want to insure a collector’s car that you don’t drive daily.
- You are temporarily driving a car belonging to someone you don’t live with.
- You’re renting a car and don’t want to purchase insurance from the rental car company.
- You’re on vacation and want coverage during your trip.
- You want to insure a car used temporarily for a rideshare.
There are a few instances where temporary car insurance might not make sense. For instance, you don’t want to get temporary car insurance if you drive your car every day. Temporary insurance also isn’t for you if you’re borrowing a car from someone in your same household or if you’re a college student, as a long-term policy will likely be cheaper.
What Does Temporary Car Insurance Cost?
The costs of temporary car insurance vary based on several factors including:
- How often you drive the car
- Type of car
- Driving record
- Length of coverage
- Location the car is kept
- Where and how the car will be driven
Temporary insurance is usually a better deal if you need it for less than a month. It may only cost you a few dollars or $100 or so to insure a car temporarily. However, it gets expensive if you use it for more than a month.
How We Chose the Best Temporary Car Insurance
We researched more than a dozen temporary insurance companies before deciding on the top six. We evaluated many factors including the type of coverage, coverage areas, available discounts, and company reputation. We also considered user reviews, average pricing if available, and ease of set up.
It was also important for us to include companies that have been in business for a while and provide different types of coverage such as vacation and classic car insurance.