Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

Full Bio →

Written by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

In a nutshell...

  • Many of the vehicles on the nation’s roads are actually covered by short-term car insurance policies
  • Drivers of vehicles that are covered by short-term policies often select such coverage for special occasions
  • Drivers who need short-term policies can often save time and cash by car insurance comparison shopping

The majority of the millions of drivers who use the highways of the nation each and every day have long-term insurance policies in place to protect their health and their property. A portion of these drivers are operating vehicles on a short-term basis.

These short-term drivers also need short-term car insurance policies to keep them financially safe as they drive.

Acquiring and using short-term car insurance isn’t hard to do, but there are some factors that drivers who are thinking of doing so should be aware of.

This article will examine some of these factors in greater detail, and will also provide readers with insights into how car insurance comparison shopping websites can help them save significant amounts of cash.

Compare car insurance quotes to meet your needs. Just enter your zip code above to begin comparing.

Drivers who Need Insurance for a Couple of Hours

Short-term auto insurance is simply regular car insurance with all of the associated coverage options put into place for short periods of time.

Short-term car insurance policies can last for an hour, or they may last for several months.

While it may at first seem counter-intuitive to think that people might need car insurance for only an hour or two, with a little thought it becomes clear that there are many situations that could make such policies necessary.

Some common reasons for needing car insurance for a couple of hours include, but are not limited to:

  • To borrow a vehicle
  • To rent a vehicle
  • To transport a vehicle from one place to another
  • To test drive a vehicle before purchase
  • To prevent costly lapses in coverage
  • To add another driver to an insurance policy
  • To cover learner drivers
  • To cover a moving truck or van
  • To cover the retrieval of an impounded vehicle

People who wish to take out short-term policies in the U.S. will generally need to be at least 21 years old, will need valid drivers’ licenses, and will need to show that they have been involved in very few at-fault car accidents in a given time-period.

Short-term car insurance policies offer superior levels of convenience, but can at times be somewhat more expensive than regular car insurance policies.

Because short-term car insurance policies can cost more than regular policies when day-to-day costs are compared, it is important for people who take out such policies to select their coverage options with care.

For example, a person who needs a short-term policy in order to transport expensive personal property may wish to take out adequate theft coverage in order to protect their valuables.

Conversely, someone who is simply transporting a relatively empty vehicle from one place to another and is unlikely to exit the vehicle may not need such coverage and can save significant amounts of money by opting out of such coverage.

FREE Car Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save!

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

People who need to take out short-term car insurance policies can often save even more money by using car insurance comparison shopping websites.

These websites collect information about a host of car insurance providers and then list this information in easy to use form. Customers who avail themselves of these websites stand to save a lot of time and also stand to save a lot of cash.

It should be noted that many short-term car insurance transactions can be completed very rapidly.

In order for short-term car insurance policyholders to ensure that they are actually covered, they should ensure that the short-term provider in question sends them some form of proof that the policy is indeed in force.

Some documents that are commonly used to prove car insurance coverage can include:

  • Policy Declaration Page  This page is a summary of policy provisions and can include information like policy period, coverage types, coverage limits, policy number, and information about the vehicle being covered.
  • Personal Policy Form – This form includes information similar to the declaration page, but the information on the personal policy form often goes into greater detail.

Having copies of these documents is of critical importance for short-term car insurance policyholders, and can save them a lot of trouble if they are stopped by the police or get into car accidents during their travels.

FREE Car Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save!

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Car Insurance Coverage Options


If you purchase short-term insurance, you may still be able to find the following supplemental coverages to ensure you are safe on the road:

  • Roadside Assistance Coverage or Towing Coverage  It is likely that many drivers who need to be on the roads for a couple of hours will be at risk of being stranded in the event of a breakdown. By carrying roadside assistance, such drivers can be prepared for unexpected breakdowns.
  • Comprehensive Coverage With a Theft Endorsement  Short-term drivers who carry theft coverage will be protected if any valuables are stolen or damaged. In addition to this, short-term drivers who carry comprehensive coverage will be safe if the vehicles they drive are damaged while parked.
  • Collision Coverage  Short-term policyholders who get into single-vehicle accidents while driving can be liable for significant damages. Adding collision coverage to their short-term policies can protect such policyholders from costly liabilities.

Short-Term Drivers Need Affordable Car Insurance Coverage

As has been shown, drivers who need short-term car insurance coverage face many unique challenges. These same drivers also stand to gain a lot if they can find appropriate short-term car insurance coverage.

The good news is, readers who take note of and apply the information found in this article can certainly count on finding such coverage, saving cash, and having fun along the way.

Compare car insurance rates today to find the right coverage for the type of insurance you desire.