Getting Short-Term or Weekend Car Insurance Coverage

Only driving occasionally on weekends or for a short period? You may be wondering if you can just get car insurance coverage for those limited times rather than paying for a full policy.

While most standard auto insurance policies are designed for people who drive frequently, there are some limited options available to insure a vehicle only on weekends or short-term basis.

This guide explains everything you need to know about obtaining car insurance for just weekends or short periods of use, including:

  • Types of short-term car insurance policies
  • Eligibility requirements and qualifications
  • Cost comparisons to regular insurance
  • How to obtain and use weekend insurance
  • Limitations and restrictions
  • Alternative options for part-time drivers

Overview of Weekend and Short-Term Car Insurance

Most auto insurance policies are priced assuming you will drive a vehicle regularly. So insuring a car just for weekend use or a short timeframe can seem wasteful if you won’t be driving much.

Specialized short-term or weekend policies are designed for these scenario and provide more limited insurance coverage for occasional drivers. Here are the main types:

  • Weekend policies – As the name implies, these specifically insure a car for weekend use, such as driving to leisure activities, errands, or visiting friends. Coverage spans from Friday evening to early Monday morning.

  • Daily policies – These provide coverage by the day, which could work for a rental car or borrowed vehicle. The policy term can be customized for your specific needs.

  • Weekly policies – Weekly car insurance can cover a vehicle for 7-day intervals and may be a fit for temporary, short-term driving needs.

  • Month-to-month policies – Rather than a 6-month or yearly term, these allow you to pay for auto insurance month by month and cancel anytime. This provides more flexibility.

While coverage options exist for part-time driving, insurers place restrictions to avoid misuse or abuse of these limited policies.

Am I Eligible for Weekend or Short-Term Car Insurance?

Insurance providers place strict limits on who can qualify for weekend and short-term car insurance given the reduced premiums:

  • Vehicle ownership – The car must be registered and titled in your name to get coverage. Short-term policies only insure cars owned by individuals, not dealerships.

  • License status – You must have a valid driver’s license with no suspensions or revocations. Some may require you to have maintained your license for 1-3 years.

  • Driving history – Most providers mandate a clean driving record with no accidents, traffic violations, or claims within the past 3-5 years. Some may allow minor infractions.

  • Credit history – You’ll need decent credit with no bankruptcies or unpaid judgments. Providers may run credit checks as part of underwriting.

  • Existing insurance – Some require you to have a regular auto policy on another vehicle as proof of insurability for the short-term coverage.

  • Vehicle use – The insurer will limit covered use to weekends, daily commuting, or other defined usages permitted under the policy.

Always check specific eligibility criteria with the provider as qualifications can vary. Stricter requirements help limit the carrier’s risk exposure.

How Much Does Weekend or Short-Term Car Insurance Cost?

The cost of weekend auto insurance will depend on factors like:

  • Your age – Young drivers pay higher premiums due to increased risk

  • Vehicle type – Sports cars or luxury models can cost more to insure

  • Coverage limits – Minimum liability coverage costs less than higher limits

  • Deductible amount – Choosing a higher deductible reduces the premium

  • Term length – Daily policies cost more per day than longer weekly or monthly terms

To give an idea, weekend policies may range from $15 per day up to $200 or more per month depending on these criteria. While cheaper than regular insurance, short-term coverage still carries premium taxes and fees.

Be sure to compare quotes from multiple providers, as prices can vary significantly. Adjusting term lengths or coverage amounts can also help minimize the cost.

How and When to Use Weekend Car Insurance

If you qualify, short-term auto insurance works best in certain scenarios:

  • Occasional recreational vehicle use – Insuring boats, ATVs, RVs, classic cars, etc. only for weekends or trips

  • Borrowed vehicle coverage – When driving someone else’s car temporarily

  • Rental car insurance – Supplemental coverage for rental cars beyond what’s included

  • Filing lapses – Bridging a gap between car insurance policies

  • Seasonal drivers – Insuring a car like a convertible just in summer months

  • Young drivers – Cost-effective coverage for students home weekends from college

Read all restrictions carefully, as providers limit these policies to part-time vehicle use as intended.

Limitations and Exclusions to Understand

While short-term car insurance provides a cost-saving option for weekend drivers, important limitations apply:

  • Limited policy term – Coverage expires at the end of each policy term and must be manually renewed or extended.

  • Rigid usage restrictions – Driving outside designated times of use may void coverage.

  • Underwriting requirements – Insurers deny many applications or charge increased rates based on risk factors.

  • No payment plans – Premiums must be paid upfront rather than in installments.

  • Reduced coverage – Weekend policies offer basic liability with minimal comprehensive and collision coverage in some states.

  • Claim restrictions – Making an excessive number of claims under a short-term policy may result in non-renewal.

Always read the full policy document to see exclusions specific to the provider. While weekend car insurance meets specialized needs, restrictions do apply.

Alternatives for Part-Time and Occasional Drivers

If weekend auto insurance doesn’t fit your situation, consider these alternative options instead for part-time vehicle use:

  • Pay-per mile insurance – Plans base premiums on actual mileage driven, verified by an app or odometer.

  • Pay-how-you-drive policies – Rates factor in driving habits like speeding, acceleration, braking, and phone usage.

  • Non-owner car insurance – Covers you when driving vehicles that you don’t own.

  • Rental car insurance – Purchase supplemental liability and physical damage to cover rentals beyond the company’s basic policy.

  • Standard policy discounts – Ask about low mileage and infrequent usage discounts on regular car insurance.

For some drivers, these alternatives better meet the need for affordable part-time vehicle coverage.

The Bottom Line

It is possible to buy limited weekend, daily, or short-term car insurance for occasional driving needs. While cheaper than traditional policies, insurers restrict eligibility and impose usage limits given the reduced premiums. Always compare multiple quotes and read the full policy document to ensure this specialized coverage aligns with your needs. For lower usage that doesn’t conform to weekend definitions, alternative individualized policy options may provide more flexibility.

Short Term Car Insurance. What is it and Should You Buy it?


What is the cheapest day to look for car insurance?

“There are a whole range of factors involved which may vary the price insurers offer you for your car insurance, from the type of vehicle you drive, to your occupation. Some of these factors are not changes that you can easily make, but simply buying your policy 27 days before it is due to renew is an effective one.”

What is the cheapest time to insurance a car?

Usually, you can get more favorable car insurance rates immediately after any change or event in your life that can affect your premiums. If you look at the auto insurance sector as a whole, December is generally a good time of the year to shop for quotes.

What is the grace period for car insurance in SC?

The South Carolina new-car insurance grace period is 7 to 30 days in most cases. The new-car grace period is how long insured drivers are allowed to drive a newly purchased vehicle before adding it to an existing car insurance policy.

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