Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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One Day Car Insurance Can Save You From an Expensive Mistake

Driving on a vacation or business trip? You might need one day auto insurance.

You may think that if you don’t own a vehicle or drive regularly, you don’t need car insurance. This may not be the case, however. You may still need coverage on a one-day basis so you can drive on vacation, while you’re in the process of moving, or under another circumstance where you might be driving for only a day.

How Does One Day Insurance Protect You?

Driving a car – even once – without the state-mandated minimum level of coverage is illegal. You could face a substantial fine, a ticket, and points on your license if you’re caught. And if you’re in an accident that’s your fault, you could face serious legal and financial consequences if another driver is hurt or their vehicle is damaged.

If you need coverage for just a day, you won’t want to pay for a policy that continues for six months or a year and has a higher level of coverage than you need. That’s where one day car insurance, or daily car insurance, comes in.

It can be an appropriate type of coverage for drivers who get behind the wheel very infrequently – once every few months at most. If you drive more often than that but still not regularly, there are short-term policies that can better suit your needs.

If you’re getting one day insurance, make sure to tell the companies you’re getting quotes from if you’ll be driving in another state. That way, they can make sure your coverage will meet the minimum levels of the states in which you’ll be driving.

What Does This Type of Insurance Cover?

A one day insurance policy usually covers the following:

  • Damage to the vehicle if you’re in an accident
  • Damage and losses due to vandalism, fire, or theft
  • Harm that’s done to another person or their vehicle as a result of your driving

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When Is One Day Insurance Needed?

One day car insurance might be a good fit under one of the following circumstances:

  • You’re moving: If you’re driving a moving van, you’ll need to be insured. You’ll want to make sure you’re driving legally, of course, especially if you’re moving out of state. And your chances of getting into an accident are greater if you’re driving a larger, unfamiliar vehicle like a moving van.
  • You’re going on vacation or a business trip: You may need to drive to the airport if you’re going on vacation or business trip, or perhaps you need to be able to drive for a day when you reach your destination. Especially if you’ll be driving in a different state, you’ll need to make sure that you’re obeying their particular laws by having the mandated minimum coverage.
  • You need to borrow a friend’s car for a day: You may assume that his or her auto insurance will cover you, but this isn’t necessarily true.
  • You’re renting a car: If you rent a car, you’ll need to have coverage. The company you’re renting from may offer insurance to you for an additional fee. This type of policy, however, is often very expensive and very limited in terms of coverage.
  • You’re test driving a car: If you’re looking to buy a car, you’ll probably test drive it first. Accidents do happen, and you’ll need to be covered in the event that you’re in an accident while test driving a car.

Who Can Get One Day Insurance?

Most drivers are able to obtain one day car insurance fairly easily. Generally, if you’re between the ages of 21 and 75, chances are good that you’ll qualify if you have a good driving record.

You may not be able to get this type of insurance if you’ve had your licensed suspended recently, however, or have had more than six points on your license within the past three years. Insurers also want to see no more than one insurance claim for which you were at fault in the past three years.

You might assume that if you’re only driving for a day, nothing is likely to happen. But if you’re in an accident – even one that isn’t your fault – or get pulled over, you could face serious consequences. One day car insurance is an inexpensive way to help you avoid a ticket or lawsuit after a car accident that could cost you money for years to come.