Do Car Dealerships Offer Temporary Insurance

Do Car Dealerships Offer Temporary Insurance
Do Car Dealerships Offer Temporary Insurance
What if you need auto insurance for a short while? Temporary insurance, also known as short-term car insurance, are provided by many car dealerships. Here's what you need to know about temporary insurance and how it works!
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Whether you’re buying your first car or a second-hand one, you’ll need insurance to take home your new vehicle. Considering all the adventures and road trips you plan to take on your new car, you need to protect your vehicle from unforeseen events and unplanned liabilities. 

But what if you need the insurance for a short while? Temporary insurance, also known as short-term car insurance or drive-away insurance by dealerships, can be provided by car dealerships. The period of this is less than the standard car insurance, which covers you for a 6 or 12-month period.

You can get temporary insurance for one day, for a week long, and even for a month. Temporary insurance provides the same coverage as standard car insurance but for a shorter period. Beem offers the best coverage with up to 40% off on auto insurance quotes.

Do Car Dealerships Offer Temporary Insurance? 

When you buy a car from a dealership, they usually offer you temporary insurance until your actual insurance kicks in. But note that not all car dealerships offer temporary insurance. Most of them stick to the standard timeline, a minimum of 6 months.

So, before buying a car, call the dealership and find out the details on temporary insurance. Almost all US states need auto insurance before buying a car. Hence, several dealerships offer temporary car insurance lasting up to 28 days. 

Offered directly by dealerships?NoNot licensed to sell insurance
Available through partnered agents at dealerships?YesOften convenient but compare rates
Test drive coverage provided by dealerships?YesCovers dealership vehicles during test drives
Popular providers for standalone temporary insurance?YesNumerous online/phone providers like Zipcar, By Miles, Turo
Typical coverage options?VariesLiability, collision, comprehensive, additional drivers
Average policy duration?1 day – 30 daysDepends on provider and needs
Pricing compared to traditional insurance?Often higherCan be more expensive per day than annual policy
Best suited for?Short-term needs like rentals, borrowing, test drivesNot ideal for long-term driving

How to Get Temporary Insurance?

To obtain that, you need to follow the same process as you do for standard insurance. You need to submit personal information along with the car’s details and Vehicle Identification Number. Regarding the insurance rates, aspects like location, age, gender, driving history, and type of car, among others, matter.

However, getting quotes is the only way to determine how much a temporary car insurance policy will cost. Using Beem to find the best auto insurance quotes can help you make the right choice. You might think temporary car insurance would be cheaper than standard insurance, but it is not.

Temporary insurance is a specialty policy, and it may cost you more per month than you’d pay for a long-term standard policy. Also, the rates vary from state to state.

Among the top states with the cheapest rates are Alaska, Idaho, and Indiana. Also, note you should never settle for a basic insurance policy if you own a car of higher value. Repair costs will be higher, and you can pay the difference yourself. 

Types of Temporary Auto Insurance

Coming to the types of temporary car insurance there are three main types.

The first one is the GAP Insurance. This is an optional car insurance coverage that helps to pay off the loan if your car is stolen or totaled.

This insurance is used when the car has been purchased through a loan. It helps you by becoming a third party and also compensates. How? Let’s say you owe $30,000 on a loan, but your car is just for $27,000, and they will pay the difference to close on the policyholder’s loan.

The second is rental car insurance. When you rent a car, if it gets damaged or has an accident, they will cover it. You can typically get this insurance through the rental car company you get the care from. The coverage types and amounts vary, but all policies must at least cover state minimums where you rent the car.

The third one is non-owner insurance. This is quite similar to rental car insurance. However, this insurance is meant for private cars, like when someone borrows a relative or friend’s car. A policy with this type of coverage is usually cheaper than regular coverage, and you can cancel it before the policy period ends to avoid paying for coverage you don’t need.

Anyone can get temporary car insurance if they tick all the criteria provided by the insurer. First and foremost, you must be of driving age and have a registered address that aligns with your license. You cannot have a lot of penalties against your license, and you should not have any active criminal convictions.

Temporary Car Insurance Providers in the US

ProviderTypeCoverage OptionsDurationBest For
By MilesPay-per-mileLiability, collision, comprehensive1 day – 365 daysInfrequent drivers, low mileage usage
MetromilePay-per-mileLiability, collision, comprehensive1 day – 365 daysLow mileage drivers, city driving
ZipcarHourly/DailyLiability, collision, comprehensiveHourly, dailyCar-sharing rentals
TuroPeer-to-peerLiability, collision, comprehensive1 day – 30 daysBorrowing cars, short-term rentals
NationwideTraditionalLiability, collision, comprehensive6 months – 1 yearShort-term with traditional provider
GEICOTraditionalLiability, collision, comprehensive6 months – 1 yearBudget-conscious drivers, basic coverage
AllstateTraditionalLiability, collision, comprehensive6 months – 1 yearPay-per-mile option available, short-term with traditional provider
ProgressiveTraditionalLiability, collision, comprehensive6 months – 1 yearFlexible policy options, good claims service

Reasons to Buy Temporary Insurance

There are infinite reasons why you may need temporary insurance. Some of the main reasons are:

  1. When you test-drive a car at a dealership.
  2. If you are moving house via a van, you may need temporary insurance.
  3. If you are driving someone else’s car while your car is being repaired.
  4. If you want to rent a car for a holiday or a special occasion like a wedding.
  5. If you hired a camper van for a road trip.
  6. If you are a resident of a different country but are visiting the US.
  7. When lending your car to a friend, relative, or anyone else.
  8. If you are in college and need to use a car on campus.
  9. If you don’t own a car but have a driver’s license and plan to rent a vehicle.
  10. You are selling your car but need one when potential buyers drive it.

How to Find Out if a Car Dealership Offers Temporary Car Insurance?

The most direct way is to call and clarify with the car dealerships if they offer temporary auto insurance. But if you would like to talk face-to-face, visit the dealership in person and discuss your situation and requirements with a sales representative or a finance manager.

You can also check websites, as some provide details about insurance coverage online. In addition to these, you can also check online reviews to get some insight into whether a dealership provides temporary car insurance or not.

How Temporary Insurance From Car Dealerships Works?

It works like any standard full coverage policy and offers comprehensive collision and car insurance coverage specific to your state. Your dealership might let you select how long you want your temporary insurance to last, which makes it a flexible type of short-term insurance.

Based on the length and level of your coverage, you will pay. You will get covered for any damage or accident during the coverage period.

Nowadays, getting temporary car insurance hardly takes time, just a few minutes. But remember, unlike an annual policy, this insurance coverage is usually built differently. You will not be covered for damages to your vehicle and passengers even if you carry liability-only insurance.

However, not everyone adheres to the minimum liability laws. Hence, it is crucial to read through your coverage carefully.

Do Car Dealerships Offer Temporary Insurance

What are the Benefits of Temporary Car Insurance? 

There are some key benefits of temporary car insurance and how it can help you and your car. 

  1. It is a quick purchase. If there is an emergency, you can get cover immediately. 
  2. They are flexible. They allow you to choose the duration that suits your needs, whether for a day or a month.
  3. You can customize your temporary insurance as per your requirements. You can select the level of coverage, like liability, comprehensive, or collision.
  4. It is beneficial when test-driving a car you are considering buying.
  5. It is helpful if you have two cars but use one regularly and the other significantly less frequently.
  6. Having the option to pay for it only when needed is its most significant advantage.

What are the Alternatives to Temporary Insurance from the Car Dealership?

Alternatives to temporary insurance depend on your specific situation:

  1. You can use your existing car insurance, which may cover test drives of vehicles that are not yours. It might also cover the new car for a specific period since many insurance companies offer a grace period for new vehicles.
  2. Before you borrow a car from someone, verify if there is a clause to add additional drivers by the owner’s car insurance policy. Some policies cover additional drivers, so check with the owner’s insurance company before buying temporary insurance.
  3. There are credit cards that hold a feature of rental car insurance coverage as a cardholder benefit. Check with your credit card company if they have such coverage. 
  4. If an additional person is driving your car regularly, you can contact your insurer to add them as a temporary driver to your insurance policy. 
  5. You can get pay-per-mile insurance. It is a good option when you don’t drive that often, which may include those who are working from home or are college students. Since this policy will provide you with the benefits of comprehensive car insurance, you pay for the distance you drive. However, these types of coverage have a base rate plus a per-mile charge, so even if you do not drive that often, you will still have to pay a certain amount.


Temporary insurance is flexible and great option for those who don’t need an entire year’s worth of coverage. It can prove to be a solution for unexpected emergencies. It lets you get behind the wheel without getting into a long-term insurance plan.

It safeguards your car. But there are a few instances where this kind of insurance could be more beneficial, like if you drive your car every day. Hence, you should know why you want to opt for such coverage, which is meant for a short timeframe. So, make sure to evaluate all coverage options based on your requirements. Also, ensure that the policy complies with the state’s regulations.

If you have concerns about whether your coverage is suitable, discuss it with the insurance company before signing the papers.

In addition, not all vehicle insurance companies offer this type of policy. Most don’t advertise this type of coverage. They might offer it once you ask. So, before obtaining one, find an insurance company that offers such monthly or short-term car insurance policies.

Remember, the temporary car insurance is not a one-size-fits-all market. It isn’t easy to find temporary insurance with appealing rates that will give you the necessary coverage. Don’t fall for scams. Insurers advertising online can be fraudulent. The insurance regulator in your state can help you determine if a company is authorized to sell insurance, including temporary coverage.

The bottom line is that you must get insurance coverage for your car to remain legally and financially protected in the case of an accident. Fines for driving uninsured range from $25 to $5,000, and reinstatement fees can reach $500.

You should also ensure protection against theft, fire, storms, and any disaster. Many assume this is part of their standard car insurance coverage, but it is not. So, make an informed decision.


Q. Is temporary car insurance legit?

While significant insurers don’t typically offer temporary car insurance, you have to contact the insurer to find out the specifications that apply in your state.

Q. What is a temporary insurance policy?

As its name suggests, it is an insurance policy that covers your vehicle for a limited period, less than the standard six-month policy. It may be more expensive than the standard insurance. So, while getting one, understand the specifications. Note that it’s not widely available, so hunting down a dealership that can offer you a temporary insurance policy can take time and effort.

Q. How long can you use temporary insurance?

The temporary insurance lasts for up to 28 days. 

Q. Can I get temporary auto insurance if I’m a new driver or have a learner’s permit?

Yes. A new driver or anyone with a learner’s permit is eligible to get temporary auto insurance, but it can be challenging. Also, the insurance rates may be higher for inexperienced drivers due to the high risk of accidents.

Q. Can I add additional drivers to my temporary auto insurance policy?

Yes, most of the time, your temporary auto insurance policy may allow you to add additional drivers. Nonetheless, you should check with your insurance provider regarding any specific guidelines or requirements regarding additional drivers.

Q. Do dealerships give temporary insurance for free?

No, they do not offer free temporary insurance. You need to secure your insurance coverage. 

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Picture of Aniket Kulkarni

Aniket Kulkarni

A seasoned Product Manager specializing in car insurance content, Aniket has a passion for simplifying complex insurance concepts. His strategic approach to content development reflects years of experience in the product development industry, coupled with a commitment to providing accurate, reliable information.


This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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