Lauren Lewthwaite Last Updated On: February 8, 2024

Is Car Insurance Per Month For You?

Most insurance companies force you to pay a large lump sum upfront, which is usually 20% of the policy value. No deposit car insurance is an option where you can choose monthly payments rather than one deposit at the start. 

The thing is this sort of 30 day auto insurance doesn’t actually exist in the US—at least not among reputable providers who won’t gouge you for rates.

There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that people who want short-term insurance are often seen as higher risks to insure. Also, it’s not financially sensible for insurance providers to only collect one payment for one month since companies need more money to pay out claims. As such, most US insurers offer coverage on policies for six months to a year. This is standard. 

But this doesn’t mean you won’t see advertisements for month to month auto insurance from US insurance providers. Some companies will make ads about 30 day auto insurance, but they’re not actually selling this kind of monthly car insurance. Rather, they’re trying to entice people who want month to month car insurance to their website where they’ll show them alternatives to 30 day car insurance.

And there are several alternatives. However, before we get into those, let’s talk about why you might need short-term insurance. 

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Table of Contents

Who Needs Month to Month Car Insurance

There are definitely valid scenarios for wanting monthly car insurance. You could be going on a trip and planning on driving, you could be staying with friends or family and want to borrow their car, you might need short term car insurance while shopping for a vehicle, or you might be trying to sell your vehicle and need a stop-gap policy. 

Needing monthly car insurance is completely legitimate, but it’s not a common option because it’s risky for car insurance providers and can be more easily misused by those looking to get an insurance payout.

Why Might You Need One Month Car Insurance?

There are many good reasons you may require car insurance per month.
  • You have a car in a different state, at (for example) a vacation home and you only drive it during certain times of the year.
  • You’re renting a vehicle and don’t like the car insurance offered by the rental company.
  • You require insurance for a vehicle that you only drive seasonally, like a sports car or a collectible.
  • You need 1 month car insurance for a student who is only home on breaks and holidays.
  • You’ve purchased a car you intend to sell shortly, so you only want insurance for a brief time.
In all these situations, it’s undeniable that insurance is required but an equal truth is that you don’t need many consecutive months of coverage. So, a more temporary arrangement would be ideal.

Alternatives to 30 Day Car Insurance

While it might seem counterintuitive to sign up for a longer policy than you need if you’re trying to save money on car insurance, month to month car insurance can often be more expensive. Choosing a policy that lasts six months to a year will net you more savings and often cost you less in the long run—especially if you extend your monthly car insurance one or more times.

If you’re looking to save money on car insurance, you have alternatives to 30-day auto insurance. These include:

  1. Usage-based car insurance. Some insurance providers will allow you to only pay car insurance based on when you use the car. They monitor your usage through tracking miles (i.e. pay per mile) and/or driving habits and then bill you based on those factors.
  2. Get added to an existing policy. This is a great option for parents of college or university students who are only home and sharing vehicles during school breaks and holidays. You can add family members to your policy by listing them as a driver of your car. Simple as that.
  3. Apply for limited use auto insurance. Limited use car insurance is perfect if you don’t drive much. You can insure your car for driving up to a predetermined mileage cap (usually between 2000 and 4000 miles) and pay much less in monthly premiums as a result.
  4. Rental car insurance. Most rental companies will offer insurance with the rental, so you’re covered in case of an accident, but only for the duration, you’re driving the vehicle.
  5. Cancel early. The majority of insurance companies do not have cancellation fees. This means you can cancel your insurance after only having it for a month if you need to. Just opt for the shortest term offered (be in six months or a year) and cancel when you don’t need it anymore. Even if you’ve got the annual premium, the company will return the unused balance to you.

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Comparing Monthly Auto Insurance Online

Online is the best place to shop for temporary car insurance. Here’s what you need to look for to ensure you’re getting the best coverage at the best price for the right period of time.
  • Shop around. You don’t want to purchase the first policy you see, even if it ticks all of your boxes. Many car insurance companies can cover your needs. Get at least three different quotes to ensure you’re getting what you need at a price you can afford.
  • Do a background check. Buyer beware! Read the fine print as well as reviews online to see if the provider you’re looking at readily pays claims on shorter-term insurance. If not, keep shopping.
  • Check the state minimum. States have slightly different minimum requirements for insurance, so you’re going to have to make sure your insurance plan meets those requirements. It’s helpful to search online for car insurance for 30 days in your state, not just in the US.
  • Don’t skip on collision. It may be tempting to lowball your collision insurance to save a few bucks, but don’t! Make sure your insurance policy’s collision insurance is enough to cover the replacement of your vehicle, should you get into an accident and need it.

The Bottom Line: Month to Month Car Insurance Quotes

Here’s what you need to remember about comparing month to month car insurance quotes online: you can’t actually compare them, because most companies do not provide monthly policies.

For this reason, when you’re comparing one month car insurance quotes, don’t even bother telling a car insurance representative you’re only looking for a 30 day policy. Instead, focus on what you’d shop for in a longer term policy (remember, there are other options for drivers looking for more sporadic insurance, including just canceling the policy after a month).

As mentioned, the first order of business is getting quotes from at least three different providers.

Next, understand that some providers cater to different sorts of drivers, be it younger drivers or drivers with excellent records. For this reason, your quotes can vary widely, underscoring the importance of shopping around.

Other factors that can affect your one month auto insurance rates aside from the regulations of a particular provider include your age, sex, driving record, credit score, vehicle type, and the extent of the coverage you require.

Lastly, don’t neglect to ask your insurance agent if you qualify for any discounts, since these can add up and significantly lower your monthly premium, which is always a perk, even if you only need car insurance for a month.

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No, though the car you are driving needs to be insured, which it probably will be under your parent’s, spouse’s plan, or friend’s plan.

Not necessarily. If you took a test drive, that would have been covered under the dealer’s insurance. What’s more, your dealer may offer temporary insurance post-purchase. However, it’s always a good idea to have a longer-term solution in place so you’re not left uninsured when you may need coverage the most.
That depends on the policy you chose and the minimum state requirements. However, most temporary car insurance will cover medical, collision, uninsured motorist, comprehensive, and liability.

We did our homework, looking into upwards of a dozen top insurance providers. Then, we selected the best of the best, making judgments based on company reputation and longevity, customer service, discounts, affordability, types of coverage, and coverage areas. These are the providers from which we collect your quotes: the ones who provide the best options for people who want short-term car insurance.


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