How to Get Temporary Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

The shortest car insurance policy length in Pennsylvania is six months, but there are legitimate reasons to cancel early.
Written by R.E. Fulton
If you’re looking for temporary
car insurance in Pennsylvania
, know that traditional car insurance policies last either six months or one year. Consider rentals or a car-sharing service if you only need to drive for a couple of months.
  • True temporary
    car insurance
    in increments of less than six months doesn’t exist from reputable companies. 
  • Driving without proof of insurance
    carries steep penalties in Pennsylvania, and
    a lapse in coverage
    could raise your insurance premiums down the road. 
  • Alternative policy types include non-owner car insurance, rental car insurance, or being added to someone else’s policy.

How to get temporary auto insurance in Pennsylvania

There’s no such thing as
temporary car insurance
—not in Pennsylvania or any other state. If you find a company advertising coverage for a single day, week, or month, you’re likely looking at a
car insurance scam.
But if you look at it another way, all car insurance is temporary. Any car insurance policy is set to renew every six months (or one year) so that agents can recalculate your insurance rates or you can choose to end your policy.
Don’t buy, then cancel early: You should not enter into an insurance contract with the intent to cancel early. If insurance companies find out you’re planning to buy and then cancel, they may not issue you the policy at all—and repeated attempts to buy policies just to cancel them may be considered insurance fraud.
That said, there are legitimate reasons if you (unexpectedly) need to cancel your car insurance coverage before the policy term is over. Most car insurance companies will issue you a refund for your unused premiums if you paid in a lump sum upfront, and many don’t charge cancellation fees.

Best companies for temporary car insurance quotes in Pennsylvania

The average cost of a six-month car insurance policy in Pennsylvania is $784, which works out to about $130 per month or about $30 per week. 
To find the best rate on a six-month car insurance policy, get quotes from at least 3-5 insurance providers and compare their rates and coverage options. You can call insurance agents directly or use an online comparison tool like
to get quick results. 
Here are ballpark numbers for a six-month full-coverage policy from some of Pennsylvania’s best auto insurance companies:
Insurance company
Average six-month policy cost
Average monthly insurance cost
State Farm
Keep in mind: Your auto insurance rates depend heavily on your driving record, age, vehicle type, ZIP code, and more. Drivers in
will pay higher rates, on average, than drivers in
Peach Bottom
You’ll also pay more if you have a history of violations or car accidents—but some insurers may be more lenient with those negative marks than others. 

Alternatives for short-term insurance in Pennsylvania

Depending on your situation, you might be able to change an existing policy, take advantage of
rental car insurance
through a rental company or credit card, or even purchase a
non-owner policy
for six months if you’re car-sharing. 

Changing an existing policy

If you or a household member already have car insurance and you need new car insurance coverage for a temporary situation, contact your insurance agent to ask about your insurance options. 
You may be able to temporarily add or remove drivers or vehicles, or modify your coverage to meet your needs. 
Just make sure that you maintain the
coverage required by Pennsylvania law
Keep in mind: Uninsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive insurance aren’t required by law, so you may be able to drop them for a period of time. 

Rental car insurance

Rental car insurance may be included as part of a traditional car insurance policy if you’re renting a car for a vacation. If you don’t have an existing policy, you’ll need rental car insurance from the rental company itself, a third-party insurance provider, or possibly coverage from your credit card company.
This should take the form of liability insurance to cover the damage you may cause to others and coverage that protects the rental vehicle itself. While the collision damage waiver (CDW) offered by rental companies is definitely overpriced, it’s the most comprehensive physical damage protection you can get.

Non-owner car insurance

If you’re renting a car for a day or two, you probably don’t need any coverage beyond what the rental company or your credit card can offer. But if you rent cars regularly—or if you’re planning to use a car-sharing service for several months—it’s worth looking into non-owner car insurance. 
You don’t need a separate policy of your own if you’re just borrowing someone’s car for a day. In that case, the owner’s policy would cover you under what’s called “
permissive use
.” But for extended use, it’s helpful to have a non-owner policy to provide extra liability coverage on top of the car’s primary policy. 
Non-owner car insurance is typically about 10% cheaper than standard car insurance, making it an affordable way to get short-term car insurance coverage.

Get added to someone’s policy

If you’re borrowing a friend’s car or family member’s car more than a couple of times, chances are you’ll have to be added to that policy as a driver. 
Getting on someone else’s policy is a good way to help you maintain continuous insurance coverage if you’re in between cars, too.
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If you see a company advertising temporary car insurance (especially one-day or one-week coverage), it probably isn’t a legitimate offer. The shortest coverage increment offered by any reputable company is six months.
Although you can’t buy a short-term auto insurance policy for less than six months, you may be able to be added to another driver’s policy temporarily. Check with your insurance agent to understand your options if you’re looking for temporary coverage.
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