Temporary Car Insurance Solutions in Texas

Temporary car insurance is not available in Texas but you can purchase pay-per-mile insurance, non-owner coverage, or rental insurance.
Written by Andrea Barrett
Edited by Amy Bobinger
insurers don’t offer
temporary car insurance
policies—you can only buy standard car insurance policies for 6 or 12 months. But you can still find same-day auto insurance, and other insurance options are also available to help you find the right coverage.
Texas drivers have options: Texas drivers can purchase short-term car insurance in the form of pay-per-mile insurance, rental insurance, a non-owner policy, or becoming a named driver on someone else’s policy. 
The worst option - early cancellation: While you can purchase a car insurance policy and cancel it early, insurance experts recommend avoiding this option as it can result in cancellation fees and other consequences.
Beware of scams: Some insurance providers may claim to offer 7-day or 1-month insurance, but these car insurance companies usually aren’t reputable. Most “temporary” insurance providers end up pushing 6- or 12-month policies, while others could be scammers that will leave you uninsured.

Your best solution for temporary car insurance depends on why you need it 

In Texas, drivers have access to various car insurance solutions for short-term coverage. Regardless of the option you choose, each policy is designed to meet Texas’ minimum liability coverage car insurance requirements:
$30,000 of
bodily injury liability (BIL)
per person
$60,000 of bodily injury liability per accident
$25,000 of
property damage liability (PDL)
per accident
Let’s walk through the best short-term policy options in the Lone Star State.

Temporary insurance through a dealership

To ensure you have
proof of insurance
before you drive off the lot with your new car, some car dealerships offer temporary coverage—but it isn’t the wisest option.
iconDealerships offer temporary car insurance
Car insurance from a dealership typically lasts 30 days, giving you ample time to find a standard auto policy.
iconBut you’ll pay more for this coverage
Dealership car insurance policies typically offer limited coverage with much higher insurance premiums than a standard policy.
To save money and secure the right coverage for your new vehicle, it’s best to purchase a standard insurance policy ahead of time.
app screenshot
app is a great resource for comparing quotes and purchasing same-day insurance
before buying a car.
That way, you can make sure you get the coverage you actually want at the best price.
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No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

If you don’t drive often

Pay-per-mile insurance.
  • Best for: Low-mileage drivers who want to avoid paying for a full insurance policy
  • Avoid if: You share a vehicle with multiple drivers or your mileage varies drastically from month to month
pay-per-mile insurance
charges drivers a daily or monthly flat rate plus a few cents for each mile driven. For example, Allstate may charge a daily rate of $1.50 and an additional $0.06 for every mile driven. 
Before you commit to a pay-per-mile insurance policy, track your mileage for a couple of months to ensure this type of policy will actually save you money.

If you’re renting

Rental car insurance.
  • Best for: Drivers who frequently rent vehicles
  • Avoid if: You already get rental insurance through the rental company or your credit card provider
Most Texas rental car agencies automatically include liability insurance coverage as part of their basic contract, but there are other types of coverage available to best suit your needs:
  • Collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage
    : Covers damage to the rental car due to a collision—this is comparable to comprehensive or collision coverage.
  • Personal accident insurance: Pays for medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured in an accident.
  • Personal effects coverage: Covers theft of personal items inside the rental car.
Keep in mind: Rental car insurance from a rental agency is typically more expensive than a standard auto insurance policy. 

If you borrow or share cars regularly

Non-owner insurance.
  • Best for: Drivers who don’t own a car but frequently drive other vehicles
  • Avoid if: The vehicles you borrow already have full coverage with high liability limits
non-owner insurance
is a type of liability insurance that covers drivers who aren’t car owners but still rent or borrow. If you’re involved in an at-fault accident while driving someone else’s car, it covers other drivers' medical expenses and vehicle repair costs. 
Non-owner car insurance kicks in as secondary coverage, which means it will cover damages outside of the vehicle owner’s policy limits. If you frequently drive cars that have high liability limits or comprehensive and collision coverage, you may not require the added protection—and cost—of non-owner car insurance.

If you borrow a car occasionally

You’re already covered!
  • Best for: Drivers who have permission to borrow a friend’s car
  • Avoid if: You live with the vehicle owner
If you're borrowing a friend’s car in Texas, you’re likely covered under
permissive use
—meaning the vehicle’s owner has permitted you to use the car. In most cases, their insurance will cover you if you’re involved in an accident.
But if you live with someone and borrow their car, you aren’t covered under permissive use. To ensure coverage, you’ll need to be listed on their policy as an additional or occasional driver.
Before you get behind the wheel of a borrowed car in Texas, it’s wise to confirm that the vehicle owner has coverage that will cover you while driving. If they are uninsured, you could be on the hook for
driving without insurance
—and if you’re in a crash, you may be liable for any damages.

If you regularly borrow a specific car

Named driver.
  • Best for: Drivers with valid driver’s licenses who live with a family member or vehicle owner and regularly borrow the same car
  • Avoid if: You don’t live with the vehicle owner
Named drivers are covered by the vehicle owner’s policy when they borrow the insured’s vehicle. If you live with the owner of the vehicle that you frequently drive, permissive use does not apply to you. You’ll need to be listed as a driver on your family member or roommate’s policy.
app screenshot
Keep in mind: Many insurance companies will require policyholders to list any drivers in their household on their policy. Adding a named driver to a policy can increase the policyholder’s auto coverage premiums—especially if the named driver has a history of violations or car accidents on their driving record.
Jerry allows users to easily add a named driver right through the app!

If you stop driving temporarily

Standard policy with adjusted coverage levels.
  • Best for: Drivers who currently have a standard insurance policy, and require adjustments due to personal circumstances
  • Avoid if: You still require insurance coverage but your daily mileage has decreased—instead, opt for pay-per-mile insurance
Here are a few example of when and how you should adjust your coverage:
Parent’s of college students: If your college student is a named driver on your policy but they won’t be driving while they’re away at school, you may be able to save on your car insurance cost by having them updated as a driver away at school—which is a reduced cost option that automatically updates based on the school year schedule—or temporarily removed from the policy until they return home.
Owner’s of seasonal vehicles: If you own a vehicle that only touches the roads during the summer or winter, ask your provider if they offer
“parked car” or “storage” policies
to protect your car from damage that can occur from weather, theft, or vandalism. Keep in mind that some storage plans will require you to render your license plate or vehicle registration at the DMV.
Military deployments: Choose an insurer that offers a military storage plan with reduced coverage and rates while you’re deployed and revert back to
full coverage
when you return home.
Low-mileage full coverage policyholder: If you’ve scaled back your daily mileage but won’t benefit from pay-per-mile insurance, consider lowering your coverage levels or removing unnecessary coverage options.
app screenshot
Drive confidently with the Jerry app! Tailor your insurance effortlessly for optimal protection.
Customize your coverage, including bodily injury liability, property damage liability, comprehensive, and collision

The worst way to get temporary car insurance

Standard policy with early cancellation.
If you’re seeking temporary auto insurance, online sources may advise you to purchase a 6 or 12-month policy, then cancel it early. While you could do this, here’s why you should avoid it:
  • Insurance history gaps: If you cancel your car insurance policy without purchasing a new one, a period of time without insurance will be viewed as risky behavior by insurance companies. If you seek insurance in the future, you may face higher car insurance rates due to your insurance lapse.
  • Coverage refusal: Early policy cancellation is a red flag for insurers. Insurance providers could refuse to offer you a policy if you have a history of early cancellations—and if they insure you, you could see higher auto insurance rates.
  • Cancellation fee or loss of down payment: Some auto insurance companies may charge a cancellation fee for ending your policy early. Additionally, if you paid a deposit or down payment to start your policy, you’ll likely lose it to an early cancellation.
In some cases, canceling your policy early may be necessary. Here are a couple instances where an early policy cancelation may be deemed acceptable:
Flipping cars: You’re buying a car that you’ll be re-selling soon and you don’t plan to buy another new one
Temporarily visiting: You’re visiting the US and want to drive while you’re here but will cancel your insurance policy early based on your travel term
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Can you get car insurance for one day in Texas?

No—unless you’ve purchased rental car insurance through a rental car company. If you see a company offering one-day car insurance or temporary car insurance coverage, it’s a scam.

What is the shortest term for car insurance?

The shortest term for car insurance is six months. If you need insurance coverage for less time than that, you’ll need to look into rental car insurance, non-owner insurance, or canceling a six-month policy early.

Is it illegal to drive without car insurance in Texas?

Yes. No matter what kind of car you’re driving or for how long, you must be able to provide proof of insurance that meets the state’s 30/60/35 minimum liability requirements. Driving without insurance is a serious violation that can result in fines, license suspension, vehicle impoundment, and even jail time.

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