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Is it possible to save money by purchasing car insurance for weekends only? Let's examine insurance options for low-mileage drivers.
The idea of only carrying — and paying for — car insurance only when you need it is an appealing one. Unfortunately, most car insurance companies don’t offer policies you can activate and deactivate as you please. Typically, insurers design car insurance coverage as an all-or-nothing proposition. That said, some flexibility exists: you can save on insurance for a weekend car via temporary or low-mileage policies.
Weekend-only car insurance or short-term car insurance is not readily available through most major auto insurers. These insurance companies typically don't offer weekend car insurance because it adds risk and unpredictability. It's difficult for car insurance companies to enforce timed driving restrictions: you could violate a weekend-only car insurance policy by driving during the week without the insurer's knowledge. This, understandably, makes insurance companies uneasy.
State law is another reason why car insurance for weekend drivers is so uncommon. Car insurance companies are at the mercy of state laws. Excluding legal technicalities in New Hampshire and Virginia, maintaining bodily injury and property damage liability coverage is mandatory. If you were to only carry car insurance on Saturday and Sunday, you’d be in violation of the law, putting you at of risk having your vehicle registration suspended.
Moreover, if your vehicle is leased, your loan agreement may require you to maintain a high level of insurance coverage. This typically includes uninsured motorist coverage, low deductibles on comprehensive and collision coverage, and gap insurance. This means a weekends-only car insurance policy wouldn’t provide sufficient coverage.
Despite the fact weekend-only insurance doesn't truly exist, there are ways to save money on auto insurance if you limit your driving to weekends.
If you're interested in driving only occasionally, Zipcar and car2go are worth considering. Insurance is included in the annual and rental fees charged by these companies. If you’re only looking for a car for occasional weekend trips, you might save money in the long run.
Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber also provide solid transportation options for occasional trips.
If you’re a low-mileage, weekend-only, or infrequent driver, pay-as-you-go car insurance is worth considering. These usage-based policies, which rely on telematic devices to track mileage, can reduce your premiums significantly if you don't drive your car daily.
While the programs vary by company and depend on local availability, telematics use your mileage and driving behaviors as a way to price your premium. The more carefully and less frequently you drive, the cheaper your premium will be.
Telematic car insurance is available through these programs:
*Metromile is different than other insurance companies listed above, in that it markets itself as a true "pay-as-you-go" car insurance company. You pay a base fee and an additional per-mile fee. Together, these fees make up your actual auto insurance policy premium.
Although car insurance for weekends only doesn't truly exist, infrequent drivers can save by choosing a low-mileage or telematics-based plan.
If you’re looking for more information, consult our additional resources: