Part-Time Car Insurance: Car Insurance for Part-Time Drivers

Part-time car insurance offers a discount for people who drive a limited distance. Rates on car insurance for part-time drivers average between $10 and $20 per month, depending on how much you drive. Pay-as-you-go car insurance is a good option for occasional driver insurance. Not all insurance companies offer insurance for a part-time driver.

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UPDATED: Sep 21, 2021

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Sep 21, 2021Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Pay-as-you-go car insurance is something you should look into if you only drive a few miles a week
  • Only a few auto insurance companies offer this type of insurance coverage, and it is not available in every state
  • The type of car you drive has a major impact on your insurance costs
  • Rates for pay-as-you-go insurance average between $10 and $20 per month, depending on how much you drive.

Car insurance for part-time drivers is much cheaper than drivers who use their vehicles for every day commuting. You’ll want part-time car insurance if your residence is close to work.

Every driver is required to have car insurance when driving on the road, so getting car insurance is very important. However, if you’re not driving often, you’re not required to purchase more coverage than you need. Your rates may vary based on different companies as well as your age, gender, past accidents, or claims. Moreover, one of the factors is whether the driver is considered an occasional driver.

Also, people who live in an area where public transportation saves you more money than driving your motor vehicle should enroll in part-time car insurance. Continue reading to learn how you can find cheap car insurance.

Ready to find car insurance for a part-time driver? Enter your ZIP code above to compare part-time car insurance quotes from multiple companies in your local area today.

What is part-time car insurance?

The definition of part-time driver insurance is simply car insurance for a person who drives their vehicle less than average. Car insurance rates will adjust to the number of miles you’re estimated to drive. You may see this factor listed as commute mileage.

Part-time car insurance can be a short-term insurance option, temporary car insurance option, or standard car insurance with less mileage estimated on your policy. When you only drive part of the time, and your insurance company charges you for driving all of the time, it doesn’t seem fair.

After all, if you only drive a few miles a week, or you only drive a couple of months out of the year, then you shouldn’t have to pay for full-time driving insurance.

The good news is that with most car insurance companies, you don’t have to.

Most insurance companies offer a discount for people who drive a limited amount of time. However, it is up to you to inform the insurance company of your driving habits. Is part-time car insurance expensive? Here are the average annual rates based on commute mileage from the top-10 car insurance companies.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Commute Mileage
CompaniesAverage Rates for a
10 Miles Commute
6000 Annual Mileage
Average Rates for a
25 Miles Commute
12000 Annual Mileage
State Farm$3,176$3,344
American Family$3,401$3,485
Liberty Mutual$5,995$6,152
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Cheap car insurance rates are available if you drive your car less. USAA has the most affordable rates, while Liberty Mutual has the most expensive car insurance rates. USAA, Geico, and State Farm are three major companies that offer temporary car insurance in Florida and Texas.

You may also be able to save money on your insurance if you carpool with other drivers. Many people don’t consider that as they commute every week.

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What does an occasional driver mean?

An occasional driver is an individual on a car insurance policy who drives a vehicle but not as much. He is not the principal driver of the vehicle he operates. The occasional driver uses the vehicle less frequently than the principal driver.

Some insurance companies don’t allow the occasional driver to operate the vehicle more than once a week, and that’s why these drivers have lower insurance costs.

For example, an occasional driver may be a spouse, child, sibling, or other trusted driver on the car insurance policy. Occasional drivers on Geico insurance are called “permissive drivers.” It’s safer to add drivers to your policy even if it’s for Geico short-term insurance. Progressive occasional driver insurance may also be available. A person might qualify for occasional driver insurance if he’s a student in college or abroad.

Do you have to list all drivers on insurance? If there are multiple drivers in the household, do all drivers in a household have to be insured?

It’s in your best interest to include drivers that will occasionally drive your car. Some car insurance companies won’t process an insurance claim if another driver is in an accident while driving your vehicle. It’s better to have them on your policy as an occasional or permissive driver.

Moreover, an occasional driver must live in the same household. If there are more vehicles than drivers in the household, the insurance company will probably not allow an occasional driver to be listed.

According to New York insurance law, permissive drivers are under liability coverage, and the primary policyholder must alert the car insurance company of any other drivers who use the vehicle.

For instance, a business will add you to their car insurance if you drive a company vehicle for work. You may drive it occasionally or frequently. However, the business will add your name to the list of drivers on their car insurance policy.

Does it matter who the primary driver on car insurance is?

Yes. You may have multiple vehicles on your policy, but there’s a primary driver assigned to each vehicle insured. The primary policyholder is the person who receives the billing statement. Occasional drivers won’t be able to make final decisions on a policy. As the primary policyholder, you’ll have to add them or take them off your car insurance policy.

Can two people insure the same car? No. Car insurance policies connect to specific vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and vehicle registration. Two people insuring the same vehicle could cause issues with car insurance companies. Car insurance companies may cancel your policy. The primary policyholder will be responsible for correcting this sort of error.

Vehicles you don’t own on that appear your policy is under non-owner car insurance. Can you be a primary driver on two cars? Yes. Some policyholders have a vehicle they use for everyday commutes and cars they drive on the weekend. You’re able to insure multiple vehicles with different companies. However, two people can’t insure the same vehicle. For example, a spouse can’t insure a car that you have already insured.

Where can I get temporary car insurance? You can start your search using our FREE comparison tool. Enter your ZIP code to get started.

Can you get temporary car insurance?

While getting a discount for driving less than the average amount of miles each year is great, the maximum discount that you can hope for is about 25 percent off of your car insurance premiums. If you are driving significantly less than other drivers, then it can feel as if you are overpaying for your car insurance.

However, there are a few car insurance companies that offer a different type of insurance for part-time drivers known as pay-as-you-drive car insurance. What is pay as you go insurance? Pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) insurance is a type of temporary car insurance that issues car insurance rates based on your number of miles traveled. For example, AAA temporary car insurance is an option for customers who want no-contract car insurance.

Is this the same as pay per mile insurance? It’s similar. Some companies charge car insurance rates by how you drive, which is known as pay-how-you-drive (PHYD) insurance.

In either case, this is insurance that is designed to save you a considerable amount of money.

The benefit of this type of program is that you start with a standard fee for your car insurance, which will be a lower rate than a full-time driver pays.

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What are the factors that determine rates?

All of the same factors considered for regular car insurance are for part-time car insurance.

Insurance companies are going to look at:

  • Your driving record
  • Your gender
  • Your age
  • Where you live
  • The vehicle you drive.
  • Your credit history

Now, this is where things get interesting. After the initial base rate, PAYD insurance charges for each mile you drive. The fees will vary depending on the time of day that you are driving.

If a company charges 1 cent per mile during the day, they may charge 5 cents per mile if you drive during rush hour. Your risk of an accident is higher at that time.

If the only time you get into your car is to go to church or the grocery store, then you could save considerably on your car insurance. Taking long trips could increase your rates more than a traditional car insurance plan.

How to save additional money on car insurance

Before we talk more about savings, let’s watch a video that gives some tips on how you can save money on car insurance.

As a part-time driver, you may want to give serious consideration to the type of car that you drive. If you are only spending a couple of hours a month in your vehicle, do you need a luxury car or a car that you have to borrow money to afford?

When you buy car insurance, the type of car you buy has a major impact on the cost.

According to Kelley Blue Book, car insurance companies adjust car insurance rates based on a vehicle’s value. The higher the value, the more money you’ll spend on car insurance. If you aren’t a prolific driver, you should consider buying a car at a lower cost.

How to compare car insurance quotes

One significant way to save money is by shopping around for your car insurance. By comparing the prices for car insurance between several national companies, you can be sure that you are getting the lowest rate possible for your car insurance.

There are only three or four car insurance companies that offer pay as you drive car insurance, and it’s not available in every state.

This limited availability, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t get a reasonable car insurance rate in the state where you live.

You can choose to visit each car insurance site individually, or you can use an insurance quote tool to compare quotes all in one place at the same time. You can compare part-time car insurance quotes from multiple companies today by simply entering your ZIP code below.

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Frequently asked questions: Part-time insurance

The final section of this article will recap what you’ve learned in the article. Also, we’ll use this section to answer commonly asked questions about part-time insurance. For more information, visit our main page and explore the articles, guides, and reviews on car insurance.

#1 – What if my part-time car is a classic car?

It may be best to get classic car insurance. Part-time car insurance may not cover the cost of classic cars, so you’ll need an insurance policy that deals specifically with classic cars.

#2 – Can I insure a car I don’t own?

Yes. Non-owner car insurance is popular among multiple vehicles on a car insurance policy. Car insurance companies offer discounts for multiple cars on one policy.

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#3 – What is short-term non-owner car insurance?

Short-term non-owner car insurance is a temporary car insurance option. It merely means insuring a car with PAYD or PHYD insurance under another person’s car insurance policy.  It could help someone get insurance fast in case an auto policy is canceled. However, some states don’t offer short-term car insurance options.

#4 – Can I be the main driver on two cars?

Yes. You can be the primary driver on multiple cars.

#5 – What are my options for part-time car insurance?

If your car insurance company offers it, you can enroll in PAYD or PHYD insurance, which a type of part-time insurance. Some companies don’t offer these types of insurances, so you’ll have to get a standard auto insurance policy. You can cancel after a month, but you may be penalized for canceling before the end of the policy.

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#6 – Can my son drive my car if he is not insured?

No, in nearly all states, a person must be covered by auto insurance if they are going to drive.

#7 – How much to insure a new driver?

Auto insurance rates for a new driver will vary from state-to-state as well as a number of other factors including age and type of vehicle. Your insurance agent can help you when it comes to adding new a driver to insurance.

#8 – Can I be on my parent’s car insurance if the car is in my name?

No, if the vehicle is in your name, then you must have your own auto insurance.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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