Drivers in Arizona who need insurance coverage for less than six months may be searching for temporary or short-term car insurance. Most insurance policies are written on a six or 12-month policy term. While per-day car insurance is not available from major insurers, there are other solutions for temporary car insurance in Arizona.

What is temporary auto insurance?

There are a few different types of temporary auto insurance you may be able to purchase if you don’t want to commit to a full year of coverage. In most cases, the shortest car insurance policy you can get from a reputable Arizona auto insurance provider is six months in duration, at which point your policy is up for renewal.

A few instances when short-term car insurance may be right for you include:

  • You want coverage for less than a year: Most car insurance companies sell 12-month and six-month policies. A six-month policy may appeal to you if you’re not sure a carrier will be able to meet your needs, you plan to sell your vehicle in the next few months or you think you will be able to secure a lower rate in the near future.
  • You’re renting a car: If you already have an auto insurance policy in place, it is likely that your coverage would extend to a rental car. Some credit cards also offer limited coverage if you use the card to book the rental. If you do not own a car with an existing auto policy, you can likely purchase short-term coverage from the rental agency.
  • You occasionally borrow a car: If you do not own a car but occasionally borrow a vehicle from a friend or family member, non-owner coverage may give you the insurance you need when you’re behind the wheel. Non-owner policies may also apply if you frequently rent cars or if you’re between vehicles but don’t want to experience a lapse in coverage.
  • You’re traveling internationally: If you are traveling abroad for a short time, you may need to temporarily extend your policy to provide coverage outside of the U.S. Some car insurance companies offer easy options to extend coverage to Mexico and Canada.
  • You’re storing your vehicle: Even if your car is in storage, your state will likely require you to maintain minimum coverage car insurance. This also provides coverage in case your vehicle is damaged by a covered peril while stored. You have a few options for storage insurance, including buying a liability coverage-only policy.

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Is short-term car insurance right for me?

Whether short-term car insurance is right for you likely depends on your circumstances and coverage needs. If you’re working with a new carrier, you may be hesitant to purchase a 12-month policy, but most car insurance companies allow you to cancel your policy at any time with no fee. You may want to speak with a licensed insurance agent before buying a short-term policy to see if there are any coverage alternatives that may better meet your needs.

If you are considering a six-month policy, here are some of the main pros and cons of this short-term insurance type:

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Pros of short-term coverage

  • Less commitment with a shorter policy term length.
  • May appeal to drivers who plan to sell their vehicles in the near future.
  • Allows you to try out a carrier for a shorter amount of time.
  • You may be able to earn a paid-in-full premium discount without paying for an entire year of coverage.
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Cons of short-term coverage

  • May be hard to find coverage since not all insurers carry it.
  • Coverage may be more expensive than a 12-month policy.
  • Your policy will be up for renewal after just six months, giving your insurer an opportunity to potentially raise your rates sooner.

How much does short-term car insurance cost?

Based on the average premium data from Quadrant Information Services, the national average cost of car insurance is $2,311 per year for full coverage, with six month policies available for an average of $1,156. Minimum coverage nationally costs an average of $640 per year, while six month policies average $320.

In the Grand Canyon State, meanwhile, a year of full coverage costs an average of $2,557, while six months of coverage can be purchased for an average of $1,279. State-mandated minimum coverage averages $770 per year or $385 for six months of coverage. However, keep in mind that your Arizona car insurance rates will vary based on factors like your age, ZIP code, credit history and claim history. Below are some average six-month premiums from top insurers in Arizona.

Carrier Avg. full coverage 6-month policy cost in AZ Avg. min. coverage 6-month policy cost in AZ
Geico $699 $356
Nationwide $1,006 $467
Progressive $774 $270
State Farm $1,347 $475
Travelers $713 $219

How to get temporary car insurance in Arizona

If you want temporary car insurance in Arizona, make sure to investigate any company offering a policy for less than six months. A six-month policy is the shortest car insurance term available, and many online claims of per-day or monthly policies are scams. It may be a way to collect personal information or to sell you a policy with a standard term with heavy cancellation fees. You can check with Arizona’s Insurance Commissioner’s office to confirm that the company you are working with is reputable.

Below are alternative options that may provide the coverage you need for a short period, depending on your situation. Keep in mind that the availability of these policies, including coverage and duration, will vary based on the provider.

Choose a 6-month insurance policy

Most car insurance companies sell six-month policies for drivers who do not want to commit to a full year of coverage with a carrier. When buying a car insurance policy, you will likely have the option to select whether you want a six-month or 12-month policy before you finalize your insurance purchase. You can also inquire about short-term insurance options during the quoting process to check whether they are available with a certain carrier. Before purchasing the policy, find out what the company’s cancelation procedure is and what type of cancelation timeline and fees it may have.

Non-owner insurance policy

Non-owner insurance is one type of short-term car insurance in Arizona. It covers drivers who do not own or have regular access to a car but occasionally borrow vehicles from friends or family. Non-owner insurance typically only comes with liability insurance, so it will not cover the vehicle itself. It is typically sold in six-month increments and is usually much cheaper than purchasing a minimum coverage policy.

Rental car insurance

Rental car insurance in Arizona may be available when you rent a car. The policy takes effect the minute you drive off the lot and ends when you return the keys. Although most standard car insurance policies will cover rented vehicles, you can purchase insurance through the rental car agency if you only need temporary coverage. Some credit card companies offer rental car coverage as part of a travel reward or points system, which may help you save money on your rental.

Away at school designation

Because adding a teen driver to your car insurance policy is typically expensive, ask if your insurance company offers a student away option for when your child is away at college— usually with the stipulation of the student boarding over 100 miles away from home. This can sometimes be offered as a discount or a driver designation on an insurance policy. Typically while the child is away at school, the premium is drastically reduced until they return for the summer months. The policy can be updated during the summer months, and choosing a six-month policy allows you to update your coverage more frequently. For parents whose children stay at home, the good student discount can offer significant savings if your child maintains a grade point average of 3.0 or above. This discount is usually available from the time your child gets their license and can last as long as they are a full-time student under the age of 25.

Frequently asked questions

    • It depends on the type of insurance you purchase. Some types of short-term insurance, like rental car insurance, may be much more expensive when you consider the short amount of time they provide coverage for. On the other hand, some types of short-term coverage, like non-owner policies, may be less expensive but also more limited in their coverage types and limits. If you’re purchasing a six-month policy, your per-month rate breakdown will likely be similar to those you would pay for a year-long policy. You might even save money if you can afford to pay your six-month premium in full and your insurer issues a discount for this.
    • There are a few strategies you can try to find cheap short-term car insurance. First, consider companies that are known for writing affordable policies, as they have a proven track record of offering cheap car insurance to drivers. Ask for quotes from several of these companies to see which offers you the best rate. Although you can usually obtain quotes online at each company’s website, it might be worth a call to a local licensed agent to ensure that all applicable discounts are being applied to your quote. Another way to save money on your short-term car insurance if you have full coverage is to raise your deductible, but be careful that you don’t raise it to a level that would be a hardship to pay in the event of a claim.
    • They may, but state laws vary. When you take a car out for a test drive, it will likely be covered under the dealer’s insurance. Once you purchase the car, your dealer can assist you in contacting your current insurer to get the new car placed on your existing policy. If you do not have an existing policy, some dealers may offer short-term coverage while you arrange to purchase a policy on your own. Other dealers, however, require proof of insurance before you will be allowed to take the car. Generally, it is the car buyer’s responsibility to have a policy in hand before the purchase.


Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze June 2024 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2022 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.