Most car insurance companies in Texas sell policies that stay in effect for either six or 12 months. After that period, you may renew your policy or switch to a different carrier. Policies that offer coverage for less than six months may only be available if there are special circumstances — for example, if you are renting a car for a short time period. Although there are exceptions, short-term or temporary car insurance in Texas generally refers to a six-month policy.

What is temporary auto insurance in Texas?

Most providers offer policy terms of six and 12 months, although some carriers may only offer six-month policies. At the end of the term, you can usually renew your policy, switch to another carrier or make changes to your policy if necessary. Your rate may change at the end of your term, depending on your driving record and other factors.

It can be helpful to understand the pros and cons of six-month and 12-month policies if you’re trying to figure out which term length you want. Your rate is locked in for a shorter period with a six-month policy, which may be good or bad, depending on whether the rate is at the lower or higher end of the spectrum. While the flexibility certainly makes six-month policies more appealing to some drivers, others prefer to lock in a competitive rate for a longer period.

Pros and cons of short-term insurance in Texas

Here are some of the primary advantages and disadvantages of choosing a longer- vs. shorter-term insurance policy in Texas.

6-month car insurance policies

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  • Premium may be cheaper or improve at renewal sooner based on positive life changes
  • More flexibility
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  • Negative life circumstances, such as an accident or claim, can lead to a rate increase sooner at renewal

12-month car insurance policies

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  • Competitive rates can be locked in for the entire 12-month period
  • Longer renewal periods provide time to mitigate against negative life impacts, such as improving a drop in credit standing
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  • Premium may be more expensive

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Average cost of short-term car insurance in Texas

The average annual car insurance rate in the U.S. is $2,314 for full coverage, which includes optional collision and comprehensive coverage. In Texas, the average annual 12-month rate is slightly higher, at $2,637. A short-term, six-month policy will be roughly half of that ($1,319), although your own rate may differ from the average depending on your situation and the car insurance company. Below are sample rates for six-month insurance from Texas carriers.

Company Average 6-month car insurance premium
Allstate $1,674
Geico $834
Mercury $1,108
Nationwide $1,163
State Farm $936

Temporary car insurance options

While most car insurance providers do not sell short-term car insurance, there are a few forms of what might be considered temporary auto insurance in Texas. These types of coverage may benefit some drivers, but it depends on the circumstances. Also, keep in mind that not all car insurance providers offer these policies, and the terms of coverage and duration will vary.

Non-owner insurance policy

If you do not own a registered vehicle but you occasionally borrow a car from a friend or family member, non-owner auto insurance might fit your needs. Non-owner insurance only includes liability insurance, so the coverage is fairly limited. However, it may be cheaper than a standard minimum coverage policy for those who do not own a registered vehicle. Non-owner insurance is generally sold in six-month increments.

Rental car insurance

In most cases, traditional car insurance policies extend coverage to rental vehicles. But if you need to rent a car and require more coverage than your personal auto insurance policy provides, you can purchase additional temporary insurance through the rental car agency. A rental car policy only lasts for as long as you have the car. It typically covers liability but may also offer collision coverage for an additional charge.

Student driver insurance

Student drivers and their parents may benefit from having a six-month car insurance policy. Because the policy will renew more frequently, changes to your student’s grades or location can impact rates or qualifying discounts. For example, if your child goes to college more than 100 miles away and does not expect to drive your vehicle, you could ask your insurer about a student-away-at-school discount. If their grades improve over the course of six months, they could be eligible for a good student discount at the time of renewal as well.

Stored vehicle insurance

If you own a registered vehicle that is stored and not in use, you may qualify for short-term car insurance savings. Your insurance company may charge lower rates for reduced coverage limits or types on a vehicle in storage, though some restrictions typically apply. You might have to prove that you do not have access to the car, or it may need to be kept away from your home.

Rideshare insurance

Although rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft provide some coverage to their drivers, there are limits, and you may have periods at work when you are not covered. For example, you may be ineligible for coverage during periods of waiting for a ride assignment while on the job. With this in mind, it makes sense to consider a rideshare insurance endorsement for your personal car policy. This add-on provides more robust coverage when you are on the clock.

How to get short-term car insurance

Purchasing short-term car insurance in Texas is much like purchasing a 12-month policy. Here are the steps you may want to follow so the process goes smoothly.

  1. Determine if temporary car insurance is right for you. There are cases where six-month insurance policies might suit your situation — those who are in the military, moving to another state soon, shopping for a new vehicle or looking to add another driver to their policy may benefit.
  2. Find the right insurer. Not all companies offer six-month policies, so you may need to do some research to find the best insurer for you. It’s a good idea to gather quotes from several companies to see who gives you the best rate for your coverage.
  3. Evaluate your choices. Once you’ve received several quotes, you can choose a company based on what’s important to you. If cost is your primary consideration, the cheapest car insurance company may be attractive. If customer service is a priority, consider going with an insurer with high customer satisfaction ratings. You may also want to consider financial strength and other factors that help make a company one of the best car insurance options in Texas.

Frequently asked questions

    • Most car insurance companies won’t sell an insurance policy with a term shorter than six months. Rare exceptions include rental car insurance and non-owner short-term car insurance, which may be useful to drivers who routinely use a friend or family member’s car. While short-term insurance may benefit some drivers, it doesn’t allow you to lock in a good rate for very long.
    • Yes, short-term car insurance can be a legitimate form of car insurance if purchased from a valid car insurance company. Temporary car insurance may be right for some drivers who need gap insurance for some reason or who are getting ready to sell a car. The term length of temporary car insurance will vary by state and carrier but may be as long as six months.
    • The best car insurance company is different for every driver since everyone has different priorities when choosing a provider. For instance, if you are on a tight budget, the best company might be the one offering you the lowest rates. If you have an infraction on your driving record, the best provider might be one offering high-risk driver coverage. Many drivers also consider provider reviews and financial stability ratings when making their choice.
    • The cheapest car insurance company for you depends on your unique factors like age, location, vehicle make and model, credit history and more. Although there’s not a single cheapest car insurance provider in Texas, there are insurers that write affordable policies in the state. You could benefit from starting your search by requesting quotes from Geico, State Farm and Dairyland, according to Bankrate’s research. When you request rates, specify that you’re interested in a six-month insurance policy.


Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze April 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 single, 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.