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

Is it possible to get part-time insurance? You cannot necessarily get part-time car insurance, but a pay-as-you-go program may help if you are a part-time driver. You may be able to get a reduced rate from certain companies.

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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

UPDATED: Jun 27, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • You cannot buy part-time insurance coverage but can potentially lower your insurance rates if you do not use your car as much as the average motorist
  • Some insurance companies may offer pay-as-you-drive programs
  • To qualify, you will need to install a GPS tracking device, which will then send information to the insurance company

If you own a car but do not use it much, you may be concerned about its yearly costs. For example, you may only need the vehicle to commute a short distance and wonder if you can reduce your bills somehow. Is it possible to get part-time insurance?

We understand your desire to be as frugal as possible and have investigated the subject for you. Read on below for some answers. If you’re in need of affordable auto insurance, just enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool above to start comparing quotes from multiple car insurance companies today.

Is it possible to get part-time auto insurance?

Insurance companies do not offer part-time auto insurance. Still, insurers recognize that certain people drive a vehicle far less than average. As such, some are willing to provide a lower rate to those who only occasionally use their car.

How Auto Insurance Companies Deal With Risk

Remember that there is a risk whenever you get behind the wheel, no matter how short the driving distance or how occasional the journey is. Therefore, the insurance company needs to assume some risk, which will always be reflected in the rates it charges. 

However, many companies are willing to offer a discount, but you will need to prove that you represent less of a risk due to your occasional driving habits. In this case, you should think about enrolling in a “pay-as-you-drive” program (sometimes also called pay-as-you-go car insurance).

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How does a pay-as-you-drive car insurance program work?

You will probably have to install a GPS tracking device in your vehicle to be eligible for a pay-as-you-drive program. These will typically plug into the car’s on-board diagnostic system and relay information about your driving to the insurance company. The company will then use this data to set your specific rates.

How do companies establish rates for part-time car insurance?

While your insurance company will not offer part-time insurance, it may establish a base rate for you, which also includes other factors such as: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • ZIP code
  • Driving record 
  • Vehicle
  • Credit history

Your insurance company may add additional charges based on how many miles you drive. The company may alter these rates depending on where and when you operate the vehicle. For example, if you do most of your driving during rush hour and on congested freeways, your risk of an accident might be considered higher.

Is a part-time driver the same as an occasional driver?

An occasional driver is someone who is not the principal operator of the vehicle but who the policy owner might name as a permissive driver. To read more about how to add someone to your car insurance for a day, consider our article here. 

For example, the occasional driver could be a teenager who spends most of their time away at college and is only back at home occasionally. If the policy owner names that student as a permissive driver, the insurance company will provide coverage in the event of an accident.

How much can you save with pay-as-you-go car insurance?

You may need to shop around with different insurance companies to determine whether pay-as-you-drive or pay-as-you-go insurance options are offered. 

If an insurer asks you to install a tracking device, your rate will depend on many factors (including your age and driving record) as well as the number of miles you are likely to cover. It would be best if you got an idea of how each company calculates the rate before deciding.

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The Bottom Line on Getting Part-Time Car Insurance

Insurance companies do not offer part-time car insurance. If you drive your vehicle for less than the average motorist, you may be able to get a reduced rate from certain companies. In order to qualify, your insurer may ask you to install a GPS tracking device in your vehicle’s diagnostic system. This device will transmit data to the company, which will help set your rates.

Your rate will depend on a variety of factors including your age, vehicle, ZIP code, driving record, and gender. Further adjustments may be necessary to account for mileage and other factors, like when and where you drive.

Enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool below to get quotes from multiple auto insurance providers today.

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