Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Auto insurance rates are based on the potential risk the customer presents
  • You can obtain an insurance cover for a few days between one to 28 days
  • Auto insurance providers use your annual mileage to determine your rates based on this logic, the amount of distance you cover on a daily basis will impact your insurance costs
  • The insurer will consider other factors like your driving history, credit scores, and mileage to determine your rates for a few days cover

The risk is a key factor in the determination of auto insurance rates. Often, insurance companies will use the risk factor to determine the cost of insuring individuals and subsequently use this information to set your rates.

If you’re going to borrow a car for a few days to run some errands, the insurance company may seek to know how much mileage you’ll be covering and within which localities to determine your rates.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the lowest rate for your needs.

Who needs car insurance for a few days?


There are several scenarios in which an individual might need temporary car insurance. These scenarios include:

  • Young drivers – If you’re below 21 and you don’t own a car, you can have access to a friend’s or relative’s car and take up a temporary insurance policy to cover you as you use the car over the short holiday period or drive to an occasion.
  • Classic car enthusiasts – as a classic car owner, you may not be using your classic car on a daily basis. If you choose to take up a weekend insurance cover for your vehicle and make the most out of the moment, then park it pack on Monday.
  • Learner drivers – If you’re still taking learner’s drives, it may be more economical to take a few days insurance cover for the time you’ve scheduled your learning lessons as opposed to taking the more expensive whole month or six months’ policy.
  • One-day insurance – At times you may have an emergency trip or need a van to move homes, it may be economical to take a one-day policy to cover your errands.

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Mileage-Based Auto Insurance

Even if you’re using your car for a few days, the insurer will still ask about the mileage you’ll cover. Low mileage attracts some discounts which might give you some good rates.

If your daily activities don’t involve much driving, you should consider mileage-based car insurance.

For instance, if the only time you get to use your car is on the weekends and commute to work using a bus or train during the week, then you deserve lower auto insurance rates.

There are two ways auto insurance companies use to ensure that low mileage drivers get the rates they deserve:

  • usage-based
  • mileage-based

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Usage-Based Discounts

Also known as pay-as-you-go or sometimes pay-as-you-drive, these kinds of programs have become popular among many auto insurance companies.

Your auto insurance provider will install a device on your car which they will use to track your daily mileage and other driving information.

Then the device transfers all this information to the company’s website in the form of facts and figures. You will be able to view this information through your client portal on the insurer’s website.

Some of this information includes:

  • Moments when you drive the most
  • Your driving speeds
  • Your daily and annual mileage
  • Your driving habits, for instance, how hard you brake

The company will the give you a mileage allowance depending on the number you give them. If you exceed this number, you can top up additional miles if your allowance doesn’t make it through the year.

This form of a tracking device is known as a telematics box.

The telematics box is a small device with a SIM card inserted inside used to collect driving information for insurance purposes. The box sends the information to the insurer who will then use it to analyze your driving habits.

Usually, the insurer will reward safer drivers with bonuses and discounts where applicable.

Usage-Based Insurance and Teenage Drivers


If you are a parent and your teenage son or daughter drives your car, you can use the information to track your teenager’s driving habits. You will then fix their bad driving habits and avert a potential disaster.

The usage-based system is only used in the calculation of your discounts and will not be used to raise your rates. You get rewarded for driving safely.

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Low-Mileage Discounts

Each auto insurance provider has its own definition of low mileage discounts.

In most cases, if your annual mileage ranges from 7,000-14,000 miles you probably fall within the low mileage driver category, and you should inquire about the low-mileage discount.

There are certain situations when you should ask you insurer about a low mileage discount. Some of these situations include:

  • When you join a carpool. Carpooling reduces the number of times you drive to work.
  • When you buy a second car to run your errands. The fact that the second car is not your primary vehicle means that you will probably be driving it lesser times.
  • When you start working from home or move to a house closer to where you work. Either of these situations translates to a less driver hence low mileage.
  • When you retire. You are now a retired senior citizen, and you will probably not be doing much driving. Also, senior citizens are deemed as safer drivers due to their vast driving experience.

Usage-Based Insurance Program


Basically, anyone interested in this kind of auto insurance is eligible.

If you are interested in a pay-as-you-go program, consult your agent or insurance company and have a lengthy discussion about the program vis-à-vis potential savings, requirements and other relevant details.

Your vehicle has to be a newer version to allow the installation of the tracking device; older models don’t support can’t support the technology.

Terms and conditions will be dictated by your insurance provider as well as your home state.

Usage-based discounts programs vary from one insurer to another. State insurance laws vary too; some states don’t allow these kinds of programs sighting possible privacy issues.

Insurance providers have different ways of calculating premium as well as varying discount models.

Some car insurance companies don’t even ask for mileage details arguing that a drivers way driving is more relevant in the determination of auto insurance rates than the miles covered.

However, some states like California have passed laws directing insurance providers to use factors such as mileage and other relevant details in the determination of rates as opposed to things like credit scores.

All things considered, the importance of comparison shopping when looking for auto insurance products cannot be overlooked. Use our free rate tool to compare today.