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: Aug 25, 2021

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The lowdown...

  • If you’re buying a car for the summer, you can buy short-term insurance or a standard policy and cancel it
  • It’s your right to buy six months or 12 months of coverage and then cancel it early when you no longer need it
  • Make sure that you have all of your paperwork in order with the DMV before removing coverage from any car
  • If your car is in storage throughout the rest of the year, consider buying a comprehensive-only plan
  • Estimate how many miles you’re going to drive during summer so that the insurer charges you an adequate rate

Summer is the perfect season to enjoy your luxury sports car with the top down. It’s also a great time to go car shopping for a new, weather appropriate car at a great price.

Oftentimes, the larger dealers competing for market share will offer the best deals to get rid of inventory after the summer solstice.

If you’re planning to drive a stored car or you’re going to buy a summer car, you have to get insurance first. Any time you operate a vehicle, it must have acceptable and active insurance coverage.

Find great coverage at a reasonable price by entering your zip code in our free car insurance comparison tool!

If you’re unsure of how you can buy a summer-only insurance policy, here’s a guide to help you:

When is the best time to buy a car?


If you’re looking for a new summer car, it’s important to time your purchase right to get the best deal.

While many people focus on getting end-of-the-year sales, that doesn’t do you much good when you want a new car specifically for summertime.

Luckily for you, there are a few key times during summer where most dealers offer their best deals.

First, always visit the dealer at the end of the month when the sales department is trying to hit a sales goal. The end of June is a great choice because dealers usually have loftier goals.

If the end of June has recently passed, you could also try shopping on Independence Day weekend, where there are cash-back offers and great financing deals.

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Getting a Car Out of Storage For the Summer

If you already own your perfect summer car and you’ve kept it in storage for the winter and spring, you’ll have to get all of your paperwork in order before you can take the car for a summertime spin.

The steps that you’ll need to take depend on whether or not your registration is active.

If you kept your car registered while it was in storage, you need to have active insurance at all times. If, however, you filed your car as Planned Non-Op, you’ll have to take some additional steps before you can get insurance.

Here are some steps that you can take:

  • Before you take your car out of storage, visit the DMV with your File Non-Op paperwork and activate your registration
  • Ask if you’ll have to provide proof that the car passed smog
  • Pay the fee to reactivate your registration
  • Contact an insurance company and activate the mandatory coverage that you need before you drive your vehicle

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What happens if you store your car without filing it with the DMV?

If you don’t want to salt on the roadways or the wet climate to rust your exterior, you can park your car in a fully enclosed garage for protection.

Weatherizing a summer car is important when you want to maintain your car’s cosmetic integrity and its value.

If you store your car, the best step to take is to file it as non-operable with the DMV. If you do that, you don’t have to maintain liability coverage that you don’t need.

Unfortunately, some people keep the car registered. When you fail to file a stored vehicle, you could be penalized and forced to pay hefty fines for letting your insurance lapse.

You’ll have to get any fines that you’re assessed paid before you can ever drive your car and have fun in the sun.

In most states, when you cancel your insurance on a summer car during the fall, winter, or spring, your registration will be suspended. To reactivate it, you’ll have to pay the fine first and then prove that you have summer insurance.

Should you buy a short-term insurance policy for summer cars?


If you’re only going to be driving your car on your vacation or during the peak of the warm weather, you could buy a specialty short-term policy and get your coverage fast.

Short-term car insurance is designed for people who are buying cars and only intend to own them for a short period of time. It’s also good for people who will be renting for a few weeks.

Short-term insurance can be purchased for periods of one day to 30 days. If you’ll only be driving the car for a month, this is an alternative. Unfortunately, temporary car insurance has higher premiums because it’s not fully underwritten.

Be sure to get the estimates first before you decide which insurance is best.

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Can you buy standard insurance just for the summer?

A better option is to purchase a standard insurance policy. Standard insurance is sold by licensed auto insurance providers for six months or 12 months at a time.

The duration of the term might set the wrong impression when you’re shopping around, but don’t let the numbers confuse you.

Even though you have to buy a standard plan for longer than you need it, it’s possible to find a much better deal on your premiums if you go for the traditional type of plan.

You have the option to cancel your coverage at any time as long as you put the request in writing.

Why should you keep coverage on your car while it’s stored?


If you keep your summer car for the next summer season, don’t cancel all of the coverage. It’s better that you have comprehensive coverage on the car so that damage to the car while it’s parked will be covered.

Damage while in storage may include:

  • fires
  • vandals
  • floods

You need the same type of coverage in the summertime as you’d need in any other season. Make sure that you get sufficient coverage no matter which way you buy your policy.

Before making any final decisions on your insurance company, it is important to learn as much as you can about your local insurance providers, and the coverages they offer. Call your local insurance agent to clear up any questions that you might have. Questions to consider asking include, “What is the best coverage plan for me/my family/my situation?” “What are the minimum coverage requirements in my state and what form of coverage do you recommend?” “Do you guys offer any bundle discounts if I take out both my auto insurance and home insurance with you?” and “What is the average rate of insurance quotes you guys offer?”

Before making any big insurance decisions, use our free tool to compare insurance quotes near you. It’s simple, just plug in your zip code and we’ll do the rest!

Get quotes for auto insurance online first and then after you compare premiums you can set up your summer insurance coverage. Enter your zip code right here to begin.