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Car Insurance for Part-Time Drivers (Guide)

There’s no such thing as part-time auto insurance, but you’ve got options to lower your rates.

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While there’s no such thing as car insurance for part-time drivers, there are plenty of opportunities to save on auto coverage. You can easily find affordable insurance through discount opportunities, usage-based insurance programs and minimum coverage plans.

The simplest way to find the best auto insurance for your specific needs is by comparing rates from various providers before you opt for a certain one. That way, you’ll be able to match your financial and coverage requirements with a partner that covers the bases well.

Can You Get Part-Time Car Insurance?

Car insurance companies don’t offer plans meant just for part-time drivers, but minimum coverage is a cheap way to meet state requirements. Below, we’ll explain the differences between a minimum coverage policy and one for full coverage auto insurance.

Minimum Coverage Car Insurance

This type of auto insurance policy varies widely based on state requirements. It’s the lowest level of car insurance coverage that’s legally allowed and usually leaves drivers without valuable protection. Minimum coverage pretty much always includes bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, but it leaves out collision and comprehensive insurance.

While minimum coverage is the cheapest car insurance option on the market, it’s a pretty risky move. We’d recommend avoiding it if at all possible, especially if you’ve got a teen driver who recently received their first driver’s license.

Full Coverage Car Insurance

Those who select a full coverage auto insurance policy will receive nearly complete protection for themselves, their vehicle and for potential damages to others. While you’ll pay a considerable amount, expect to receive peace of mind through full coverage.

If your young driver needs access to car insurance as a part-time driver, it’s probably smart to purchase full coverage. Rates may end up being steep, but new drivers such as 16-year-olds are often risky behind the wheel and may end up needing complete protection.

How To Save on Car Insurance as a Part-Time Driver

There are plenty of simple methods that can help you to lower your car insurance costs. Below, we’ll explain some of the best money-saving techniques for everyone from older adults to college students who are still on their parents’ policies.

1) Consider Telematics Insurance

Ideally, car insurance for part-time drivers would be cheaper due to less time spent on the road. Motorists who sign up for telematics programs such as usage-based insurance and pay-per-mile coverage can, in fact, benefit from their lack of time behind the wheel.

Usage-Based Insurance

Usage-based insurance charges drivers for their overall driving habits. Car insurers with this program will typically track the times of day that you’re on the road, your driving speeds, whether you accelerate or brake hard and how many miles you drive. Based on the data, you’ll receive a score that helps to determine your auto insurance premium.

Along with the factors above, pay-as-you-go insurance programs take note of driving behaviors such as hard cornering and even phone use while behind the wheel. This data is collected through a mobile app and then transmitted to the car insurer.

Note that this isn’t the best choice of car insurance for part-time drivers if you’ve got a poor driving history or don’t want to be tracked. If the lack of privacy is fine with you, however, programs such as Progressive’s Snapshot® or Geico’s DriveEasy could lead to reduced car insurance rates.

Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

Pay-per-mile insurance, also known as mileage-based insurance, simply charges drivers for however many miles they drive each year. While you’ll still pay a monthly base rate, your overall premiums could change based on your mileage. To qualify for pay-per-mile coverage, it’s critical that you regularly provide an odometer reading to your auto insurer.

2) Reduce Your Coverage

Another way to save money on car insurance for part-time drivers is to reduce coverage types or limits on your existing policy. Note, however, that there are compelling reasons why people exceed state minimum requirements. Collision coverage will protect your vehicle if you get into an accident while comprehensive insurance pays for damages caused by severe weather and instances of theft or vandalism.

It’s important to note that if you have a loan or lease on your car, your lender will likely require that you carry comprehensive and collision coverage. Also keep in mind that reducing coverage limits means that you could end up paying more out of pocket in the event of an accident. Deciding how much auto insurance you need is not something to be taken lightly, and insurance experts recommend carefully considering which coverages you should keep.

3) Check for Discounts

Policyholders may be eligible for several savings opportunities if they drive less than most motorists. Consider asking your insurance agent about good driver discounts, safe driving discounts, defensive driver discounts and low-mileage discounts.

Good Driver Discount

By going a certain number of years without causing an accident, you could reap considerable savings on your auto insurance premium. Most providers start rewarding safe drivers after at least three years with a clean driving record.

Defensive Driving Discount

Defensive driving is a great way to stay safe on the roads while finding cheap car insurance. Many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who complete defensive driving courses that explain how to anticipate and react to road hazards.

Low-Mileage Discount

A low-mileage discount is an excellent option if you’re searching for car insurance for part-time drivers. This savings opportunity is often open to drivers who drive fewer than a certain number of miles each year, usually somewhere between 7,000 and 12,000 miles annually.

4) Other Possible Ways To Save Money

Two other methods to get lower rates on car insurance for part-time drivers are by increasing your deductible and by bundling car insurance with homeowners, renters or life insurance. While you’ll likely get lower prices through either method, they come with a few disclaimers.

Increasing your deductible means you’ll pay more out of pocket before an auto insurer starts covering your own policy. In other words, you’ll save money on monthly car payments but could end up spending extra when it’s time to file an insurance claim.

Bundling your own car insurance policy with other types of insurance is simple if you’ve got the same provider. However, it may be a bit of a hassle if you currently have different providers for your various kinds of insurance protection.

Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance

Whether you rarely drive or are on the road frequently, a sufficient car insurance policy is a must. The best way to find affordable car insurance for part-time drivers comes by getting multiple auto insurance quotes from various providers before picking one. We’d recommend State Farm, GEICO and USAA as three exceptional companies to begin your search with.

State Farm: Best Overall

State Farm is the largest insurer in the U.S. and is known for its broad range of local agents. Partly due to its local presence, customers often give strong marks to State Farm for its customer service. The company provides plenty of savings opportunities through its accident-free discount, good student discount and other price-lowering programs.

GEICO: Best Discounts

GEICO receives strong scores for its number of coverage options, which range from basic protection up to rental car reimbursement and mechanical breakdown insurance. The company also gets high marks for its user-friendly mobile app, where customers can access their digital insurance cards, call for roadside assistance and submit claims.

USAA: Best Military Provider

If you’re a military member, a veteran or the family of one, USAA should be near the top of your list. The company stands out for its customer service and relatively affordable prices, and it consistently performs well in J.D. Power reviews. Note that eligibility for USAA is restricted to those who are affiliated in some way with the U.S. military.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I save on car insurance if I don’t drive often?

There are a few methods to reduce auto insurance costs if you don’t drive very often. You can take advantage of a pay-per-mile program, ask for a low-mileage discount or consider reducing your coverage types or limits if you don’t feel that they’re necessary.

Can I get car insurance if I drive only occasionally?

Yes, you can and actually must get car insurance if you drive only occasionally. Check whether you’d qualify for a telematics insurance program and look into low-mileage discounts if you’re hoping to save on car insurance for part-time drivers.

If I rarely drive, can I do without car insurance?

You legally must have car insurance even if you rarely drive your car. Drivers who are caught without car insurance could face penalties such as fines, license suspension or even jail time. Those who get into an accident without auto insurance must pay for all damages themselves.