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Short term car insurance Australia

Choose from a range of temporary car insurance options.

If you only need car insurance for a month, a week, or just one day, there are plenty of options. Most car insurers will allow you to purchase car insurance and pay monthly or annually. Typically, if you pay annually and cancel before the 12 months is up, you will be refunded the unused portion of the premium.

If this still doesn't sound like the right fit for you, there are a few options to make sure you're covered and to keep costs down.

  • Hire a rental car. You can opt for additional insurance or your credit card may include cover.
  • Add a driver to an existing policy. If you're borrowing a car, consider getting added as a listed driver.
  • Go for a pay-as-you-drive policy. You'll only pay for the kilometres you drive each year.
  • Take out a regular policy. Choose to pay monthly and cancel when you don't need it anymore.

Compare short term car insurance

1 - 10 of 39
Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy. By driving less than 10,000 km annually, you could make further savings on your insurance.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance. Youi doesn’t offer a specific low mileage option, but its pricing is competitive.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

⭐ Current offer: Get $100 off your first year's premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car. If you’re keen to save while paying monthly, Australia Post’s $100 discount does apply – which is not not the case for some other insurer sign-up deals.
ROLLiN' Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: One of the most cost-effective insurers for under 25s, according to Finder research, with no aged-based excess.

Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our Green Insurer for 3 years running and well rated for customer service and features. It offers up to $1,000 in cover for personal items in case they’re stolen from your vehicle. There’s no fixed way to save by opting to drive less month to month, unlike with ROLLiN’ and KOBA.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands. For example, QBE offers 3-year new car replacement, meaning they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Our data shows Bingle offers the cheapest comprehensive policy on average. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go for add-ons and extras and there’s no low kilometre option.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Car Insurance policy you take out by 28 May. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
Budget Direct Third Party Property, Fire and Theft
Optional
Market
Save 15% on your first year's premium when you purchase a new policy online. T&Cs apply.
Youi Third Party Fire and Theft
Optional
Agreed or Market
Up to $20 million legal liability cover and 24/7 claims team.
Youi Third Party Property Damage
⭐ Current offer: Covered up to $5,000 for accidental damage to your car caused by an uninsured third party.

Who it might be good for: Drivers who want a reliable insurer. It was the 2022 Insurer of the Year for Customer Satisfaction.
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Michelle Kwong

I took out a short-term car insurance policy with Youi, paying the fees monthly as we were in between selling our old car and getting a new one. I was still driving the old car while looking for a buyer and didn't want to commit to paying for an annual policy. I chose Youi as it offered one of the cheapest cancellation fees.
— Michelle Kwong, Publisher (Mobile & Broadband)

Temporary car insurance Australia compared

Pay-as-you-drive policy

This type of policy lets you only pay for the distance you drive, while still extending comprehensive car insurance benefits for an ongoing period. You might think of it as a temporary car insurance that works based on distance driven, instead of for a period of time.

  • How it works: Choose an insurer that calculates your premium based on the distance you drive.
  • Who it could be suitable for: If you need temporary car insurance in Australia and have a rough idea of how far you will be driving.
Pros
  • Enjoy all the benefits of comprehensive car insurance
  • The less you drive, the less you pay for cover
  • Full range of optional extras available
Cons
  • You need to have a rough idea of how far you'll be driving all up, and not just how long you need the car for
  • An additional excess will apply to claims if you have exceeded your nominated distance
  • A "price floor" will typically apply, limiting your savings if you're only using the car in the very short term
  • Generally only available with comprehensive car insurance policies

Pay premiums monthly

Another option is to select a standard car insurance policy of your choice and pay your premiums monthly. This can be a fast and effective way of finding the right type of cover for your needs and accessing the full range of car insurance benefits. Once you no longer need cover, simply cancel the policy.

  • How it works: Pick any car insurance policy you want that allows you to pay your premiums monthly rather than annually. Keep in mind, some providers may apply an additional fee to pay monthly and may also charge a cancellation fee.
  • Who it could be suitable for: Anyone who needs short-term car insurance in Australia and wants the freedom to pick the policy of their choice.
Pros
  • Choose from an extensive range of policies
  • Tailor cover to suit your needs
  • Choose from comprehensive, third party fire and theft, and third party property damage policies
  • Only pay for the cover you will use
Cons
  • Cancellation fees apply
  • You will need to pay special attention to the policy terms and conditions to ensure this is a viable choice

Add a driver to an existing policy

If you're borrowing a relative or friend's car for a temporary period, you could ask them if they would consider adding you to their car insurance policy as a listed driver.

  • How it works: A temporary driver is added to the car owner's existing car insurance policy for a limited period.
  • Who it could be suitable for: People who are borrowing someone else's vehicle for a short period, for example if you're home from uni for the summer and driving your parents' car.
Pros
  • No need to take out a separate policy
  • Simple and convenient option
  • Access all the benefits of a regular car insurance policy
Cons
  • Can significantly increase the cost of cover
  • Make sure to avoid the illegal practice of "fronting", which is where you wrongfully list someone else as the main driver in return for cheaper premiums

Rent a car

This option may be more cost-effective than you think. Many credit cards will let you pay for rental cars with reward points, and there are many car rental discounts available, such as free upgrades, free days at no extra cost and straightforward price reductions. Some credit cards also offer complimentary rental car insurance cover, or you can purchase the cover you need from the rental company.

  • How it works: Rent a car for the period required.
  • Who it could be suitable for: People who are moving house and may require a specialist vehicle such as a ute or a van.
Pros
  • Great for anyone who needs a very short-term solution
  • You are able to choose a vehicle to suit your needs
  • There are many discounts and savings available
  • Some credit cards offer complimentary car hire insurance
  • You can purchase cover from the rental company to cover the vehicle during the rental period
Cons
  • Insurance from rental companies can be expensive
  • Is only suitable for very short-term needs

Compare some car hire options here

Cancellation fees by car insurance brands

How much will your insurer charge in cancellation fees if you cancel your car insurance early? Check the table below for more information:

BrandCancellation fee
1st for WomenCancellation fee of $40
AAMINo cancellation fee
ahmNo cancellation fee
AllianzIf you cancel the policy, you may receive a refund of the unused portion of the premiums, minus reasonable administration fees
Australia PostNo cancellation fee
Budget DirectCancellation fee of $40
CGUNo cancellation fee. If you cancel your policy before it ends, CGU will refund a portion of the unused premium
ColesThere is no cancelation fee, however if you are paying monthly, you might not receive a refund from the current month.
EverydayCancellation fee is specified in the Certificate of Insurance
GIONo cancellation fee
NRMACancellation fee of $30, plus GST and any other government charges that apply
OzicareCancellation fee of $40
QantasCancellation fee of $40
QBEIf you've paid your premiums in advance, QBE will refund you the proportion of the premium for the remaining period of insurance, less any administration fees
RACQYou can cancel at any time, there's no additional cancellation fee. Any unused premium over the amount of $10 will be refunded to you in 5-15 business days.
RealCancellation fee is specified in the Certificate of Insurance
VirginCancellation fee of $40
YouiCancellation fee of $22

The cancellation fees in this table are accurate as of February 2024.

How to choose short-term car insurance

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FAQs about temporary car insurance

Car insurance: Key terms to know

Here's a summary of common definitions you'll see with car insurance. Plus what they actually mean to help you while you're comparing.

More guides on Finder

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    ArthurNovember 29, 2023

    Which insurance should I choose if I am not a Australian resident and just hold a working holiday visa?

      AvatarFinder
      PetaDecember 5, 2023Finder

      Hi Arthur,
      This really depends on your personal circumstances so I’m limited in what I can suggest here. Being on a working holiday visa is unlikely to affect your ability to get insurance so it’s best to consider how long you need cover for and what kind of cover you’re after then go from there.
      Hope this helps.

    Default Gravatar
    HyemiSeptember 27, 2021

    Hi,

    I have read all the information already on the website with regards to short-term insurance and they have given me some insights already – thank you for that information!

    I would like to get some things clarified that are relevant to my situation and hope you could help me.

    I have my work travel planned next week and seeking available options for my company to consider getting my personal vehicle insured for 2 weeks only. The additional driver will be my colleague and we will use my vehicle as a ‘work car’ for that period.

    My car is already insured of course, but it is company travel so I wanted to make it as clear as possible who is paying for what and having that short period insurance on top of my personal insurance.

    Is it something that would work?

      AvatarFinder
      JamesOctober 6, 2021Finder

      Hi Hyemi,

      That might work. The first thing you can do is ask your insurer if they offer extra cover that you can simply pay for that would be just valid within your business travel. If they can’t offer that type of policy you need, you can ask for advice.

      Aside from that, you can also try to get in touch with commercial and business car insurance providers (https://www.finder.com.au/car-insurance-for-business-use). They may be able to give you limited cover for your trip.

      Be sure to read through the terms and conditions of your chosen policy to be sure that you have chosen the right one for you.

      Regards,
      James

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