Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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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 (BBB A+). 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 and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 7, 2020

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Things to remember

  • If you’re an infrequent driver or your car is in storage, you still must maintain your auto insurance
  • Failing to carry insurance on a vehicle that you own is against the law, and it can result in major penalties
  • If you put your car in storage and notify the DMV, you may be able to put your insurance on hold temporarily
  • Be sure to get all of the usage discounts and programs that you qualify for when you rarely drive your car, such as pay-per-mile insurance
  • Some popular discounts include: low-mileage, pleasure usage, daytime driver, and extra vehicle

Do you have to insure your car if you are not driving it? Yes, infrequent driver auto insurance is not available so you must carry certain types of auto insurance coverage if your car is registered.

Do I have to carry car insurance on a car I rarely drive if I park it for months? That depends on your particular situation — not all Americans rely on automobiles. In fact, the average number of miles driven in the U.S. is on a steady decline.

If you go from being in the car on a daily basis to rarely driving your car, you need to take a look at your insurance portfolio. Car insurance for rarely driven cars may be cheaper than a standard policy.

How often you drive can have a dramatic effect on how much you should be paying for your existing coverage.

Were you hoping to buy infrequent driver car insurance? Compare infrequent driver car insurance rates today and see how much you could save. Enter your ZIP for quotes on car insurance if you don’t drive much.

Driving Infrequently Doesn’t Eliminate Your Need for Insurance

Do I need car insurance if I don’t drive my car very much?

If you think that you can activate and deactivate your coverage each time you go for a drive because of your infrequent driving habits, think again. But you might be able to get car insurance for limited use.

You’re expected to carry at least liability auto insurance on your vehicle at all times. Since coverage is typically mandatory, you can’t remove insurance on the vehicle just because it’s not a risk.

Take a look at this table of average annual rates for liability insurance.

Average Annual Liability Auto Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Annual Liability Auto Insurance
North Dakota$282.55
South Dakota$289.04
North Carolina$357.59
New Hampshire$393.24
New Mexico$462.21
South Carolina$497.50
West Virginia$501.44
District of Columbia$628.09
Rhode Island$720.06
New York$784.98
New Jersey$865.55
U.S. Average$516.39
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The average monthly cost of liability auto insurance is $43. That is pretty inexpensive to make sure you are covered when you decide to drive your car.

If there’s a compulsory law or there’s a financial responsibility law in place in your state, you have to satisfy that law for as long as the car is registered in your name.

The minute that your car is no longer registered, you no longer have to prove that you possess financial responsibility or have insurance.

If your car is in storage for the winter or you’re going to go quit driving for an extended period of time, there’s one way that you can cancel your coverage without having to worry about the serious and also expensive legal consequences.

To do this, you’ll have to contact the DMV, let them know about your intentions to store the car, and then you can file the car as a Planned Non-Op. As soon as the car is filed this way, you can’t drive it until you reactivate your registration.

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If you rarely drive, should you take out a minimal policy?

You’re only required by law to meet car insurance requirements, which usually means you have to buy a minimum amount of insurance.

Usually, the minimums are extremely low considering how much damage a car can cause in an accident.

It might be tempting to go without car insurance, but that can lead to big legal trouble. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2015 around 13 percent of drivers were uninsured.

If you drive without insurance, you will be responsible for all damages if you cause an accident, fines, and possibly lose your driver’s license. That is way too risky.

One way to keep rates as low as you can is to select the lowest possible liability limits required. The only problem with doing this is that you’re at risk when you’re driving from time to time.

If you’d like to avoid being underinsured if you have a loss, you can always bump your limits up before you drive. Just be sure to call your agent the day before you plan on driving so that you can raise your limits to a sufficient limit.

Watch this video to learn about the different types of coverages available.

While it might be tempting to have just liability coverage, adding additional coverages can give you peace of mind in case of an accident.

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Can you put your auto insurance for cars that are not driven on hold?

Instead of raising and lowering your limits, there’s always the option to put your insurance on hold. Putting insurance on hold is often referred to as suspending your insurance.

Putting insurance on hold is only a good alternative for you when you already have changed the registration status of your car.

When you suspend your coverage, the insurance company won’t provide you with any coverage:

  • liability
  • uninsured motorist
  • medical payments
  • collision

You may still keep your comprehensive cover if you want protection for your car while it’s parked. When you need coverage, you can simply call and have the policy activated just as it was before the suspension.

Why is it better to suspend your coverage?

What is parked car insurance?

If you’re confident that you’re not going to be driving for at least a few months, then suspending your registration and your insurance could be a money-saving decision.

You could always cancel your insurance, but there are advantages to suspending it instead. Here are some of those advantages:

  • You can keep insurance in place without any lapses to save money on future coverage
  • You can continue to receive a loyalty discount when you need to reactivate coverage with the company
  • It’s much easier to activate your insurance than it is to apply for a new policy
  • You can still keep physical damage coverage on the car while it’s in storage

There are many different ways to keep your car insurance rates low if you don’t drive a lot. If you aren’t going to be driving for a while, consider suspending your registration and insurance.

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Ways to Save on a Standard Auto Policy

If you want the option to drive your car in the spur of the money, it’s best that you keep it insured.

Even though you have to have insurance on your car, it doesn’t mean that you can’t save money on your coverage because you’re an infrequent driver.

Can you insure multiple cars? Can you sign up for a low-milage car insurance company like Metromile? If you can answer yes to these questions, you might be able to get cheaper car insurance.

Car insurance discounts and other classifications may save you big money.

Here are some tips on how you can save:

  • You can classify your vehicle as a pleasure vehicle and look for usage-based car insurance
  • You can estimate that you drive under 5,000 miles each year to receive a low-mileage discount
  • If you’re over the age of 55, you may be able to get a Mature Driver and Daytime Driver credit
  • When you have a student off to college and they don’t take their car, classify them as Student Away at School
  • If you have a newer car, you can get a discount for yourcar’s safety features
  • Consider buying a new pay-as-you-drive insurance policy where the insurer monitors your usage to give you personalized discounts
  • If you live with family, buy insurance together for large multi-line and multi-car discounts

Infrequent drivers can pay less for their auto insurance than frequent drivers do. The key is to shop around for your coverage before you select the first policy that you find.

You don’t need a lot of coverage while you’re not driving but you will need sufficient coverage like everyone else the moment that you get in a car.

Use our free comparison tool to get multiple insurance quotes all at once, and then secure custom coverage that meets your needs.

Looking for low-mileage car insurance quotes? Now that you know more about affordable auto insurance for infrequent drivers, enter your ZIP to find out what are the cheapest car insurance companies that offer low-mileage car insurance.