Weekend only car insurance

12 minute read Published on Jun 18, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

Mom and Dad with their daughter and a Labrador dog are sitting in the car.

Need car insurance for one weekend only? BrokerLink can help you understand how weekend-only car insurance works, whether it’s available where you live, and provide some tips on how to save on car insurance.

What is weekend car insurance?

Weekend car insurance, also referred to as temporary car insurance or short term car insurance, is a unique type of car insurance in that it only covers the policyholder for a short period of time. Unlike traditional car insurance policies that cover drivers for one year, weekend car insurance is designed to provide coverage for a matter of days, weeks, months, or a few months.

Weekend car insurance coverage is not much different than typical car insurance. Coverage is usually similar as it must comply with the mandatory coverage requirements in your province. Thus the main difference is that weekend or temporary car insurance is on a flexible, “pay per use” basis.

Why would I need car insurance for one weekend only?

There are a few reasons that drivers might be interested in a weekend only car insurance policy. For example, perhaps you are going on a weekend getaway or need to borrow a vehicle to move some items. In either scenario, you would want to make sure that you are properly insured in the event of damage or loss. However, long-term coverage would not be necessary, since you only need the vehicle for an extremely short period. A few examples of when weekend car insurance may come in handy are as follows:

If you are borrowing a friend or family member’s car for the weekend

Borrowing a friend’s vehicle is usually cheaper and more convenient than renting or hiring one.

If you are going on a weekend getaway

If you are planning a weekend road trip or vacation, having a short-term car insurance policy might be useful.

If your car is being repaired on the weekend

If your vehicle was damaged and is being repaired on the weekend, leaving you without a car, you might be interested in a weekend only car insurance plan so that you can be covered while you temporarily use another vehicle.

If you bought a new car and need to drive it home

If you recently purchased a new car and are picking it up on the weekend, you will need car insurance coverage to drive it home legally. Depending on your insurance provider and whether or not you have an existing policy, you might need to purchase a temporary policy to cover you for the between the dealership and your home or during the first few days of ownership.

If you drive infrequently

If you are an occasional driver who only drives their car on the weekends, you might be looking for something outside a standard car insurance policy.

Can I insure my car on weekends only?

Unfortunately, most major car insurance companies in Canada do not offer weekend-only car insurance coverage or coverage that allows you to insure your car for certain days of the week. Rather, most standard auto insurance policies have 12-month terms and provide coverage for the entirety of that term - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thus, if you are looking for weekend-only coverage, you may need to look outside the usual insurance companies. Experts suggest contacting a few different providers or a licenced insurance broker to ask if they offer any flexible auto insurance options.

Please note that in some provinces, like Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, temporary car insurance of any kind, including weekend-only car insurance, is strictly prohibited. Thus, if you live in one of these provinces, you will need to find a completely different solution to temporary car insurance. Thankfully, there are several alternatives out there, which we outline below.

Alternatives to weekend only car insurance

If you live in a province that restricts temporary car insurance policies, you will need to find an alternative if you want car insurance for a short period, such as one weekend. Below are a few ways to go about insuring your vehicle in the short term:

Buy a standard car insurance policy and cancel it early

If weekend only car insurance is not available where you live, your first option is to purchase a standard car insurance policy and cancel it early. Most standard policies are twelve months, though you might be able to find one as short as six months, though likely no shorter than that. If you only need your car insurance policy for a single weekend, a week, or even a month, you could purchase a twelve-month policy and simply cancel it as soon as you no longer need the coverage. Keep in mind that most insurance companies charge a cancellation fee for cancelling early, which can be hefty. Make sure you know how much money you will have to pay should you decide to cancel early before purchasing a policy. We also recommend working with an insurance broker to see if there are any car insurance policies that do not charge cancellation fees.

Obtain a special permit

A second alternative to weekend only car insurance is to obtain a Temporary Vehicle Registration or special permit. Temporary Vehicle Registrations and permits can provide car insurance coverage for ten days or less. However, they can only be obtained for cars that have not been registered with your province. A special permit is one of the shortest term alternatives to weekend only car insurance, given that the maximum term length is ten days. It’s also worth noting that special permits are typically only granted to drivers who are importing vehicles from outside the province or who only recently moved to Ontario.

Try MyPace pay-as-you-go insurance

Another option for anyone after weekend only car insurance is the MyPace pay-as-you-go insurance program from the Canadian Automobile Association. To qualify for this program, you need to have a valid car insurance policy. But if you have this, signing up for MyPace can help lower your auto insurance premiums. A little bit about the program: MyPace is intended for occasional drivers who drive fewer than 9,000 kilometres each year. The program tracks your mileage (learn more about how to calculate mileage by contacting BrokerLink), and assuming you keep it low, your auto insurance rates will be reduced to reflect how far or how often you’ve driven.

Being added as a driver to an existing auto insurance policy

If you are borrowing a friend or family member’s car for the weekend, and that is why you want weekend only car insurance, consider asking if they would add you to their existing auto insurance policy. If you frequently drive this person's car, this could be a smart option. However, if this is a one-off situation, then it is not necessary to be added to the policy. Policyholders have the ability to add multiple drivers to auto insurance plans. Keep in mind adding a driver to a policy can influence car insurance rates. Depending on your driving history and record, a friend adding you to their policy could increase their premium.

Rent a vehicle instead

If you only need a car for one weekend, consider renting a car instead. Many rental car companies offer rental car insurance, making it easy to not only have access to a car for a short time but to be insured while you are driving. Although renting a car may be a more expensive option, it is convenient and guarantees coverage if you purchase it.

How driving habits can impact car insurance costs

Many factors determine auto insurance premiums, and how often you drive is one of them. Thus, if you are interested in weekend only or short term car insurance because of how infrequently you drive, you may want to consider speaking with your insurance broker. Spending a below-average amount of time on the road is one way that you can lower car insurance premiums in Ontario. Depending on how infrequently you drive, you might even qualify for an occasional driver auto insurance discount. Keep reading to learn more about how driving habits impact auto insurance premiums in Canada.

Just like how your age, location, or the type of vehicle you drive can influence your auto insurance rates, so too can your driving habits. That is why, if your driving habits change, it is important to get in touch with your insurance broker as soon as possible. Examples of driving habits that could affect how much you pay for car insurance in Canada are as follows:

  • Increasing or decreasing how much you drive
  • A new daily commute or a change to your daily commute route
  • Driving your vehicle for business reasons, personal reasons, or both
  • Driving on highways
  • Driving early in the morning or late at night
  • Adding a new driver to your car insurance policy
  • Adding or removing a car from your car insurance policy

Car insurance discount for driving on the weekend

Some insurance companies in Canada may offer car insurance discounts to drivers who drive infrequently, such as only on the weekends. The reason for this discount being that drivers who drive less frequently will be more likely to get into an accident, and as such, they pose less of a risk to the insurance company. If you do not spend much time on the road, contact a BrokerLink insurance broker to inquire about car insurance discounts that may be available to you. A BrokerLink insurance advisor can give you an idea of which insurance companies offer such discounts and how much of a discount you may be eligible for.

We also wish to remind drivers that car insurance is mandatory everywhere in Canada. This means that even if you only drive a couple of days each week, you still need to have a valid car insurance policy that complies with the coverage requirements in your province if you want to get behind the wheel. For further insight into mandatory car insurance coverage in your province, contact BrokerLink. A BrokerLink car insurance specialist can help you buy full coverage auto insurance, all perils insurance, third party liability coverage, and more.

Other factors that determine car insurance premiums in Canada

Now that you know how driving habits can impact your car insurance rates, let’s consider a few other factors that can impact them. Age, driving history, gender, home address, and the type of car you drive can all influence how much you pay for auto insurance in Canada:


Age is one of the biggest factors that influences car insurance rates in Canada. Typically, age affects car insurance rates like this: If you are a new young driver, your car insurance rates are likely to be higher. Then, as you gain more years of driving and your driving experience increases, your rates will typically go back down, only to increase slightly once you become a senior due to the increased risks that come with that. Generally speaking, the younger and less experienced you are, the higher your rates are likely to be, which is why new drivers often have the highest premiums.

Driving record

Your driving record is another key factor that insurance companies use to assess your risk. They will ask for a copy of your driving record and will evaluate it to decide how risky of an investment you are. If your record is full of infractions, tickets, and accidents, you will likely be deemed higher risk and will have to pay more for insurance. However, if your driving record is spotless, you may benefit from lower premiums. Overall, the cleaner your driving record, the less you will pay for car insurance.


Gender is another factor that insurance companies may consider when calculating your car insurance premium. This is because studies show that one gender of drivers is riskier than others. Specifically, according to data from Statistics Canada, men are statistically more likely to get into an accident than women, which is why auto insurance premiums for male drivers may be higher than those for female drivers.

Home address

Where you live has the ability to impact car insurance rates in Canada. Why? Location correlates to risk. For example, neighbourhoods have different crime rates, weather patterns, population densities, accident rates, and more. All of these sub factors can influence how likely you are to file an insurance claim and thus how risky you are. If you live in an area with a high crime rate, the odds of your car being stolen or broken into might be higher, and thus, so will your insurance premium. Similarly, if you live in an area with a high population density, there will be more traffic on the road, increasing your chances of getting into a car accident. Policyholders who live and drive in regions prone to adverse weather conditions, like rain, snow, ice, and natural disasters may also experience increased rates. In relation to location, an insurance agent might even ask where specifically you park your car. If your car is parked in an uncovered driveway or on the street, you could pay more for auto insurance than if it was parked somewhere more secure, like a garage.

Vehicle make, model, and year

Finally, the type of car you drive will also impact how much money you pay for car insurance. An insurance company will want to know what kind of car you drive so they can assess its value. In turn, this gives them an idea of how much they would likely need to pay in the event that their vehicle was damaged or stolen. Generally speaking, the more expensive or luxurious the car, the higher the insurance is likely to be. Conversely, the cheaper the car, the lower the premium. The only exception to this is if your vehicle is equipped with anti-theft technology. Beyond value, an insurer will consider the safety rating and rate of theft of your vehicle. Cars with higher safety ratings may be less likely to be badly damaged in an accident, and thus may benefit from lower rates. Meanwhile, if you drive a car with a high theft rate, it might be more likely to be stolen, which could increase your rates.

Let BrokerLink help you find weekend only car insurance in Canada

BrokerLink is a full-service insurance brokerage that can help you find a wide range of insurance solutions. Whether you are looking for standard Toronto car insurance or something more niche, like short term or temporary car insurance, BrokerLink is here. We can also help you with basic tasks like renewing car insurance, leasing a vehicle, or filing a claim with your insurance provider. Of course, as a brokerage, it is our job to find the best coverage at the best prices for our customers. Thus, if you are in the market for a new car insurance plan, we can help you find a great one while saving you money. Learn more about BrokerLink’s flexible and dynamic car insurance plans by getting in touch today. We can be reached over the phone, online, or in person at a BrokerLink location.

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FAQs on weekend only car insurance

Do I need weekend only car insurance if I'm borrowing a friend’s car for two days?

You generally do not need weekend only car insurance if you are borrowing someone’s car for a day or two. Remember that car insurance follows the car, not the driver. Thus, if the person you are borrowing the car from has a valid car insurance policy, you will likely be covered if damage occurs while you are borrowing the car. That said, there are a few exceptions to this, such as if you are listed as an excluded person on their policy or you are committing an illegal act at the time of the accident.

Can I drive without car insurance in Canada?

No, driving without car insurance is illegal in every Canadian province and territory. If you are caught driving without insurance, you could face fines, jail time, vehicle impoundment, and the suspension of your driver’s licence.

Do I need weekend only car insurance when renting a car?

Rental car insurance is usually the best way to go when renting a car. Temporary car insurance can be difficult to obtain and is even prohibited in certain provinces. Thus, if you are renting a car, we recommend purchasing rental car insurance directly from the rental car company.

Is it legal to have weekend only car insurance in Canada?

Certain provinces allow insurance companies to sell temporary car insurance policies, but not all do. For example, temporary car insurance is prohibited in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Therefore, you will not be able to purchase such a policy in any of these provinces. That said, if you are driving your own car, you must have a valid car insurance policy of some kind, as driving without car insurance is illegal in Canada.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.