What is non-owner car insurance?

Non-owner car insurance is designed for people who drive but don't own a vehicle. This coverage is useful for people who frequently rent cars, borrow cars from friends or family or use car-sharing services. It protects you if you’re in an at-fault accident in a car you don’t own and someone else gets hurt.

Non-owner car insurance includes:

  • Liability coverage: This pays for bodily injury and property damage that you might cause to others in an accident while driving a vehicle you don't own. It does not pay for damages to the vehicle you are driving or for your injuries.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Some non-owner policies also include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which protects you if you're involved in an accident with a driver who doesn't have adequate insurance.
  • Medical payments coverage: This covers medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of who is at fault.

How does non-owner car insurance work?

Non-owner car insurance is secondary liability coverage. That means the owner’s policy applies first, and the non-owner policy will pay out any remaining liability.

For example, let's say you have a non-owner policy with $40,000 in property damage liability, and the car's owner has $20,000 in property damage liability. You cause an accident driving that car, totaling $30,000 in damages, $10,000 beyond the owner's limits. The owner's policy will pay the first $20,000. Your non-owner policy will cover the extra $10,000.

Without the non-owner policy, you could be sued for that $10,000.

Non-owner policies are suitable for people who don’t own a car or have regular access to a car but who drive sometimes.

Non-owner auto insurance is a good fit if you frequently rent or borrow a car or are trying to keep continuous coverage when you're in between vehicles. 

Additionally, non-owner car insurance is a good option for high-risk drivers who must have a liability policy to keep their driver’s license or file an SR-22.

How much is non-owner car insurance?

Non-owner car insurance is generally more affordable than traditional car insurance. This is primarily because it provides less comprehensive coverage, focusing mainly on liability rather than covering physical damage to a vehicle.

The average rate for a non-owner car insurance policy is $325 a year, based on an analysis of rates by Insurance.com. That’s well below the average cost of car insurance for a standard policy.

Insurers view those who don’t own cars as less risky because they drive less frequently. Factors influencing cost include:

  • The amount of liability insurance coverage you want
  • Your driving history
  • Your geographical location

You can find the cheapest non-owner rates by shopping around. Here’s a look at the cheapest companies for non-owner car insurance.

CompanyAverage monthly rateAverage annual rate
State Farm$22$262

Data updated in 2024
Read our full methodology

What does non-owner car insurance cover?

Non-owner car insurance covers anything required by law in your state as part of a minimum-coverage policy.

A non-owner policy covers:

  • Bodily injury to others
  • Damage to others’ property

And in some states, where required by law, it also covers:

What isn’t covered by non-owner car insurance?

Non-owner’s car insurance is strictly liability insurance, which covers damage you cause to other people’s vehicles, property and medical expenses. 

You should be aware, however, that there are things it will not cover. This includes:

  • Damage to the car you were driving in an at-fault accident
  • Theft, vandalism, or any other non-collision damage to the car while in your possession
  • Towing and labor
  • Rental car reimbursement

Who should get non-owner car insurance?

While not everyone who doesn’t own a car needs non-owner car insurance, it fills the gap for people who drive occasionally but don’t have their own vehicle.

Here’s a quick reference list of who should and shouldn’t buy a non-owner car insurance policy.

You should buy non-owner car insurance if you don't own a car and:You shouldn’t buy non-owner car insurance if:
Often drive cars owned by someone elseYou own a car
Frequently rent carsYou only drive cars owned by others in your household
Are in between cars and don’t want a coverage lapseYou borrow or rent cars only occasionally 
Need proof of insurance or an SR-22 due to a violationYou drive a non-owned car for business purposes

How much non-owner car insurance costs by state

Auto insurance rates vary by state, including those for non-owner car insurance. The table below shows the average cost of a non-owner policy by state.

Non-owner car insurance rates by state
State Average non-owner car insurance cost
Washington D.C.$310
North Carolina$470
North Dakota$209
New Hampshire$318
New Jersey$459
New Mexico$293
New York$421
Rhode Island$518
South Carolina$368
South Dakota$170
West Virginia$367

Data updated in 2024
Read our full methodology

Is non-owner car insurance right for you?

Determining whether non-owner car insurance is right for you depends on your driving habits and insurance needs. If you frequently drive a car you don't own, you should get non-owner car insurance. This ensures that you’re financially protected against potential lawsuits and medical expenses that can arise from an accident, even if the vehicle isn't yours.

If you have a gap in car ownership, obtaining a non-owner insurance policy to maintain continuous insurance coverage is a good idea. Continuous coverage can make you eligible for discounted rates and keep you from rate hikes typically given to those with a coverage gap.

Insurers define “regular access to a car” in various ways, with some viewing it as using a vehicle as little as once per week or four times per month.

In certain cases, you may even opt for a non-owner policy when you own a vehicle. If you must file a certificate, such as an SR-22 or FR-44, and your current carrier does not offer this service, you can take out a supplementary non-owner policy with another company to meet this obligation. Because this secondary policy won't cover your vehicle, the extra costs involved in this strategy are usually low.


Insurance.com commissioned Quadrant Data Services to field quotes for non-owner car insurance for a 40-year-old male driver with a clean record and good credit. 

– Mel Duvall contributed to this story.

Auto insurance FAQs

Can you get car insurance without a car?

Yes, non-owner car insurance provides car insurance coverage if you don’t own a car.

It provides essential protection for those who drive occasionally or temporarily use vehicles owned by others. By offering liability coverage, non-owner car insurance ensures you’re financially protected in case of an accident, even when you don’t own a car.

How can I get auto insurance without a car?

Most large insurance companies offer non-owner car insurance policies specifically tailored to people who don’t own a car, so obtaining a policy is relatively simple. However, not all offer quotes for non-driver insurance online, so you may need to contact the companies directly.