Here’s everything you need to know about car insurance when buying a vehicle.
Wondering how soon you have to get insurance after buying a car? Don’t let not knowing enough about car insurance be a downer on your day. In this article, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about purchasing auto insurance.
Learn more about the timeline for getting insurance, then take a look at some of the best car insurance companies in the country. If you’re ready to go ahead and purchase an auto insurance policy now, enter your zip code below to start comparing quotes. We always talking to insurance agents and getting at least three quotes so you can compare coverage and price.
Use our quote comparison tool below to get started. Or, for an even easier process, call our team at (844) 246-8209 to get free, personalized quotes seven days a week.
In this article:
- How Soon Do You Need Insurance After Buying A Car?
- Should You Buy A Car Or Insurance First?
- How Do I Get Proof Of Insurance Before Buying A Car?
- Our Recommended Car Insurance Providers
- FAQ: What Are The Requirements For A New Car Purchase?
How Soon Do You Need Insurance After Buying A Car?
If you currently have auto insurance on a car, you typically have a grace period of seven to thirty days before you have to report your new car to your insurance company. Your current policy should extend to your new car automatically during this period of time, but check with your provider to confirm this.
If this is your first car purchase and you don’t have car insurance coverage already, you have to buy insurance before you can take possession of the car. Remember, it’s illegal in almost every state to drive a car uninsured and without proof of insurance, and the consequences of driving or being involved in an accident without proper insurance can be severe.
And how soon do you have to get insurance after buying a used car? The process is the same for new and used cars. You need full coverage to take possession of the vehicle.
Should You Buy A Car Or Insurance First?
In most cases, you want to buy car insurance before you buy a car. The exception to this is if you already have an insurance policy for a different vehicle.
If you are adding a vehicle to your policy or replacing one, your existing policy should cover the new car too, so you don’t need a new policy before you drive the vehicle home.
If you don’t have insurance, you can purchase a your new ride first, but it’s easier if you can get the car insurance policy first so you can take possession of the car on the purchase date.
Here are a few more things you should know about insurance when buying a car:
When You Already Have Insurance
When You Don’t Have Insurance
You have a 7- to 30-day grace period (depending on your state) to tell your car insurance company about the new vehicle.
You must buy insurance before taking possession and driving the car off the lot. If you don’t, you won’t be able to take possession of the vehicle.
If you know exactly which car you are buying, give the VIN, purchase price, and other information to your insurance company.
You must buy insurance before taking possession and driving the vehicle off the car dealership lot. Independent sellers don’t usually ask for your insurance information, but driving without insurance or proof of financial responsibility is illegal.
Financing or Leasing a Car
Be sure your current coverage includes the collision and comprehensive coverage required for your loan or lease.
Be sure your current coverage includes the collision and comprehensive insurance required for your loan or lease.
How Do I Get Proof Of Insurance Before Buying A Car?
If you already know exactly which car you are going to buy, you can pre-purchase insurance with information like the vehicle identification number (VIN). We recommend comparison shopping by contacting a variety of auto insurance companies so you know you’re getting the best coverage.
When you buy a vehicle from a dealership, representatives can also help you find the right coverage for your new car on site. You’ll be able to call an insurance company from the dealership to start a policy once you’ve picked out the car you want.
In the event that you already have car insurance (possibly for another car at home), you can show your insurance card at the dealership.
Can You Buy Car Insurance Over The Weekend?
It's important to know how purchasing insurance works when car shopping. Some car insurance companies are open on the weekend, but in general, you’ll need to wait until a weekday to add a vehicle to your policy or purchase insurance for the first time.
Our Recommended Car Insurance Providers
When shopping for new car insurance, it’s smart to compare quotes. When we researched insurance industry leaders, Progressive and State Farm were two providers that stood out for extensive coverage and reasonable rates.
If you’re ready to start comparing car insurance quotes, enter your zip code below or give our team a call at (844) 246-8209. Along with the providers you choose, factors like your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect the car insurance rates you see.
#1 Progressive: 4.5 Stars
If you’re in your 20s or have a DUI in your driving history, you’re considered a high-risk driver. Getting affordable coverage can be difficult, so we recommend looking into Progressive car insurance. We named the provider best for high-risk drivers in our industry review.
There are many perks to becoming a Progressive customer, like access to easy-to-use technology like the Name Your PriceⓇ tool. The tool allows you to start searching for auto insurance with the amount you want to pay, then shows you plans that fit within your budget. Plus, there’s the usage-based SnapshotⓇ program that can be a good choice for people who don’t drive very much. According to the Progressive website, drivers save an average of $145 after using Snapshot.
Read more in our full Progressive insurance review.
#2 State Farm: 4.5 Stars
State Farm auto insurance is our top choice for students, but most drivers can find great coverage with State Farm. The insurer has a variety of discounts and mobile apps like Steer ClearⓇ and Drive Safe & Save™. Steer Clear is a driving refresher program that encourages safe driving habits in customers under the age of 25, while Drive Safe & Save monitors driving habits for drivers of all ages to help them save on car insurance.
Along with standard coverage, State Farm has extras like rental and travel expense reimbursement, rideshare coverage, and roadside assistance.
Read more in our full State Farm insurance review.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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