Driving without insurance is possible, but very risky.


Every car owner knows that paying for and maintaining a vehicle is very expensive. If you are financing a vehicle on a tight budget, you may wonder whether you can drive it without auto insurance or certain forms of auto insurance.

We don’t recommend driving with no insurance on a financed car. In this article, we’ll explain what types of insurance are needed to keep you secure in your financed vehicle, and what you can do if you can’t afford your insurance premium.

If you’re looking for new auto insurance, use our tool below or call (855) 518-0148 to compare quotes from top providers.


In This Article:

Do You Have To Buy Insurance On A Financed Car?

Until your financed car is completely paid off, the car is owned by your lien holder, and the lien holder determines what level of insurance coverage is needed for you to drive the vehicle.

Lien holders typically require “full coverage” insurance on vehicles, which includes collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, and liability insurance. So it’s not recommended to drive with no insurance on a financed car.

Here is what each of these types of insurance means in a nutshell:

  • Collision insurance: Collision insurance repairs or replaces your own vehicle after an accident.
  • Comprehensive car insurance: Comprehensive insurance repairs or replaces your car if it is stolen or damaged by a non-collision event like a natural disaster.
  • Liability auto insurance: Liability coverage takes care of the other driver's property damage and medical expenses if you're found at fault in an accident.

How Much Does Insurance Cost On A Financed Car?

Since operating a financed car often requires full coverage auto insurance, the insurance cost is  relatively pricey.

Your financed car’s insurance cost depends on a variety of factors including your age, gender, and driving record. According to a 2019 AAA study, the average cost for full coverage insurance on a medium-size sedan was $1,251 per year.

As with all types of car insurance, higher deductibles are associated with lower premium costs. So, if you would like a lower premium and you are confident that you could afford a roughly $1,000 deductible in case of an accident, you might consider requesting a higher deductible from your chosen car insurance provider.

What If I Drive My Vehicle Without Insurance? 

If you get into an accident while driving with no insurance on a financed car, you could be forced to pay fines, your license may be revoked, and you may even face jail time.

If your lien holder finds out that you are driving without auto insurance, the company can put “force-placed insurance” on your account. Force-placed insurance means that the lien holder buys the required level of insurance and then tacks on the cost to your monthly payments. The premiums for force-placed insurance can be very high. In addition, force-placed insurance is designed to protect the provider of your car loan, not you.

What If I Can’t Afford Insurance?

Whether or not you feel like you can afford auto insurance right now, you need to have it in order to drive the car you are financing or planning to finance.

Below are five tips to lower your car insurance rates and start saving money for insurance.

  1. Get quotes from multiple providers to find cheap auto insurance.
  2. Refinance your car for a longer term if possible to lower your car payments.
  3. Develop a comprehensive budget and cut any unnecessary or excessive expenses from your life.
  4. Ask your auto insurance company about discounts you may qualify for, such as good driver discounts and bundling discounts.
  5. Work to improve your credit score over time, as credit score affects insurance rates in most states.

Our Recommended Auto Insurance Providers

You need to purchase full coverage insurance if you are financing or planning to finance a car. It’s just not worth it to drive with no insurance on a financed car.

Our review team analyzed the top insurance providers in the industry and compiled a list of the best auto insurance companies that you may find useful in your search. Three providers that offer affordable full coverage car insurance include Geico, USAA, and State Farm.

#1 Geico: 4.5 Stars

Geico is one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. and our pick for best overall auto insurance company. As a part of national holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Geico wrote over $33 billion in premiums in 2019, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Geico auto insurance received a 4.5-star rating in our review for its availability, affordable cost, and excellent customer service. The company holds an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, which means that Geico is well-suited to pay claims to members.

#2 USAA: 5.0 Stars

For those who serve or have served in the military and their families, USAA car insurance is an outstanding option. Based in San Antonio, USAA stands for United Services Automobile Association and has more than 12.8 million members.

USAA received a 5.0-star rating from our review team for its excellent claims servicing, availability, and cost. Like Geico, USAA holds an A++ AM Best rating, the highest possible rating of financial stability.

#3 State Farm: 4.5 Stars

The largest car insurance company in the nation, State Farm offers comprehensive coverage with great discounts for students, bundled insurance, and new drivers.

We especially like State Farm auto insurance for its safe driving programs. Drive Safe & Save™ can save you money by monitoring your safe driving habits, like braking smoothly and not accelerating too quickly. For younger drivers, there’s Steer ClearⓇ, which promotes safe driving habits and reinforces the rules of the road.

Deciding On A Car Insurance Provider

Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.

Use our tool below or call our team at (855) 518-0148 to start comparing personalized car insurance quotes:


Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you don't have full coverage on a financed car?

If your lien holder requires full coverage insurance and you do not purchase full coverage insurance, it is a violation of your contract. The lien holder can legally cancel your auto loan and take back its vehicle if the company finds you driving with no insurance on a financed car.

What happens if you total a car without insurance?

If you total a car without insurance, you’re fully responsible for the cost of the car financially. And if you damaged anyone else’s property or caused them medical complications, you may be responsible for those costs as well.