Can You Buy a Car Without Insurance?
While you technically can buy a car without insurance, you won’t be able to drive it off the lot, as it’s illegal to drive without insurance in all states except New Hampshire and Virginia. The dealership will require proof of auto insurance, whether it’s a new or existing policy, for you to legally drive the car you just purchased. In sum, for you to get the car off the lot, liability insurance is your financial responsibility. Make sure you have a current driver’s license as well!
Existing Auto Insurance
If you have existing auto insurance, you’ll have a grace period where any other cars you add or trade in will be covered under your policy for up to 30 days. In that time, you have to change your policy so that any other cars are covered when this grace period ends.
If you’re trading in a car:
- Call your insurance company to get insurance rate quotes for the car you want to trade in.
- Ask for the deadline for notifying your agent of the final purchase.
If you’re adding a brand-new car to your policy:
- Call your provider within seven to 30 days of buying your new car to verify your coverage.
When you call the insurance company, you’ll need the year, make, and model of the car as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN). The insurance company won’t need to see any paperwork but may want to physically inspect the car for damage, especially if it is used. The insurance carrier will then forward proof of insurance to you or to the dealership directly.
New vs. Used Cars
Whether you buy a used or a new car, you’ll need proof of insurance in order to drive it off the lot. That’s even true if you buy from a private seller in order to satisfy state auto insurance requirements.
What Should I Buy First, a Car or Insurance?
We recommend buying auto insurance before you buy a new car in order to drive it off the lot after you purchase it. However, many people aren’t sure exactly what car they will get, nor do they know its VIN. As you near the end of the buying process, call your insurance agent and have them run your new VIN so they can process the policy and get you the paperwork that day. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until your policy’s effective date to start driving.
Is Dealer Insurance Worth It?
Anyone who’s ever purchased a car from a dealership has probably experienced getting multiple offers from salespeople. Many dealerships offer their own auto insurance, but is it worth it?
Don’t make a quick decision. Instead, do your research. Here are the basic pros and cons of dealer insurance.