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How soon after buying a car do you need to get insurance?

Here's what you need to know...
  • If you’re about to purchase a vehicle, you need to get quotes for auto insurance first
  • You don’t legally have to buy car insurance until you are the legal owner and registered owner of the car
  • If you don’t already own a car, you need to buy insurance on the vehicle that you buy after you sign a bill of sale and before you drive it
  • When you already own a car and have a car insurance policy that’s written in your name, you don’t have to buy a new policy right away
  • Your existing coverage will satisfy insurance requirements on the new car for between 14 and 30 days

Buying a car takes a lot of preparation. Since it’s one of the larger items that you’ll purchase in your lifetime, it’s very important that you research all of your options before you decide on a model or a dealership.

If you already have a vehicle in mind, you should get as much done before you go to the dealer so that you have the best experience.

You may not be able to test drive a car and negotiate the sales price before you go on your shopping excursion, but you can take the steps that are necessary to buy insurance on your soon-to-be vehicle. When you live a busy life, it’s easy to put off important business.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have the right insurance in place when you buy your new car, you could be left waiting in the lobby. Here’s why it’s important to time your insurance right.

Compare car insurance quotes today by entering your zip code in our free tool above!

Shop For Auto Insurance Before You Shop for a New Car

Dollarphotoclub_86660480-1600x1600You need a car to buy insurance, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start shopping around early. In fact, when you’re looking for the best car for you and your family, it’s best that you shop for car insurance before you even start shopping for a car.

When you have a general idea of how much insurance will cost on a car, you can decide if you can afford it.

Every vehicle has its own unique rates. Even the same models can have different rates if one vehicle is newer than the other. The rates for each vehicle are dependent on the car’s grade through to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

They are also dependent on the following:

Do you need insurance to test drive cars at a dealership?

You don’t legally have to have insurance until you own a car. Since the inventory that you’re test driving is owned by the dealer, the dealer can’t require you to have insurance.

You’re free to test drive as many cars as you want at any legitimate dealership without having your own existing policy.

While the company has its own policy to protect them from a lawsuit after an accident, there’s still a chance that someone injured in an accident can sue you for being reckless.

So even though you’re not required by any type of vehicle code to have insurance on a car you’re test driving, it’s in your best interest to have some protection.

When are you legally required to have auto insurance on a vehicle?

adobestock_80589156-1600x1600When insurance is mandatory, you must have insurance on a car as soon as you become the vehicle owner.

Since you’ll become the owner of any car that you buy while you’re still at the dealership, you need to have insurance in place at some point while you’re buying your car before you even go home.

Every state has different mandatory insurance laws. A few states don’t require insurance but most do. What the state has mandated as compulsory and what the dealership requires are two different things.

If you’re financing a car, the dealer must verify that you have full coverage insurance on the car.

Full coverage is required on cars that are being financed because it’s a condition of your auto loan.

It doesn’t matter if you’re financing your car directly through your credit union or you’re getting a loan through the dealership, you still need to demonstrate evidence that you have comprehensive and collision to protect the collateral.

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Does having existing insurance make everything easier?

You might feel rushed after learning that you have to have insurance immediately after buying a car, but you’ll be happy to hear that it’s all a lot easier when you already have a policy in place.

If you already own a car that’s insured in your name, your existing policy will give you some extra time to insure the car.

If you have a standard personal auto policy, the terms of the policy say that your coverage will extend automatically to a car that you buy during the policy period. Even though coverage does extend without a phone call, it won’t protect you forever.

Here are some things that you need to know about newly acquired vehicle coverage:

  • Coverage will extend to an additional car for 14 to 30 days
  • Coverage will extend to a vehicle replacing another on the policy for the rest of the term
  • If you haven’t called your agent to add the new car by the end of the coverage period, your coverage will lapse
  • You will get the broadest form of coverage that you carry on the car
  • If you don’t have full coverage, you’ll receiveĀ four days of comprehensive and collision cover on the new car

If you don’t currently have insurance, now’s the time to buy a policy. Start getting quotes on the cars that you like the most and budget for insurance premiums by entering your zip code below.

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