Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2022

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

At a Glance

  • Your car will need to be registered and insured to be driven on the road
  • Some insurance companies will let you get a jump start on the application
  • If you already have insurance, you may be able to get an additional discount for insuring mroe than one vehicle

Do you need insurance before you buy a car? If you plan to drive your vehicle on the road, you’ll be legally required to have it registered and insured. If you already have an insurer, you may be able to get discounted auto insurance rates on the vehicles that you already have.

Now that you know you need auto insurance before you buy a car enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to see what you could pay for new auto insurance coverage.

Do you need insurance before you buy a car?

According to Vanderbilt, if you’re planning on purchasing a new vehicle, you’ll need the minimum amount of auto insurance before driving it on the road. As you might expect, this can be a tricky process unless you know the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN.)

Even if you don’t know what vehicle you’re getting, you can still input your information, so the insurer has everything ready when you input the car. When you apply for a new auto insurance policy, they’ll request information based on:

  • Your birthday
  • Home address
  • Frequency of use

Before your insurer gives you a policy, they’ll subject you to underwriting. During this process, the insurer will consider any risk factors in your life. Your insurer underwriting your car is only a tiny piece of the process, and your insurer will be much more interested in any risks you pose.

By providing this basic information, you’ll make it easier to get vehicle insurance quotes online.

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Is it possible to get auto insurance without a car?

If you want to get the most accurate quote, you’ll need to provide the insurer with the most up-to-date information that you can. This means including your car’s information, so your insurer knows about any risks or safety features that may affect the price.

If you provide your insurer with all the other information, it’ll make it easier just to input the vehicle information. For example, if you have an idea of the make and model you want, you’ll be able to get a precise quote.

Some of the information you can provide to your insurer before the car includes:

  • All the drivers’ names and birthdays
  • Driver license numbers
  • Where you will park the vehicle

This information isn’t dependant on your vehicle and can help you get a jump start on applying for your auto insurance policy. Once you know which car you’re using, you’ll be able to put that in and get coverage before you leave the dealership.

Do car dealerships require auto insurance to purchase a vehicle?

Do I need insurance to buy a car from a dealership? Yes, you’ll need to have some form of an auto insurance policy before you drive your new vehicle off the lot. If you didn’t have insurance on the car, you could end up facing dangers when you leave the lot like:

  • Collision
  • Vandalism
  • Weather damage

If something happens to your vehicle that isn’t covered by its warranty, you’ll have to foot the bill for the repairs. As you can imagine, this would be a heavy price after you’ve just purchased the vehicle.

Do I get auto insurance before I buy a used car?

If you’re wondering how to get insurance before buying a used car, you may want to wait until you have a vehicle to insure. Used vehicles are subject to more surprises when it comes to how they run. So unless you’re getting the car from a certified used dealer, you likely won’t know everything about it.

Depending on where you get the vehicle from, it may be even more critical to make sure that your car is insured when it’s used. If only because your used vehicle won’t have any form of warranty that will keep you from being entirely responsible for any repairs.

Can I drive a new car without insurance?

In most states, it is illegal to drive a car on the road without auto insurance. Even if you’ve just bought the vehicle and are driving it home, you’ll still need to have the minimum amount of coverage that’s required in your state. If you don’t have insurance, you may be unable to drive the car off the lot.

How soon after buying a car do you need insurance?

If you have just bought a vehicle, you need to get it insured before driving it anywhere on the road. Your car will need insurance at the dealership before you’re able to take it home. The dealership may also require proof of your insurance before you’re allowed to drive the car off the lot.

Can you get auto insurance the same day you purchase a vehicle?

Yes, you can likely get a quality auto insurance policy before you ever leave the dealership. If you’re worried about not having enough time to fill out the application, you can input all the information besides your car ahead of time. When you know which vehicle you’ll be getting, you’ll be more able to understand

What is the best way to update your insurance when you get a new car?

When you buy a new car, you may want to add it to your current auto insurance policy. The good news is that most insurers will be happy to cover your new vehicle. Your insurer may also be willing to give you up to a 25% discount on your rates for insuring more than one car.

Some of the easiest ways that you can update your insurer about your new information include:

  • Emailing the VIN to your agent ahead of time
  • Using the app or website to fill out the vehicle’s information
  • Calling the customer service line located on your insurance card

You should be aware that you will likely have to pay additional costs to add the vehicle, but it will also translate into yearly savings with discounted rates.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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Auto Insurance for A New Car: The Bottom Line

If you need to get insurance on a new vehicle, you can likely find many companies willing to let you get a jump start on the application before you have a car. Once you get the Vehicle Identification Number, you can finish the coverage application and be on the road. If you already have an existing insurance policy, you may be able to get a discount.

Now that you know you do need insurance before you buy a car enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to see what you could pay.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.