UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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So you don’t have car insurance but you want to buy a new car. Are you able to buy a car and drive it off the lot the same day – even if you don’t have car insurance right now? Today, we’re going to answer that question and explain everything you need to know about getting car insurance the same day you buy a car.
If You Already Have Car Insurance, Then Your Insurance Typically Covers a New Car
If you already have car insurance, then your ordinary car insurance policy will likely cover you when driving a new car off the lot.
Most car insurance policies will provide automatic coverage for new car purchases equal to the broadest coverage on your current vehicle. In other words, if you already have car insurance and you want to buy a new vehicle, then your car insurance policy will typically cover you.
Some car insurance policies will only extend coverage for the drive from the dealership to your home. You are permitted to drive directly home from the dealership with full insurance coverage, for example, but you need to adjust insurance after you get home. In other cases, your car insurance will cover you for up to 4 days after purchasing your new vehicle.
There are some restrictions to this rule. If you only have one car listed on your policy, then your new vehicle will have the same coverage as your other vehicle. If you have multiple vehicles listed on your policy, then your new vehicle will have the same level of coverage as the highest protected vehicle on your policy.
In some cases, it’s best to notify your car insurance company from the dealership lot. You might provide your VIN and other details to your car insurance agent over the phone to adjust your policy. Some dealerships will not accept your insurance company’s “grace period” as valid proof of insurance. In this case, you might need your insurance company to fax paperwork to the dealership.
If You Don’t Have Insurance, Then You Need Car Insurance Prior to Driving your Car Off the Lot
Everything we said up above was written with the assumption that you already have car insurance before driving your car off the lot.
But what happens if you don’t already have car insurance? What happens if you’re not currently covered, or if this is your first vehicle?
In this situation, then you need to get insurance before driving off the lot. You are legally required to have car insurance in order to drive. Fortunately, most car insurance companies allow you to buy instant car insurance online or over the phone, at any time of the day or night.
How to Add Car Insurance Before You Buy
Generally, you’ll want to buy car insurance several days before buying your new vehicle. If you know which vehicle you want, for example, then you can buy car insurance for that specific vehicle. Make sure the car insurance is scheduled to be activated on the day you’re buying the vehicle from the dealership. Then, you can legally buy the vehicle and drive it off the lot that day while retaining full coverage.
Alternatively, if you didn’t prepare in advance, or if you’re jumping on an unexpected deal at a car dealership, then you can buy instant car insurance while you’re at the dealership. You can buy car insurance online, for example, and have the paperwork sent to you immediately before driving your vehicle off the lot.
Most insurance companies also have hotlines you can call. Some insurance companies will operate weekend hotlines, for example, when they would normally be closed, because they understand most vehicle buyers are purchasing vehicles on weekends.
All major insurance companies will have some type of hotline you can call to buy insurance immediately over the phone. Visit the website of any car insurance company to immediately buy insurance online or over the phone. Using this system, you can get car insurance immediately and drive your car off the lot the same day you buy the vehicle – regardless of whether or not you currently have car insurance.
If you’re buying a new vehicle and want to drive it off the lot, then you need car insurance coverage. You cannot drive a vehicle on a public road in the United States without car insurance.
If you already have a car insurance policy for another vehicle, then this car insurance policy will typically cover your new vehicle. Some policies automatically extend coverage for the drive from the dealership to your home. Other policies extend coverage for four days, which means you have four days to notify your car insurance company of your new vehicle. Some drivers will even call their insurance company from the dealership to change coverage before driving off the lot.
If you do not currently have car insurance, then you will need to have car insurance before driving the car off the dealership’s lot. The car dealership will not let you leave with the vehicle until you provide proof of insurance. In this case, you can buy car insurance instantly online or over the phone from any major car insurance company to ensure you’re able to drive the car off the lot the same day.