How long do you have to get insurance after buying a used car?
In nearly every state, you'll need to provide proof of insurance before taking a used vehicle home from the dealership. If you don't have insurance when you purchase your used car, you won't be able to drive it off the lot until you have a policy. If you already have insurance, you can add the used car to your policy, though you generally have a week to a month to do so after buying it, depending on the insurer.
In nearly every state, you'll need to provide proof of insurance before taking a used vehicle home from the dealership.
Do I need insurance before I buy a used car?
You may be able to buy a used car without having an insurance policy, such as from a private seller, but you will not be able to legally drive the vehicle without car insurance. It's a good idea to get a car insurance quote before buying a used car so you have a ballpark estimate of how much it will cost to insure. Having a quote in hand will also make it faster to purchase a policy after the sale is complete.
If I already have car insurance, do I need a separate policy for my used car?
You don't need a separate car insurance policy for your used car, even if your existing policy only covers new vehicle(s). You do need to inform your insurance company that you bought a used car and would like to add it to your policy. If insurance rates change after adding your used car, you will be responsible for paying the difference in premium costs.
Many insurance companies offer a temporary grace period to add a newly purchased car to your policy. During this grace period, your existing insurance policy will cover your car, even if it hasn't been added to the policy yet. For example, Progressive gives you 30 days to add a newly acquired car to your policy.
How much does used car insurance cost?
Insurance rates for used cars will vary based on several factors, including:
- Where you live
- The minimum coverage required by your state
- Your age — insurance rates can be higher for young adults and older drivers
- The car's make and model
Learn more about the factors that impact your car insurance rate.
Is it cheaper to insure a new car or a used car?
In many cases, a used car can be cheaper to insure than a new one, especially if you carry comprehensive or collision coverage. Since used cars are generally worth less than new ones, they can be cheaper to repair or replace. However, car insurance rates depend less on whether the car is used or new and more on the details of the vehicle and your policy, including the car's make and model, your location, and the amount of coverage that you carry.
Is car insurance different for used cars than for new cars?
For the most part, there's no difference between insurance for used and new cars. Considerations for standard coverages like liability, uninsured motorist (UM), and personal injury protection (PIP) are generally the same. If your used car isn't worth that much, however, and you can cover the cost to repair or replace the vehicle yourself, you may not need comprehensive and collision coverage.
Learn more about dropping comprehensive and collision coverage.