Ask the Car Insurance Expert
QDo I need to purchase car insurance before I buy a new car?
If this is your first car and you don't already have car insurance, you'll need it before you drive the new car off the lot. In addition, if you're financing the vehicle, your lender will likely require you to have insurance at the time of the purchase.
If you already have car insurance and you're replacing your car, you generally have anywhere between 7 to 30 days to notify your insurance company of the purchase. However, some policies do not extend you coverage at all, you must call immediately to add your new vehicle to your policy.
With an existing policy that contained comprehensive and collision, your auto insurance premium for these coverages will be adjusted based on the new vehicle make and model. Your liability premium will also be affected. Inform your insurance company about the new car within the appropriate window, if you are given a grace period to add it, or you could be driving without coverage.
Rules vary by insurance company with regards to adding a new car to a ongoing auto policy. For example, some insurers provide automatic coverage for the additional car but you must still notify them within 30 days, while other insurers provide no automatic coverage for additional cars.
When you're shopping for a new car, you really should also shop around for car insurance. Even if you have an existing auto policy, it may be cheaper to insure your vehicles with a new car insurance company. Use our car insurance comparison tool to find the average cost of car insurance on new vehicles.
For more, read about car insurance coverage for new cars.