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.

Key Takeaways

  • If you are buying a car for the first time, and don’t already have auto insurance, you must purchase a policy before taking possession of your new vehicle.
  • If you are replacing an existing car on your policy, you typically have from 7 to 30 days to inform your insurer of your new car. However, some insurers don’t provide automatic coverage so check before buying your new car.
  • Whenever you make any changes to your policy, such as adding a new car, it can pay to shop around for car insurance.

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.