How Long Do You Have to Get Insurance After Buying a Used Car?

There are a lot of things to take care of when purchasing a vehicle – new or used. 

One of the most important things to take care of is your new insurance policy. 

This page will go over the general requirements and some tips for getting insurance after buying a car. 

Car Insurance When Buying a Car

Do you need to get car insurance when you buy a car?

The short answer is yes. 

Some sort of financial responsibility (a.k.a. car insurance) will be required for you to title, register, and drive your newly purchased vehicle. 

Basically, once you and the seller sign all the paperwork and complete the transaction, you should have a car insurance policy for the vehicle in your name. 

Once you take ownership of the vehicle, the seller will release their own liability in it, and anything that happens to it or by it falls to your responsibility. 

The smartest thing to do is to purchase a new car insurance policy at the same time or before you finish the transaction. 

With most insurance providers, you should be able to complete a quote and purchase the policy online or over the phone. 

When you purchase the policy, you’ll typically receive instant proof of insurance. 

If you’re buying at a dealership, you’ll usually need to show them proof of insurance before they let you leave with the car. 

Grace Period for Buying a New Car Insurance Policy

If you already have a car insurance policy on another car that you own, some car insurance companies offer a small grace period for the new vehicle. 

Depending on the car insurance company, there may be a grace period ranging anywhere from 7 to 30 days in which your newly purchased vehicle will be covered by your existing plan. 

Car Insurance Quotes Before Buying a Used Car

During the shopping process, you can get as many insurance quotes as you’d like. 

In fact, comparing car insurance quotes before you buy the car is a smart idea. 

Since insurance will factor into the overall cost of ownership, it’s a good idea to know how much it will cost up front. 

All you’ll need to start a policy is the car’s vehicle identification number

Remember, the type and amount of coverage you’ll be required to carry will often depend on how you’ve decided to purchase or finance the vehicle. 

In most cases:

  • Leased vehicles will require comprehensive, collision, and liability coverage. 
  • Financed vehicles will require comprehensive, collision, and liability coverage. 
  • Purchased vehicles and owned vehicles will only be required to meet the state’s requirements for minimum liability coverage. 

If you lease or finance the vehicle, you may also want to consider gap insurance.

So, there you have it. Whenever you purchase a new or used vehicle, you need to think about your insurance requirements. 

Avoid any surprises of high premiums by comparing quotes before you finish the purchase.