When to Buy Car Insurance for a New Car

If you’re buying a new car, you might be excited to get a new set of wheels. But before you drive off, you’re going to need to take care of car insurance ahead of time. Having car insurance is required before you can drive your vehicle off the lot. What type of car insurance you get is up to you, but most states have minimum liability requirements. You want to take care of your insurance requirements beforehand and will need some information about the car you’re buying. Here’s what to know about car insurance when buying a car plus steps on how to get car insurance before buying a car. 

How to Get Car Insurance Before Buying a Car | Metromile

Can you get insurance without a car? 

If you don’t currently have a car insurance policy (either on your own or as part of a multi-car policy in a family), you’ll need to get your own car insurance coverage.  

If you don’t have a car yet, it can seem odd to get car insurance. But you need car insurance when buying a car before you go anywhere. So you can get insurance without a car but it’ll require some specific steps. Here’s how to get car insurance before buying a car. 

How to get car insurance before buying a car in 4 easy steps 

Step 1: Know what type of vehicle you plan on getting 

You want to do your research ahead of time and know what type of vehicle you’re planning on buying. To get car insurance, you need to provide specific information so your insurer can properly evaluate risk. The type of car you buy and how old it is can impact your car insurance rates. The information you’ll need includes:

  • Vehicle make and model (manufacturer and type of car)
  • VIN
  • Mileage on the car
  • Vehicle history report 

Having this info can make the car insurance process easier. If you were thinking about when to buy car insurance for a new car, you want to do it ahead of time to avoid any trouble. 

Step 2: Confirm with the dealership 

As part of getting the important information about the car you want to buy and securing car insurance coverage, you’ll want to confirm your upcoming purchase with the dealership. Let them know you’re planning to buy the car so you can get the info you need and get properly insured ahead of time. 

Step 3: Comparison shop for insurance quotes 

After getting the information you need to get car insurance before buying a car, it’s time to look for auto insurance coverage. It’s typically best to comparison shop and review a minimum of three insurers. 

You can look at various types of coverage including liability, comprehensive, and collision. If you won’t be driving all the time, you may be a low-mileage driver. You could lower your auto insurance costs by opting for pay-per-mile coverage

Step 4: Choose your auto insurer and submit an application 

After looking around at auto insurance rates, you can select the insurer you’d like to move forward with and choose what type of policy you’ll have. Make sure you have the minimum liability coverage for your state and have the best coverage type for your needs. 

You can typically fill out an application online. Make sure you provide all the information that is required. At Metromile, you can get a quote in just five minutes. 

Once you submit your application and it’s approved, you can pay your car insurance premium and have your insurance activated in time for buying the car. 

Is it possible to buy a new car without insurance? 

You might wonder if you can buy a new car and just drive home and get insured later. You think it’s not that long and it’s just for a short while. But to legally get behind the wheel, you need to have car insurance coverage. 

States have minimum requirements and you want to protect yourself and your vehicle as well. Driving without insurance may cost you financially in the event of an accident. If you get pulled over and don’t have insurance, you could get hit with fines and even a suspended license. 

As long as you’re behind the wheel, you want continuous car insurance coverage to remain in good legal standing and to protect yourself and others. 

Will a car dealership need proof of car insurance when buying a car? 

Typically, a car dealership must see proof of car insurance when buying a car. So before you get your car, you’ll need to provide proof of insurance either with your insurance card or by having your insurer contact the dealership. 

If you’re financing your vehicle, your lender may also want to verify your insurance coverage as well. You’ll also need to let the insurer know you’re financing your vehicle and have relevant information ready to avoid any trouble. 

Is it possible to get car insurance when buying a car on the same day? 

You know you need car insurance when buying a car, but can you get it the same day? You might be able to get insurance coverage within a day, but it can depend on the insurer. Make sure you have all the data you need to include in your insurance application. 

The more time you have to make it official the better. If nothing else, you might have to wait another day to pick up your car before driving it home with a proper car insurance policy in place. 

The bottom line 

Getting a new car can be exciting, but it’s key to know when to buy car insurance for a new car — ahead of time! You want to make sure you’re covered before you drive your new car and the dealership and lender may require proof of insurance as well. If you’re looking for auto coverage and won’t be driving that often, consider pay-per-mile coverage with Metromile. Why pay for miles you aren’t driving, when you can get insurance coverage based on the miles you do drive plus an affordable base rate? Grab a free quote with Metromile to see how much you could save. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.