Can I park my car on the road with no insurance?

FREE Auto Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!

Here's what you need to know...
  • In almost every state, state law says that you must purchase and maintain auto insurance when a vehicle is registered in your name
  • As the legal owner of a vehicle, you are liable to pay for any damages that the vehicle causes an accident
  • If you fail to buy a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage, the state can penalize you with monetary fines, vehicle registration suspension, license suspensions, or criminal penalties
  • Not only is it illegal to drive a vehicle with no insurance on public roads, but it’s also illegal to park an uninsured vehicle on public streets
  • If your vehicle is parked on a public road and law enforcement discovers it, you could be cited


When you buy a car, it’s your responsibility as a car owner to learn about car insurance laws. In most states, the legal owner is required to buy insurance in their name and maintain it without a lapse in coverage. Failing to keep coverage could result in some serious fines and penalties.

It’s easy to assume that you only need insurance when you intend on driving a vehicle on public roads and freeways. While insurance is required to operate a vehicle, it’s also required to park your vehicle in certain areas.

Here’s what you need to know before you leave any uninsured vehicle parked on the road.

Make sure you’re never without coverage! Comparison shop today by entering your zip code into our FREE online tool above!

What are state auto insurance requirements?

Auto insurance requirements are set by state officials, which is why the limit and coverage requirements vary so much from state to state.

Some states operate under a tort system, and others operate under a no-fault system. The coverage that’s required is dependent on the type of system that’s used in the state.

FREE Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is a tort state?

A majority of states operate under tort law. Tort law, as it relates to auto accidents, states that any driver who’s negligent for injuries in an accident must pay for the damages that they cause.

Since you must pay for third-party damages in a tort state, you’re required to carry at least the following coverage options:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – pays for third-party medical bills, rehabilitation costs, funeral expenses, and other related expenses when you cause injuries in an accident
  • Property Damage Liability – pays for the cost to repair or replace property that’s owned by someone else

What is a no-fault state?

There are only 12 states that operate under a no-fault insurance system. In no-fault states, every vehicle owner buys their own medical benefits to cover the cost to get treatment after an accident.

Every state has their own modified form of no-fault coverage because there is not a pure no-fault system.

Since first-party Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is required, drivers file a claim against their insurance when they have an accident that results in injury. This rule typically only applies to injury claims. Coverage requirements in no-fault states may include:

  • Personal Injury Protection – pays for medical bills, transportation, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and funeral costs
  • Bodily Injury – only required in some no-fault states
  • Property Damage – required in most no-fault states to pay for the cost to repair cars and other property that’s damaged in an at-fault accident

Who is required to buy auto insurance?

You don’t just need auto insurance to drive a car; you need auto insurance to own a car.

If you’re the legal owner of a private passenger vehicle that’s registered to be driven on public roads, the vehicle must be insured by a licensed auto insurance carrier.

If a car doesn’t have the appropriate amount of coverage, the legal owner will be penalized.

What happens if you park an uninsured car on a public road?

By law, any vehicle that’s parked on a public road must have a valid registration. This law exists because you pay taxes when you register your car to use public roads.

If your vehicle is registered, you’re required to have auto insurance.

Since you need valid plates to use public roads and you need insurance to keep your registration, insurance is an indirect requirement.

What are the penalties for owning a car without insurance?

 

Failing to get insurance could result in major fines, even if you’re not driving your car. If you’re driving your vehicle, you can be cited. You can also face license suspensions and registration suspensions if you’re caught driving without insurance.

If your vehicle is parked, you may be issued a ticket, or the car could be towed and impounded, which is why it’s important to comply with state laws.

Impound costs can add up fast, especially if the state requires the car to stay in the yard for a specified period of time.

If you don’t have insurance, and you plan on parking your vehicle in a public lot, it’s time to get coverage. Use an online rate comparison tool to price the cost of insurance on your vehicle. Once you’ve found a competitive price, you can pay the premium and bind coverage to avoid penalties.

Start comparison shopping now for the best rate on auto insurance! Just enter your zip code in our free tool below!

FREE Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

[0-9]
[0-9]