Do I need car insurance if I don’t drive my car?

Most states require car owners to buy auto insurance, even if you aren't driving. If you can't suspend coverage, save up to 30% with discounts for low mileage.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates...

Full Bio →

Written by

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance...

Full Bio →

Reviewed byDaniel Walker
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 23, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Things to remember...

  • Car insurance is required if you have a vehicle registered
  • Most states require all vehicles to be registered
  • At least some kind of coverage is important to have on your car, even if you’re not driving it

You want to try to save yourself as much money as possible. Although you can find affordable car insurance premiums, if you don’t need to pay them at all, it’s certainly a benefit.

If you don’t drive your car, you might think that you can eliminate car insurance. However, in most instances, you are still required to have a policy.

Find the best rates available for the coverage you need by entering your zip code above.

Why do you have the car?

If you don’t drive your car, you have to ask yourself why you continue to hold onto it. If there is no reason for you to have a car, you might want to consider selling it so that you don’t need to maintain car insurance on it.

If you are no longer able to drive and you have the car because you are saving it for someone, you might be able to reduce the total level of coverage. Then, once you give the car to someone else, the title transfers to their name and they are responsible for the car insurance.

If you aren’t driving your car because you are temporarily not using it, then you might want to look at suspending the car insurance.

Suspending is an option with certain insurance companies and could save you some money. Instances where you might want to do suspend coverage include:

  • Going away to college
  • Traveling abroad
  • Being deployed with the military

Whatever the reason, you might not want to get rid of your car. In the meantime, you need to have car insurance in place. It is what will allow you to be compliant with state law. If you have a vehicle registered, then you need to have insurance.

Some states will vary in terms of what kind of coverage you need to have, however. These requirements might help you to save a little bit of money.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What Auto Insurance is Required

The car insurance you are required to have is identified by the state you live in. This requirement will include property damage and bodily injury liability. It is what covers you in the event of being involved in a car accident with another vehicle.

If you don’t drive your car, then you are at no risk of actually getting into an accident so you may be wasting your money every month on car insurance premiums. However, it is required that you have the policy.

If you have liability levels above and beyond what the state requires, you can drop down to the minimum requirements. You might also want to consider obtaining comprehensive coverage.

Comprehensive coverage will take care of protecting your car inside your garage or anywhere else it might be parked.

It would allow you to be protected against such things as:

  • Vandalism
  • Riot damage
  • Floods

Comprehensive coverage is what protects you against all non-driving related incidents. It is what covers you against the things that you could not possibly predict would happen to your car.

If you don’t drive your car but you want to keep it in good condition, it’s a good idea to have this coverage in place. Otherwise, any damage would be your own financial responsibility. Depending on the damage, this cost could add up to thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs.

Why You Want to Keep a Policy Active

Even though you could save money and potentially not have a car insurance policy, you have to look at the reasons for keeping the policy active.

The first is that you want to avoid a gap in coverage. If you plan on driving your car again, you will need to have insurance in place. If you have gone months (or years) without insurance, then it shows as a gap.

This gap makes it more difficult to get coverage, particularly at an affordable rate.

Another reason to keep it active is so you can have comprehensive coverage in place. Otherwise, you run the risk of something happening to your car when it is off the road.

Your home insurance is likely not going to cover damage to your vehicle.

Ways to Save on Auto Insurance

Once you decide that you are keeping the car but you don’t drive, there are ways to save on car insurance. You might qualify for all sorts of different discounts.

One of the best discounts to look for is a “low mileage” discount. This discount will allow you to save money because you are telling the insurance company that you are not putting a lot of miles on your car.

When you are not behind the wheel for extended periods of time, you are lower risk. Insurance companies reward you with lower premiums any time you can reduce your risk.

Other discounts you might qualify for include:

  • multi-car
  • multi-driver
  • employment-based discounts

The best thing to do is look at what the various insurance companies offer.

This option gives you the opportunity to save more money on your premiums while being compliant with state requirements.

If you don’t drive your car, you are still likely going to want car insurance. It might be required by the state, especially if your car is registered. This required coverage doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money.

Get quotes from multiple insurance companies to try and get the lowest premium. Enter your zip code below to compare rates and find the best insurer for your needs.

Reduce the liability coverage, too, as you are not at risk of getting into an accident on the road if you are not behind the wheel. Otherwise, if you have no intention of ever driving again, it’s best to sell the car.

FREE Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption