How do I transfer auto insurance to a new car purchase?

If you want to transfer auto insurance to a new car, you need to inform your auto insurance company. Your insurer will help you assess your coverage needs during the transferring of auto insurance to your new vehicle. If you opt for full coverage, your average monthly auto insurance rates will be around $79.58. You will also need to overlap the policy dates when transferring your insurance to another car to avoid a lapse in coverage. Compare rates now.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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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, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Transferring insurance to a new car is not difficult to do
  • Be sure to check with your state’s auto insurance laws before making you transfer auto insurance to a new car
  • If you decide to keep your old car, you won’t be able to legally drive it without insurance

Transferring auto insurance is part of every new car purchase; thankfully, it’s not difficult to do. While you may have to jump through hoops to get a good deal,  you can often transfer auto insurance to a new car with a simple phone call or online transactions.

The only caution in purchasing a new car and transferring your auto insurance is to be sure you carefully follow auto insurance laws.

States take insurance lapses very seriously — they won’t be lenient if you mess things up. As long as your car dealer, bank, and insurance company are well coordinated you should be okay. All you’ll need to do is contact your insurance company to get the ball rolling.

Enter your ZIP code above and start comparing affordable auto insurance quotes now if you are ready to buy or transfer auto insurance to a new car.

What to Do When Transferring Auto Insurance to a New Car

What is my actual part in transferring auto insurance? Your auto insurance company takes care of all the paperwork and state filings, so you won’t have to worry about any of the technical parts of switching car insurance to a new car. But you do need to contact them either online or over the phone to tell them about your new purchase.

If you forgot to transfer insurance to your new car you can face fines or other penalties if you are caught driving without proper auto insurance coverage.

Most of the larger, nationally known insurance companies allow customers to alter their policies online. If yours does, you’ll be able to log on to your account, add your new car to your policy, and drop your old one at the same time.

How long do you have to transfer insurance to a new car? You’ll need to coordinate the dates so there’s no lapse, but you can accomplish this by allowing them to overlap by one day.

If you finance your new car purchase you’ll be required by your insurance company to provide the name and address of your lender. That’s because they need to know who else has a financial interest in the vehicle should it be totaled or stolen.

Sometimes this information can be entered online while other times it can only be done over the phone or in person. You’ll have to check with your car insurance company in order to know what’s required of you when transferring insurance to another car.

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What if I need additional auto insurance coverage?

The issue of needing additional coverage is actually quite common. People who previously drove an old junker with no collision coverage will find that a brand-new car will require collision or comprehensive by the bank financing it.

Fortunately, you can add to this coverage at the same time you’re transferring car insurance to another car.

The change to your policy will be made instantly, with no money up front in most cases, but you will receive a bill in the mail for the extra charges.

Take a look at the table below to see the average cost in the U.S. of adding extra coverages like collision and comprehensive.

Average Auto Insurance Rates by Coverage
Coverage TypesAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates
Comprehensive coverage$150.36$12.53
Collision coverage$299.73$24.97
Liability coverage$516.39$43.03
Total Full Coverage Cost $954.99$79.58
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One thing you do need to know about transferring insurance from one car to another is the fact that insurance companies tend to use policy changes such as these as an opportunity to update your coverage.

So when you transfer your insurance they’re likely to ask you the same questions they did when you first got your policy.

These questions will include the distance you drive to work every day, who drives your car most often, whether or not it’s stored in a garage, etc. Make sure you familarize yourself with the different types of auto insurance coverage, so you can make an educated choice.

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What Happens to Your Old Car After Auto Insurance Transfer

Obviously, if your old car has been traded in, the dealer will dispose of it either through a sale or by scrapping it.

Either way, once the dealer takes possession of the vehicle you are no longer responsible for it in any way.

All you need to worry about is making sure your new car is properly registered and insured. You also might want to check with your insurance company two to three days after the transaction to make sure your old car has been taken off your policy.

If you decide to keep your old car, you won’t be able to legally drive it without insurance.

In some states, like New York, the New York DMV requires drivers to surrender their plates and registration if insurance coverage lapses. This is to help prevent drivers from getting on the road without insurance.

In other states, where tags are permanently affixed to a vehicle for its lifetime, your registration will probably still be canceled once the insurance coverage is removed.

Rest assured that your insurance company will notify your state electronically when the insurance on your old car is dropped.

Fees for Auto Insurance Transfer to New Car

In most cases, you won’t be charged a fee for transferring your policy from one car to the next. That’s because you’re not really transferring your policy; you’re simply adding a new car and dropping an old one.

You may see a rise in your premiums, depending on the features of a new car, but there shouldn’t be any additional fees for transferring auto insurance.

If your insurance company does charge you a fee for a car insurance transfer, and that bothers you, you can always shop around for a new provider.

Assess Your Auto Insuance Coverage Needs For Your New Car

Before you buy auto insurance on your new car make sure have all of the coverage you need.

Talk to Your Auto Insurance Agent

Talk to your current agent and let them know you are buying a new car. It’s a great excuse to review your current policy and see what discounts or savings may be available to you.

Shop and Compare Auto Insurance Quotes

This is also an opportunity to shop around for an affordable new car auto insurance company. You may be able to find cheap new car auto insurance quotes from a competitor in your area.

There are several circumstances that might call for the transfer of auto insurance from one person to another

We hope our guide answered all your questions on how to transfer car insurance to another car.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Transferring Auto Insurance to a New Car

Can you transfer car insurance to another person?

There are several instances where an individual can transfer his/her car insurance to another person, most commonly during the change of car ownership.

Can you transfer car insurance to another state?

Most states require you to carry auto insurance but the coverage limits vary from state-to-state. Check with your current auto insurance agent to see if they can cover you in the new state and make any necessary updates to your policy.

If you are ready to transfer auto insurance to a new car or find better new car auto insurance rates, compare auto insurance rates online by entering your ZIP code below.

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