How to Buy a Car Without Insurance

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Things to remember...

  • Buying auto insurance is a critical part of the car-buying process
  • Technically, you can purchase a car without having car insurance, but you will not be allowed to drive it off the lot
  • To purchase without insurance, simply complete the purchase process, and leave the car at the dealership
  • You can always come back later with insurance. Getting auto insurance requires a few simple steps

Cars are one of the most important and expensive investments a person makes. Not only do they cost upfront, but owners can expect to regularly pay fees throughout the life of the car.

Once such fee is insurance. Auto insurance can sometimes be challenging to obtain and even more challenging to keep. This often tempts people into wondering if they can get by without it.

The answer to that question is, “It depends.”

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Can I buy a car without it?

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You don’t need insurance to buy a car, only to drive it. Therefore, in order to buy a car without insurance, simply go through the car buying process as usual, and sign the papers.

But, because dealers in most states will not let you leave the lot without presenting proof of insurance, you must leave the car at the dealership until you can get some.

Even states that don’t require you to get insurance through an insurance company will want you to place a deposit with your local government to cover you in case you’re in an accident.

Getting Insurance Fast

If you do have an insurance agent, it is relatively easy to get coverage for your new vehicle.

Once you’ve selected the car you want, fax your agent the details from the dealership so they can issue an insurance binder that will take effect immediately.

You may also be able to get in touch with your insurance company’s weekend car-buying hotline.

Because many insurance companies anticipate clients buying cars on the weekend, they set up a hotline you can call right from the dealership to get your new car added to your policy right away.

If you call the hotline and can’t get your own agent on the phone, simply call them the following week and explain the situation. They should transfer the paperwork without a problem.

Using an Existing Policy

Alternatively, you may already have the coverage you need. Check your existing policy. There is often a provision to insure new vehicles automatically.

This provision keeps your new car covered for a few days until you can officially add it to your policy. This gives you time to call your insurance company and tell them to remove your old vehicle from your policy, add the new one or both.

To find out if you have this provision, contact your agent or refer to your policy’s declarations page. It will tell you the extent of the coverage and how long you have before it expires.

While convenient, this option can be risky as many dealers and even some law enforcement agencies aren’t aware of it.

The dealer may ask you to provide written proof from your agent that your new car will be temporarily covered, and even then, this may be considered insufficient to get you off the lot.

This is especially true if the dealership is financing you, as most banks and lenders require proof of insurance before you can leave with the car.

Even if your dealer does consider this sufficient proof and does let you off the lot, you should still book an appointment with your insurance agent as soon as possible to officially add the new car.

Otherwise, you may be in for a very inconvenient traffic stop.

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Planning Ahead

If you have already picked one specific car, give your agent the details and have it insured before you go pick it up.

Set the effective date for prior to the date you will officially purchase the car. Include all the car’s vital information such as the VIN number and purchase price.

Use this option only when you’re rock-solid on the exact car you will purchase and have negotiated the details once and for all.

Tips for Getting Your First Policy

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It’s relatively easy for experienced drivers with existing auto insurance policies to insure their new car.

In some cases, it is even optional for them to drive off the lot before the new car is added to the policy. However, it is a good idea for new drivers to always have insurance before purchasing a car. If you are a new driver, here are some tips for securing your first policy.

  • When shopping cars, familiarize yourself with typical insurance rates for the makes and models that appeal to you. Use a price comparison site to see what insurance companies in your zip code are charging for different types of cars.
  • Auto insurance is especially expensive for new drivers. Compare prices and see if you can get added to someone else’s insurance. A spouse, parent or older sibling may be willing to help out.
  • In a pinch, you may be able to get your first policy right at the dealership. Ask your salesperson if they will allow you to access the internet and shop for insurance before you get your car. If so, it’s possible that you can sign up for a policy right then and there and get your agent to fax proof of insurance to the dealership immediately so you can drive off.

Getting a new car is always an exciting time, and it’s totally possible to enjoy it without having car insurance. However, if you plan on going home with it anytime soon, you need to be insured.

Use these simple guidelines to get you behind the wheel and off the lot sooner rather than later.

Enter your zip code below to find car insurance rates that work for you!

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