Many drivers wonder, do you need insurance before you buy your car? If you do not already have car insurance, the world of insurance can seem a bit confusing. In fact, even if you have been dealing with auto insurance for years, the entire process can still seem and feel frustrating and even overwhelming. There are questions like these as well as dozens of others to be answered. Not all of the mystery can be taken out of the equation when it comes to answering your auto insurance policy questions, but you can hopefully make some sense of the questions that you do need answered.
So, do you need insurance before you buy your car?
The truth is it can depend on the situation. The key is to realize if you are walking onto a car lot and getting your very first automobile ever and have never had an insurance policy, you will need to get coverage first. So, now you may be wondering how you would go about doing this? Here’s the general scenario:
- You have a few options before buying that car and driving off the lot. You may want to browse the car lots and get some ides of the cars you are interested in and do some figuring in your spare time. Usually you would then use a handy online site to use your zip code and the data about your potential new car choices to get an idea of rates for auto insurance. This can be a very useful tool because too many drivers do not get an idea of what their insurance will be until too late, only to find out for that flashy new convertible the monthly car insurance rates could be as much as the car loan payment.
- You can also usually check on auto insurance rates while you are at the dealership. If you are planning on doing this, it is a good idea to allow yourself enough time to browse cars as well as possible insurance rates. The dealership should allow you access to the internet so you can shop quotes and secure a policy online in order to get your car.
Either way, if you do not already have any type of auto insurance coverage, you will need a policy before you can finish the deal. The bottom line is you usually need to have proof of insurance sent over to satisfy the lender before you can drive off the lot with your new vehicle.
However, if you already have an insurance policy on your current vehicle, you may be able to use this to at least drive off the lot. From there you will have to make immediate changes to make sure you car is insured for regular driving and use. Some insurance companies allow a 5-day or even 30-day grace period for a new car purchase. Whenever possible though, it is a good idea to get coverage for your new car before you get it.
- This helps protect you, but also helps you avoid rate surprises. If you are a young driver, have problems with your driving record or are considered a high risk driver for some other reason, you could be quite shocked by your potential coverage rates. If you do not bother to find out ahead of time how much they can be, you could end up spending most of your monthly income on your car loan and insurance premiums.
- You can usually call and adjust your current policy from the dealership in order to cover the car until you get home. From there you can still shop around for and buy online auto insurance coverage for your new car.
What if these rates are higher than you can afford?
First of all, if you are concerned about your rates potentially being steep because of your lack of driving experience, checkered driving or insurance past or due to the type of vehicle you are financing, it is very important that you shop for auto insurance before you sign on the dotted line and lock yourself into the new car payment. If you call your current car insurance policy provider and do not like the quotes you get, keep a few things in mind.
- It may just be your current car insurance policy provider. By looking to buy online car insurance, you can browse plenty of competitive quotes for auto insurance rates. In fact, this is the best way to ensure that you get the cheapest and most affordable rates possible.
- If the general costs from the quotes you get are still too high, you may need to reconsider your automobile choice. Obviously the flashier, faster and sportier the car the more your insurance rates are bound to be. See if there is any difference in even a different color for the same car. Or try a slightly watered down and less sporty version of this model. You may even find that between two different cars from different manufacturers the rates could be different based on safety ratings.
- Finally also try to opt for safety features versus fancy whistles and bells. The extra side airbags instead of the sun roof could make a huge difference in your auto insurance rates. Not to mention the sticker price may be lower as well. If there is a certain car you have your heart set on, the trick is to try to make sure you find the safest and least flashy version possible to help reduce the risk as well as the auto insurance rates.
Keep in mind, the dealership may have a policy provider they recommend, but often they arrange to get referral fees. Always check by shopping around for rates yourself instead of assuming their policy provider will be the most affordable.
Ready to go car and auto insurance policy shopping? You can begin by using nothing more than your zip code to get the ball rolling. Soon you will have answers for your car insurance rate questions and be able to drive off the lot in your new car.