How long do you have to get insurance after buying a used car?


Most states allow insurance companies to give a grace period for drivers to add a used car. Learn more about getting insurance for a used car so that you aren’t caught driving without insurance.

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Written by
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Reviewed by
Farmers CSR for 4 Years
UPDATED: 2022-06-22T16:43:40.392Z
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Newly purchased used car with used car insurance.

Overview:

  • You will usually have a week to 30 days to add your used car to your insurance policy
  • It is best to call your insurance company the same day you buy the car
  • If you don’t have an insurance policy, you won’t be able to buy a used car from a dealership

How long you have to get car insurance depends on whether you have car insurance before buying a car. If you already have a car insurance plan, you generally have to add the car to your existing insurance policy from a week to a month.

If you don’t have car insurance, you will usually need to purchase it before buying a car. Buying online car insurance is usually easy, quick, and can be done before taking the used car home. It also allows you to compare rates and companies to find the best car insurance for your used car.

Read on to learn more about getting insurance for your used car so that you aren’t caught driving without insurance.

Time Period to Getting Insurance After Buying a Used Car

Grace periods to get insurance vary from state to state and from insurer to insurer, so we recommend calling and asking your insurer what the grace period is to add a car to your insurance.

When You Have Insurance Before Buying a Used Car

If you buy from a used car dealership, they will request proof of insurance before you can buy the car. Your insurance company has a grace period that you are covered under your car insurance policy even though your used car isn’t added.

This grace period varies by insurer and state, so it’s important to give your insurance company a call before buying a used car. The last thing you want is to go over the grace period and drive without insurance. Some states may also not allow insurers to give a grace period, so it is important always to check first.

While it’s best to give your insurance company a call on the same day you buy your used car, you usually have anywhere from a week to 30 days to contact your insurance company and add your used car to your policy.

When You Don’t Have Insurance Before Buying a Used Car

If you don’t have an insurance policy before you buy a car, you generally won’t be able to buy a used car unless you purchase it through a private seller. However, if you drive this used car from a private seller without buying insurance, you are illegally driving.

The penalty for driving without insurance varies from state to state, but drivers can generally expect heavy fines, loss of license, higher insurance rates, and similar consequences.

If you are trying to buy a used car from a dealership, you will first need to buy an insurance policy. If you are trying to buy a used car on the weekend, you’ll have to wait until a weekday when insurance companies are open to give them a call. However, some insurance companies will allow you to sign up for an insurance policy online on the weekend and will review your information on a weekday.

Information Needed for Used Car Insurance

To get a car insurance policy for a used car, you must provide your personal contact information, past driving history, and vehicle information. For example, suppose you already have a car insurance policy and want to add your recently purchased used car to that policy. In that case, you can generally use your online account or call the car insurance company to add the used car to the policy. Buying online car insurance can be a quick and easy process.

The car insurance company will generally ask for the following information on the vehicle:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Model
  • Make
  • Year
  • Color

The car insurance company representative will then give you a quote for the cost of insuring your used car. You can add your vehicle or decline and get a different insurance policy with another company.

The Final Word on Car Insurance Grace Period for Used Cars

The best thing to figure out how long you have to get car insurance for a used car is to call your car insurance company. If you don’t have car insurance, you will need to buy car insurance before purchasing a vehicle, as driving without any insurance policy is illegal.

To find a reasonable rate for your used car in your area, use a quote comparison tool to compare different car insurance companies.

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