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Can i buy a car without insurance

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?

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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 faxed 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. 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.


Car ownership is declining, particularly among younger Americans. Many people, especially in urban areas, now prefer to use a car-sharing service or occasionally borrow or rent a car if they need to drive somewhere.

The challenge is that drivers must always have car insurance coverage when they’re behind the wheel. For some drivers, a “nonowner car insurance” policy may be the most economical way to protect themselves and their assets in case of an accident.

These policies typically offer only liability coverage, says Dan Ramsey, an independent insurance agent with Brandt, Ramsey and Associates in Alexandria, Va.

“Nonowner car insurance provides protection for an accident when you’re at fault, so it covers the other driver’s car, but not yours, and the other driver’s injuries, but not yours,” he says.

The policies generally don’t include comprehensive or collision coverage for damage to the car because you don’t own the vehicle. Ramsey says the insurance will cover you in any car you drive during the policy period.

Who needs nonowner car insurance?

People buy nonowner car insurance to make sure they’re insulated from the potentially high financial hit from an at-fault accident, says Steven Visco, president of C.H. Edwards Inc., an insurance agency in Farmingdale, N.Y. “For instance, one client is a wealthy attorney who lives in Manhattan and doesn’t own a car, but he has assets to protect,” Visco says. “He’s renting a place in the Hamptons this summer and will regularly rent a car.”

“This policy offers extra liability protection and is cheaper than buying the liability policy from the rental car company,” he adds. And don’t expect to rely on your credit card because liability coverage is not included in the rental car insurance that cards provide.

You may want to consider nonowner car insurance if you have no car of your own and:

You rent cars often. “If you pay $10 per day for a rental company’s liability coverage and rent cars for 50 or 60 days or more every year, a nonowner insurance policy could be less costly,” Visco says. But you’ll still need to buy the other coverages sold at the rental counter.

You belong to a car-sharing service, such as Zipcar. The service will provide some insurance coverage, but, “If you hurt someone in a car accident, the liability lawsuit is likely to be against both you and the car-sharing company,” says Visco. “You may want to look into protecting your assets from a lawsuit with your own liability coverage.”

You borrow other people’s cars often. When you borrow a car from a friend or a relative, the car owner’s insurance covers you, says Ron Moore, senior product manager for MetLife Auto & Home in Minneapolis. However, if you’re borrowing a car from someone you don’t know well, you may not know if their liability coverage is adequate to protect you.

“If you’re at fault and the other driver’s injuries exceed the car owner’s liability, then you may be stuck paying the bill,” Moore says. That’s where a nonowner policy would help.

You have a problematic driving record. “In Virginia, the state mandates nonowner car insurance coverage for drivers who don’t own a car but have had a major problem driving, such as a DUI or DWI, or some other major violation like driving on a suspended license,” says Ramsey. He adds that the premium for this mandated liability coverage is about $600 for six months.

Usual cost of nonowner car insurance

Nonowner car insurance typically doesn’t carry a deductible, says Moore. Premiums can be very low, based on your driving record and the amount of driving you do, he says.

“Normally the minimum premium is about $250 for six months or even a year,” says Visco. “The premiums are higher for drivers with a bad driving record, and they may not qualify at all.”

Moore says premiums for nonowner car insurance are typically about 50 percent of normal car insurance premiums, but they vary from company to company and state to state.

If you don’t own a car but still drive regularly, you may want to get a nonowner car insurance quote to find out if this coverage is appropriate and affordable for you.

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Even if you're leasing or renting a car, meaning you don't really own it, you are still required to have car insurance coverage to be legally allowed to drive. Non owner insurance acts similarly to auto liability insurance to ensure that anyone injured or any property damaged in an accident where you are at fault is covered. Non owners insurance is available from all insurance providers and the car insurance rates are comparable to regular liability insurance. If you want to learn more about the auto insurance terms available when you don't own a car, here is some information about non owner car insurance.

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Liability Coverage

Auto liability coverage is the minimum required coverage in most states if you own a car. This makes sure that any injuries or damages to another party which are caused by your actions are taken care of so that people who are not at fault for an accident aren't penalized. However, liability coverage is only available if you actually own the car which needs to be insured. Since you still need a form of liability coverage for cars which you don't own, non owner auto insurance will cover you. Non owner insurance is essentially exactly the same as bodily injury and property damage auto liability insurance, except that you don't own the car being insured.

When Non Owner Car Insurance is Required

Usually, if you are leasing or renting a car, non owner car insurance is required by the state. Depending on the terms of your rent or lease, you may be required by the company renting or leasing you the car to carry further insurance to cover the car itself in case of an accident. After all, non owner liability insurance won't do you any good if the other person is at fault and doesn't have insurance. Ask the company which you are leasing or renting from about their insurance requirements. It's a safe bet to assume you'll at least need non owner liability insurance.

Finding Non Owner Car Insurance

Every insurance provider is required to offer non owner car insurance, so you shouldn't have a difficult time finding this insurance if you need it. Well known providers such as State Farm, GEICO or Progressive are providers you might consider. Some banks offer auto insurance, so those that do will also be able to offer non owner car insurance. If you are renting a car, the company renting it to you may also have special insurance offers since you're renting through their company. Non owner car insurance isn't difficult to find, so get all the quotes you can to compare them and find the best offer.

Non owner car insurance is almost always required if you are driving a car you don't own. You can contact the company which is leasing or renting you a car to inquire about further requirements as well as recommendations for where to find non owner insurance.

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Related Questions and Answers

What Factors affect the Premium Price for Non Owned Auto Liability Insurance?

The factors that affect non owned auto liability insurance are the same factors that affect any auto liability insurance policy. The main factor is your driving record. Speeding tickets, accidents or reckless driving will raise your premiums. Additional factors will be the type of car you are driving. A sports car will be much more expensive to insure than a sedan. Your age and gender will have a slight affect on your rates as well. Keeping your driving record clean is the best thing you can do to keep your insurance rates low. A clean credit score will also help keep your premiums down.

What are the Most Popular Companies for Getting Non Owners Insurance Quotes?

Non owners insurance quotes are available from all of the major insurance companies. Progressive, Geico, State Farm, and Nationwide are just a few insurance companies that offer insurance coverage to people who do not own cars. You can also get quotes from insurance consolidators like esurance or netQuote. These companies provide you with insurance quotes from a number of insurance companies and agents in your area. Getting a quote can be done online or by calling the company directly. Agents in your area can provide a rate quote as well. Check your yellow pages or do a quick Google search to find local agents.


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