How to get car insurance for a new car

Get insured so you can drive your new ride home.

Last updated:

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Picture not described: new-car_gettyimages_250x250.png Image: Getty Images

Driving home in your new set of wheels is one of the best feelings out there, but let’s not forget one little detail: car insurance. To be legally road-worthy, every car must be covered by an insurance policy. That means you need to get your new ride on a policy before you can roll off the lot.

How to get car insurance policy for a new vehicle

To get your new wheels covered and get on your way, you’ll likely want to make some preparations before you hit the dealership.

Figure out what kind of coverage you need

Different states have different minimum requirements, but every state requires drivers to carry liability insurance. If you’re financing or leasing your car, you’ll also be required to carry comprehensive and collision coverage.

But minimums might not be enough coverage to protect your new ride. Fully evaluate your coverage needs

Compare quotes

You can’t sign up for a policy unless you have the exact details of the car you’re purchasing — not just its make and model. But you can compare quotes for the make and model you’ve got your eye on, and a few others if you want to get a good spread. Vehicles of the same body type can have wildly different car insurance rates, even if nothing about the driver changes.

The year of the car and its safety features will have a huge impact on your rates. This is because safer cars mean less medical payouts, and slightly older models are almost always less expensive to repair and replace than brand new.

Get a good read on what the insurance will likely cost you, and which insurance carrier has the best mix of coverage and price.

Call your current insurer

Before you head to the dealership, you probably want to call, email or live chat with a rep from your current car insurance company. Once you have someone on the line, find out if your new car will temporarily be covered under your existing policy.

If it is, you can hold off on purchasing new coverage or adding it to your existing policy until you get home with your new ride. If not, you’ll want to get ready to buy a policy from the lot.

Purchase coverage

You signed for your car, you know your coverage needs and you have quotes — now it’s time to buy. Many car insurance companies let you buy online or over the phone. Have the make, model and VIN on hand when you go to sign up.

If you need to buy your insurance before you drive off the lot, don’t fret. You can usually get your policy confirmed within an hour and get rolling.

Can I drive a new car without insurance?

No, but if you already have car insurance, your new one is typically covered for the first few days under what’s called a grace period. Your old insurance coverage limits may not be enough to fully protect your new vehicle in the event of a loss, so you’ll want to make the change over to your new policy as soon as possible.

How long is my new car covered on my old insurance?

The grace period is short, typically under 30 days. Carefully read your policy so that you know whether yours covers a grace period for new vehicles and how long it’s good for.

To avoid ending up without coverage when your grace period is up, add the new car to your existing policy or get a new one as soon as possible.

  • Top-rated insurer
  • Online quotes & claims
  • Bundle and save

Our top pick: Progressive

Choose from a long list of discounts and coverage for almost any driver.

  • Top-rated insurer with 80 years of experience
  • Easy online sign-up and reporting
  • Multiple discounts available
  • Transparent quoting

Get car insurance quotes for your new car

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
Progressive
Optional
30%
All 50 states
Choose from a long list of discounts and coverage for almost any driver.
Geico
Optional
26%
All 50 states
Customize your policy and get quotes online in minutes. Many drivers could save up to $500 by switching.
The Hartford
Optional
Yes
All states except AK, HI, LA, MI, RI
Enjoy benefits including rate lock, no-drop policies and accident recovery. Exclusively for drivers 50+.
Metromile
Optional
49%
AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA, WA
Pay-as-you-go rates based on how much and how well you drive start at $29/month plus pennies per mile.
Root
52%
AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MS, MT, MO, NE, NM, ND, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA
Safe, low-mileage drivers could save up to 52% by tracking their driving in the app.
Clearcover
Optional
No
AZ, CA, IL, UT
Find basic coverage and low rates through its easy online or app-based experience.
Gabi
Optional
Optional
55%
All 50 states
Upload your current bill and get 20+ quotes from top brands for the same level of coverage.
Allstate
13%
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.

Compare up to 4 providers

Find a loan for your new car

Updated January 20th, 2020
Name Product Filter Values Minimum credit score APR Loan term Requirements
car.Loan.com Car Loans
300
Varies by network lender
Varies by lender
Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
Apply with a simple online application to get paired with a local auto lender. No credit and bad credit accepted.
SuperMoney Auto Purchase Loans Marketplace
600
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Fair to excellent credit, an income source, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Find an offer and get rates from competing lenders without affecting your credit score.
CarsDirect Auto Loans
Varies by network lender
Varies by network lender
Must provide proof of income, proof of residence, and proof of insurance.
Save time and effort with this lending service specializing in beginner-friendly or subprime car loan.
Auto Credit Express Car Loans
300
Varies by network lender
Varies by lender
Must be employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month and be a current resident of the US or Canada.
Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
Monevo Auto Loans
500
3.99% to 35.99%
3 months to 12 years
Credit score of 500+, legal US resident and ages 18+.
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
LightStream Auto Loans
Good to excellent credit
Competitive
2 to 7 years
Good or excellent credit, enough income or assets to afford a new loan, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Quick car loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with competitive rates for borrowers with strong credit.
LendingTree Auto Loans
Good to excellent credit
Starting at 3.09%
Varies by lender
18+ years old, good to excellent credit, US citizen
Compare multiple financing options for auto refinance, new car purchase, used car purchase and lease buy out.

Compare up to 4 providers

Cost of insuring a new car

With so many variables, how much you’ll pay to insure your new wheels varies by car, payment and more.

New cars typically cost more to insure than older cars, but that’s assuming the new one is more valuable than the old one. For example, this year’s Hyundai Sonata is definitely cheaper to insure than a Ferrari from any model year. Even more than your car’s relative age, a vehicle’s value plays heavily into the cost of insuring it.

The biggest factors between a new and used car are car value and safety ratings. New cars cost more to repair after an accident. For example, the old beater you’re trading in might have a maximum value of $5,000, so it’s cheaper to repair or replace. But maybe your ancient minivan isn’t as safe as it used to be, or safety ratings are stellar on the new sedan you’re eyeing.

What kind of car insurance do I need for a new car?

If you’re taking out an auto loan through a bank or dealership, the bank may require collision and comprehensive coverage over the life of the loan — that is, until you pay it off in full. This requirement ensures that your lender gets its money back no matter what. Plus, it also protects you from getting stuck with a payment on a wrecked car.

You’ll likely also want to get gap insurance, which covers the difference between what you own on a loan and what the car is worth. Since new cars depreciate right after they leave the lot, gap insurance covers you for that gap caused by depreciation.

Bottom line

Once you’ve settled on the ride of your dreams, you’ll have the info you need to shop around for an insurance provider. Compare premiums and benefits to find the most comprehensive coverage you’re looking for at an affordable rate.

Get the cheapest quotes

Compare car insurance companies near you.

Your information is secure.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site