Is There A Grace Period For Car Insurance When Buying A Used Car?

Updated October, 2020
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Most insurers give you a grace period of 7 to 30 days if you already have insurance for another vehicle. Dealerships require that you have proof of insurance to drive your new (or used) car off the lot. If you don't have it already, it's best to prepare and purchase insurance in advance.

Does my current insurance policy cover my new car?

Depending on your insurance, and state, you have anywhere from 7 to 30 days to add your new car to your policy. It's best to let your car insurance know right away. The sooner you get your new (used) car added, the better. You may also add your new car to your policy prior to purchasing.

Once it's added, you may keep your other car on your policy or remove it.

You need to provide your insurer with:

  • Make, model, and year of your car
  • VIN
  • Exact price
  • Safety features
  • Roughly how many miles you plan to drive it

If you purchase your car on the weekend, most insurers have a hotline number to call. This allows you to add your car to your insurance right away. Call your agent the following week if necessary.

Do I need car insurance to buy a used car?

If you don't have insurance when purchasing your car, you won't be allowed to drive it off the lot. Each state has an insurance minimum requirement, so be sure to look up what yours is. Be prepared to provide proof of insurance to your car dealer.

Quickly insure your car by choosing an insurance agent in advance. Have your car dealer fax over the car information to your agent. Your insurer then fills out the proper paperwork and sends over proof of insurance on the spot.

While picking out your car, you can also compare insurance policies online and buy instantly. No matter the method you choose, it's important to have a plan for purchasing car insurance. Without insurance, your new car can't be driven off the lot or registered. You only have a grace period of around 20 days, depending on the state, to register your car.

Discounts for car insurance

Take advantage of any discounts you qualify for. Below we've listed popular discounts that are easy to obtain.

  • Low Mileage: The average person drives roughly 12,000 miles a year. Those who drive less than 7,500 are eligible for discounts as high as 20%.
  • Professional, University Degree, Occupational or Association Discounts: Trade or professional organizations and university alumni groups sometimes partner with insurance companies. Depending on your insurer and group, expect a 3-10% discount.
  • Good Driver Discounts: Having a history of good driving gets you additional discounts. "Good driving" means, no tickets, or accidents. Liberty Mutual offers safe drivers up to 30% off. Contact Liberty Mutual to see how much you can save, today.
  • Usage-Based Car Insurance Discounts: Some insurers offer gadgets that monitor a customer's driving habits. This gadget measures metrics from your speed, mileage, and braking activity. On average, expect a 6% discount.
  • Environmentally Friendly Discounts: The insurance industry wants to focus on lower emissions and other eco-friendly habits. Receive up to a 10% discount when driving hybrid and electric vehicles.
  • Alarm or Tracking Device Discounts: By having additional security features on your car you receive 5-15% in discounts. Remember to do the math to make sure you're not spending more on the device than you're saving.
  • Retiree Discounts: Drivers over the age of 55 may qualify for additional premium reductions. Some insurers require certification from taking a Mature Driver Improvement course online. Expect a 5-10% discount.
  • Student Discounts: Drivers under 25 pay the most in insurance due to being high-risk drivers. By maintaining a 'B' average, a student receives up to a 25% discount. Progressive offers a Good Student Discount if either you or your child are under the age of 23. Contact Progressive to see if you qualify, today.

What are you waiting for?

Shopping for a car is so exciting! Don't let something like proof of insurance hold you back. Do your research, and go in prepared.

Need help finding insurance right now? Get instant quotes tailored to your needs - fill out our short form, today!

Call an insurance expert
Our team will help you find the lowest insurance prices.
866-996-3156