Once you make your final decision, you’ll most likely have your new car for a few years at least, and of course you’ll need to insure your new vehicle with comprehensive and collision coverage.
In order to drive your new car off of the lot with your own coverage (i.e. if you don’t buy temporary coverage from the dealer) you will most likely need to provide proof that your current insurance coverage is adequate.
Depending on the dealer, you might be able to just show your insurance paperwork (in which case you’ll have 10-30 days before you have to report your new car to your insurance company), but other dealers may require that your insurance company fax over proof of insurance.
That said, not everyone may have the correct level of coverage for a new car – or are not sure how to get the best / most affordable coverage possible for their new vehicle – so let’s go through a few possible scenarios that might fit your situation.
You are trading in your old (think: “beater”) car
If you are moving on up from your
old beater classic to a brand new car, then it is unlikely that your existing coverage will be enough to let you drive your new car off of the lot. This is because many people with older vehicles do not carry comprehensive coverage and perhaps no collision coverage as well – both of which you will need in addition to liability coverage to satisfy the requirements of your new car loan.
If this is the case, you are best off getting free quotes from multiple insurance companies for all of the models that you are shopping for and then once you make your purchase, simply call your agent to purchase the best quote you found for that car model.
You are trading in a relatively new car for a brand new car
If, however, you are trading in (or are going to sell on the private market) a relatively new car on which you carry comprehensive and collision coverage, then you have a couple options. First, you could stick with your current insurance company until at least your next policy renewal, and then transfer your coverage over to your new car (though of course your rate might still change). Otherwise, you could do as we suggest above and shop for a completely new quote at the time of purchase without waiting for your current policy to expire.
You’re new car will be part of a multiple vehicle policy
If you are adding your new car to an existing multiple vehicle policy (that might also include your home insurance bundled in as well) then in this case, it might make the most sense to wait until your renewal period before shopping around for new insurance, in order to simplify things.
Adding your new car to an existing multiple vehicle policy is a pretty quick and easy process, so you may not want to deal with the paperwork of changing your insurance coverage while also dealing with a new car loan. However, a couple of weeks or a month from now may be a great time to see if you can save some money on insurance for your new prized possession.
That said, if you want to guarantee that you are getting the best possible rate from day one when you purchase your new car, comparing quotes is the best way to go.