WalletHub, Financial Company
Yes, you need insurance before you buy a used car from a dealership, or else you will not be allowed to drive it off the lot. You technically don’t have to show proof of insurance if you’re purchasing the car outright from a private seller, but you would be risking serious consequences if you choose to drive uninsured.
If you already have car insurance, your insurer likely has a grace period during which your newly purchased used car will be covered, which gives you time to officially add the vehicle to your policy. This grace period typically ranges from 7 to 10 days, so check your state’s laws and insurer’s rules in order to make sure you’re following the guidelines.
If you don’t have an existing policy, you should get quotes prior to purchasing your car. Even without a specific vehicle identification number (VIN), you can give your personal information to an insurance agent and then officially activate your policy once you know the car’s details. However, if you’re buying the car on the weekend when most insurance offices are closed, you will have to either wait to drive your new car or purchase the policy online while you’re at the dealership.
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