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How Long You Have to Buy Insurance After Buying a Used Car

You bought a used car and you want to know how long you can drive it before buying insurance? If YES, here is what you must know about used car insurance.

When buying a used car, what most people just think about is the functionality of the car in question without giving much thought to insurance coverage. This is because they usually assume that insurance from the previous owners of the car can take them for some time, or that they have a bit of a time before they need to start thinking about insurance.

One thing that is not joked with as far as driving in the united states is concerned is insurance. Even if you are buying a used car off your friend or acquaintance, it is expedient for you to get some insurance for your vehicle. But the question now arises, how long do you have to wait before buying insurance after you have bought a used car?

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When answering this question, we gave to approach it from the point of if you already have insurance for a previous car and if you do not have a car prior to buying your used car.

How Long Do You Have to Get Insurance After Buying a Used Car If You Already Have Car Insurance?

When it comes to vehicle insurance, every state has different regulations, but the rule generally states that if you already have a car insurance policy in place for a vehicle you own, it will apply to your car for a certain number of days.

This number of days can range anywhere from seven to 30 days. This goes to show that the name covers the both cars for a period of time pending when you rectify your insurance issues. It is even advised that it is best to let your insurance company know when you buy a new car so that they can add your newly purchased used car, and remove your old car if needed.

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Again, it is possible to add your used car before you make your purchase if you are certain about which one you’ll be buying. In this case, you have to let your insurance company know the vehicle information number (VIN), purchase price, and other information, but you need to be absolutely certain of the particular car you want to buy.

Most insurance companies also have a hotline for adding insurance over the weekend. And then, if necessary, you can talk to your agent the following weekday to make it official.

How Long Do You Have to Get Insurance After Buying a Used Car If You Don’t Have Car Insurance?

If you don’t currently have car insurance at the time you purchase your new used car, then know that you need insurance coverage before you are legally able to drive the car once you’re the legal owner.

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It is illegal in the United States to drive a car without insurance, so even if you’re purchasing from a private person, someone like a friend or an acquaintance, then know that you are running the risk of being pulled over and fined if you’re caught without insurance.

If you bought the car from a dealership, you will not be allowed to drive off the lot without insurance, especially if you are financing your car. Your best bet would be to talk to an insurance company or agent before going to purchase your used car, to get quotes for insuring the car you’re interested in.

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The dealer can then fax the insurance company your newly purchased car information in order to get you coverage. Whenever you buy a car — new or used — you won’t be able to register it without insurance, and you only have a grace period of around 20 days, depending on the state, to register your car.


For used cars, each state and insurance company addresses the question of when to buy insurance a little bit differently. For this reason, it is essential to check with your car insurance company regarding whether there is a grace period for buying car insurance if you already have a policy, and your new or used vehicle is replacing the car that you have that policy for.

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For the correct answer, Google your states’ Department of Insurance, you will likely find links to answer your question there.

One thing you must keep in mind is that you must not drive your car, used or otherwise, without insurance as it is illegal. In some states, it is a felony and you could end up in jail. If you have an accident and someone is injured or dies, you can be charged criminally and face a stiff jail term or be made to pay extensive bills.