Am I able to buy a car and drive it off the lot the same day, even if I don’t have insurance?
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Asked October 8, 2013
Car insurance is a legal requirement throughout the United States. If you were to get stopped by a law enforcement officer and did not have proof insurance in the vehicle, you could be subject to court fines, ticket penalties, the possible suspension of your driver privilege and vehicle registration, or even arrested.
Moreover, dealerships are not allowed to allow you to drive off the lot in an uninsured vehicle. If you are making payments on the car, you may even be required to have full coverage and a GAP insurance rider as well. For the dealership, the risk of losing their merchandise and never recouping the loss is too high to allow car buyers to take the chance.
Most dealerships either have someone on premises who can help you get the insurance sorted out, or can recommend you to a nearby insurance brokers. Since these brokers are accustomed to dealing with the dealership which refers you, the insurance process can often be speeded up. Since you do not currently have car insurance, the process will require a few minutes.
You can also purchase insurance for your new car online. Once the sale is finalized, you can get a free insurance quote from a website just like this one, compare it to other leading quotes, and purchase the policy on the spot. This will allow you to print out your new insurance cards right there at the dealership, and drive off with a fully insured vehicle.
If you already have insurance on another vehicle, the new car can be added to your insurance portfolio. In this case, you would continue to use the old insurance cards until new ones are mailed out to you. What has become more common in recent years is to perform the change online and print the new cards out immediately.
Without insurance, you are financially responsible for all incidents in which you are found at fault. If you turned too sharply and hit a mailbox driving home in your new car, you would be the one who had to pay for repairing or replacing the mailbox and for all repairs to bring your car back up to mint condition.
Answered October 8, 2013 by Anonymous