Buying a used car can be a great way to get a good deal on a vehicle, but it’s important to factor in the car insurance cost before you make your purchase to stay within your budget.
You’ll need car insurance to buy a car. All states, except New Hampshire and Virginia, require you to purchase car insurance — and even in New Hampshire and Virginia, you’re financially liable in an accident.
If you’re curious about how much you’ll pay for used car insurance, keep reading.
Used car insurance calculator
To find average rates for more than 3,500 used car models from 2006 to 2020, use our used car insurance calculator below. Input your car year, make and model and your state of residence to determine how much you can expect to pay for used car insurance.
Average INSURANCE RATES for your USED CAR
How much car insurance do you need?
Each state has minimum liability insurance requirements. Liability insurance will help pay for any injuries and damages you caused to others, their vehicles and property if you’re responsible for the accident, but it won’t cover you or your car. Remember, the minimum insurance is rarely enough coverage.
Depending on your vehicle’s value, you may want to add additional coverage to protect your car – and if you’re financing the purchase, full coverage insurance is required.
Comprehensive vs. collision
Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your car due to flooding, fire, vandalism and hail, and pays out the actual cash value of your car if it’s stolen. Collision auto insurance covers damage to your car from accidents when you hit, or are hit, by another vehicle or object.
Comprehensive and collision car insurance are often purchased together — they comprise full coverage. Full coverage isn’t mandatory unless you financed your auto purchase — in which case, it is. If your car is less than 10 years old, or worth more than $3,000, it’s wise to get full coverage.
How much does used car insurance cost?
Car insurance rates are personalized to each driver based on location, credit score and driving history. In addition, the year, make and model of your vehicle will determine how much you pay for used car insurance.
How much does full coverage car insurance cost?
To give you an idea of what you might pay for coverage, we’ve included a variety of used car insurance rates by car make/model in the table below. These rates reflect a full coverage policy with 100/300/50 in personal liability coverage and a $500 deductible for collision and comprehensive insurance.
Even if the specific car you’re considering isn’t listed, this data should give you a ballpark range for your rate based on the vehicle year, make and model.
The make, model and year of your vehicle greatly impact the cost of auto insurance for a used car. Typically, used cars with high-end finishes are more expensive to insure because they cost a lot to repair or replace in case of a claim.
Read more: Car make/model — what this means and why it matters
How to get car insurance when buying a used car
Most major insurance companies make it easy to purchase a policy online, which is the most common way to purchase coverage for your used car. Here’s what to do if you don’t already have car insurance:
- Choose your desired vehicle: Look at the options for the car you want to buy. To price insurance, you should know the details about the car you want to buy.
- Get vehicle information: Once you have decided upon the vehicle, you should confirm your intent to buy the car with the dealer and get details like the make, model, vehicle identification number (VIN) and vehicle history report, which will affect your overall insurance rate.
- Determine which kind of insurance you want: The cost of used car insurance could be lesser than that of a new car, but it depends on the exact vehicle you want to buy. If you’re financing the car, you’ll have to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage in addition to the minimum liability required by your state. Remember to get at least three quotes from various car insurance companies.
- Decide on a deductible. The deductible is the amount you’d pay out-of-pocket if you were in a car accident before the insurer starts to pay. A typical car insurance deductible is $500 or $1,000. The higher the deductible, the cheaper your used car’s insurance will be. If you bump up your deductible to save on your monthly premium, make sure you can afford to pay the deductible if you’re in an accident.
- Purchase the policy. Once you complete the application and see your final rate, you can purchase a policy through the online checkout. After you submit the insurance binder and proof of coverage to the dealership, you can safely drive away with your car.
How do you find the cheapest insurance for used cars?
Discounts are one way to save money on car insurance for used car models: Insurers typically offer savings for students who live away from home, telematics usage, low-mileage, safe driver and military service.
Additionally, you can save money when you:
- Prepay your premium or sign up for autopay.
- Bundle your auto policy with your homeowners or renters insurance.
- Opt for a higher deductible. You could take the savings on your monthly premiums and put it away in a savings account each month if you’re involved in an accident.
FAQs: Insurance when buying a used car
How do you get used car insurance if you already have a policy?
Insuring a new-to-you-used car is pretty simple if you already have car insurance. Contact the company you’re covered with and let them know you want to insure a different vehicle. The representative will ask about the vehicle to tell you if there’s a price difference.
Keep your existing vehicle on the policy unless you’re selling it – in that case, an agent can help you remove the car from the policy once it’s sold.
How long do you have to get insurance when buying a car?
You’ll need car insurance when you purchase a used car. If you have existing coverage, your policy may offer a grace period that will automatically cover the used car until you can officially add it to the policy.
If you don’t already have insurance, however, most car dealerships will require you to get a policy before the transaction occurs. They must verify that your policy is current and meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements.
Do you need gap insurance for a used car?
Gap insurance, or Guaranteed Auto Protection coverage, is designed to bridge the gap between the value of your vehicle and what you owe on the car. Gap insurance on used car models isn’t normally required because used cars don’t immediately depreciate like new cars.
Can I drive off the lot without insurance?
If you’re buying a used car from a dealer, you’ll need to show proof of insurance before you’re allowed to drive away. Private sellers may not have that requirement, but driving an uninsured vehicle is risky.
Most online insurers will provide instant coverage once you pay for the policy, so you log back in to access your quote, enter the missing details such as VIN and price paid for the car, pay your premium, show the dealer insurance proof, and you’re all set.
Is insurance for older used cars cheaper?
A car’s age has less impact on the insurance cost than the make and model. Additionally, newer cars have more safety features that could prevent or minimize accident damage. That’s why it’s essential to research and compare car insurance quotes with a used car insurance calculator before purchasing a used vehicle.
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant to pull rates in 2022, which reflect a full coverage policy with 100/300/50 in personal liability coverage and a $500 deductible for collision and comprehensive insurance.
– Elizabeth Rivelli contributed to this story.