Do You Have to Buy Insurance Before You Drive a Car Off of the Lot?

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Most states require that individuals have at least liability insurance before they can legally drive a car. This type of car insurance pays for damages to another person's vehicle if you get into a car accident and are at fault. Because you are legally obligated to carry insurance every time you drive a car, you must be insured before you take a new car off the lot.

Buying From a Dealership

Typically, dealerships will not let you leave with a new car before you show them proof of insurance, if you are purchasing a car in a state that requires insurance. If you don't currently have car insurance, most automobile dealers will work with you to obtain insurance because they want to sell you that car.

Current Insurance

Insurance companies often will automatically extend current automobile insurance coverage to a newly purchased vehicle for a limited amount of time. If this is the case with your insurance policy, proof of current insurance is enough to drive a car off the lot.