There are a few different ways to approach insuring a new vehicle; you can add your new car to your current policy as a second vehicle (if you’re keeping the old one), you can sell or trade-in your old car and transfer your current car insurance to your new car, or you can cancel your current coverage and buy a whole new policy through a different insurance company.
Drivers who buy a new vehicle should have no problem transferring insurance from one car to another, but they should be prepared for their car insurance rates to go up, especially if they’ve just bought or leased a brand new car.
How to transfer car insurance to a new car in 5 easy steps
Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to transferring your car insurance policy to a new car:
1. Reach out to your current car insurance company
Whether you are buying or leasing a car from a dealership or from a private seller, you’ll need to contact your car insurance company to add your new car to your insurance policy and, if necessary, remove your old car from the policy. Car insurance companies usually have a grace period for adding a new car to your coverage, so you may be able to take it home without formally adding it, but if you’re selling or junking your old car, you’ll need to make some big changes to your policy.
2. Determine how much car insurance coverage you need for your new car
Depending on how much insurance you had on your old car, you may need to buy additional coverage for your new car instead of just automatically . If your old car was a clunker that wasn’t worth much and you’re taking home a shiny new 2024 model, there are some types of insurance, like gap coverage and new car replacement coverage, that you may want or need for your new car.
If you have a loan or a lease, you’ll probably be required to have full-coverage car insurance, so that may mean adding comprehensive and collision coverage to your policy if it wasn’t part of it before.
3. Research car insurance quotes carefully
It is important to do some research before you transfer your car insurance coverage to your new car. For example, some insurance companies don’t offer gap coverage. If you need to buy gap coverage for your new car and your current insurer doesn’t offer it, you’ll either need to find a new insurance company or purchase a separate gap insurance policy.
4. Compare quotes from multiple insurance companies
Because transferring your insurance coverage to your new car will change your rates, it is a good idea to get quotes from multiple insurance companies to make sure you are getting the best rate. It’s easy to get car insurance quotes online through a marketplace like Policygenius.
5. Get an updated rate
When you transfer your car insurance policy to a new car, your car insurance rate probably won’t stay the same. It's best if you get a quote from your insurance company before you buy a new car but, either way, you’ll need to find out exactly how much more (or less) you’ll pay for your car insurance.
How much will it cost to transfer car insurance to a new car?
There is no fee for transferring your car insurance policy to a new car, but that doesn’t mean there is no additional cost. Your car insurance rates may go up even if you keep all the same coverages and limits on your new car that you had on the old one.
Drivers should expect to pay more when transferring their car insurance to a new car if:
Your new car is more expensive than your old car
Your new car has fewer safety features than your old car
Your new car model is a common target for auto theft
How long do you have to add your new car to your insurance policy?
Depending on where you live and which car insurance company you use, you typically have anywhere from seven to 30 days to add a new car to your insurance policy. But just because your insurance company is willing to give you a grace period, don’t expect the car dealership to roll with it.
Most car dealerships require you to have insurance in place before you drive off the lot, so you may be asked to call your insurance company or go online and add your new vehicle to your current car insurance policy before they let you drive it off the lot.