Best Time to Buy Car Insurance

The best time to buy auto insurance depends on a variety of factors. Some considerations to keep in mind include the expiration date of your current policy and whether you're buying a new car or adding a new driver to your policy. Time of year and location also affect how expensive a policy will be. With so many moving parts, it's important fully understand the factors that go into the cost of your insurance premiums before you buy.

The Best Month to Buy Car Insurance Quotes

Like many other products, car insurance quotes can change depending on the month or season. Overall, December is the best time of year to find low car insurance quotes. Contrastingly, the most expensive month of the year to buy auto insurance is March. There are exceptions to this rule, largely based on geography. For example, in Hawaii, December is typically the most expensive month of the year to purchase a car insurance policy.

Purchasing Insurance Before Applying for a Driver's License

Many states require you to provide proof of car insurance when applying for a driver's license. For example, Oregon requires that drivers provide physical or electronic proof of insurance when they arrive at the Department of Motor Vehicles to take a driver's license test.

You should buy the required auto insurance at least a few weeks before you take your behind-the-wheel test. If your teenage child is in the process of obtaining a learner's permit or driver's license, you should be able to add them to your existing insurance policy. Additionally, if your driver's license has lapsed or was suspended, you'll need to buy car insurance before it can be reinstated.

Arranging Auto Insurance Before Registering a New Car

Before you can register your new or used car, you'll need to acquire proper auto insurance. Each state allows you a certain amount of time to register your car after purchasing it. During that time, your insurance company will send you a proof-of-insurance card. When registering your vehicle, you'll need to provide the DMV with the insurance policy details found on this card. In some cases, you can even call your insurance agent to set up a policy as you sign paperwork at the auto dealership.

If you have car insurance already, a simple call might be all it takes to add a recently-purchased car to your existing policy. If you've never had your own policy, you should plan on buying car insurance in before buying a vehicle you are interested in.

Setting Up Insurance Before Getting a New Job

If you plan to use your car for a new job, be sure to contact your insurance agent. Most personal auto insurance policies do not cover the use of a car for commercial purposes.

For example, if you plan to work as a pizza delivery driver, a taxi driver, or a driver for a paid service (Uber, Lyft), your policy may not cover it. The insurance company might require you to purchase an additional commercial use policy for your vehicle.

If you can't provide proof of insurance, you could lose your job AND your driver's license. To reinstate your driving privileges, you may have to provide proof of future coverage for a period of up to three years. All in all, you should have car insurance in place as soon as possible if you begin using your car for work.

While the above stats are something to keep in mind, they aren't the end-all-be-all when it comes to determining the right time for a new policy. Most people shop for new coverage when their policy is up for renewal. This helps to eliminate any breach of contract you may have in place with your provider. While shopping for a new policy, get at least three car insurance quotes and compare the coverage details as they fit your needs.