How do I buy car insurance for my first car?

When figuring out how to buy car insurance for your first car, it’s crucial to understand the type of auto insurance coverage you need and never take the first quote you find. The best way to buy auto insurance for your first car is to comparison shop online before even buying the vehicle. Enter your ZIP code below to compare car insurance rates for a new car for free before you buy.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

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Buying your first car is a tremendous experience. The feeling of freedom and independence is just a signature away however this is also a time when you need to understand responsibility more than ever before. With vehicle ownership comes the responsibility of purchasing sufficient car insurance to cover your investment and finances in the event of a car accident. Most car salesmen are not licensed insurance agents and even if they were a large conflict of interest would exist. Before buying a car its important to learn about car insurance before walking into a dealership through someone licensed to give you professional advice on how car insurance works and your options for coverage.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes and the Cost of Car Insurance

What should you do before buying your first car? Try to focus on these steps before committing to an auto loan. Not only will they help provide a perspective on car insurance but also educate you about how car insurance works in the event of a claim. Your first car accident can be stressful enough you certainly want to know more about your car insurance coverage than just the agent’s phone number.

Always Speak to a Car Insurance Company First

This process not only helps you understand car insurance but also often provides tips on how to save money on car insurance. Used cars, cars with certain safety features, top rated safety picks and many more variables can usually lead to substantial savings on car insurance. However if you just go out and buy a vehicle without checking about the cost of car insurance first you may be in for a big surprise. The cost of car insurance for first time buyers can be very expensive and many times car insurance premiums are even more than the auto loan payments for young drivers who are the primary policyholder.

Understand the Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Young people are often very naive in general and while this has many advantages in the real world it’s not a great quality when it comes to buying car insurance. Never assume state minimum required car insurance requirements are enough as they only include forms of liability insurance and the policy limits are much lower than you really need. Ask an insurance agent how liability insurance works, why you should consider collision and/or comprehensive coverage and what other supplemental forms of car insurance are available (such as GAP and medical payments coverage). Car insurance is much more than just a “single policy covers everything” so educate yourself on the types of car insurance available and define what you need. This will help you have better coverage and provide the information needed to compare car insurance quotes equally from different providers.

Never Take the First Quote

How many car reviews did you read? How many different models did you look at? Odds are you didn’t just look at one car in your search for a new vehicle and the same comparison method should be used for car insurance. Premiums can be very expensive for your first car (even for older drivers) so you need to shop around and compare car insurance companies to find the best rates.

Never Buy Car Insurance from a Car Dealership

Did the car dealership offer you a referral or policy coverage? While car dealerships can seem very nice the only interest they really have is in selling you something. Would you bring your car (out of warranty) to the dealership for repair when the labor rate is often 5x that of a body repair shop? No. It’s all about money when it comes to selling cars so never, ever buy car insurance from a car dealership. Treat the acts of buying a car and buying car insurance independent of one another.

How do I choose a car insurance company?

This is a very fair question and our lives are bombarded with car insurance companies offering cheap car insurance, savings of up to $400 or more and surveys rating one car insurance company better than the other. The fact is however that many great car insurance companies exist and you are not just limited to car insurance companies who offer a funny gecko or quirky saleswomen. No matter where you live there are many national and regional brands who offer superior customer service, affordable premiums and will be there in the event of a claim. Try to ask people you trust for personal recommendations, read car insurance reviews and choose a company who you feel is right for you. It’s impossible to say who is the best car insurance company for every individual as all drivers have unique needs.

Start your car insurance comparison search for affordable car insurance rates today. Buying your new car is fun but saving money and finding reliable car insurance is also one of the best adult decisions you can make.

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