Do I need to insure the car in my driveway that nobody drives?

Whether it is the project car that you are fixing up, or a recent car that was inherited, you may encounter a situation when you have a vehicle that is not being driven. If there is even the slightest possibility that the vehicle will be driven, no matter if it is just once every other month or whatever the occasion might be, it is important that the vehicle is added to your auto policy. 

Let’s say after you have made the decision that you will not be driving the car. Let’s look at the two options you have for protecting the vehicle:  

  1. If you have decided that you are not driving the vehicle, but you are still concerned about hail damage, theft, vandalism or any other cause of loss, besides collision, you will have the option to include only comprehensive coverage for that vehicle. This is a quality, affordable option that still provides some coverage for vehicles that will not be driven. In addition to cars in storage, this is a great option for people who plan on not driving for long periods at a time. Carrying a comprehensive only policy, you will avoid any penalties for having a lapse in auto insurance coverage when you go to start a new policy. 

  2. The alternative to getting comprehensive only coverage on the vehicle would be to remove the vehicle in its entirety from the policy. I always like to make sure that my clients understand that once this is done there is absolutely no coverage for that vehicle if anything were to happen to it. If that is a risk that you are comfortable with, then this can be a great way to save on your monthly car insurance payments.  

How do I add a new car to my auto insurance policy?

Thankfully with modern technology adding a new vehicle to your policy has become quick and easy. There are really three primary ways I tell my clients to add a vehicle to their policy. 

  1.  Call your agent 

  • This is a great option because they can get it added and review coverage with you to ensure you are covering your new vehicle properly. This is also a great time to review your auto policy to ensure there are no additional discounts available or gaps in coverage in other spots of the auto policy. 

  1. Call your service team 

  • This will provide the same comfort of working with your agent but can be a huge time saver if your agent is out of office. Speaking with a customer service team provides the opportunity to speak with a knowledgeable expert to ensure you are not leaving any gaps in coverage on your new vehicle.  

  1. Mobile or Online Apps 

  • Finally, many insurance carriers offer a mobile app or online client portal where you can make changes to your policy as well as update vehicles. This is an easy and efficient way to get your new vehicle added to your policy. I would always advise following up with your agent to ensure it was added correctly with appropriate coverage and all available discounts were applied.  

How long do I have to add a car to my policy after I buy it? 

When purchasing a new vehicle, make sure to add it to your auto insurance policy as soon as possible. Buying a car can be an incredibly exciting and stressful experience and it is easy to get caught up in the all the emotions you may be experiencing! I can’t count the number of times a client has given me a call to talk about their new vehicle they plan on purchasing in the coming days and had little to no idea how purchasing that vehicle may affect their insurance.  Let’s look at a step-by-step list of actions items for you to follow when purchasing a car, to make sure your insurance is in great shape.   

  1. Get quotes for your new vehicle prior to buying 

  • While this may sound like common sense, often times people do not understand the financial impact of adding a new car to their policy. I once had a client who had just bought his wife a brand new Chevrolet Tahoe and was replacing her 2003 Honda Civic. He was shocked when his rate went up hundreds of dollars a month. Take the time to call your agent and get quotes on the new vehicle you are purchasing to get a better understanding of how much your monthly insurance payment would change. If you find that it has gone up too much then it is an excellent time for you to shop around your auto insurance and make sure you are in the very best spot.  

  1. Call your agent when you buy the vehicle 

  • Your next step along your car purchasing journey is to call your agent as soon as you purchase your vehicle in order to add it to your policy. In today’s insurance environment, you may not even have to call your agent, it could be as simple as logging onto a website or an app to make the change. I always advise my clients that it is still important to call their agent, even if they make the change themselves, to ensure that the vehicle is covered properly and all available discounts are applied.  

  1. What happens if I forget to add my vehicle the day I buy it? 

  • Not to worry! Thankfully auto insurance carriers give you a bit of a grace period when purchasing a vehicle. A typical carrier will provide a seven-to-thirty-day grace period for adding a new vehicle after purchase. You should always check with your insurance carrier prior to purchase to ensure you are adding the vehicle in a timely manner.  

Adding a new vehicle or figuring out what vehicles should be on your auto policy can be a complicated topic. An easy rule of thumb is that if you plan on driving the vehicle, it needs to be on your auto policy, otherwise you will have no coverage in the event of an accident. If you are ever unsure of how a vehicle should be covered or if you should add it to your policy, I would highly recommend reaching out to your agent so you can discuss the various coverage options that may be available to you. 

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. You should not act or refrain from acting based on this information without first consulting a Goosehead licensed agent at We disclaim all liability for actions taken or not taken by you based on the contents of this article which is provided "as is." Goosehead makes no representation that this content is error-free.