If you only drive occasionally do you still have to buy car insurance? There are many reasons that a person may only drive from time to time. One reason is that they are a new driver, such as a teen, whose parents won’t let them drive regularly until they get some experience (and age) under their belt.
Another common reason that someone might only drive occasionally is because they live close to everything: work, shopping, entertainment and so on. Urban dwellers that live near public transportation may only use vehicles for vacations or occasional out of town business. There is a saying that only crazy people drive their own vehicles in the city.
Even in these situations, you are required to have auto insurance if you own a vehicle. In pretty much every state in the US you must purchase auto insurance (or show proof of financial responsibility to the state) if you are going to drive – even if you don’t drive that often. Read on to learn some more details on why you have to purchase auto insurance even if you only drive occasionally and then enter your zip above to get started comparing car insurance rates online!
Infrequent Drivers STILL Need Auto Insurance
This is also the case for the following scenarios. There are also those folks who can only drive at certain time of the day or in limited quantities due to medical issues. These vehicles sit in the driveway for the majority of the time. Lastly, you have those lucky individuals who work from home. Many of these people don’t have to even meet with clients; they do everything via computer or the telephone, only getting out for recreational purposes or to run errands and so on.
With so many different types of people using their cars for such short periods of time, the question is often raised as to whether they need auto insurance if they only drive occasionally. The short answer to this question is yes, no matter how much you drive, if you own a car you have to have it insured. If you want some details, read on and learn exactly why it is so important that you have appropriate coverage on your vehicle, even if you only drive once and a while.
Why You Need Auto Insurance No Matter What
There are two reasons that you need auto insurance, no matter how much you drive. The first one is that it is the law. This law doesn’t change or bend for occasional drivers. Your state has certain requirements for a registered vehicle and if you don’t meet them then you will have to face the consequences.
In some states this could mean losing your license, registration and paying a fine. In other states you could lose your license, registration, pay a fine, and have your vehicle impounded until you purchase insurance for it. In more severe states you might face losing your license and registration, paying a fine, having your vehicle impounded and jail time as well. Those are some pretty serious consequences. Because every state is different, if you want to know what penalties you might face, you should visit your state’s Department of Insurance or Department of Motor Vehicles website.
The second reason that you need auto insurance regardless of how little that you drive is that every time you get into your vehicle you are risking an auto accident. Here is the bottom line: no matter how careful you are accidents happen. They don’t have to be your fault, it could be someone else’s; but if you are in an accident and you can’t provide proof of insurance (and the police will require proof, even if it’s clear that you aren’t at fault) then you could face arrest, although most police officer won’t arrest you at the scene of an accident for not having proof of insurance. In addition, at the time of the accident the officer can confiscate your driver’s license and your license plates to ensure you don’t drive again until you have proof of insurance.
In many states they have a policy of proof on demand for auto insurance. What this means is that at any time a police office can pull you over and demand that you show proof of insurance. You don’t have to be breaking the law for this to occur and you don’t have to be exhibit suspicious behavior. If you are pulled over and you don’t have proof of insurance, then the police officer can force you to get out of your car and walk home. This is not a common occurrence, but you just need to be aware of the possibilities. Each state has its own penalties in place.
The Coverage an Occasional Driver Needs
Now that you understand why you have to have coverage, you should determine just how much coverage you need. As with any type of vehicle, if your car or truck is financed then you are going to have to have comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to your state required coverage.
You can, however, save some money on your premiums by explaining to your agent just how much you drive your vehicle. There are several levels of drivers from what is considered recreational driving (less than 10 miles a week for most companies) to excessive or work driving (more than 150 miles a week). There are typically four to five tiers of driving levels that an insurance company considers but, as this can vary, you should check your insurance company’s policy. In most cases you can see a reduction of $200 or more dollars a year on your auto insurance for recreational driving.
If your vehicle isn’t financed, then you are in a position to save a great deal of money on your premiums. Rather than comprehensive and collision insurance, you may want to consider maintaining the state’s minimums and collision insurance. If you don’t have a garage to keep your vehicle in, you may want to keep a small comprehensive policy with a high deductible just in case someone steals your car or it’s vandalized, but the choice is yours. Again, letting your insurance company know how many miles you drive a week will help to reduce your premiums.
Choosing the Right Car Insurance Company
If you already have auto insurance and you love your company, then you may feel that this section isn’t for you. Wrong! First of all, auto insurance rates typically change from year to year. This isn’t just based on your driving history, but also on what the Department of Insurance for each state determines is an acceptable base to start from for insurance. What this means for you is that you could find a rate several hundred dollars less than what you are currently paying. In addition, you may find that market rates have gone up, but as an established customer you aren’t seeing an increase in your premiums. It’s recommended that all drivers compare their auto insurance rates every six months or at least once a year.
In order to find out if you are paying the best rates for your occasional needs, you need to use a free quote tool. These free devices make it easy for you to compare rates between companies to see if you are already getting the best rate. Also, read independent reviews about the different auto insurance companies before you make a choice. You will learn things like customer satisfaction rates and how easy their websites are to use.
Many people think they are getting a good rate or that they are happy with the company they are with so they don’t mind paying a bit more, that is until they use a car insurance rate quote tool. Imagine finding out that you are spending $30 to $40 a month extra in premiums because you like the company you are with. The quote tool is free, it is easy to use and you are under no obligation to make a purchase. Why not try it out now?