Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 15, 2021

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When you purchase another vehicle or trade your current vehicle in your auto insurance can be transferred to that vehicle.

However, it is your responsibility to contact your insurance company and let them know that you have purchased a new vehicle or traded in your vehicle that is under a current policy.

This article details the information that is required and the effect on your new premium.

Before just blindly transferring your car insurance to a new vehicle be sure to use our free rate comparison tool at the top of the page to compare insurance quotes to find the very best deal!

What does your insurance company need to know?

Most state laws provide for a 14 day grace period when you purchase a vehicle. It works like this, for days 1-4 you have comprehensive coverage on your newly purchase vehicle as long as you have had a consistent policy on your former vehicle. No matter what type of coverage you had on your former vehicle, your newly purchased vehicle will have comprehensive coverage days 1-4.

After the four day period, you will have the best coverage you had on your previous vehicle. This means that the highest level of coverage you held on the policy of your previous vehicle will remain on your newly purchased vehicle for 14 days. For example, if the highest level of coverage you had on your previous vehicle was comprehensive, that is the level of coverage you will have on your newly purchased vehicle. On day 15, you will no longer have coverage, unless you contact your insurance agency.

This isn’t true for all states, however. In South Carolina, for example, you only have full coverage so long as you already have it on your policy. That coverage lasts for seven days after which the coverage is reduced to liability. You must add the vehicle to the policy in order to maintain your complete full coverage. So check with your agent to be sure exactly how your coverage works.

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Typically, after you purchase a new vehicle or trade in your former vehicle, you should contact your insurance company right away. The 14 day grace period is in place to allow you time to contact your insurance company and make any necessary changes but the sooner you contact them, the better. Your insurance company will want to know the make and model of your new vehicle, who will be driving it, how many miles a year on average you will put on your vehicle, and other personal information that pertains to your vehicle.

Your insurance company will also want to know if you have a lien holder. This means that you have taken out a loan for your vehicle and you owe money. Your lien holder will require that you have comprehensive coverage as long as you owe money on the vehicle. Some states require insurance companies to let you know this, others states do not, so be sure to let your insurance company know about your loan if they do not ask.

Once you have given your insurance company all the pertinent information, your regular coverage will begin. Most companies give you the option to print out a temporary proof of insurance card from their website or it can be e-mailed to you. This is to use until you receive your permanent proof of insurance cards in the mail. The temporary card usually had an expiration date of two weeks.

Be sure to have a temporary card with you while driving. If you are pulled over for a traffic violation or are involved in an accident, law enforcement will ask you for proof of insurance. Law enforcement officials will not simply accept your story of how you just got new coverage and are waiting for the cards to arrive in the mail. You must carry proof of creditable insurance with you whenever you drive.

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Will my premium price be different?

Just because you are transferring your auto insurance to another vehicle does not mean that your premium price will stay the same. Yearly premium prices are based on many different factors. The make and model of the vehicle, the year of the vehicle, the miles on the vehicle, the safety devices on the vehicle, and what the vehicle will be used for all have a role in determining the overall premium rate.

To keep your premium rate low, regularly ask your insurance company what discounts are available, and if you are receiving all the discounts you are eligible for. There are good driver discounts, student discounts, safe device discounts, senior citizen discounts, and discounts for taking a defensive driving course. Staying on top of what discounts are offered and taking advantage of them can help keep your premium rates low.

Finding an auto insurance company that allows you to easily transfer a policy from one vehicle to the other can be done by using an online comparison tool. This type of online tool allows you to see what several different auto insurance companies have to offer as well as rates and quotes so you can compare and decide all in the comfort of your own home. A simple click of the mouse and you can receive auto insurance quotes today!