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 Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2022

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The Lowdown

  • Most states require you to have auto insurance if you want to drive a car
  • You can face fines and even jail time for driving without insurance
  • You can shop for affordable insurance online

Drivers who wonder, What are the costs of not having auto insurance?, need to know that the consequences of driving without insurance can actually be quite severe.

Almost every state requires drivers to have an active auto insurance policy. What happens if you drive without insurance and get pulled over will vary from state to state, you could be fined, lose your license, have your registration suspended, or even spend some time in jail.

In order to avoid ending up in any of these unfortunate circumstances, you should shop online to find an affordable policy that also provides the coverage that you need.

The costs of not having auto insurance far outweigh the fees involved in purchasing auto insurance when you need it. Enter your ZIP code so that you can begin comparing free quotes.

What happens if you get caught driving without insurance?

According to the New York DMV, if you are caught driving without insurance, you could end up having to pay a  $750-$1,500 fine and you could lose your license and vehicle registration for up to a year. In addition, If you fail to meet the insurance standards established in the state of Florida, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, you could be charged with fines of up to $500.

You must also remember that insurance companies review your motor vehicle record (MVR) whenever you attempt to purchase insurance rates. And if you are caught driving without insurance, the next insurance company you apply to will be aware of it. This can cause a hike in your insurance rates and means that you can end up paying for driving without insurance long after the offending incident.

As you can see, it can be severely detrimental to your bank account to drive without insurance, and it is much more cost-effective to purchase a policy before driving on the road.

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How much does auto insurance cost?

Car insurance rates differ per person for a variety of reasons. Below you can see how rates will change based on the coverage that you select:

Average Monthly Liability Auto Insurance Rates by Company and Coverage Level

CompaniesState Minimum Liability Rates50/100/50 BI-PD Liability Rates100/300/100 BI-PD Liability Rates
Liberty Mutual$53$59$67
State Farm$44$52$59
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The amount of coverage you choose isn’t the only deciding factor in your rate calculation. In order to determine how much you will pay for your insurance, auto insurance companies need to gather a significant amount of information to use in what is known as the underwriting process. This process enables them to perform mathematical calculations and statistics that can ascertain if you are a high- or low-risk driver.

If you want to take control of your future, you should understand the specifications that interest an insurance company, so that you can be prepared when you begin shopping for insurance.

Factors that Affect Auto Insurance Rates

When you apply for an insurance quote online, you’ll need to be ready to supply this information:

  • Your age
  • Your full name
  • Your birthdate
  • Your car’s make and model
  • Your car’s age
  • Your car’s mileage
  • Your driver’s license number

Once an insurance company has acquired this information, it will proceed with conducting further background checks on you. More specifically, an insurance company will run your motor vehicle report (MVR) to discover your driving history and determine if you have been involved in accidents, collected numerous speeding tickets, or been fined for other moving violations.

If you have several marks on your driving record, an insurance company will regard you as a high-risk driver and adjust your rates accordingly.

Now, insurance companies are also interested in your credit score. If you have a low credit score, an insurance company will also see you as a risky client to insure, not due to your driving abilities but because you may not be able to pay for your policy.

How to Reduce Insurance Rates

Drivers who have poor credit scores — or a few speeding tickets — may be concerned that their insurance rates could soar to untenable heights. However, there’s no need to panic. Most major insurance companies offer great discounts that can help you lower your rates and acquire the coverage you need.

As you shop for a new insurance company, you can use this guide to help you find a company that offers the best selection of discounts:

Auto Insurance Discounts from Top Companies

Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Anti-lock Brakesxxx555x5xx
Claim Freexxx26x10x152312
Continuous CoveragexxxxN/AN/AxN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lightsxxx155xN/Axx
Defensive Driverxxxx105105103
Distant StudentxxxxN/A10xx7x
Driver's Edxxxx10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppxxN/Ax30402050305
Early SigningxxxxN/A8xN/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlxxxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Emergency DeploymentN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AxN/AxN/AN/AxN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AxxN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/Ax810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/Axxx$5N/AxN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/Ax1015N/AN/AxN/A
Good CreditxxN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/A
Good Studentxxx1522.510x2583
Green VehiclexN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/AN/A
Life InsurancexN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileagexxxxxxx30xx
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple DriversN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Multiple Policies1029x102010121713x
Multiple Vehiclesxxx25102010208x
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehiclexN/AxxN/Axx401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
On-Time PaymentsxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsxxxN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingxxxN/Ax$30x$233
Passive Restraintxxx40x20x40xx
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/Ax15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverxN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AxxN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AxN/Ax107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AxxN/A10N/AxN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recoveryxxx153525x5xx
VIN EtchingN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/Axx
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AxN/AN/A$75
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As you can see, there’s no need to drive without insurance. There are plenty of discounts that can help you secure the best policy for you with savings to boot.

The Cost of Not Having Insurance: What You Need to Know

What are the costs of not having auto insurance? In short, it’s not worth it. You could pay expensive fines and lose your license or your vehicle registration. On top of that, an insurance company may hold that against you when you attempt to purchase a policy, and you could persist in paying higher rates.

Instead of risking your hard-earned funds and your driving freedom, purchase an insurance policy from a company that can meet your financial and coverage needs.

Enter your ZIP code to obtain free insurance quotes from insurance companies near your city because the costs of not having auto insurance are extremely excessive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it illegal to drive without insurance?

A car accident can result in immense property damage, medical bills, and even death. All of these situations can financially destroy a household. While having an insurance policy will not allow you to rewind time, it will permit you to provide financial assistance to another driver that you’ve injured in an accident.

Can you drive without insurance if the car is insured?

Insurance coverage follows the car. That means that if you don’t have insurance, you could borrow your friend’s car — as long as your friend has an active policy for that vehicle. Now, you must remember that if you cause an accident and the damages surpass the coverage provided by your friend’s coverage, you could be sued by the other driver for damages.

Can I have a car without insurance and not drive it?

As long as your vehicle is not being operated, you do not need to purchase coverage for it. However, if you plan to drive it somewhere, you must purchase a policy. This is true even if you only want to drive five minutes down the road.