How to Get Same-Day Car Insurance Instantly

You can hit the road the same day you purchase car insurance coverage from many companies. Here’s how to get the right same-day car insurance policy for you.
Last updated Sept. 20, 2022 | By Lindsay Frankel | Edited By Melinda Sineriz
Smiling couple in a car

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If you’re eager to get out on the road, you may be looking for same-day car insurance. Whether you’re buying a new car, breaking up with your current insurance provider, or getting coverage for the first time, you have options if time is of the essence.

Many car insurance companies can provide you with an active policy on the same day you purchase coverage, often in just a few minutes. We’ll cover where to find same-day car insurance and how to get the best rates for the coverage you need.

In this article

5 steps to get same-day car insurance instantly

If you’re looking for instant car insurance, you’ll typically have better luck getting car insurance quotes from national carriers than smaller local companies. For example, State Farm, Geico, and Progressive, the three largest car insurance companies by market share, can all offer same-day car insurance for most customers.

If you’re at the dealership shopping for a new car, you can call for a quote and have proof of insurance provided in minutes. Or you can use your mobile phone to compare online quotes from a few different companies. Follow these steps to make the process as smooth as possible.

1. Gather your information

You’ll save time if you have your personal information and documents prepared when you call or go online for a quote. You’ll likely need the following information for yourself and all other drivers who live with you:

  • Date of birth, sex, and marital status
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social Security number
  • Mobile phone number
  • Email
  • Residential address

You’ll also need the following vehicle information for each vehicle you plan to cover:

  • Year, make, and model
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Body style
  • Whether you lease, finance, or own
  • Estimated weekly mileage.

If you’re missing any of this information, it could cause a delay in getting the coverage you need.

Tip
You may also be asked to answer some additional questions, such as whether you’re a homeowner, to see what discounts you may qualify for. If you’ve taken an accident prevention course, you should also provide the date of completion to earn savings.



2. Decide what type of coverage you need

The type of coverage you need will impact the price of your policy. Depending on the state you live in, some types of coverage may be required by law, whereas others may be optional.

If you have a loan or a lease, you’ll most likely be required to purchase “full coverage” car insurance, which is a term used to describe a policy that includes collision and comprehensive coverage in addition to the state minimum requirements.

Tip
If you’re looking for cheap car insurance, you may want to get minimum coverage with low limits and no collision or comprehensive coverage, but keep in mind that you will have higher out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident.



Consider the following types of car insurance coverage and how they can protect you and your finances.

  • Liability coverage: This coverage includes bodily injury liability and property damage liability. This helps to pay for the other party’s medical bills and repairs to their property or vehicle if you’re involved in an at-fault accident. It is required in most states.
  • Collision coverage: This assists in paying for repairs to your vehicle (or a new car if your vehicle is totaled) in the event you cause a crash.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This pays for repairs or a new vehicle if your car is stolen or damaged by a non-collision event such as vandalism.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This helps pay for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering in the event you are hurt in a hit-and-run or an accident caused by an uninsured motorist or a driver without adequate insurance coverage.
  • Medical payments coverage or personal injury protection (PIP): This can help pay for medical bills and lost wages if you or your passengers are injured in an accident. It can also cover funeral costs.
  • Rental car reimbursement coverage: This helps to cover a rental while your car is being repaired after an accident.
  • Roadside assistance coverage: This optional coverage can help you get back on the road again if your car breaks down or won’t start, you run out of gas, or you get locked out. It can also pay for towing.
  • Rideshare coverage: This is essential coverage if you drive for Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare company. Not all insurance companies offer this coverage.

3. Contact one or more car insurance companies

Car insurance rates are based on several factors, and each car insurance provider weighs those factors differently. You’ll likely find that some companies can offer you lower rates than others, so it’s best to compare auto insurance quotes from a handful of insurance providers if you want to get the best deal.

That said, if you’re looking for instant auto insurance, you may not have much time to shop around. Fortunately, many companies offer instant car insurance quotes, so it may not take as long as you think to compare a few insurance companies.

4. Choose a company and policy that fits your budget

Pricing for car insurance policies is determined by some factors that you either can’t control or can’t change quickly, such as your age, gender, location, driving history, and credit score (in most states). But you can choose the coverage types, coverage limits, and deductible amounts for your policy so it works for your budget.

As you compare car insurance rates, you should also look into which car insurance discounts each company offers. Some auto insurance companies offer usage-based telematics programs that monitor your driving habits or programs for low-mileage drivers, both of which can provide savings.

You might also get a discount if you bundle your policy with your renters or home insurance policy or pay for the whole year in advance.

5. Make your first payment

You’ll need to make your first payment in order for your policy to become active. Typically, this is one month’s premium, but you might get a discount if you pay your insurance premium in full for six months or a year.

Callout box: It’s important to note that if you are switching car insurance providers, you’ll need to purchase the new policy before you cancel the old one. Otherwise, you could have a lapse in car insurance coverage that could leave you unprotected and cause an increase in your auto insurance rates.

Some providers also offer a discount for continuous insurance, so make sure to activate your new auto insurance coverage while your old one is still in effect.

Reasons you may not be able to get a same-day auto insurance policy

Although most major insurers can serve most customers with a same-day policy, there are instances in which you may not be able to get a policy instantly.

  • Your driving record is poor. Not every car insurance company will insure every driver. For example, some insurance providers don’t offer insurance to drivers who need an SR-22, which is often required after a DUI. If you have many citations or car accidents on your record and the major national carriers aren’t willing to offer you a policy, you may need to do more research into companies that specialize in serving high-risk drivers.
  • You have a rare or classic car. Not every car insurance company will insure every car, either. They may have limits in place for the value and age of the car or may only cover cars in their database. If you need same-day coverage for your collectible vehicle, look for a company that specifically offers classic car coverage, such as Hagerty.
  • You just moved or don’t have a permanent address. You may need to show car insurance companies proof of address if you recently moved to a new home. That’s because your location is used to determine your rate. Typically, proof of address requires showing the insurance company a utility bill that has been sent to your new house or apartment, which you may not have received yet. Explain your situation to each company you get a quote from, as they may have options for you.

FAQs

Can you insure a car instantly?

You can insure a car instantly. It’s not quite as easy as snapping your fingers, but with most car insurance companies, you can get a quote, pay for a policy, and have proof of insurance in just a few minutes.

Can I insure my car any time of the day?

Many national insurance carriers have 24/7 customer service or offer online quoting at any time of the day. You’ll need to check with the provider, but with many providers it’s possible to get a car insurance policy at any time.

Can I insure a car and drive the same day?

Yes, you can insure a car and drive the same day. There’s typically no waiting period once your policy is active. Most car insurance providers can provide you with an active policy on the same day you make your first payment.

Bottom line

Getting same-day car insurance with most companies is as easy as A, B, C: apply for a quote, buy a policy, and cruise off into the sunset. That said, you’ll want to compare rates, coverage options, and ratings from a few different companies to get the best policy at the best price.

Our best car insurance guide is a great place to start. Also remember that if you need car insurance quickly, you can choose a company with a flexible cancellation policy. Most carriers allow you to cancel at any time, so it’s OK to buy a policy that starts today and then take your time shopping around afterward. What’s most important is having an active policy before you step on the gas.

  • You could save up to $500 with some companies
  • Compare dozens of providers in under 5 minutes
  • Fast, free and easy way to shop for insurance
  • Quickly find the perfect rate for you

Author Details

Lindsay Frankel Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based freelance writer who specializes in credit cards, travel, budgeting/saving, and shopping. She has been featured in several finance publications, including LendingTree. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors, playing music, or cuddling with her rescue pup.