So, you’re buying a used car, and are starting to look into some of the surrounding logistics, including car insurance. Insuring a used car requires a bit of a different decision making process than insuring a new car, but its not really that complicated. You just need to understand what the different components of car insurance are, and which ones you need to have, and which ones you might be able to do without as a used car owner.
First of all, though, let me state that yes, you absolutely need insurance for any car, new or used. It’s the law, and there is no getting around it. However, the most commonly required base level insurance is what is known as liability insurance. Liability insurance covers you against damages that you might be liable for in the event of an accident. For example, if you hit someone else and cause damage, you will be liable for this damage. With your insurance policy, the insurance company will be able to pay out to the required parties. This level of coverage is required, whether your car is new or used.
Things become a little fuzzier when you get to things like collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision insurance helps to repair or replace your car in the event of an accident. Comprehensive insurance covers your for things like weather damage, theft, vandalism, and more.
So, do you need these types of coverage for a used car? It really depends. If you’re driving a clunker, you can most likely do without these, since your premiums are likely to cost you much more than just buying another car would after a few years. However, if you’re driving a newer, few years old used car, these insurance policies can help protect your car against these issues.
In fact, it really all comes to your personal risk tolerance and preferences. As long as you have the insurance level required by law, whether or not you get extra coverage depends on how you feel about taking the risk of replacing the car yourself balanced with the expense of the insurance premium. Many people like to “self insure” by placing the money they would have spent on extra premiums into a special savings account to repair or replace the car in the event of an accident, theft, or other event.
So, I hope this gives you some idea of what you’re looking at in terms of choosing insurance for your used car. If you’re financing your used car, you’ll probably be required to fully insure the car, but otherwise, the decision is really up to you, as long as you meet the minimum legal requirements. Good luck in your decision making, and enjoy that money saving used car!