More than two-thirds of workers work Monday through Friday, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you're one of them, you likely have to take care of many non-work tasks on the weekend. And if you're in the market for a new car, you'll probably visit the car dealership on a Saturday or Sunday, too.
That sometimes poses a problem if you're ready to buy. You typically have to have proof of insurance to buy or lease a vehicle, and many insurance companies are closed on the weekends. Keep reading to learn how you can acquire auto insurance during the weekend.
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How to buy car insurance on a weekend
You have a few options if you need to buy car insurance on a weekend.
Check with your current auto insurer
Before visiting the dealership, call your current auto insurer during business hours if you want to purchase coverage for your new vehicle through them. Ask questions about the best way to purchase coverage over the weekend. While the options vary by insurance company, you can often add a new vehicle to your current policy via a website or mobile app.
If you're trading in your existing car for a new one, some insurance companies provide a grace period of anywhere from one week to 30 days, automatically extending your existing coverage to protect a newly acquired vehicle. In that case, you can just call the company on Monday and ask them to remove your old car and add the new one, and they'll backdate the coverage to the date of purchase.
Add it during the week before
If you know which car you'll buy ahead of time, arranging coverage in advance may be an option.
For example, say you're buying a used vehicle from a private party. If you have all the information you need, such as the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN), you can contact your chosen auto insurer to arrange coverage ahead of the purchase. That way, you can drive the vehicle around over the weekend with your insurance coverage in place.
Purchase coverage online or over the phone
Many large insurance companies offer weekend customer service hours, toll-free hotlines, or online access that allows customers to purchase coverage during the weekend.
In that case, securing coverage on a Saturday shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure you know their weekend hours and what information they'll need from you to get coverage in place immediately.
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Do you have to buy car insurance on a weekend?
If none of the above options are available, you can't simply wait until Monday to purchase insurance.
It's illegal to drive without at least some auto liability insurance in every state except New Hampshire, according to the Insurance Information Institute. And if you buy the car from a dealership and finance it, most dealerships won't allow you to drive the car off the lot without proof of insurance.
What if you don't operate your vehicle?
Risk of penalties for uninsured driving understandably increases if you drive around without insurance, but it’s also risky to simply leave an uninsured vehicle parked in your driveway or garage until you get coverage.
Without coverage in place, you’ll have to make payments for damages and loss out of pocket. This applies if someone steals or crashes into your parked vehicle or if damages occur due to a falling tree, hail, or natural disaster.
Insurance companies that view that period as a lapse in coverage place you into a higher risk category, making it difficult to qualify for insurance with certain insurers or subjecting you to higher rates.
Good to know
States that require car insurance apply the requirement to any vehicle parked or operated on the state’s roadways. So even if you don’t drive your car, it still needs to be insured.
If the authorities catch you driving without insurance, you may face fines and have your license or registration suspended. The penalties vary by state, but common charges include traffic violations, a misdemeanor, and even performing community service as part of your punishment.
Your vehicle may be impounded if you have an accident or the authorities pull you over while driving without insurance. To reacquire your car out of impound, you must show proof of auto insurance and pay several hundred dollars in fees.
Those fees often include:
Initial towing fees
Daily storage fee charged by the impound lot
Impound lot release fee
Boot fee if law enforcement booted your car before towing it
The incident also appears on your driving record, which makes auto insurance coverage even more expensive. If you drive professionally for your line of work, you may also face negative consequences at your job.
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How long does it take to buy car insurance?
Buying car insurance takes anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on how you prepare and whether you have a policy in place for another vehicle.
If you already established a relationship with an existing insurance agent or auto insurer, then adding a new vehicle should take just a few minutes. However, if this marks your first time purchasing car insurance, you'll likely have to answer additional questions and authorize a credit check.
What documents do you need to purchase car insurance?
When you purchase car insurance, you'll likely need to provide the following documents:
Driver's license or state ID card and Social Security number
Address where your vehicle will be stored
Year, make, and model of the vehicle
The car's VIN
Bank or credit card information to set up automatic payments
Proof of prior insurance (if applicable)
Information on any driving violations, accidents, or claims in the past five years
How far you drive to work each day
Having all this information on hand before making the call or going online makes the application process go smoothly.
Companies that sell insurance on Saturdays and Sundays
The following companies may be good options for getting coverage on the weekends.
Progressive: Progressive offers 24/7 customer service. You can apply online or call a customer service agent to get a quote or start coverage.
GEICO: You can receive an auto insurance quote through GEICO anytime via the website or mobile app.
Allstate: Local Allstate agents may offer after-hours and weekend appointments. You can also receive an online quote at any time.
Nationwide: Nationwide allows you to purchase car insurance online and even print a proof of insurance card.
Liberty Mutual: You can find a same-day car insurance quote from Liberty Mutual. It also offers a mobile app where you can access ID cards and pay your bill.
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How to save money on car insurance
Check out the following tips below to save money on car insurance any day of the week.
Compare car insurance quotes. Shopping around and comparing rates from different insurers is a reliable way to find the most affordable rates available to you. Rates vary widely from company to company, so you may be surprised at how much you can save.
Increase your deductible. By opting for a higher deductible, your monthly premiums will decrease. Only implement this practice if you’re confident you’ll be able to afford the deductible in the event of an accident or claim.
Bundle multiple policies. Bundling two or more of your insurance policies often results in some added discounts to help you with the cost of insurance. Many insurance companies offer discounts if you purchase multiple policies — such as auto, home, and renters insurance — through them.
Ask about discounts. Many insurance companies offer discounts that reduce your premiums. For example, they might offer a discount if your car has advanced safety features like airbags and anti-theft devices. Or you might qualify for a discount if you're a student or AARP member. Never let an available discount go to waste.
See More: Car Insurance Discount Guide
FAQs about getting insurance on Saturday
Many large auto insurance companies do sell car insurance on Saturdays and Sundays. Some companies, such as Progressive and GEICO, offer 24/7 customer service hotlines, meaning you can get a quote or start coverage any time of the day or night. Other companies, such as Allstate, Nationwide, and Liberty Mutual, may offer same-day car insurance quotes online or via a mobile app.
Auto insurance companies usually give existing customers anywhere from one week to 30 days to make changes to a policy, including replacing an older vehicle. But it's a good idea to check with your insurance company before you buy a new car. And once you get the vehicle, it's best to formalize the change sooner rather than later.
You can buy car insurance even if you don't have a vehicle. This is known as non-owner car insurance, and it's designed for people who drive vehicles owned by other people regularly.
These policies come in handy if you often borrow cars from friends or family members with low liability limits or if an insurance company won't cover the vehicle while you're driving it.
You might also purchase non-owner car insurance if you frequently use a car-sharing service or rent cars. Buying your own insurance may cost less than purchasing coverage through the rental company.
Purchasing car insurance coverage will likely take longer if this marks your first time buying car insurance. You'll have to answer more questions and provide information about yourself, your driving history, and the vehicle. As long as you're prepared with all the necessary information, you can expedite the process by shopping around and comparing multiple quotes online to match your specific insurance needs.