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How to add a car to your insurance policy

A man and wife are looking at their insurance policy with an agent
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There were 1.88 vehicles per household in the U.S in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. If you already own a car and plan to buy another, you will need to insure your additional vehicle. If you already have a current auto insurance policy, adding an additional car is usually possible. Although some companies insure vehicles on a one-vehicle-per-policy basis, many national and regional carriers allow policyholders to insure multiple vehicles on one policy, with a typical limit of four drivers and four vehicles on the same policy. If your insurance company allows this, you will be able to add your additional vehicle(s) to your existing policy and could even earn a significant discount for doing this.

How to add another car

Adding a vehicle to an existing auto insurance policy is a simple process that usually takes just a few minutes. To get started, you will need to contact your insurance carrier or agent. You may be able to add your vehicle to your policy by accessing the insurer’s website or through its mobile app, but you can also reach out to your insurance carrier or agent by phone or going into your agent’s local office to make the change in person.

Adding another car will not require as much information as you had to provide to set up the initial policy. You will need details about the new vehicle and an idea of what type of coverage you would like. Your agent can help you determine the most appropriate coverage for your additional vehicle. Many consumers typically select similar levels of coverage on all of their vehicles.

As long as you have all the vehicle information required, you can usually secure coverage for your additional car as quickly as the same business day.

What information do I need to add a car?

Before you call your insurance company or visit your agent, gather the following information to insure an additional vehicle:

  • Year, make and model of the vehicle
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Estimate of annual mileage

If your vehicle is financed via a loan or a lease, you will need to provide your insurance carrier with the lender’s information.

Why should I add another car to my insurance policy?

You may not have to add a vehicle to an existing policy. In some situations, you may be advised to buy a separate policy.

The benefits of insuring more than one vehicle on a single policy may outweigh the drawbacks. The biggest benefit is the cost of coverage — multi-car policies typically provide the policyholder with a discount. But before you base your decision solely on saving money, consider the following pros and cons:

Pros Cons
Multi-car policy The more cars you add, the more you may save through multi-car discounts
Easier to manage all in one place
Pay one bill covering all vehicles on the policy
The premium for all your vehicles will be due at the same time
Separate policies Get separate bills and different payment dates
You can select different coverage for each vehicle
May be more expensive to insure each vehicle separately
You will need to manage separate bills and due dates

Some insurance companies may not give you an option when it comes to insuring your vehicles on one policy or separate ones. If you are unsure of how to cover your additional vehicle, call your company or agent to discuss your options.

Does adding a car to my policy affect my rate?

Adding an additional vehicle to your existing auto policy will likely increase your premium.

Fortunately, most insurance companies provide a multi-car discount which can help offset the cost of adding another vehicle. To make sure you are getting the best car insurance rates, shop around for multi-car coverage to compare quotes.

How to choose coverages when adding a car

The first step to choosing coverage for your additional car is to decide whether you need minimum coverage insurance or full coverage insurance. Most states require a minimum amount of liability insurance in order to legally drive.

The average cost of car insurance in the United States is $565 per year for minimum coverage and $1,674 per year for full coverage. Minimum coverage may be cheaper, but purchasing higher limits and full coverage has its benefits.

Minimum coverage insurance includes only the coverages required by your state, typically liability bodily injury and property damage and occasionally uninsured motorists coverage. This type of coverage pays for the damage you cause to someone and their vehicle if you are in an at-fault loss. Uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage pays you for your damages if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you cause an accident and damages are over your minimum coverage limits, you will have to pay the difference out of pocket.

Liability insurance will not pay for damages to your vehicle; you will need full coverage for that. Full coverage insurance includes liability plus comprehensive and collision insurance, which pays for damages to your own vehicle. Collision insurance covers damages to your vehicle from collisions, such as with another vehicle or an object. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages from weather, theft, fire, vandalism or striking an animal. If you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, you will likely be required to carry full coverage.

Frequently asked questions

Does adding a car to my policy increase my rate?

Adding a vehicle to your policy will likely increase your premiums. However, you may be able to reduce your rates by taking advantage of multi-car discounts. Be sure to talk to your agent to find out what discounts may be available to you.

Can I add a car to my policy online?

Many of the larger insurance companies allow you to add a vehicle to your policy through their website or even via their mobile app. Adding a vehicle online is convenient. However, adding a second car to your policy online may not always be advantageous. You may miss out on discounts or coverage options an experienced agent or representative could recommend.

How quickly should I add a vehicle to my policy?

All states have regulations about having car insurance to legally drive. It can be challenging to time your coverage for exactly when you receive the keys to your new vehicle, but insurers try to make the transition as seamless as possible. You can tentatively set up coverage in advance for the additional vehicle and add an effective date for when the coverage should start. Or you can call your insurance company or agent when you are in possession of the keys and ask them to insure your vehicle that same day. In most cases, your carrier should be able to handle your request and make the coverage effective immediately.

Written by
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a former personal finance contributor at Bankrate. She is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Business Jet Traveler, MSN,, and
Edited by
Insurance Writer & Editor
Reviewed by
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute