Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • Most vehicles must be properly insured to drive on roadways, but some states may give you a special one-day permit to transport a vehicle
  • Towing the vehicle is another possibility to consider if you need to move an uninsured vehicle
  • Buying insurance for all types of vehicles makes financial sense


An auto insurance premium can cost quite a lot of money, and you understandably do not want to pay for this expense if it is not necessary. If you store your vehicle in your garage or in another safe place and do not drive it, it may not currently be insured. This is something that a lot of drivers with classic cars do in order to cut costs – they’ll inform their insurance company that they don’t need coverage on one of their cars because it’s going to hibernate for the winter.

However, if you have plans to relocate it to a new location soon or to take a classic car to a car show, you may be wondering if you need to buy insurance or what your alternative transportation options are. It all tends to come down to cost, so it’s best to know what choices are available.

Learn more about auto insurance requirements below and make sure to use our free insurance comparison tool above!

Should you review your state’s insurance requirements?

Some individuals who only need to drive the vehicle down the road a short distance or across the highway for a single day may be thinking about making the drive without insurance. However, this is not advisable. Most states have minimum car insurance coverage requirements that drivers must meet at all times.

If you fail to meet minimum insurance requirements in your state, you could be charged a fine, lose your license, or incur other penalties. In addition, if your car is damaged or stolen, you may face considerable financial loss. Some governmental authorities search an insurance database to identify uninsured drivers.

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Is there any possibility of getting a special permit?

In some states, the Department of Motor Vehicles or another similar state agency may provide you with a one-day permit to legally transport the vehicle to a new location. This permit may only be valid for a specific date and for in-state purposes, so it may not be ideal for all situations. A good starting point is to research your state’s options to determine if you can obtain this affordable permit through your state’s motor vehicles department.

How do you tow a vehicle without insurance?

Another idea is to have an auto transport company tow your vehicle, and there are two primary options available. You can tow it on a flatbed truck, or you can use a standard tow truck that leaves the back wheels on the road.

In some areas of the United States, it is illegal for a car to be towed in the latter manner without insurance. Therefore, you should carefully review and understand all towing rules and regulations before you make specific transportation plans for your vehicle. Plus, this is also an option that has a cost associated with it, so it may be wise to compare the prices first.

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What are the risks associated with transporting a car without insurance?

Regardless of whether you transport your car on a flatbed truck or by a tow truck, it is important to understand the potential risks that you face by doing so without insurance. When your vehicle is protected in your garage, it may be locked in a secure location out of sight of others. It may also be protected from the elements and other types of damage.

As soon as you bring it out of this secure location, there may be an increased risk for damage and theft.

The risk increases if your transportation plans require you to tow the vehicle for a long distance or for several days or more. Without an active car insurance policy in place, you may be at considerable risk to experience financial loss. If the tow truck is stopped and you’re asked to provide evidence of coverage, such as an insurance card, and you’re unable to do so, you’re going to be slapped with even more additional costs. You could be fined for not having coverage on your vehicle.

Uninsured motorists are another concern. Remember that tow trucks and flatbed trucks can also be involved in accidents. If the accident is caused by an uninsured motorist who does not have the financial ability to pay for repair expenses to your vehicle, you may lose a substantial amount of money. You likewise should not count on the tow truck driver’s coverage to pay for your expenses.

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Can you add the car to your current auto insurance policy?

Because there are risks associated with transporting your vehicle, it makes sense to purchase car insurance for it. Remember that you can easily add the vehicle to your current auto insurance, and you can call your auto insurance company to cancel it a few days later. This will help you to avoid paying for more insurance than you need.

To make coverage even more affordable, you can opt for a higher deductible. Selecting the right coverage and opting for a lower limit on your coverage can help you to save money on your car insurance premium as well.

Canceling the policy after the vehicle has been transported is one option. However, because vehicles that are stored in a garage can get damaged or stolen, it makes sense to keep the vehicle insured.

Remember that you may be able to qualify for a low mileage discount or other discounts to make the coverage more affordable. It is a good idea to compare insurance rates from three or four different providers to find the best deal on the coverage you need.

Should you explore the possibility of classic car insurance?

If you have a classic car, you may qualify for a special type of coverage available through some providers. Classic car insurance is suitable for vehicles that are at least 25 or 30 years old and that are seldom driven. You may need to store the vehicle in a secure location most of the time, and you may also need a clean driving record to qualify for coverage.

Each provider has different qualification requirements for classic car insurance, so you should plan to shop around to find the right coverage for your needs. With this type of coverage in place, you may protect yourself from financial loss related to theft, natural weather events, and more.

Because a classic car can be a considerable financial asset, it makes sense to maintain insurance coverage on it that protects you from significant loss as well as liability issues.

As you can see, there are a few transportation options available that do not require insurance, such as towing or obtaining a special permit from the DMV. However, accidents, theft, and other loss events can occur at any time, including when a vehicle is stored in an enclosed garage or in another secure space. The risks for these events to happen may be more significant when your car is en route to a new location. With this in mind, it makes sense to purchase an affordable policy for your vehicle, so that in an unfortunate event like this, you would be able to file a damage claim.

Before you transport your vehicle, take the time to assess the various risks that you may face. In addition, compare the costs of these potential risks against the transportation and insurance options available. Call your auto insurance company to see how much it would cost to add the car to your policy, and go from there. This can help you to make the right decision for your upcoming transportation effort.

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