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How to Get Instant Car Insurance Online

Kailey Hagen
By: Kailey Hagen

Our Insurance Expert

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Shopping for car insurance isn't the most exciting thing in the world, but fortunately, with the rise of instant car insurance online, it shouldn't take drivers long to find what they need. Buying an insurance policy online can also save drivers money. Here's a look at how instant car insurance works and some tips on how to find the best deal.

What are the benefits of getting same day car insurance quotes online?

Here are a few reasons a driver may want to get a quote for car insurance online:

It's easier to compare insurance quotes

Getting online car insurance quotes only takes a few minutes, so it's easy to compare them side by side. Most companies enable drivers to save their quotes as well, so they can return to them at a later date if necessary. There are also auto insurance marketplaces that are designed to help motorists get quotes from multiple companies at the same time.

You won't face pressure from an agent

Insurance agents usually earn a commission on each policy they sell. This can lead some to encourage drivers to purchase more coverage than they need or to go with a more expensive company. When comparing quotes online, there's no pressure. Drivers can look at rates at their own pace and choose the one that offers them the best coverage.

Some insurers offer online discounts

Several of 2022's best car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who purchase a policy online. In this case, there's no insurance agent the company has to pay a commission to, so it passes this savings on to its customers.

What information do you need to get instant car insurance quotes?

Here's a brief overview of the information drivers need on hand when shopping for instant auto insurance:

Personal information

All car insurance companies will ask drivers for some basic personal information, including:

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Address
  • Driver's license number

These form the backbone of a car insurance quote. Insurers use this information to calculate the likelihood that a driver will file a claim based on statistics and the driver's personal driving record.

Some companies may also ask for the driver's Social Security number in the quote, though others don't request this information until the customer is ready to purchase a policy.

Vehicle information

Drivers must also know the make and model of their vehicle as well as its vehicle identification number (VIN), whenever possible. Insurance companies need this information to determine an accurate price for the vehicle. Certain makes and models are also more likely to be stolen than others, and this can also affect car insurance rates.

Driving history

Drivers who have histories of accidents, speeding tickets, or DUIs are considered riskier drivers than those with clean records. Insurance companies charge these drivers more, which is why they want to know about any recent marks on a driver's record. In most cases, motorists will need to know the dates of any previous accidents, speeding tickets, or DUIs that have taken place within the past three years. However, in some states, drivers need to know the details of accidents going back five years.

Current and desired coverage

Knowing what their current coverage is can help a driver figure out what level of coverage they should be looking for in a new policy. For those who have never had their own auto insurance before, our car insurance guide goes through all the basics.

Tips for getting same day car insurance

Drivers who want car insurance coverage ASAP should do the following:

Know the coverage you need

Drivers can save themselves time by thinking about the level of coverage they're looking for. Some liability coverage is necessary to drive legally in nearly every state, and those with a lease or loan on their vehicle will also have to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. Beyond that, there are plenty of extra coverage options available, and it's up to each driver to decide which ones make sense for them.

Use a car insurance calculator tool

Car insurance calculators can give drivers a sense of what they should expect to pay when shopping for car insurance. Playing around with one of these is an easy way to figure out how much coverage fits into your budget.

Find ways to save money

Most car insurance providers offer discounts to drivers who meet certain criteria. Many automatically apply these to the driver's premium, though there may be a few discounts drivers have to opt in for. For example, driver monitoring programs require drivers to consent. Those who choose to participate may get instantly lower rates.

Drivers might also be able to save by choosing a higher deductible. This is the out-of-pocket cost a policyholder must pay before the insurance company will pay for any damages. Going with a high deductible usually lowers premiums.

One thing drivers shouldn't do when trying to save money is skimp on coverage. This might appear to be a smart move, but if the driver causes an accident and the cost exceeds their policy's limits, they could wind up with a huge bill.

For more tips, check out our guide on how to get cheaper car insurance.

Compare providers and rates for the best deal

Comparing quotes from several companies is the best way to find a great deal. This doesn't take that long for drivers who are shopping online. They can open several browser windows and look at quotes from different companies side by side to see which offers the most coverage for the lowest price. Those who aren't ready to purchase a policy right away can save their quotes so they can return to them later.

The Ascent's best car insurance companies

Check out our hand-picked list of the best car insurance companies. Our top picks are packed with valuable perks, such as low rates, bundled discounts, and best-in-class service.


  • Many car insurance companies enable drivers to purchase policies with coverage beginning that same day. But drivers need to have all the necessary personal information ready to speed up the process.

  • Many insurers enable drivers to purchase a cheap car insurance policy beginning that same day. Drivers can get a quote from the insurer to see what a policy would cost and the soonest eligible start date.

  • Yes. Many companies now enable drivers to get a car insurance quote online and customize it to their liking. Once they're done, they can purchase it right away. However, there are still insurers that require drivers to speak to an agent to complete their purchase.

Our Insurance Expert