Is it a law for a car dealership to make you get insurance before you drive the car off the lot?

UPDATED: Aug 19, 2011

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Is it a law for a car dealership to make you get insurance before you drive the car off the lot?

My girlfriend and I just bought a car from a used car dealership. They didn’t make us get insurance because they said since we had full coverage on our other car that it will cover us for the new car until we got insurance for it. We got into a accident a couple days later and the insurance said they wouldn’t cover us. Is it the responsibility for the dealership to fix the car?

Asked on August 19, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In the state of California all legal drivers in this state are required to have insurance for all motorized vehicles that they drive. The car dealership's obligation to you was to sell you a vehicle disclosing everything known about it so that you could make an informed decision in your purchase.

It had no legal obligation to make sure that you had full coverage for the vehicle that you purchased before you drove it off the lot. It was your obligation to make sure that the vehicle you just purchased had adequate insurance for your needs before you drove it home post purchase.

The car dealership did not cause you to get into the accident that you got into. The car dealership has no responsibilty to fix the car that you purchased based upon your question.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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