When shopping for used car insurance, it's important you get a plan that works for you as the owner of the car and the specific vehicle you own. All states have basic car insurance requirements you have to meet, but there's an opportunity to protect yourself with much more coverage than just the basics. Because of that, car buyers may also consider additional insurance options. Here's what to consider when getting insurance for older cars and whether additional coverage is necessary.

What Kind of Insurance Does a Used Car Need?

Used cars, just like new cars, have state minimums they have to adhere to for insurance requirements. Older cars might be cheaper to insure, but that doesn't mean you can go without insuring them at all. Car insurance companies may really vary in their rates, too, so shopping around matters. State Farm, for example, may have a great price for one type of car or a vehicle of a certain age, but the same company might not have good prices for some other types or ages of vehicles.

With that in mind, buying a used car and saving money becomes about more than just the price of the car. It's also about auto insurance rates, whether you want comprehensive and collision coverages, and the average rates that you can expect based on the make, model, and year of the car you're thinking about buying. You might choose to just have liability coverage, which could save you money, but that won't really protect your investment in many circumstances. So, considering all of that matters before making an insurance decision.

Should You Get More Than Basic Coverage?

Whether you need to get more than just the basic policy, which includes liability coverage and little else, is a question only you can answer. Car insurance quotes can help you decide, since you can get them for liability, bodily injury, and other products and services that will give you additional coverage. Insurance costs can really vary, especially when you go beyond what your state requires. Insurers calculate the rates on the year, make, and model of the car, but also on your driving record and other factors, such as your credit rating and marital status.

If you aren't sure about whether to get more coverage or just cheap car insurance, consider the price of the car. Older cars rarely need a lot of expensive coverage because the cars themselves aren't worth a lot of money. However, if you buy a used car that's newer or one that's expensive, such as a luxury brand, you may choose additional coverage so you can get the protection you need and the coverage your vehicle deserves. Usually, that includes comprehensive and collision coverage. Asking your agent for a couple of different policies and their associated costs can help you compare.

Understanding the Insurance Costs for Used Cars

The age of the car really matters for cheap car insurance quotes, but it's not just about the age. Some makes and models of cars are just more expensive than others, and getting parts for them if they become damaged in an accident will cost more. For example, buying a Ford is generally going to mean lower insurance costs than buying a Lexus, all other things being equal. So, if you choose a luxury car, just make sure you're budgeting for the fact that your average rates for car insurance will be higher.

Also, keep in mind that a typical used car or older car is a lot different from a classic or antique car. Some vehicles are worth a lot of money because they're older, and they can't easily be worked on, repaired, or replaced. That's worth noting, since the insurance for those kinds of cars could be high even though the vehicle is not anywhere close to new.

If you're considering several vehicles and trying to decide which used car you want to buy, it's worthwhile to get insurance quotes on all of them to find out which used car insurance option is going to be the best. Once you have that info, you can make an informed decision.

Your State Will Have Specific Requirements

Each state is different in their insurance requirements, but most states have requirements that are very similar to one another. The biggest differences are usually the dollar amounts of coverage required. For example, one state may require $10,000 for a minimum in bodily injury insurance, while another state may require $15,000 as a minimum for the same coverage. Following your state's requirements is necessary, since you can't legally insure a car for less than the minimums your state allows.

However, while you can insure a car for more than what the state requires, you can only do so up to certain limits. For example, you can't insure a standard vehicle for $1 million in bodily injury, since car insurance policies don't go up to those kinds of limits. There's quite a bit of difference between the lowest and highest options for price and coverage, though, and you want to make sure you're choosing somewhere in between those options so you feel comfortable.

Used Car Insurance is Very Important

If you don't feel good about the level of coverage you have for your used car insurance, you might think you're paying too much or you might not feel safe driving your vehicle. Finding the balance between those two extremes is important. While states require insurance for your used car, having the right amount of it can equal peace of mind you won't be able to get otherwise.

There's little need to purchase the maximum level of comprehensive coverage for a 15-year-old "clunker", but you probably don't want to go without collision insurance on a car that's only a couple of years old because it's likely still worth quite a bit of money. Of course, the only person who can make the choice of what level of used car insurance to purchase is you as the owner. Still, the more information you have about car insurance and the vehicle you're buying, the easier it will be for you to make the right choice for your used car insurance needs.

Find a Great Used Car to Insure Today

Now that you know how to find the right used car insurance policy, how will you go about finding the right used car to fit your budget and lifestyle? If you're looking for a reliable used car, use PrivateAuto, where you can find the perfect vehicle to fit your needs, without going over budget.