auto insurance for driving tests

As you prepare to take your driving test, you may be experiencing a healthy mix of nervousness and excitement. You might also be wondering, “Do they require auto insurance for driving tests?”

Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about auto insurance for driving tests. We’ll explain whether you need coverage, what the vehicle requirements are and give you some recommendations for getting your very own insurance policy.

If you have already completed your test or just need help finding a great quote, feel free to skip ahead and use our comparison tool above. Simply enter your zip code and follow the prompts to get free quotes from providers in your area.

Required Auto Insurance for Driving Tests

First things first: Is auto insurance required for driving tests? The short answer is yes, any vehicle operating on a public roadway must be insured. Since part of your driving test will take place on public roads, you must have a valid insurance policy on the vehicle that you drive.

Fortunately, if you are still living at home and using a parent’s vehicle for your driving test, you will automatically be covered under that parent’s policy. However, this coverage only extends to the actual driving test. Your parent(s) must officially add you to their policy after you pass your driving test and obtain your license.

Most of the time, insurance coverage “follows” the vehicle, not the driver. For example, you can borrow your friend’s vehicle on a rare occasion and be covered under their policy. Just be sure that you know where their latest insurance card is, just in case something happens.

If you find yourself borrowing someone’s vehicle on a regular basis, then you may need to be added as a “permissive user.” This means that you are added to their policy, but do not have any power to make changes to the plan. Being added as a permissive user is cheaper than getting your own plan, but it is only applicable when you borrow a vehicle insured on that specific plan. If you purchase your own vehicle, you will need to insure it under a plan in your name.

Vehicle Requirements for Driving Tests

Every state sets slightly different requirements for vehicles used during driving tests. However, most of the core requirements are the same. The vehicle must be insured and registered.

In addition, the administrator will conduct a thorough safety check on the vehicle before the driving test begins. They will ensure that brakes, lights, turn signals and other key safety equipment is in good working order. As long as the vehicle functions properly and is insured, you will be all set to begin your test.

Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance

Now that we have covered the importance of auto insurance for driving tests, we want to help you find a reputable insurance provider for the day when you need your own insurance coverage. Our experts have reviewed the top insurance providers in the nation to identify the best choices for car insurance. Enter your zip code below to start getting free quotes.

USAA: Best Military Provider

If you or an immediate family member are in the armed forces, then you may be eligible for USAA auto insurance. USAA is one of our top-rated providers. The company earned a cumulative score of 4.6 out of 5.0 in our industry-wide review. We also awarded USAA a 4.7 for coverage, a 5.0 for cost, a 4.7 for customer experience, and a 4.8 for industry reputation.

USAA is known for providing customers with an excellent experience from start to finish. The company has flexible packages that range from full coverage auto insurance to mileage-based plans.

GEICO: Best Discounts

GEICO is known for much more than its famous gecko commercials. For decades, GEICO has been one of the country’s top auto insurance providers. In fact, we dubbed GEICO the best overall provider in our comprehensive review. The insurer earned a total score of 4.6 out of 5.0.

GEICO is not just affordable, it also offers flexible plans that can suit the needs of any driver. Unlike some other major companies, it even offers rideshare coverage and mechanical breakdown insurance. GEICO also earned an A++ rating for financial strength from AM Best.

Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers

Founded in 1956, Progressive specializes in providing coverage to high-risk drivers. The company has steadily grown over the decades and is currently America’s third-largest insurer. Progressive earned a total score of 4.4 out of 5.0 in our review.

Progressive may be best known for its Snapshot tool. The company also offers a ton of different discounts. For example, if you stay with the provider for several consecutive years, you can get a loyalty discount. If you insure multiple vehicles under one policy, you can get a discount for that as well.

Car Insurance For Driving Test: FAQ

Does the insurance on the test vehicle have to be in your name?

No, the auto insurance used to meet testing requirements does not have to be in your name. Since you are simply borrowing the car for the driving test, you only need to provide proof that the vehicle is insured. As long as the registered owner has valid insurance, you will be covered.

Can you get one-day auto insurance for a driving test?

Technically, you can purchase a one-day auto insurance policy for a driving test. However, this is usually unnecessary because the vehicle owner’s insurance policy should cover you during the test. It is still always a good idea to make sure to check your specific state´s law regarding this before booking your test, as insurance requirements vary from state to state.

Do you have to own the vehicle that you’re taking your driving test in?

No, you do not have to own the vehicle that you are taking your driving test in. States don’t expect drivers to purchase a vehicle before they become licensed to drive. You can either use your parent’s vehicle, borrow an insured car, or have a licensed driver rent one for the day.

Does the owner of the car have to be there for a driving test?

It depends. Some states may require that the vehicle owner be present when you check-in for your testing appointment. However, many states simply require that the vehicle be insured and registered.

Do I need car insurance for a test drive?

The vehicle you are using must be insured for a test drive, as well as any time in which it is out on the road. However, you will seldom need your own insurance policy for a driving test.

Can I get car insurance before I pass my driving test?

Generally, auto insurance companies will only insure licensed drivers. This means that it can be next to impossible to obtain auto insurance before you pass your driving test. Fortunately, auto insurance coverage typically covers vehicles when they are being borrowed on a short-term basis, such as for your driving test.

Our Methodology

Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best car insurance providers.

  • Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team considers auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities when giving this score.
  • Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car insurance company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account the types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
  • Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, financial strength, and years in business when giving this score.
  • Availability: Auto insurers with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Customer Service: Reputable car insurance providers operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We consider complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), J.D. Power claims servicing scores, and customer feedback.
  • Online Experience: Insurers with easy-to-use websites and highly rated mobile apps scored best in this category.


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