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Car Insurance for Living in Your Car

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Whether you live in your car by choice or necessity, you’re in for an adventure. While there are many challenges of living on the road, there are also plenty of benefits. When you live in your car, you open the door to new opportunities and experiences that can give you fresh perspectives and enhance your life.

If you call your vehicle home, you may wonder about car insurance requirements. The short answer is that, yes, you will need car insurance. You can compare car insurance quotes online to find one that fits your needs and budget.

Quick Facts

  • You will need car insurance if you live in your car, even if you don’t drive it.

  • Comprehensive coverage will protect you and your vehicle from theft, vandalism, and other damages, so it’s worth the extra cost.

  • While living in your car can save you money, it requires a great deal of preparation and creativity.

Reasons to Live out of Your Car

Is living in your car legal?

Living in your car is legal, but it matters where you park your car while sleeping in it. Ensure you’re not on private property to avoid any issues.

There are a number of reasons you might want to live out of your car. By doing so, you can save money on living expenses, such as a mortgage, rent, utilities, home decor, and maintenance. If you travel a lot, you may find it more convenient to live in your car. In addition, living in your car can give you the freedom to embrace the nomadic lifestyle and explore the world around you.

When you don’t have a permanent residence, you’re more likely to drive to a destination whenever you want to immerse yourself in new cultures and meet new people. While it’s unconventional, living out of your car can lead to a fulfilling life that you’re proud to call your own.

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Why Auto Insurance Is Mandatory

You’ll need to purchase an auto insurance policy, whether you live in your car for a few weeks or for several years. This is because most states require car insurance when you hold a driver’s license and operate a vehicle. But what if you live and sleep in your car but don’t drive it anywhere? You may be surprised to learn that you’ll still need to be insured.

In order to register a vehicle in most states, you need to have proof of insurance. This means you need to meet at least the minimum liability requirements in your state. And even if your vehicle stays put, there’s always a chance someone may hit your car, making an auto insurance policy a good idea.

While it may be tempting to just purchase the minimum car insurance coverage required by your state, doing so is risky. To completely protect yourself and your vehicle, you’ll need to invest in collision coverage and comprehensive coverage in addition to liability coverage.

Comprehensive coverage is designed to pay for vehicle damages that aren’t caused by a collision. It will cover a variety of damages, such as those from vandalism, theft, and severe weather conditions. Yes, comprehensive car insurance will come with higher insurance premiums, but it can potentially save you headaches and money down the line.

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How to Get Cheap Car Insurance Quotes Online

If you’re living in a car by yourself or with a significant other or family member, there’s a good chance you’d like to save money on everyday expenses, including car insurance. As long as you research the various car insurance companies and coverage options at your disposal, you’re sure to find the ideal policy for your unique situation.

While comprehensive insurance will cost you more than a liability-only policy, it’s essential if you make your vehicle your home.

Factors like your driving record, credit score, and age all play a role in the price you pay for car insurance. You’ll pay less if you’re an experienced, safe driver than if you’re a teen driver with many traffic violations. Also, if you’re living in your car with someone else, like a spouse, for example, you may share car insurance with them rather than purchase a separate policy. Doing so will likely save you money.

Even though it’s wise to consider a variety of coverage limits, deductibles, and premiums, if you’re living in your car and trying to cut your expenses, the cheapest car insurance might be your best bet, at least for the time being.

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Tips for Living in Your Car

There’s no denying that living in a car is easier said than done. After all, your vehicle will need to protect you from the weather, allow you to prepare meals, and give you a comfortable place to sleep. It must also transport you from point A to point B. The following tips can make living in your car a realistic, safe, and enjoyable endeavor.

First and foremost, keep your vehicle clean and well-maintained at all times. This way, it’ll attract less attention and blend in with other cars. Park your car near 24/7 businesses rather than residential areas. Church parking lots and campsites are great options.

Since you can’t use your car as a permanent address, you may want to purchase a private mailbox with a street address, which will be useful when you apply for IDs, jobs, and car insurance. While you can get a P.O. box, some businesses won’t deliver to one.

Whenever you’re in an area with free Wi-Fi, take advantage of it to save money on your cell phone data plan. When it comes to eating, stick to fresh veggies, soups, oatmeal, and small cuts of meat that are easy to cook with a pot and hot water. Don’t forget to stock up on convenient snacks you don’t need to cook, like fruit, granola bars, and bagels.

In addition, you may want to join an affordable gym or community center. This way, you’ll have somewhere to not only exercise but shower and get ready as well. You should also familiarize yourself with laundromats in your area since you won’t have regular access to hot water.

Remember that while living in your car can lead to a cheaper lifestyle, it’s not free. You’ll still need to pay for gas, groceries, clothing, car insurance, and other essentials. If you’d like to keep your vehicle parked in one city, you can have a traditional job. However, if you prefer to travel around, explore seasonal or freelance work that can give you the freedom to do so.

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Save Money and Enjoy Life by Living in a Car

The cost of living is higher today than ever before. By living in a car, you can save a great deal of money on living expenses while still living life to the fullest. If you choose to pursue this option temporarily or permanently, make sure you have a car insurance policy with a reputable auto insurance company.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • It is legal to live in your vehicle. However, each city and state has certain stipulations regarding where you can park. If you decide to live in your car, do your research and familiarize yourself with local parking ordinances. Otherwise, you might be asked to move your vehicle in the middle of the night.

  • Since your car will be your home, you’ll need the same items you’d have in a traditional living space. These include toiletries, food items, and clothing. You might also be more comfortable with extras like a sleeping bag, foam mattress, earplugs, and a phone charger that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter.

  • Even though you can easily cut costs when you live in your car, you’ll still need to invest in car insurance if you’re a licensed driver. With Insurify, you’ll get personalized auto insurance quotes from a variety of insurance providers. You’ll be able to choose the right auto insurance policy for your budget, nomadic lifestyle, and particular needs without the hassle.

  • It can be difficult to stay cool inside your vehicle. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your windows open a bit and let air in. You should also invest in a DC-to-AC inverter or a battery-powered fan. Since heatstroke is a serious issue that can lead to major health complications, don’t hesitate to go to rest stops, fast food restaurants, and other air-conditioned places on scorching hot days.

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  • Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.

Anna Baluch
Anna BaluchInsurance Writer

Anna Baluch is a Cleveland-based personal finance and insurance expert. With an MBA from Roosevelt University, she enjoys writing educational content that helps people make smart financial decisions. Her work can be seen across the internet on many publications, including Freedom Debt Relief, Credit Karma, RateGenius, and the Balance. Connect with Anna on LinkedIn.