Do You Have to Keep Insurance on a Car You Aren't Driving?

by Bonnie Peterson

It may be time to cancel your car insurance on the car you never drive. Depending on the reason that car is sitting, you may not have to pay out all that hard-earned money every month to your auto insurance company.

In the states of California, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado among others, you can fill out an affidavit of nonuse form from the state's motor vehicle's agency. It may also be called an affidavit of non-operation or storage. As soon as you mail or give the motor vehicles agency this form, you can cancel the car insurance on that vehicle. Check if your state motor vehicles agency has this form. The vehicle cannot be parked or driven on any public street or highway without insurance.

When the registration renewal comes up for the vehicle that is sitting, unused, even if you filed the affidavit of nonuse, register it as Planned Non-Operation or PNO. There is still a filing fee, but it is less than full registration. PNO vehicles do not require insurance if they are parked anywhere that has no possibility of a citation.

Tip

  • Some car insurance companies will allow comprehensive coverage without liability to cover vandalism, fire, flood or other damage that may incur, even in the garage. Homeowner's insurance can cover a vehicle in a garage as well, but check your policy thoroughly.

Tip

  • A car that you will drive infrequently or have parked on a city street still needs to have the minimum liability insurance and current registration.

Another option is Self-insurance or a surety bond, which is a good option for owners of multiple cars.

About the Author

Bonnie Peterson has been an automotive writer and custom automotive painter since 2011. She graduated from Cypress College in the field of Automotive collision repair in 2010 and now has numerous certifications in automotive collision repair, refinishing and detailing.