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When purchasing a used car in Ontario, you typically need to have valid car insurance in place before you can register the vehicle and obtain license plates. In Ontario, it is mandatory to have a minimum level of auto insurance coverage, which includes:

  1. Third-Party Liability Coverage: This protects you in case you’re responsible for injuring someone or damaging their property. The minimum required amount in Ontario is $200,000.
  2. Statutory Accident Benefits Coverage: This provides benefits if you or your passengers are injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  3. Direct Compensation-Property Damage (DCPD) Coverage: This covers damage to your vehicle and its contents when another driver is responsible for the accident, and that driver is insured by an insurance company licensed in Ontario.
  4. Uninsured Automobile Coverage: This protects you if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run.

When purchasing a used car, it is essential to have valid insurance in place before completing the transaction. Once you have purchased the vehicle, you need to register it with the Ministry of Transportation and obtain new license plates or a temporary permit if necessary. This process usually requires proof of insurance.

Do I Need Insurance Right Away?


In Ontario, you need to have insurance in place before you can legally drive your newly purchased used car. You must obtain valid insurance coverage before registering the vehicle, getting license plates, or acquiring a temporary permit.

Before purchasing the used car, it’s a good idea to get some insurance quotes and choose a provider. Once you’ve made the purchase, you can contact the insurance provider to activate the policy. The insurance provider will typically give you a temporary insurance card or electronic proof of insurance, which you can use until you receive the official insurance card in the mail.

When registering your vehicle with the Ministry of Transportation, you will need to provide proof of insurance. It’s important to have insurance in place right away to ensure you’re in compliance with the law and to protect yourself financially in case of an accident or other issues.

Does It Matter If It’s A Private Sale Or Not?

Whether you’re purchasing a used car from a private seller or a dealership, the requirement to have insurance in place before you can legally drive and register the vehicle remains the same in Ontario.

In both cases, you will need valid insurance coverage in place before you can obtain license plates, a temporary permit, or register the vehicle with the Ministry of Transportation. The process of obtaining insurance is also the same, regardless of whether it’s a private sale or from a dealership. You should shop around for quotes, choose a provider, and have the policy activated once you’ve made the purchase.

However, there may be some differences in the overall process of buying a used car from a private seller versus a dealership. For example, a dealership may handle some of the paperwork, like transferring ownership, while you will need to manage these tasks on your own during a private sale. Additionally, a dealership may offer financing options and warranties, which may not be available through a private seller.

In either case, it’s crucial to have insurance coverage in place immediately after purchasing a used car in Ontario, as it is a legal requirement for driving and registering the vehicle.

Do I Need To Do It In Person?


You don’t necessarily need to purchase car insurance in person in Ontario. Many insurance providers allow customers to obtain quotes and purchase policies online or over the phone. With the widespread use of digital technology and online services, it has become more convenient to shop around for insurance coverage and finalize the policy without the need for an in-person visit.

Here are some ways you can obtain car insurance without doing it in person:

  1. Online: Many insurance providers have websites where you can request quotes, compare coverage options, and purchase policies directly. You may need to provide some personal information, vehicle details, and driving history to receive accurate quotes.
  2. Over the phone: You can call insurance providers to discuss coverage options, ask questions, and purchase a policy over the phone. Make sure to have your driver’s license, vehicle information, and other necessary details handy when making the call.
  3. Through an insurance broker: An insurance broker can help you compare quotes and policies from multiple providers. They can guide you through the process and help you purchase a policy without needing an in-person visit. Brokers may have online tools or phone support to assist you.

After purchasing a policy, the insurance provider will typically send you a temporary insurance card or electronic proof of insurance, which you can use until the official insurance card arrives in the mail. This temporary proof of insurance can be used when registering your vehicle with the Ministry of Transportation.

In summary, it is not required to purchase car insurance in person in Ontario, as there are various methods available to obtain coverage without an in-person visit.

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.