when you purchase a car, you know that there are certain items you should always take with you. one of these things is your driver’s license. but what if you don’t have one? can you buy a car without a license?
in this guide, we talk about buying a car without a license. we discuss why you would want to do this and examine some other options you might not have thought about.
can you buy a car without a license?
there are no regulations about buying a car without a driver’s license. you don’t need this document to pay for a car and have it titled in your name. however, you will need a driver’s license to drive the vehicle, insure it and register it, which could cause some problems.
if you are prepared to deal with these hurdles, it’s possible to get the car of your dreams. if you don’t want the hassle, you might look at other alternatives to buying a car.
why buy a car without a driver’s license
the majority of people have a driver’s license, so there are only a few occasions when you try to buy one without it. however, if you want to gift someone a car, you might choose to buy it as a surprise, even if you don’t have a license.
in this case, it’s possible to purchase the vehicle upfront. once it is purchased, you can transfer the title to the person you are gifting it to.
read more: how to gift a car in the united states
what do people do that can’t have a driver’s license or don’t want one? if the reason for not getting a license is because of a disability or your lack of wanting one, you can buy a car for your caregiver or a personal driver to use.
of course, this person will need a driver’s license. you will also need to do some work to get the vehicle insured and registered.
3. learning to drive
maybe you haven’t gotten your license yet, but you see a deal on a car you want. don’t let not having a license slow you down.
not only can you purchase a car to drive later, but you can use it for practice as long as a licensed driver is with you and you are able to get it insured with registration. once you get your license, it’s yours to do with what you want.
related: 10 car driving tips for beginners (driving license tips)
4. property use
do you own a farm or a lot of land where you want to use the vehicle? if so, you don’t need a license because there’s no need for insurance or registration to drive a personal vehicle on your own property.
just remember, you won’t be able to take it on the local roads. this can be tricky if you need to fill it up with fuel unless you have an on-farm tank.
5. business owner
you don’t need a driver’s license if you are purchasing cars for company use by employees. you can buy the vehicles for your fleet without a personal driver’s license.
of course, you won’t be able to personally drive the vehicles. you will also need to find an insurance company that will work with you.
there are car collectors everywhere that don’t have driver’s licenses. if you plan to put the car in a garage for personal viewing, there’s no need to have a license.
again, you won’t be able to drive the car. that shouldn’t be a problem if you just want to sit and admire it, allowing it to rack up more value over the years.
difficulties buying a car without a license
1. test drive/delivery
the biggest trouble you will face is figuring out how to test drive the vehicle and get it home. the dealership isn’t going to let you take the car on the road without a driver’s license. you can get someone else to test it out or you can trust that everything is good.
additionally, when you are done signing the paperwork, you aren’t leaving the lot with the car. you can have a friend or family member drive it home or you can arrange transport.
2. insurance coverage
it’s nearly impossible to get car insurance on a vehicle without a driver’s license. it’s a required part of the application process.
thankfully, there are a few insurers that have some understanding policies. if you have information about who will be driving it, including their driver’s license number, you can get insurance. you are replaced as the primary driver, even if you are paying for the policy.
this step is only needed if you plan to remain the owner of the vehicle. if it’s a gift, you can have the recipient get their own insurance once the title is transferred.
3. lack of registration
to drive your vehicle on the road, it must be registered through your state. the only way to get this registration is to have it insured. obviously, you already know that you are going to have trouble with the insurance, which rolls into the registration.
registration information must also match the owner on the title. you could allow the driver to be listed as a titleholder of the car, but this gives them partial ownership, so it’s not always the best option.
related: 10 things to look for before buying a used car (guide)
4. financing trouble
when you attempt to get a car loan, you will need to show your driver’s license. while it can be challenging to get financing or a lease to begin with, not having a license only makes it more difficult. you will want to have another form of photo id if you are looking to finance a car. of course, you can still be turned down, as there are no guarantees.
dealerships are happy to work with people that don’t have perfect credit or a tight budget but aren’t as thrilled to work with someone that doesn’t have a license. the reason behind this is that the dealership knows you don’t truly have ownership of the vehicle because you won’t be able to register it.
you could try to finance the car through a third party, but this isn’t easy either. many lenders will require proof of insurance in addition to the driver’s license. you could always ask someone you know to lend you the money, but this is an arrangement that you might not be comfortable with. otherwise, you will want to purchase the car for cash to avoid this trouble.
alternatives to buying a car without a license
1. get a license
the most obvious solution is to get your driver’s license. even if you have no plans on actually driving the vehicle, having this photo identification makes it much easier to buy, finance, register and insure a car.
in most states, you don’t need a lot of time or money to get your driver’s license. research the steps at your local dmv.
related: what to bring when buying a car?
2. have someone else sign
you can put an additional person on the title as a co-owner. with this person named, you will be able to get financing, insurance and registration for the vehicle.
however, this person also has power over what happens to the vehicle. if you choose this route, it needs to be someone that you trust to make good decisions.
if you live in an urban or suburban area, you might not need a license at all. today’s rideshare services operate everywhere.
not only can you do your part for the environment by not owning a car at all, but you can get a lot done during the ride. instead of driving, you can catch up on emails, watch your favorite show or reach out to loved ones.
4. public transportation
many cities have robust public transportation systems. you can learn the available routes and see if public transportation is a possibility where you travel.
this system also helps you save a lot of money because you can normally purchase unlimited rides or monthly passes. however, you will be subject to following the schedule of local transport. outside those times, you might choose ridesharing or another form of transportation.
if you don’t travel far from home, consider the benefits of walking or biking to your destination. for starters, you won’t be contributing to the pollution in the atmosphere.
you also won’t get caught in rush hour traffic. aside from that, you will get an immense amount of exercise, which can only help you feel better. during bad weather, you might prefer to call for a ride instead.