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What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Virginia?

If you’re wondering how much car insurance you need in Virginia, the answer is liability coverage with limits of at least 25/50/20. On top of this, you also need to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. At the very least, your policy should have the following limits:

  • $25,000 for bodily injuries per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for bodily injuries per person for uninsured/underinsured motorists
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries per accident for uninsured/underinsured motorists
  • $20,000 for property damage for uninsured/underinsured motorists

Unlike most states, car insurance laws in Virginia do not require you to have insurance to register or drive your car. If you choose to register and drive an uninsured car, you have to pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee at the DMV, which does not provide any insurance protection.

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What Does This Minimum Coverage Mean?

At the very least, you should have liability coverage of 25/50/20 to get your car registered in Virginia. It means that if you are at fault in an accident, your policy covers costs from the other driver’s medical bills up to $50,000 for the accident, with a $25,000 limit for each person. It also covers expenses up to $20,000 from property damage.

Underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance (UIM or UM) typically have the same limits — $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident with a $25,000 limit per individual and $20,000 for property damage. It comes into play if the at-fault driver doesn't have coverage. It also applies if their policy doesn't meet the minimum car insurance requirements of Virginia.

In Virginia, these are minimum car insurance requirements, which means you can choose to increase limits to provide yourself with better financial protection on the road. However, limits for uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance cannot exceed your liability thresholds for bodily injuries or property damage. To increase coverage for UM or UIM insurance, you also have to increase your liability limits.

How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in Virginia?

There are several factors used to calculate car insurance rates in Virginia. Your age and driving experience contribute to how much your premium costs — if you are a new or inexperienced driver, your premium may be more expensive since insurance carriers may deem you riskier to insure. Similarly, your driving history impacts the policy rate. Drivers with clean records have lower rates than those with violations. Your insurance carrier may even factor in your credit standing.

The cost of car insurance may also vary between carriers. MoneyGeek compared several car insurance quotes and found the cheapest car insurance in Virginia to be a tie between USAA and Progressive, with both costing $333 per year on average. USAA policies are only available to current or former military members and their families, while Progressive is more widely available.

The table shows rates for policies with 25/50/20 coverage, which meets the minimum car insurance requirements in Virginia. These also include uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance with similar limits. MoneyGeek used the driver profile of a 40-year-old male with good credit and a clean record driving a 2010 Toyota Camry.

These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average Virginia driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.

The table shows rates for policies with 25/50/20 coverage, which meets the minimum car insurance requirements in Virginia. These also include uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance with similar limits. MoneyGeek used the driver profile of a 40-year-old male with good credit and a clean record driving a 2010 Toyota Camry.

If you're instead looking for a policy that balances quality with affordability, MoneyGeek also ranked the top car insurance companies in Virginia.

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What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Virginia While Leasing a Car?

While driving without insurance isn’t illegal, you need to present proof of minimum insurance or pay an uninsured motorist fee when registering your car. Typically, a policy meeting Virginia’s minimum car insurance requirements will suffice.

Leasing a car may prove to be a different experience. Most leasing companies will require you to have a full coverage insurance policy, which provides additional protection through comprehensive and collision coverage. They may also expect higher liability limits — most leasing companies prefer at least 100/300/50 coverage.

It’s best to communicate with your leasing company directly to make sure you have a clear understanding of their car lease requirements and terms.

When determining how much insurance you need in Virginia, there are several factors to consider. Although Virginia’s car insurance laws only require 25/50/20 liability coverage, MoneyGeek recommends purchasing a full coverage policy with 50/100/50 limits. It may cost you more per year, but it provides more protection than a policy that only complies with Virginia's minimum car insurance requirements.

10.5% of drivers in Virginia drive without insurance. If you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage — or someone who is entirely uninsured — having liability-only insurance will not cover you, which is why having uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance is part of Virginia’s minimum car insurance requirements.

Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Virginia

Though you can register and drive a car without insurance in Virginia, you must pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle (UMV) fee to Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles to show you are aware of the risks. If you don’t pay this fee, you may face penalties for driving a car in Virginia with no insurance, such as:

  • Paying a $600 non-compliance fee
  • Filing of SR-22 to prove financial responsibility
  • Suspension of registration
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Paying a $145 fee to reinstate your driver’s license

SR-22 insurance is a form that guarantees the state your policy meets Virginia’s minimum car insurance requirements. Your insurance carrier can file it on your behalf as soon as you request it. It typically results in increased premiums as you will be considered a high-risk driver. You will also have to carry it for at least three years.

In addition to the fines and restrictions to your driving privileges, driving uninsured puts you at financial risk should you cause a collision. Since Virginia is an at-fault state, you need to cover the other person’s expenses from medical bills or property damage if you are at fault. Even if they have uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, the cost of repairs from a collision may be hefty, and you’ll have to pay for the remaining amount their policy does not cover.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in Virginia

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About Mark Fitzpatrick

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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content director at MoneyGeek with over five years of experience analyzing the insurance market, conducting original research and creating content that can be personalized for every buyer. He has been quoted on insurance topics in several publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Mark earned a master’s degree in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his economics and insurance knowledge to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.