Last Updated on December 4, 2021 by Bernard Juchli
Can you buy a car without a license in PA? Like other states, Pennsylvania has its laws surrounding a driver’s license. But does the rule prevent you from buying a car without a license? Let us find out.
You can buy a car without a license in PA. However, you cannot drive the car home without a license. You may tow the vehicle to your garage, or have a licensed driver take it home.
A driver’s license does not show ownership of a car, it only means that are eligible to go behind the steering. That said, in Pennsylvania, you can buy and even put a car in your name with no driver’s license.
If you buy a car from a dealership or a private seller, they will not request your Pennsylvania driver’s license. However, there is a problem – test driving with no license. Is this possible? Will the dealership or private seller allow you to test drive without proof that you can drive?
Can You Buy a Car Without a License in PA?
PA allows you to buy a car without a driver’s license just as you can buy anything without it. As mentioned earlier, the license only shows you can drive and does not mean the car belongs to you. It is for this reason that anyone can drive another person’s car with the owner’s permission.
Walk into any dealership and price the car you want to buy and they will let you have it. They will not request your license to pay for the car. This means that even as an under 18, you can get a car for yourself since you have no PA license due to legal age restrictions.
Since you have no license, you want someone with a valid license to join your car-buying journey. They can legally drive your car home, or you have it towed.
Categories of People Who May Buy a Car with No license
- Underage. Below the legal age, you are not allowed to drive, so you cannot get a Pennsylvania license. However, you can buy a car, meaning you have no license while at the auto dealership.
- The disabled. If you have a disability that keeps you from driving, it means you do not need a license. It does not stop you from getting a car, and even putting it in your name.
- Gift. If you are getting a car gift for another person, then you may not be registering the car in your name. Without a license, you can still buy a car gift for someone.
- Company car. If you own a business and need a car for your employees, then you may not have a PA driver’s license. You do not also need a license to be able to register the car under the name of your business.
- An auto collector. If you are an auto collector with no intention to drive, it means you do not need a PA license. This does not stop you from paying for your collections.
- Chauffeur. If a chauffeur will be driving you around, then it is likely you have no license of your own. However, the chauffeur must be licensed to legally drive the car.
In essence, Pennsylvania has no law that stops you from buying a car if you have no license.
Will a Private Seller or Dealership Allow You to Test Drive Without a License?
In PA, you do not really, except you are willing to complete your test drive from the passenger’s seat. Nevertheless, a private seller or a dealership that trusts you will allow you to test drive without a license.
It is okay for a private seller or a dealership to refuse you a test drive. This is necessary to keep you from crashing the car. The insurance will reject any claims when they find out that an unlicensed driver was behind the steering.
After you outsmart the salesman to buy a car, it is a probability that they will allow you to test drive the car if you have no license. The same probability applies if you have a suspended PA driver’s license.
In some cases, if you have a learner’s permit, you may be allowed to test drive a car. But this still goes down to being trusted by the seller, and you can only complete the test drive on private property. A learner’s permit is not a driver’s license.
Moreover, with a Pennsylvania learner’s permit, you can only test drive under the supervision of a licensed person.
Note that you will need insurance to test drive. So, if you managed to get insurance without a license in PA, you are good.
Can You Finance a Car Without a Licence in PA?
Most reputable Pennsylvania lenders will not finance a car to you without a driver’s license.
Thus, it is tougher to finance a car if you have no PA driver’s license. If you have a disability or registering your car for your business, you might find a suitable insurance plan. The insurance company understands that you will not be driving around in the car.
You can also finance the car in another person’s name. The person needs to have good credit for approval.
You can search for an insurer that will cover learner drivers since most insurers will not cover you without a license. Also, the insurance you get without a driver’s license can be pricey.
If you have no primary driver, get insurance with a non-declared driver. This is used for chauffeurs, company vehicles, and even taxis. They are quite expensive.
All in all, although no PA law stops you from buying a car in your name, the law does not also stop lenders from refusing your auto loan request with no license.
How Do You Get Your Car Home if You Have No PA Driver’s License?
In Pennsylvania, you need someone or a tow service to get a new car you just bought home.
That said, it is illegal to drive a car in PA if you have no driver’s license. If you get pulled over by the police, you will get a ticket. The officer will have you call a licensed person to drive the car home. Otherwise, it can be towed.
Depending on the police officer, they can wait for 20 minutes. The officer will not allow you to break the law again by allowing you to continue the ride without a license.
If your car gets towed, you have to pay for storage for as long as it stays with the tow company.
It is not true that you must present your driver’s license when buying a car because of the Patriot Act. You only need proof of insurance, and this applies when you ask to test drive the car. Some dealerships will allow you to test drive without insurance.
Getting insurance will be expensive since you have no driver’s license. Ensure to shop for the best quote.
The rule of thumb, however, is to wait until you get a license.