When it comes to buying a new or used car, you also need to get car insurance.
By knowing exactly what affects your auto insurance rates, you can figure out how to save on car insurance and get the coverage you need without going broke.
1. Be a safe driver
You should be doing this, whether or not it helped lower your auto insurance, in the first place. However, traffic tickets and accidents could sky rocket your car insurance premiums. If you get a ticket, there is a chance you could get offered to go to traffic school to have the ticket be disregarded or reduce the number of violation points that go on your driving record. If you can keep the violation from going on your record, being in class could save you hundreds of dollars over many years.
2. Get rid of car insurance you don’t need
If your car is worth less than your deductible on top of the amount you pay for yearly coverage, then you need to get rid of them. Collision and comprehensive insurance never pay out more than the car is worth. Ask yourself whether it’s worth paying for coverage that may reimburse you only a small amount if anything.
Collision insurance pays to repair damage to your car if it crashes into another vehicle or object, or flips over. Comprehensive insurance pays if your car is stolen or damaged by storms, vandalism or by hitting an animal such as a deer.
If you do decide to get rid of collision and comprehensive insurance, this will allow you to set aside the money you have would have been spending, on other important car investments such as car repairs or a down payment on a newer, better car once you’re ready to upgrade vehicles.
3. Choose a vehicle that’s affordable to insure
Before you buy your next car, check car insurance rates for the models you’re interested in. The vehicle you drive affects your car insurance premium, especially if you buy collision and comprehensive coverage. Safe and moderately priced vehicles such as minivans and small SUVs are usually more affordable to insure than flashy and expensive cars.
4. Raise your credit score
Your credit history is a significant factor when car insurance companies evaluate how much to charge you. Your credit score can be a bigger factor than your driving record in some cases. In order to get the best deal with your provider, focus on making all your loan and credit card payments on time. Make sure to keep credit card balances well below your credit limits. If you are going to open a new credit account, only do it when absolutely necessary. Applying for too many credit cards could negatively affect your score.
5. Usage-based insurance
If you don’t drive a lot, consider an insurer that offers a usage-based driving program. These policies base rates in part on how often you drive and, in some cases, how well you drive. In order to participate in this type of insurance, you need to install a small device in your car that shares information about your car and driving habits to your insurance company. You will be offered a discount for low mileage and, with most programs, safe driving habits. Some companies also offer pay-per-mile insurance. You pay a base rate for coverage, as well as a per-mile rate.
Make sure to shop around and to do your research before settling on a rate with an insurance provider. The more knowledgeable you are about the coverage you need and the car you drive, the better you will be when negotiating with the dealer. In the end, you will have an easier time finding the right insurance rate for you.