Driving a car is a lot more expensive than people initially believe. Between paying for gas, making car payments, roadside assistance plans, and the occasional car wash and oil changes, there are tons of aspects of car ownership that can really dig into your pockets.
Another unavoidable cost to add to your monthly car budget is auto insurance. Whether you pay monthly installments or a one-time payment at the beginning of your policy, many people can expect to pay hundreds of dollars to cover themselves, their passengers, and fellow drivers on the road.
Luckily, there are several ways to ensure that you are covered without breaking the bank, starting from even before you buy that car. Here’s a list of six different tips and tricks on how to get cheap car insurance.
1) Check Costs Before You Buy Auto Insurance
Many car-buyers, especially the inexperienced, base their car purchases around models that they like rather than one that fits their budget. Many don’t take the main factors that determine their premiums into consideration, including:
- the type of car
- the average amount you drive
- your driving record
- your demographic information
- where you live
- your credit score
Insurance premiums are also largely based on the type and cost of repairing or replacing your car. If you’re looking for a way to lower your monthly payments and are okay with not landing with the car of your dreams, look for a car that is common enough to find replacement parts easily, and ones that are easy to repair.
2) Shop Around For The Cheapest Car Insurance
Comparing prices is a big factor when it comes to figuring out how to get cheap car insurance. Prices vary from company to company.
Some companies charge more for younger drivers or cars being driven more than the average commuter. These rates are based on the idea that there’s a higher risk of accidents.
Also, remember to shop for bundles. If you’ve seen any of the Flo Progressive commercials, you should know that many companies offer discounts for bundling auto insurance with other types like homeowners and life insurance. If you can, try to take advantage of these types of discounts.
If you’re coming to the end of your current insurance coverage or are looking to buy a new car, make sure to find a couple of different price quotes to guarantee the cheapest car insurance.
3) Have A Good Driving Record
Having a good driving record is like having a good credit score. If you’ve caused a lot of crashes, you will probably have to pay a lot more for auto insurance than those who have been crash-free for a while.
Why? Insurance companies are more hesitant to provide coverage for those they anticipate will be getting into frequent accidents.
If you have multiple speeding tickets, accident tickets, or even tickets for running a stop sign, your driving record will accumulate points with both insurance companies and the local DMV that will affect your standing.
But if you do have a bad driving record, there are ways of saving on your auto insurance. Most points go away after a certain number of years, and there are driving school options in most states that will allow you to combat some of your driving violations.
4) Look for Higher Deductibles
A deductible is a price an insured driver is expected to pay in scenarios that are covered by a policy before the insurance company takes over.
For example, if you get into an accident that costs $5,000 in repairs and you have a $2,000 deductible, your insurance company will only cover $3,000 of the total cost.
Higher deductibles will help lower the overall total of your insurance policy – meaning smaller monthly payments. However, it is important to remember that if something does happen on the road, the driver will be forced to pay more out of pocket.
5) Avoid Making Insurance Claims
In addition to your driving record, insurance companies keep track of the number of times policyholders file claims or request assistance from their insurers.
Every time an insurance company is forced to cover costs, a strike is held against you that will cause your policy to increase in the next policy period.
To avoid making claims, drive safely. Obeying all traffic laws and becoming a defensive driver will lower your chances of getting into an accident.
However, if an accident does occur, consider covering the price of repairs yourself before filing a claim with your insurer.
6) Look For Discounts
Just like the bundle-and-save policy offered at Progressive, there are tons of different discount programs offered by insurance companies. Some of the more unique discounts include:
- Insuring multiple cars
- Safety features
- Loyalty programs
- Driving school completions
Paying for insurance can feel overwhelming, but as long as you make an informed decision, you can definitely save some money. Find what is right for you and always remember to shop around, bundle where you can, and drive safely.
Do you have any tips on how to get cheap car insurance? If so, please let me know in the comments below.
Lexi Carr is a freelance writer with a passion for helping people. From money management to lifestyle advice, there’s no topic she isn’t on top of. Feel free to contact her at @LLexi_C.