If you want to enjoy the privilege of driving a car on U.S. roadways, you’d better get used to paying for auto insurance. While it is true that a couple of states don’t legally require drivers to carry auto insurance, these states generally require that drivers wishing to avoid paying for coverage place tens of thousands of dollars in an account to be held by the DMV until such time as it is needed to cover the cost of an accident. In short, even in these places it is probably preferable to simply shell out the dough for insurance. And the truth is that you needn’t spend an untenable amount to maintain your auto policy. There are plenty of ways to cut costs if you want to enjoy the convenience of driving a personal vehicle, even on a budget. Here are some cost-cutting tactics to look into.
- Clean driving record. There are several insurance providers that offer discounted rates related to safe driving, so the longer you’re able to keep your driving record clean, the better off you are where your insurance rates are concerned. What this really means is that you need to follow the rules of the road and exercise caution. You don’t have any control over what other drivers do on the road, but you can often avoid causing accidents merely by driving in a safe, responsible, and cautious manner.
- You might be surprised by the number of potential discounts the average car insurance provider offers. Some will give you a break on your premiums for carrying multiple policies (home, auto, life, etc.), multiple cars, the completion of safe driving courses for younger drivers (under 25), good grades (for students), military service, and so on. If you’re not sure which discounts you might qualify for, simply ask. You could be eligible for all kinds of savings that you’re not yet taking advantage of.
- Inexpensive car. Your auto insurance rates are based not only on you, but also on your car. If you want to drive a brand new luxury vehicle, you’re going to pay for it in more ways than one. But if you’d rather operate a more modest vehicle, you stand to save quite a bit on your insurance. Keep in mind that your rates at least partially based on the cost insurance providers will pay for repair or replacement in the event of an accident. This number will be smaller for an older, less expensive vehicle and the savings will be passed on to you.
- Added safety features. An antilock braking system (ABS), additional airbags (side, curtain, etc.), and anti-theft systems (like LoJack) could all net you a discount on your insurance, so if you have these safety features in place or you take the initiative to install them, make sure to get the discount you’re due.
- Your policy and provider. Any time you make a purchase you need to comparison shop to make sure you get the best price. Your auto insurance is no exception. So before you go with State Farm, Allstate, or Geico, make sure to check out providers likeCharles Goodman & Co Insurance that may offer you better service and policies, potentially at a better price than competitors.