Driving can be expensive, but you can be smart about it!
With the cost of car ownership, maintenance, insurance and gas, being a driver can get pricey. While car insurance is mandatory, there’s no law that says you have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Here are seven ways you may be able to save money on car insurance:
1. Get insurance quotes before you buy a car.
Car insurance is controlled by more than just the estimated value of the car. Your car insurance payment could increase based on how likely the car is to be stolen or how costly the car is to repair. If you’re considering a few different cars, check into insurance rates first.
2. Bundle to save money on car insurance.
Put all your cars on the same policy. Multiple-car discounts are common. You can also save money by purchasing your car and homeowners insurance through the same company.
3. Reduce unwanted coverage.
If you drive an older vehicle, check with your insurance agent to make sure you’re not over-insuring your car. Insuring your car for more than it is worth means overpaying on car insurance. If you’ve had the same rate for years, it may be time to double-check your potential savings. Remember, if you’re in an accident and your car is totaled, your insurance provider will likely only cover the value of your car at the time of the accident, not at the time you purchased it.
4. Use a safe driving monitoring system.
Some insurance companies offer a small device you can plug into your car. This device tracks your speed and other factors allowing insurers to determine, through the collected data, if you are a cautious and safe driver. Depending on the insurance company’s thresholds, you could receive a hefty discount. And if your insurance company doesn’t offer this feature, there are some apps that reward you regardless of your insurance company. Allstate’s Drivewise app allows users to earn reward points and redeem them for merchandise, gift cards and other items – no need to even have a policy with Allstate.
5. Be aware of – and ask for – discounts.
Insurance providers offer discount programs for all kinds of things. For example, you may qualify for a discount if you:
- drive under a certain number of miles per year.
- have a good driving history without tickets or accidents for a number of years
- drive a car with enhanced safety features
- work in certain occupations such as medicine or education
- complete a defensive driving course
- serve in the military
- are a student with good grades (see teen driver below)
6. Check the options for your teen driver.
Car insurance costs an average of 79% more when a married couple adds a teenage driver to the family policy, according to a report from Insurancequotes.com. Ask your insurance agent if they offer a good student discount for drivers with good grades. Some also offer a “distant driver” discount if your child is away at college without the car. Typically you have to be 100 miles away from home (and the car) in order to qualify.
7. Revisit your insurance needs on a regular basis.
Don’t simply renew your policy each year. Evaluate your circumstances and maybe even shop around for a better deal. A few hours of research each year might save you hundreds of dollars.