Buying a car can cost you a lot of money, but also maintaining the car sucks regular payments out of your bank account each week or month. These payments can quickly add up over the course of the year, but there are several ways you can decrease these costs and in this guide, we will show you a range of ways to do this. Many of these ways are free and you may have previously overlooked.
1. Keep A Clean Driving Record
Obviously, the more accidents or traffic violations that you have on you record, the higher your insurance premiums will be when it’s time to renew. You get additional points on your record with each violation that you get found guilty of, with the general rule being the more points the higher your insurance premium so it literally pays to drive more safely.
The reason being is that the more points you have, the insurance company deems you to be a higher risk to insure as its assumed that you’re more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident leading to an insurance claim.
2. Enrol In A Defensive Driving Course
A defensive driving course or accident prevention course is a way that a select few insurance companies allow for your insurance premium to be reduced with a discount. This course also can lower the number of violation points that you have on your overall record.
Be sure to check that the course will actually lead to a discount before you sign up and complete the class. Although this will make you a more competent driver, you don’t want to spend time doing a class if it doesn’t lead to an insurance discount at the end.
3. Use Public Transport
At first this may seem like it defeats the point of having a car. When you fill out your insurance policy quote you’ll be asked how many miles you’ll expect to drive the vehicle each year.
The more miles you drive per year, the more your insurance premium will usually be. Someone who drives a car 4 hours per day will pay more per year than a person who only drives 10 minutes per week.
If its possible, you should try to use public transport to decrease your overall vehicle mileage and lower your premium insurance quote. Before you commit to doing this, it’s important to find out the mileage thresholds that your chosen insurance company has.
4. Consider Your Type Of Car
Although it can be tempting to opt for a brand new petrol guzzling SUV, insuring a top of range vehicle can often be more expensive especially if you have only recently received your license.
Many insurers now offer discounts and benefits if you insure a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle that helps to protect and preserve the environment. You should check with your insurer that this has the opportunity to provide a discount if you do decide to purchase this type of vehicle.
5. Consider Your Current Location
The location that you regularly park your car will have an effect on your overall insurance premium. Of course you’re not going to suddenly move cities just because you’re going to get a lower insurance premium.
However if you’re planning to move soon, then you should consider the difference that its going to make on your renewal quote as you may have to save a little more money or it may be good news and save you money.
6. Install Anti-Theft Devices
Another way to save money on your insurance premium is by installing anti theft devices. Each insurance company will have a list of preferred devices which will give you a discount on your cost. These devices make it harder for your vehicle to be stolen meaning that they will be less likely to be stolen leading to a lower chance of you putting in a claim to the insurance company. This leads to a lower insurance quote.
It’s important to work out whether the amount of discount offered by the insurance company offsets the cost of purchasing the alarm device to begin with.
7. Remove Unnecessary Insurance Coverage.
You need to understand that nobody can predict if you’re going to get in an accident, and you definitely can’t predict what type of accident you may be in. If you have a car that’s extremely old and only has a few years left on service then it may make sense to remove comprehensive coverage if this will lead to a large saving in the overall insurance premium.
The reasoning behind this, is that even if the vehicle was involved in a collision then the insurance company will most likely total the car if the cost of repairing the car costs more than the value of the car itself.
So if comprehensive cover costs $2000 but your vehicle is only worth $500 you may need to consider other types of insurance cover.
8. Improve Your Credit Rating
It’s often overlooked and forgotten about that credit rating is a consideration that insurance companies take when deciding on a drivers insurance premium even though it may sound strange.
The thought process behind it is that insurance companies want to see how responsible you are in the rest of your life as if your financial affairs are in order then you’re less likely to make a claim. So because of this you should do your best to keep your credit rating as high as possible, as it’ll save you money.
9. Increase Your Deductibles
A deductible is the amount of money that you’ll pay out of your own pocket before your insurance company pays the rest. This deductible amount usually ranges from $150-$1000, and usually the lower the deductible the higher the insurance premium.
Usually insurance companies have a sliding scale so you can see how much increasing your deductible will decrease your overall insurance premium as you may be better off in the long run by increasing it.
You do need to consider that you need to ensure that you have this deductible saved away in case you do need to make a claim.
10. Start Using Your Garage
There are a huge number of households that have garages that are filled with junk. The majority of insurance companies offer discounts off the road in garages. This is because statistically cars that are locked away in garages are less likely to be involved in accidents or stolen which lowers the chances of a users making an insurance claim. So if you do have a garage not being used then you can quickly save yourself some money.
11. Multi Car Discount
If you have to insure multiple vehicles it can often save you money if you insure them under the same policy as this will often incur a multi car discount saving you a considerable amount of money.
This is because they are more likely to give you a deal because you’re bringing more business in for them. Usually the drivers have to reside at the same address or residence. So its great if you have children who drive or other relatives.
12. Pay Upfront
The high cost of insurance makes it seem like a clever idea to opt for monthly payments, however the convenience of monthly payments are often accompanied by additional administration costs. To avoid these fees it’s recommended that you opt to be billed every 6 or 12 months. This strategy will depend on how expensive your premium is, as if it’s too high then it may obviously make sense to pay in instalments, however at the end of each month make sure you have the correct amount in your bank account because if the payment fails, you’ll receive even more administration charges.
13. Avoid additional ad-ons
Your auto insurance may come bundled with unnecessary extras such as roadside assistance and car rental. Although they can be important, if you remove them from your policy then this can save you additional money each year.
Once you get your policy in writing, you should go through it line by line to look for any other types of coverage that you may be paying for that you don’t need. Each of these coverages may not cost much individually but once you add them up it can often total a significant amount.
14. Inquire At Local Level Insurers
Although the auto-insurance market is controlled by just several huge corporations, there are some slightly smaller regional level insurers that can often provide you with a better deal. These smaller companies often also provide better customer satisfaction ratings and have a higher customer retention and renewal rate.
So shop around and don’t be afraid to go with a smaller company especially if they have the reviews to back them up.
15. Shop Around
It’s incredibly important to not settle for the first offer that you get. There are even price comparison sites which means you only have to put your details in once and it will find deals from hundreds of providers doing all the leg work for you.
With the internet, you have access to almost every insurance company and you should use this to your advantage to get the best deal for you. This also allows you to see a huge range of customer reviews or each insurance company as its not just about the price, its about the overall service.
16. Own Your Car
If you’re leasing your car then you’re already paying over the odds for your insurance. This is because when you lease a car, you’re not in charge of what type of insurance you can get, the company you leased it from does. It’s no surprise that these companies are extremely conservative about what type of insurance you’re eligible to have.
Your leasing company wants to be sure that if you’re in an accident with their car that they won’t have to pay a cent to replace it, so in most cases you’ll be required to have comprehensive insurance.
In some cases, even if you used a bank loan to purchase your car then they can also state what the minimum type of insurance you’ll need to have. So it definitely saves you money to own your own vehicle outright.
17. Get A New Quote Each Year
When it comes time to renew your insurance policy then this is one of the biggest instant savers. Insurance companies know that people like convenience and that users would prefer to pay a little bit more every year if it means they don’t have to go through the hassle of shopping around for a new deal.
But this is where you can make a significant saving, all you need to do is start to get quotes from other providers when you enter the last month of your current deal. One of the main ways auto insurance companies grow is by luring customers away from competitors so they’re keen to give you a better offer. So, don’t just settle with your current deal, when you can easily go out there and get a better one!
18. Age Based Discounts
When you’re under the age of 25, premiums are through the roof because insurance companies just don’t trust you. The stats don’t lie either because a huge percentage of collisions involve drivers under the age of 25, so once you get above this age you’ll usually see premiums lower quite drastically.
The most cost effective premiums are usually towards users between 25 and 55 years of age. So if you can avoid it, don’t get insured at all if you’re below 25 which even gives you a better chance to save for a better vehicle.
19. Retirement Discounts
Insurance companies often offer discounts to retired drivers which is usually above the age of 55 typically. This is because retired drivers usually spend less time on the road than their younger counterparts as they aren’t commuting daily to and from work.
The though behind this is that the less a person drives the less likely they are to be in a collision or other type of accident leading to a lower insurance premium.
20. Look For Discounts And Coupons
There are often a range of discounts that are available that you’ll need to do some searching to see if you’re eligible. These range from government to student discounts as well as senior citizen discounted rates.
In addition, insurance companies often post deals especially to new customers on cashback deal sites. This can be a great reason to switch to a new company if you not only get a cheaper deal but a cashback sum.
21. Add An Experienced Driver To Your Policy
Adding an older, more experienced driver to your policy can entitle you to cheaper insurance rates, especially if the added drivers have avoided having accidents and violations on their license. If this is the case then it may be worth asking a parent or older sibling to join your policy.
22. Be A Better Driver
Although you might be reading this article looking for a special magic bullet but as simple as it sounds, if you improve the quality and safety of your driving then this will reduce the number and frequency of accidents on your record and this will result in lower insurance rates.