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“How much is car insurance?” Many drivers want to know how to save money on car insurance since there are so many variables that affect the price. While it is important and in most cases legally required to have auto coverage, car insurance costs shouldn’t bog you down. By knowing what affects your insurance rates and taking advantage of car insurance discounts, you can stay well-protected for less money. Here are some tips you can use to save money on car insurance and the factors that determine your current rate.

Be a Safe Driver

Arguably the biggest factor determining car insurance cost is your driving record. Having traffic violations, tickets, accidents, and other such items on your record can force you to pay higher premiums. If you stay safe on the road, you’ll get a better deal. If you do have some imperfections on your driving record, most states remove past violations from your record after 3 years. Check your state laws for details.

Look For Discounts

When shopping for cheap auto insurance, ask your insurance agent if they offer any discounts. Many insurance companies offer discounts to good students, people who have taken safety driving courses, persons who installed specific safety features into their vehicles, and many others. A simple ask could save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Bundle Your Coverage

Most insurance companies will offer you the best car insurance if you purchase other insurance products from them. If you need anything else they offer such as homeowners insurance, renters coverage, or health insurance, see if you can get a discount on your auto coverage if you bundle them all together. You’ll get more protection at a smaller rate all around.

Drive Less

If you only drive your car sporadically, let your insurance company know. You may get a discount if you only use it for short commutes to work or drive it sparingly. Talk to your insurer to see if they offer usage-based car insurance and if so, how they track it. It might be worthwhile unless you intend to drive regularly or have longer commutes in general.

Be Over the Age of 25

Statistically speaking, most drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to get into a car accident than older drivers. You may have to pay higher rates until you get older.

Get a Higher Deductible

There is a bit of a trade-off here. While agreeing to a higher deductible helps you get low cost auto insurance premiums, you’ll have to pay more should you get into an accident. If you are willing to take that risk and can pay higher potential out-of-pocket costs, this can help reduce your car insurance payments.

Have Good Credit

Having a good credit score can also affect your car insurance rates. Paying off your bills and making timely payments regularly looks good on paper and reduces the insurance company’s risk. This makes you look more appealing for insurers since you have a good history of paying debts and bills. Even moving your credit score up by one tier could save you an average of 17% on your car insurance.

Buy a Cheaper Car

The more expensive the car, the more expensive your insurance coverage. Because newer cars or high-priced models are worth more, the cost to repair damage and the risk of it getting stolen are higher than most older, plain vehicles. Before making a purchase, ask your insurer for premium quotes on the models you are looking for.

Manage Your Billing to Your Advantage

It varies from insurance provider to insurance provider, but small changes in how you pay could lead to additional discounts. If you agree to pay your premium upfront, some companies will make it cheaper than the total of the monthly payments. Some insurance companies may offer discounts for setting up paperless billing for your account or arrange automatic payments via a bank account or credit card.

Shop Around

Like with anything else, you should investigate as many car insurance options that are available to you. Collect and compare car insurance quotes from at least 5 to 7 different insurance companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal. This can help you find a better rate within your budget and allow you to possibly negotiate better offers by showing insurers the quotes from their competitors. It also allows you to see certain insurers offer more or extra benefits than competitors that are charging you a similar rate for less.

Now that you know what determines your car insurance rate, you can put your new knowledge to practice. Driver’s Choice has aligned itself with several of the top insurers in the nation to get you a great deal on quality auto insurance coverage. Compare the rates yourself and choose the best one for you. Get a free car insurance quote online or give us a call for better, cheaper insurance.