Even if you've found a used car that fits within your budget, there are a number of separate expenses you need to consider. Between licensing, registration, maintenance and fuel, you're going to be putting a lot of hard-earned cash into driving. Insurance is another cost you need to keep in mind, and it's one that varies by hundreds of dollars, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
While you can't avoid paying for insurance by any means, there are a number of ways you can lower the costs and save yourself some money.
1. Do your research and shop around
Because each company provides a different price for car insurance, it's in your best interest to shop around. Taking the time to do research online, asking for referrals or even calling the company to discuss straight-forward prices can really cut back the expenses. Gather quotes from multiple companies and sit down and compare before making any decisions. You can also call your state insurance department for information – they might even be able to recall customer complaints for certain companies. Overall, doing your research before settling with an insurance company can really save you money – and headache – in the long-run.
2. Establish good credit
Maintaining a good credit score has a number of benefits – it lowers interest rates on loans, approves you for higher limits on credit cards and it even gets you better insurance rates, according to the Huffington Post. Many auto insurance companies use credit information as a platform to price auto insurance. Make it a point to establish and maintain a good credit score, and frequently check up on it to make sure there are no flaws in the information.
3. Drive safely
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it's a simple way to lower your insurance, according to Kelley Blue Book. People with clean driving records can often qualify for discounts, while those who drive recklessly and have been in more accidents see spikes in their insurance rates.
If you want to lessen the likelihood of an accident occurring, the source recommended driving less in general. Low mileage discounts are offered by most insurance companies, so consider carpooling with a family member or friend to work. This can save both of you miles and money.
4. Increase your deductible
By raising your deductible, you'll have to pay more out of pocket if an accident occurs. However, you could save anywhere between 15 and 40 percent in collision coverage costs if you increase your deductible by a few hundred dollars. It might seem like a large expense to begin with, but it's an excellent decision to make for long-term costs.
"Companies will help you save money if you're willing to combine policies."
5. Combine policies
If you already have homeowners insurance with a certain company, it's in your best interest to go through the same company for your auto insurance, according to Bankrate. If you go through a different one for each policy, you're bound to be paying higher expenses than you should. Insurance agent Art Scott told the source that companies are more likely to work with you to save money if you choose to combine policies with them.
"The more lines (of insurance that insurance companies) can get, the more they're willing to give discounts for it," he said.
6. Ask about discounts
There are so many different ways for drivers to get insurance discounts, according to III. Some companies offer lowered rates for drivers who have not been in accidents during a certain period of time. Others even offer discounted rates for drivers who have take a defensive driving course. If you've committed to a certain insurance company, dig deep to find out how you can save money with them as a policyholder.
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