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Want save some money on your car insurance premiums? There's a lot more to it than just picking GEICO, Progressive, State Farm or Allstate. Here's a list of monetary and non-monetary strategies to keep down your car insurance bill and cut your costs by hundreds of dollars every year.
Non-Monetary Ways to Save on Car Insurance
Non-monetary strategies have to do with both your driving record and your consumption habits.
1. Do not drive under the influence of alcohol. Many states have mandatory sentences for what used to be considered a misdemeanor moving violation and the pain doesn’t stop when you get out of jail. If you get convicted of a DUI, your insurance premiums will go through the roof by a few hundred percentage points.
2. Don’t speed. Speeding tickets will stay on your record for a minimum of three years. Most people get all worked up about the size of the fine they have to pay. What should really make you sweat is the additional premiums you will incur and whether your policy gets cancelled by your carrier. Just try shopping around for another policy and having to explain that the reason you don’t have current insurance is because your old carrier dumped you.
3. If you have young drivers in your household, make sure they’ve taken a driver’s education course. Teenagers have accidents at an alarmingly high rate. Even if you've been driving accident free for fifteen years, a single incident involving a minor will blow the fantastic rates that you've been getting based on your sterling record.
4. Buy your home insurance and your car insurance from the same company - they will usually offer a discount if you have both policies with them.
5. Drive a car you can afford and drive it as long as you can. The difference in what you pay in insurance can be as much as your car payment. So do yourself a favor - do the math before you rush out and buy a new car with an installment loan. There is a right time to buy a new car and you’ll know it’s the right time when you look at the balance in your savings account and there’s more than enough money to pay cash for your dream machine.
6. Reduce the number of cars in your household. It’s not only environmentally correct - it’s a sane thing to do. Most urban dwellers can do just fine with one car in the house. Obama did - at least up until he got this great job on Pennsylvania Avenue. I know dozens of people in Seattle, San Francisco and New York that have done without a car forever. It’s just one more hassle to deal with and you can always take the subway, call a taxi, ride a bicycle or walk. If you need a car for a vacation, rent one, weekend rates are often as low as $15 a day.
7. If you’re self-employed, try to put a car in the name of the business. That way you can expense it or depreciate it and your maintenance and insurance are effectively tax-deductible.
Monetary Ways to Reduce Car Insurance
Monetary strategies to insure you pay the lowest possible car insurance premiums.