Car Insurance Costs Out of Control? Try These Tips!

Having a vehicle is a great privilege and freedom; we can go to work, travel to new lands, visit friends and do so many wonderful things by having a vehicle. For many Americans, their vehicle is the second largest investment they'll ever make, following only the purchase of a home. Of course the best way to protect your investment is with insurance. Let's face it though, insurance premiums can be quite costly. To help you keep your costs in check, try these quick tips:

1.) Group together. Getting a quote to insure a single vehicle you'll likely pay a higher amount per vehicle than if you insure several drivers (or vehicles) with the insurer. Insurance companies often call this a "Multi-line discount". It equates to being a "bulk" rate because you're giving the insurer more business.

2.) Drive like a grandma. You don't actually have to drive like a senior citizen. By driving at the speed limit and not making risky maneuvers on the roadways, you're less likely to get a citation or moving violation (aka - a ticket). The key here is to avoid getting tickets. Having a clean driving record keeps your insurance premiums lower.

3.) Take a course. Check with your insurance company to see if they offer discounts for drivers who've completed a defensive driving course. If they do, sign yourself up and learn how to be a better driver.

4.) Shop around. Just because you've been with the same insurance company for 5 years doesn't necessarily mean you're getting the best deal. Don't be afraid to shop around for better pricing. Remember...cheap doesn't always mean it's the best deal though. Make sure that your deductibles and coverages are comparable before you sign on the dotted line.

5.) Raise your deductible. This tip is one you should take with caution. If you have a fairly low deductible ($500), and you can afford to pay the first $1000 of the cost of an accident, you can safely raise your deductible amount which will lower your premium.

6.) Choose the right vehicle. That shiny little sportscar looks like heaven on wheels, but beware, it could cost 3, 4 or even 5 times as much to insure it versus the family minivan. No matter what type of vehicle you're buying, always check with your insurance company before making a purchase to compare rates on different vehicle types and models.

7.) Improve your credit score. Believe it  or not, your credit score has an impact on your insurance rates. This is a hotly debated legislative topic, but the theory is that if you're not responsible with money, you're more likely to be irresponsible with your vehicle.

8.) Your neighborhood can cost you more. Yes, your neighborhood. If you live in an area which is more prone to crime such as auto thefts, your rates will reflect this. While there may not be much you can do about it, keep this in mind if you are planning to make a move.

9.) Review your coverage. Auto insurance has 3 basic coverage options - comprehensive, collision, and liability. All drivers are required to have liability. You can't avoid this. However, if your vehicle is paid in full (you don't have a loan on it of any kind), it is your choice whether to carry comprehensive and collision insurance and you can drop these  two coverages (just remember though -- if you're in an accident or a tree falls on your car, you will receive nothing from the insurance company). If you have a loan, you will most likely be required to carry all 3 insurance types to protect the bank's investment.

10.) Talk to your insurance agent. He or she may know of additional discounts to save you money. Did you install an anti-theft device on your vehicle? You may get a discount. In school? Good grades cannet you a  decent discount. Veteran? Most insurance companies give discounts for vets, too. You'll never know until you ask, so pick up the phone and talk to your agent.

Once you're ready to get your new ride, check out our inventory. Just be sure to research your insurance costs first!
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