14 Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance

14 ways to save on car insurance

When it comes to car insurance…

Are you paying more than you should?

Many people know the obvious ways to save, like shopping around for the best price or comparing quotes online. But...

Did you know you could save money by:

Want to trim your car insurance costs?

Here are 14 ideas to get you started:

1. Shorten Your Commute

You can likely lower your car insurance costs simply by driving less.

When you drive to and from work, your rates will likely be higher than if you drove less and for leisure purposes only.

How do you drive less? You could:

  • carpool
  • park your car at a bus stop, and take the bus for the rest of the trip to and from work, or
  • use rapid transit if you live in a large city.

I drive to the train station and then take the train to work, which means less wear and tear on the vehicle. And lower insurance costs, because my total driving distance each day is less than 3 kilometres.

Taking it a step further, if you could find a way to get to work without using your vehicle your rates would be lowered. The usage of the vehicle would be changed from commuting to pleasure, which means less kilometres and (usually) lower rates.

2. Winter Tires

Winter tires are mandatory in some provinces but not in others. For those who aren’t legally required to have winter tires on their vehicle you may still want to consider investing in them.

The best deals on winter tires are usually found using online classifieds like Kijiji. I buy my winter tires slightly used on Kijiji and save hundreds of dollars.

I also have them mounted on a separate set of rims so that I can quickly and easily change them myself when the seasons change.

Some insurers offer discounts for vehicles that use winter tires, so you’ll want to check to see if the initial cost is worth the savings.

Related: You Should Mount Your Winter Tires On Steel Rims

3. Keep a Clean Driving Record

This one is fairly simple – drivers with a clean driving record (and more experience) generally pay the lowest insurance rates.

If you do get a speeding/distracted driving ticket and feel that you are not at fault, you’ll want to make sure you dispute the ticket through the court system.

Parking and photo radar (unmanned photo radar stations without an officer present) tickets do not count against your driving record. But speeding and distracted driving tickets do. So why not save money on car insurance by driving responsibly? (Yes, that means following all speed limit signs and not texting & driving.)

4. Increase the Length of Your Driving Record

The longer your driving record of no accidents, the more likely you’ll be able to get a cheaper rate.

A driver who is 45 years old with over 20 years of driving experience will most likely get a lower rate than a 20 year old with less than five years’ experience.

Insurance companies want to see that you have a long record of driving responsibly because it reduces the chances that you’ll be in an accident that they will have to pay for.

If you live with your parents or go to school during the fall/winter, you may want to consider being added as a secondary driver to your parents’ policy.

The years of being considered a secondary driver generally count towards years of driving experience, and once you graduate from school, and get a policy of your own, you’ll have more years of experience and will likely get a cheaper rate.

5. Volunteer to Use a Tracking Device

Car insurance companies have started offering tracking devices as a way to track driving behavior and reward good driving habits.

The device itself goes into the car and monitors speeding, braking and the time of day the vehicle is driven and frequency.

Although it doesn’t monitor location, there has been some controversy about the ethics of a device that tracks insured vehicles.

The basic premise is that the device is installed in the vehicle so that the insured driver can show they’re a responsible driver - and receives a discount on their insurance policy for volunteering to use the device.

The better the driving habits, the higher the discount. Allstate Insurance offers this device in Alberta and pledges that as a worst case scenario, there is no discount given. The highest discount they claim to offer is 30%.

Personally I wouldn’t be willing to use a device like this because I wouldn’t be comfortable with my driving being monitored, but some may be willing to use it depending on the savings available.

Related: Getting the Most Out of Your New car Warranty

6. Pick the Right Vehicle

When choosing a vehicle to purchase many people don’t consider the costs of insurance – but they should.

Insurance costs can vary widely between different vehicles so it’s important to consider what your insurance costs will be when choosing a vehicle.

In general, new vehicles, and vehicles that cost more are more expensive to insure. Other items that may drive insurance rates higher are:

  • modifications done to the vehicle
  • luxury models
  • sport editions
  • modifications to increase horsepower.

Insurance rates for different vehicles are driven by multiple factors, but before buying a vehicle it wouldn’t hurt to get a free quote on the insurance so that you can factor that into the total cost.

I drive a Toyota Corolla and pay lower insurance rates than a coworker who drives a Honda Civic – this is probably because Civics have significantly higher theft rates.

Buying a used, reasonably priced, economical vehicle will keep your insurance costs reasonable.

7. Savings At Home

You can save money on your vehicle’s insurance while it’s parked at home.

If you park the vehicle in a private garage or driveway you’ll probably get a better rate on your insurance than if you park it on the street. This is because insurance companies use statistics to determine rates, and statistics would say a car is less likely to be stolen/vandalized while parked in a garage than on the street.

You may also get a lower rate if you use an anti-theft device and make sure it has winter tires installed for the snowy winter months.

Related: 10 Ways to Save on Home Insurance

7 More Quick Tips

Want more tips? Keep reading...

8. Get a bundle discount. Combine your car insurance policy with a home insurance policy to get a ‘bundle’ discount.

9. Increase your deductible. Consider increasing your deductible if you feel like it’s too low (the lower the deductible, the higher your cost will be).

10. Driving course for new drivers. If you or you have a child that is learning to drive, consider enrolling them in a driver training course. Some insurers offer discounts for new drivers who have successfully completed a driver training course.

11. Be picky. Don’t pay for coverage you don’t need. If you don’t need high liability coverage, consider lowering it to lower your cost. Windshield coverage is included in some policies but you might not need it. On my policy, the deductible was $250, but for $200 I can get a new windshield installed if I pay out of pocket. I declined windshield coverage, and my rates were lowered.

12. Compare rates online. You can use insurance rate websites like Kanetix.ca in order to find the lowest rate.

13 Lump-sum payment. If possible pay the annual cost in one lump sum instead of monthly installments (which usually have an admin fee attached).

14. Use your credit card. Pay your insurance fees with your credit card in order to reap the rewards.

How Do You Save on Car Insurance?

Did I miss anything?

How do you save on car insurance? Share your tips below.

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cajon's picture

If available, get a quote from a group insurer. I just switched and received significant savings on my car and house insurance.

March 14, 2017 @ 9:51 am
Rob Hutton
Rob Hutton's picture

Very good Article...... one thing i always recommend is call a broker. I used the online quoting tool and it is providing a price $650 higher than what is available through an independent broker in my area. Independent brokers have access to multiple markets and provide the expertise a Client needs. The current insurance market is very volatile and rates can range by thousands of dollars from one company to the next for the same coverage. This makes it very important to have a large sample size of comparable rates to insure you are getting the best price.

Another little trick depending on the cost of your windshield is to delete glass coverage. If your windshield can be replaced for $300-$400 it is probably worth it. For those of you who have a car with heated wiper spots rain censors etc this is not an option....... some of those windshields can cost in the range of $2000.

Keep the great articles coming.

March 14, 2017 @ 10:46 am
Tom's picture

Buying used tires off kijiji should only be undertaken by an extremely knowlegeable person. Not only can there be hidden defects, there is quite a bit of expense to tire changeovers. And the price of new tires is probably the cheapest preventative "insurance" you can buy.

March 14, 2017 @ 11:04 am
Mrs. Picky Pincher's picture

I saved on car insurance by calling up my insurer and straight-up asking for discounts. They told me what I qualified for and how I could get the discounts. Now I have cheap insurance for the next few years for taking defensive driving. Woop woop!

March 14, 2017 @ 1:32 pm
Apukwa's picture

Indeed, I would certainly add:
1) (BC Specific) Shop around! ICBC is only required for your basic car insurance, there are a number of other insurers that can top up ICBC's liability as well as add comprehensive insurance with every one almost always at better rates than ICBC's optional coverage. BCAA, belairdirect, etc.

2) If you work for a big company ask if they have an employee group policy discount with an insurer. In Ontario I saved at least 30% over the lowest available quoted price going with my company's group insurer in all but one year

3) Finally, *shop around every year*. Some years your existing policy may be the cheapest, but often others undercut! If you don't investigate at least once a year you will miss out on opportunities to save. Make sure to check online mass quote sources (like Kanetix) but don't forget to reach out to brokers and sites not covered by Kanetix as they may have better rates (esp. group policy rates).

March 14, 2017 @ 4:50 pm
Collin Lewis
Collin Lewis 's picture

Hi Steven,

Thanks a lot for this wonderful tips for car insurance.
It was one I was waiting for.

While looking around for better car insurance, I came along a discount for being member of any association.
Can you check which of these association is good to join.

How about discount for couples.
Going on the same policy will that be better.

Thanks in advance.

March 15, 2017 @ 10:44 pm
Carol Moore
Carol Moore's picture

thanks so much for the info! I am now going to check out "parking in garage" and "tracking device" discounts!

March 16, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
RedNuker's picture

My Insurance broker recommended a tracking device when I made changes to my policy because of a new car purchase. He could not answer my questions about who sees the data, where are they stored and for how long, and what steps are in place to ensure privacy. In this day and age of identity theft, I declined that offer. As for the snow tire discount, I have required snow tires for only two days this winter. The purchase cost (and summer storage fee) of the tires will not balance out the paltry discount I received. Perhaps in 15 years, it will given my driving patterns.

March 19, 2017 @ 11:05 am
Alexis @FITnancials's picture

I made a quick call to my insurance agent and asked if there was anything I could eliminate off my insurance, and I was able to eliminate $20 per month for something that wasn't really necessary. I wish I would've known about it for the very beginning!

March 20, 2017 @ 11:45 pm
Linnea Johnson's picture

Yes, there are end less options for car owner to get their car insurance in a slightly cheaper margin.If you drive less , it saves your car insurance policy as you don't have to go for a regular maintenance check up. Secondly, if you have parked car in your home instead of any other place, then you are free form any deduction and also, you can save money by picking the right vehicle for instance, a branded car have higher expensive cost compare to existing car .Car insurance often goes higher when you have branded car which has insurance covered . The more you drive, then you need to have higher maintenance cost .I have gone through the entire article and i am quite encouraged to save money as i felt it is welcome option for car owner to abide by the car insurance tips. Really nice blog to help car owner budget and expenses .

June 14, 2017 @ 9:58 am

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