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:
- 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.
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.
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.