Last updated: November 2022
Low car insurance. We all want it, but how can you get your car insurance lowered? Whether you’re an experienced driver, a first-time driver, have a poor driving history or have been in an accident, or even have a perfect driving record, look no further! We’ve got some valuable tips on how to lower auto insurance rates.
This guide to lower rates is for everyone, from those having trouble paying for car insurance to those simply wanting to save some money. There are some things you can start doing today, things to consider at renewal time, and tips to minimize rate increases after a car accident.
Looking for Low Car Insurance Rates? 8 Things Anyone Can Try
Wondering how to get your car insurance lowered? Here are eight of the best ways to keep your insurance rates low:
- Determine the auto insurance you really need.
- Take care of your driving record.
- Consolidate your auto insurance policies.
- Drive the least expensive vehicle to insure.
- Shop around and compare multiple auto insurance quotes.
- Check for car insurance discounts.
- Adjust how you make payments on your auto insurance policy.
- Maintain your car insurance coverage to avoid a lapse.
(Keep reading for more info!)
1. Determine the auto insurance you really need.
Almost every state requires that drivers carry a certain amount of car insurance. So, while you’ll need to buy the state minimum (typically, at least liability insurance) to stay legal, you may want to request higher deductibles or decide against collision coverage, comprehensive coverage (adding these to your liability coverage is often referred to as “full coverage“) or other optional coverages — especially if you have an older, less expensive vehicle.
Consider Dropping Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
If your car is 8 years old or older, you may not need as much coverage as a newer vehicle. Older cars generally don’t retain their value, and because comprehensive and collision are usually limited to the cash value of your car, you might evaluate whether the cost of including that coverage is worth it to you. Please note, if you drop your full coverage, you must be prepared to pay for repairs out of pocket. It’s also worth noting that if your car is leased or financed, your lienholder will typically require you to carry comprehensive and collision coverage until you pay off the vehicle.
Pick a Higher Deductible
A deductible is an amount you would pay, out-of-pocket, for the damage to your car or certain other coverages, like personal injury protection. You pay this amount, and then your insurer begins to pay. Physical damage (comprehensive/collision) deductibles can range from $0 to $1,500. Usually, the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be for that coverage.
2. Take care of your driving record.
To help set rates, car insurance companies will look at your motor vehicle report (MVR), or driving history. Therefore, a clean driving record with few or no accidents, moving violations, DUIs, or penalty points, could mean lower car insurance payments. However, if you do have blemishes on your driving record, time is on your side. It depends on the severity of the offense and where you live, but many violations will fall off your record and/or stop impacting your rates after a few years. Avoid distractions, drive defensively, and follow all traffic rules to help secure a lower rate.
Remove High-Risk Drivers from Your Policy
High-risk drivers are those whom insurance companies consider risky to insure due to one or more factors. Sometimes they’re drivers that have had many auto accidents or traffic violations or have been convicted of a DUI. Maybe they’re a new driver with little experience behind the wheel. Because they’re riskier to insure, high-risk drivers could end up paying more for their insurance than a driver who does not fall into one of the above situations.
If you’re carrying a high-risk driver on your policy, you may want to consider excluding them from your policy to secure a lower rate if that’s allowed in your state. Driver exclusion is not available in all states, and if required by your insurance company, make sure to list all household members of driving age.
Please note, you would need to come up with an alternative transportation plan for this individual because if you exclude a driver, your policy will generally not provide any coverage if the excluded driver is operating your vehicle when a claim occurs.
3. Consolidate your auto insurance policies.
If your household has multiple vehicles and insurance products, but separate insurance policies and/or companies, then consider simplifying your financial life by bundling them with one insurance company — and even save some money! Typically, insurance companies offer discounted pricing when you bundle your policies or insure more than one vehicle with them. For example, Direct Auto Insurance offers a multi-product insurance discount of up to 5% if you purchase an additional qualifying product like term life insurance and a multi-car discount that could save you up to 25% on your auto insurance.
4. Drive the least expensive vehicle to insure.
Thinking about buying a car? Before you start shopping, estimate which vehicles generally have the lowest insurance rates. Car insurance companies typically consider factors like how much it would cost to repair or replace the car, the frequency of incidents or claims with the car model, how much damage the vehicle can cause, what safety features are included, and how much horsepower it has. For example, a minivan, family sedan, or small to midsize SUV with a high safety rating, inexpensive parts, and minimal flashy features may be less expensive to insure than a full-size SUV, a fast sports car, or another luxury vehicle. Your best bet? Get a car insurance quote or two for the vehicle(s) you’re interested in buying and see which is the cheapest.
5. Shop around and compare multiple auto quotes.
Some insurance companies, like Direct Auto, aim to make monthly car insurance payments more affordable. It could be worth getting a quote and comparing car insurance prices to your current rate to see how much you could save. This could help you get the low car insurance you want. Even if you’ve been driving without coverage (see #8 for info on coverage lapses), you may still be able to protect yourself with an affordable policy. Compare quotes from each insurance company to see where you can get the cheapest car insurance rate!
6. Check for car insurance discounts.
Car insurance discounts could help you lower your car insurance costs. Discounts exist for a number of different reasons and vary from company to company. As an example, here are some of the ways you could save with Direct Auto.
- Good student discount: If you’re a high school or college student making good grades, you could save on auto coverage.
- Military discount: If you’re an active duty service member, you could save on your car insurance.
- Senior citizen discount: If you’re over the age of 55, you could score a discount on coverage.
- Homeowner discount: If you own a home and it’s the same as your primary address for the vehicle on your policy, you could save.
- Safe driver discount: If you’ve been accident or violation free for the time period required in your state, you could save on auto insurance.
- DynamicDrive discount: If you join the DynamicDrive program and download the Routely app to share your driving insights, you could save immediately on coverage and even more at renewal.
- Vehicle equipment discounts: If you own a new car with excellent anti-theft or safety features, you could secure a discount on auto coverage.
Direct offers additional ways to save, so be sure to look at our complete list of discounts.
7. Adjust how you make payments on your auto policy.
If you can afford it, paying for a six- or twelve-month policy in full instead of making month-to-month payments could save you money. Insurance companies typically charge a monthly installment fee; therefore, paying for the policy upfront could help you avoid this additional cost. However, if you’re unable to pay in full, you may be able to lower your monthly installments by setting up an automatic scheduled payment. In addition to this, Direct Auto (and possibly other companies) offers payment discounts to reward policyholders who pay in full, enroll in auto-pay, or go paperless for account updates and statements. And with Direct, you can even customize your payments so that however you choose to pay is more convenient for you. Make your payment—your way:
- Pay with cash.
- Make one-time payments with a credit card or debit card.
- Set up automatic payments with a credit card or debit card.
- Pay via MyAccount or the Direct Auto Mobile App with a credit card or debit card.
- Pay with an electronic check.
8. Maintain your car insurance coverage to avoid a lapse.
Did you know a lapse in auto insurance, even if only for a short period, can lead to higher car insurance premiums? While there are exceptions to this rule, such as if you’re a military employee or maintaining seasonal motorcycle insurance, generally, you’ll pay more once you buy coverage again. Plus, driving uninsured is illegal, and could also be costly if you’re stopped by police or involved in an accident. Instead, save money with continuous coverage, or continuous liability insurance. For example, our prior coverage and “Welcome Back” discount could help you save when you choose Direct. If you’ve been with your current car insurance company for at least six months, simply show your insurer a copy of the declaration page with the policy details (often the first page of your policy) as proof to get your discounted rate.
How to Lower Car Insurance After an Accident
Even if you’re involved in a car crash, don’t worry. You can still find affordable auto insurance. Many of the ways to secure a lower rate are the same as they normally are. You can review your coverage, adjust your deductibles, and search for discounts. However, there are a couple of other options you could consider.
Research accident forgiveness.
In some cases and with some insurers, you might be eligible for accident forgiveness. This feature could be added to your auto policy so that you’re forgiven after an accident, even if you’re at fault. In other words, your car crash would not lead to a rate increase. Please note, you’d need to have accident forgiveness in place before your accident to help keep your rates low after a crash.
Ask your insurer if they have an accident forgiveness program, whether it’s something you pay extra for to add to your policy or something you can get as a loyal, safe-driving customer.
Attend traffic school.
In some circumstances in specific states, completing an approved traffic school can prevent your rates from increasing after an accident or help lower them depending on your situation. If traffic school can prevent a moving violation from going on your driving record, it might be worth your time. Fewer traffic violations on your driving record are good news when it comes to getting a lower or even low car insurance rate.
Can you get cheap car insurance with bad credit?
A not-so-great credit score can make it harder to qualify for a car loan or get a new credit card, but can it make it harder to get cheap car insurance? If you’re wondering can you get car insurance with bad credit (in particular, affordable auto insurance), as with many things in life, the answer is, it depends. Even though insurance companies may look at your credit score, they don’t look at it the same way as a bank, car dealer, or credit card company does.
Insurance companies look at a credit-based insurance score. “Credit-based insurance scores use certain elements of a person’s credit history to predict how likely they are to have an insurance loss,” reports the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Your regular credit score helps tell lenders how likely it is that you’ll repay a loan on time. It has nothing to do with your likelihood to file an insurance claim.
If you have no credit history or poor credit history, some insurers (like Direct Auto!) are more willing to work with you than others. They tend to be more forgiving and can help you secure the lowest rate possible right now while you follow these tips to increase your credit score.
- Pay debts on time.
- Don’t borrow all the way up to your credit limits.
- Don’t open or close multiple accounts at the same time.
- Keep an eye on your credit report and report any errors.
- Contact creditors and find a solution if you’re struggling to make payments.
How much does car insurance cost?
Now that you know how to get lower car insurance rates, you may be wondering how much car insurance costs to begin with. Many factors can impact car insurance rates such as the type of car you drive, your driving history and experience, demographics like your age and location, and the coverages, limits, and deductibles selected. Just like no two drivers are the same, no two insurance rates are the same! However, all of the tips we shared above can help lower your monthly car insurance costs.
You Could Save up to 25%* on Car Insurance!
Whew, that was a lot of ways to lower car insurance! Did you know there are even more ways you can save? Click here to learn about all of Direct Auto’s driver discounts and see which ones you may qualify for! Then, call 1-877-GO-DIRECT ( 1-877-463-4732 ), click online, or come into one of more than 500 stores to speak with a friendly insurance agent and get a personalized quote. Just ask us how to lower your car insurance costs! We’ll help you have peace of mind with the cheapest car insurance possible! Keep driving.