How to Save Money on Your Car Insurance

Purchasing a car, whether it’s your first or your fifth, is a major life event. Unfortunately, it can also be an expensive one. Auto insurance isn’t just good for you, but it is a positive externality for society.

So from beginning to end, how can you save money during your car’s life cycle? Below, we offer a few handy tips.

Pick the Right Car Insurance

Car insurance is a necessary part of owning a vehicle. Be sure to look up the state you live in to see the minimum coverage that’s required. But if you want to save money and still be protected, it’s important to know how to pick the right car insurance.

Three of the most important factors to consider are comparing quotes, the coverage you need, and what deductible you want. Let’s take a look at how these factors can affect your purchase. Companies like USAA provide bundling and discount options to keep you secure without breaking the bank.

  • Comparing Quotes – When it comes to car insurance, quotes are going to be one of the best ways to determine how much you’ll be spending. If you see a quote that’s too good to be true, it’s best to do some additional research.
  • Coverage You Need – Do you need comprehensive coverage or gap coverage? If you want any and all damage on your car covered, comprehensive is the way to go. Gap coverage ensures that your insurer will pay off the remainder of your car loan if there is an accident before you repay it in full yourself. In 2013, the average bodily injury liability claim from auto accidents was $15,443. Personal injury insurance can typically supplement your health insurance (if you have it) to fully cover any injuries that might occur during a car accident. When researching which auto insurance to purchase, you should consider adding hefty personal injury coverage. It is paid out whether you are at fault or not, and can cover expenses such as lost wages, childcare and even funerals in the worst-case scenarios.
  • Deductible You Want – The lower your monthly deductible, the less you’ll need to pay in the event your vehicle is damaged. However, it also means your monthly insurance rates will be higher. Determining how you want this tradeoff to be balanced is important if you need to save money on your car.

Invest in Regular Maintenance

When you put off little maintenance tasks, all of those seemingly insignificant problems can turn into one bigger, more expensive problem in the future. Our advice? Keep up with small maintenance tasks every month.

Not only does this kind of maintenance help you save on gas, it can prevent a big trip to the mechanic. Some small maintenance tasks to keep up on include:

  • Checking your oil levels regularly.
  • Inflating your tires to the proper levels every month.
  • Replacing your windshield wipers.
  • Keeping your wiper fluid full.
  • Replacing your air filters.
  • Rotating your tires.

Change Your Fuel Habits

Gas is a deceptively low expense at the point of purchase. Maybe you’ll spend $20 here or $30 there to keep your tank full, but all of those costs can add up if you’re not careful. First and foremost, buying a car that takes regular fuel will save you at the pump.

Some models require specialty or premium fuels, which can add up quickly. Note: most ordinary cars don’t require premium fuel. They’ll run just fine on regular gasoline unless specified otherwise. Here are a few more habits to ditch if you want to save money on your car:

  • Stop idling. It wastes gas and can be harsh on your engine.
  • Use air conditioning sparingly. Too much AC can negatively impact your fuel efficiency by almost 25%.
  • Don’t slam on the gas. Accelerate gradually.

Saving money on your car doesn’t need to be a hassle. Little things you do throughout your car’s life can make a big difference when it comes to finances. From choosing the right car insurance to performing routine maintenance on your vehicle, these tips could help you save in the long run.

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