Driving is an expensive necessity for many people, especially for those who do not live in major cities. Not only do drivers need to pay for the vehicle, but they are also required to pay for additional services such as repairs, upkeep, and insurance. For many, insurance costs can be one of the highest household expenses but, thankfully, there are several things that anyone can control. And through these, drivers can help keep their insurance costs to a minimum.
A person’s driving habits are one of the largest factors in the cost of insurance. This includes the amount of miles driven, how they’re driven, and the amount of information that the insurance company has on the driver’s habits. Drivers can save hundreds each years by keeping track of the amount of miles that the car is driven annually and then handing over that information to the insurance provider.
There is new technology that helps insurance companies track driving habits. Some companies offer a black box of sorts that gets attached to vehicles computer, and it monitors driving habits. When the device is taken out of the vehicle, the insurance company uploads the information into their system and it will be used to gauge the driver’s habits. For drivers who’d rather use their smartphone to do this, car insurance provider Aviva offers a handy smartphone app that does much of the same. It uses the phone’s GPS to monitor braking, turning, and acceleration. It’s a better option because it only requires 200 miles of driving to impact rates and it allows for instantaneous updating with the insurance company.
Tickets can drastically increase insurance rates. The most costly tickets are those given for Reckless or Careless Driving, which can cause rates to increase by 22%. According to Forbes, even minor speeding tickets can increase rates by 15%. Even tickets that do not involve moving, like driving without a license, can cause rates to jump 18%. And of course DWI will cause premiums to rise, even for first time offenses can see an increase of 19%. The moral of the story is to avoid getting tickets by simply obeying the laws in place!
Paying an upfront cost of a driving course can drastically reduce rates. They can technically pay for themselves after the first few months with the savings, which can be 5-15% depending on the company. The same goes for a defensive driving course.
Depending on where you live, adding security devices allows you to save more money on insurance, according to Tracker. It’s recommended that you look over a few things before purchasing a security device, such as location and vehicle type. If the vehicle is expensive and stays in an urban area, then it’s likely that the rates will go down drastically. If the vehicle is older, has a low value, and is located in a small rural area, then it’s likely that adding security will not significantly lower rates.
It’s always important to check with other carriers. Some companies specialize in a specific type of driver and may be able to provide a lower premium. It doesn’t really take much effort; just take a half hour to call around or check the web and you could save hundreds a year.
These are not the only ways to save on insurance. The best way to find out about more ways to save would be to contact the insurance provider and ask about discounts. For example, many offer good student discounts for the younger drivers. It’s also important to be aware of the type of vehicle that is being insured. If it’s worth a lot, expect that amount to be reflected in your insurance bill.