| Auto Insurance
an animated man sits at a computer searching for how to lower his car insurance costs

Lower car insurance. We all want it, but how can you actually get cheaper auto insurance rates? 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 get lower car insurance. This guide to lower rates is for everyone from those having trouble paying for car insurance to those simply wanting to save some money. We’ll go over which factors car insurance companies use to calculate auto insurance costs and share some discount offerings to help you keep driving with the cheaper car insurance you want!

How to Get Lower Car Insurance

Wondering how to get your car insurance lowered? Here are eight of the best ways to keep your insurance rates low:

  1. Determine the auto insurance you really need.
  2. Take care of your driving record.
  3. Consolidate your auto insurance policies.
  4. Drive the least expensive vehicle to insure.
  5. Shop around and compare multiple auto insurance quotes.
  6. Check for car insurance discounts.
  7. Adjust how you make payments on your auto insurance policy.
  8. Maintain your car insurance coverage to avoid a lapse.

(Keep reading for more info!)

Determine the auto insurance you really need.

Determine the insurance coverage 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. However, if you go this route, be prepared to pay costs out of pocket if your vehicle gets into an accident, is vandalized, stolen, destroyed in a natural disaster, or damaged by something else that your policy doesn’t cover. We’ll explain more below.

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.

Once you own your car outright, you have the option of dropping your “full coverage” that may have been required by your lienholder but are not required by your state — which could mean cheaper car insurance. However, if your car is leased or financed, your lienholder will require that you maintain a certain amount of insurance coverage.

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. 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.

Take care of your driving record.

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. After three years or more, basic violations can drop off. And if you fall into the high-risk driver category, it could be wiped after ten years.

Higher-risk drivers are those who are risky to insure due to their poor driving record, their inexperience behind the wheel, or even their credit history or credit reports. (Don’t have good credit? Learn how to easily fix your score.)  Sometimes they’re drivers that have had many auto accidents or traffic violations. Because they’re riskier to insurance, high-risk drivers could end up paying more for their insurance than a driver who does not fall into one of the above situations.

What can you do now if you’re a high-risk driver? Some states allow you to take defensive driving courses, or traffic school to help improve your driving record. Looking for ways to be a safe driver? Click for safe driving tips!

Remove High-Risk Drivers From Your Policy

If you’re carrying a high-risk driver on your policy, you may want to consider excluding them from your policy if that’s allowed in your state. You could suggest that the high-risk driver carpool with you rather than drive, or look into alternative transportation options in your area like public transportation or transportation networks like Uber. Until your budget can afford it, excluding them from your policy may help you lower your cost of insurance.  Keep in mind that if you exclude a driver, your policy will generally not provide coverage if the excluded driver is operating your vehicle when a claim occurs.

Consolidate your auto insurance policies.

Consolidate your 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[1].

Drive the least expensive vehicle to insure.

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.

Shop around and compare multiple auto quotes.

Shop around and compare multiple auto insurance 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. 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!

Check for car insurance discounts.

Check for auto insurance discounts.

Car insurance discounts could help you lower your car insurance costs. For example, one way you could get a driver’s discount is by being a good student. When you’re new to the road, finding affordable car insurance for teens, college students, or other young drivers can be difficult as you’re building your driving experience. Fortunately, those straight A’s won’t only get you ahead in life, they could also get you a discount on your auto coverage! While this car insurance discount isn’t always available in all states, it’s worth looking into to save some money for other things that matter, like books, pizza, and a monthly TV subscription! Not a student? Check out our other discounts for military service members, seniors, homeowners, safe, good drivers, and more!

Adjust how you make payments on your auto policy.

Adjust how you make payments on your auto insurance 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. 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

Maintain your car insurance coverage to avoid a lapse.

Avoid auto insurance coverage lapses.

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 costs infographic

How to Lower Car Insurance Costs Infographic

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! (Click here for average car insurance costs by state depending on the types of coverage you choose.) However, all of these things 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-DIRECT ( 1-877-463-4732 ), click online, or come into one of over 500 stores in your neighborhood 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.

Read more about ways to lower car insurance…

How to Get Cheap Car Insurance After an Accident

Can You Get Cheap Car Insurance with Bad Credit?

How Can You Get Cheap Roadside Assistance?

What Is Traffic School & Can It Get You Cheaper Car Insurance

Does Car Insurance Go Up When You ____?

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?

[1] Direct Auto Insurance discounts are subject to terms and conditions and may not be available in all states.

* Savings, if any, will vary. Discounts subject to terms and conditions and may not be available in all states. Cost may vary based on how you buy.