| Car Life
rows of cars in a parking lot

Did you know that October through December is the best time to buy a car? In the fall, dealers are trying to clear the lots to make way for next year’s models, and by the last two weeks in December, they’re trying to hit year-end sales goals.

You’re already spending thousands of dollars when you decide to buy a new or used car, so knowing when to buy can help you save big. However, it’s important not to get hung up on sticker price alone. Don’t forget to consider the other expenses of owning a car, like paying for car insurance.

Many factors determine your annual car insurance premium, including the car itself. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and want to know how you can make a cost-effective decision, keep reading these tips on how to shop for the cheapest car to insure.

Research Premium Rates

Before you buy a new car, go online and get a quote for that vehicle’s year, make, and model. The numbers may surprise you! Although there are ways to save money on car insurance, like increasing your deductibles or dropping certain types of coverages, you shouldn’t sacrifice safety for the sake of driving your dream car.

Your premium rate can also serve as an indication of how much you can expect to spend to maintain and service the vehicle. For instance, the cheaper the insurance, the cheaper it is to own the vehicle, typically.

Know Which Vehicles to Avoid

Insurance providers establish pricing based on the driver’s and the vehicle’s risk. Providers determine a vehicle’s risk by looking at claim histories, including repair costs, accidents, and theft. The more claims a particular model has — and the more costly those claims are — the more expensive the vehicle is to insure.

The following types of vehicles usually have higher car insurance rates:

  • Large SUVs
  • Sports cars
  • High-end luxury cars
  • Electric vehicles

These vehicles cost more to repair or replace, which is why they often carry inflated insurance premiums. Unless you’re financially prepared to handle the additional expenses of driving your dream car, you’re probably better off avoiding these high-performance rides by opting for something a little more practical.

Research Repair Costs

Owning a vehicle costs money; you ultimately need to decide how much you’re comfortable spending to maintain your vehicle. You can look at the ownership costs of different makes and models online, including which cars cost the least and most to repair. The Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own tool is useful.

Go for the Less Expensive Model

Features like built-in GPS, heated seats, sunroofs, and premium sound systems are great to have, but expensive to fix, which means higher insurance premiums. If you’re shelling out for a new car, you could save on the sticker price and your insurance premium by forgoing some of these luxuries.

The annual premium for a base model could cost hundreds of dollars fewer than a high-end model with all the bells and whistles. Car manufacturers bundle these bells and whistles into various trim levels. For instance, trim levels for a Honda Civic start at the base-level L, followed by LE, SE, and XLE, each with more features and a higher sticker price than the last.

Shop Smart!

Take a little time to research and understand how your car insurance premium will be affected by your new car purchase. For a free quote on car insurance and to see what you could expect to spend each month, call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732), click, or come into a Direct location near you.