We have previously discussed how to get cheaper car insurance by shopping effectively for insurance and by driving safely and cautiously. We also need to focus on how the car that you drive and the care that you show for that car will allow you to pay a cheaper car insurance premium!
The search for cheaper car insurance should not start once you have bought the car – it starts long before that! To understand this we need to reflect on the purpose of having car insurance. Why do we need car insurance and what does it protect us from? Very simply summarized we can say that:
- Car insurance is needed to cover the risk of vehicle loss or damage.
- The vehicle owner pays a car insurance premium to acquire this cover.
- The insurer calculates the premium taking many factors into consideration.
- The most basic of these factors are the expected costs of replacement and /or repair of the vehicle.
From the above it should be clear that our quest to find cheaper car insurance should start with the vehicle we would like to protect against loss and damage! We need to consider the nature of the vehicle to be insured and how costly it might be to replace or repair such a vehicle:
Purchasing the Vehicle
- Which factors to you consider before purchasing a car? Too many vehicle owners only consider the purchase price and not the costs of keeping the car on the road!
- The costs of keeping the car on the road include registration & licensing, vehicle maintenance and service, fuel and – very importantly – car insurance!
- Consider purchasing a low-profile car. It’s more expensive to insure a vehicle that’s expensive to repair, popular with thieves or known for not having the greatest safety record.
- You do not have to swap your sports car for a family car, but maybe compromise a bit.
- You could save you a fortune not only on fuel but also on your car insurance premiums!
- You can enquire about the insurance rating – Some cars are considered to be of a higher risk than others.
- Before buying a car, check out its insurance group rating as car insurance premiums vary greatly between insurance groups.
- In general, sports cars and other high-performance, flashy vehicles are classified as higher risks because they are common targets for thieves and vandals, and because statistically, the people who own them tend to drive more recklessly.
- Be careful before buying an imported or exotic car – Check with your car insurance company beforehand if you opt for an imported car – this might avoid nasty financial surprises!
- Get your car valuation right – Overvaluing may mean a higher premium.
- Check the prices of similar types, ages and distances on the clock.
- Avoid modifying your car. More power can increase the risk of an accident.
- It is interesting to note that the colour of your car can also affect your insurance premium!
- Insurers sometimes charge slightly higher premiums for darker colours (think black and navy blue) than for lighter cars (like white). [Some experts believe that darker colours can be more difficult to see in the dark or in bad light conditions, and are thus involved in more accidents.]
Once you have purchased the vehicle, you can save on insurance premiums by focusing on how you maintain the vehicle and provide protection against vehicle theft and other criminal activity! The following recommendations might result in cheaper insurance premiums:
- Opt for safety gear in your vehicle. You can qualify for a discount on many policies if you have air bags, automatic seat belts, anti-lock brakes and daytime running lights.
- Have good security systems fitted to your car. Good security may cut your premium – and keep the thieves away.
- An approved alarm system, electronic central locking or other anti-theft device can give you additional savings.
- Avoid flashy sound systems or modifications that might make your car more attractive to thieves – this could lead to a higher car insurance premium.
- Parking your car in a secure location such as a locked garage or a secure designated off road parking spot can potentially reduce your premiums.
- Cars kept in garages and supplied with alarms are less probable to be thieved, and consequently not as costly to insure.
- Enquire from your insurer whether the vehicle security will provide a discount.
- Also consider DataDot technology as a security option and discuss this with your insurer.
Getting cheaper car insurance requires a lot of thought and some research and planning. With the right mindset it is possible for the vehicle owner to get a cheaper car insurance premium!