Auto insurance

4 tips for getting car insurance for the first time

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These pointers could lead to big savings.


Key points

  • Doing your research on auto insurance could help keep your costs down.
  • Bundling coverage and asking for discounts are two ways to get the best price.
  • Shop around with different insurance companies before choosing the right one.

Owning a car can be an expensive prospect. Not only do you have to keep up with your auto loan payments, but you also have to maintain your vehicle, fill it up with gas (another big cost these days), and fix it when things go wrong.

And then you have to think about auto insurance. Insuring your car can cost you a good amount of money, especially if you are a new driver without much experience under your belt.

The good news, however, is that there are steps you can take to save money on auto insurance, even if you’re driving for the first time. Here are a few worth looking into.

1. Take a defensive driving course

If you are a new driver, insuring your vehicle may cost more, as your inexperience behind the wheel may translate into a higher risk in the eyes of insurance companies. A good way to show that you are at less risk is to take a defensive driving course.

There are different types of courses you can take, so you’ll want to do some research to see which ones are most likely to get you a discount. Some insurers, for example, may not count an online course the same way they would count an in-person course. But generally, these courses are fairly inexpensive, and your investment could end up more than paying off in the form of lower car insurance premiums.

2. Bundle with your home insurance

Although it doesn’t always happen, you can often get a discount on car insurance if you use the same company for car insurance and home insurance. If you already own a home, contact your current insurer and ask for a quote.

3. See if you qualify for a student discount

If you are a student and therefore a younger driver, this could work against you when it comes to car insurance premiums. But some insurers offer a discount for strong academic performance. Although you might think your GPA wouldn’t impact the premium rate you’re offered, you might be surprised how good grades can translate into great savings.

4. Shop around for different businesses

Collecting quotes from different car insurers could help you get lower premiums on your insurance. This is true even if you have home insurance and are looking to bundle your policies because even if that could lead to savings, you may actually find a better deal with a new insurance company.

It also wouldn’t hurt to ask your driver friends if they’ve had success with a particular insurance company or not. This could help you narrow down your search when looking for coverage for your vehicle.

Budget accordingly

Obviously, you can take different steps to get a good deal on car insurance. But if you’re new to buying auto insurance, remember that even if you manage to get a discount, your insurance costs are likely to make up a good chunk of your income. Be sure to factor this cost into your budget so your finances aren’t disrupted.

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