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Shopping for a Car…Check Insurance Rates First

If you are headed out to the car lot to find a new or used car you have a lot of decisions waiting for you. Comparing features, fuel economy, sticker prices and safety features can be both time consuming and frustrating. One number that often gets overlooked is the cost to insure your new ride. Insurance rates can vary widely depending on what type of car you end up buying, and in some case the new rate can be a real budget buster. Following are a few things that can affect the insurance rates on your new car:

General Information

In general, SUVs and pickup trucks cost less to insure than your average vehicles. Mini-Vans tend to be one of the cheapest vehicles to insure. If you can be flexible about your vehicle choice check out the yearly rankings to find the cheapest cars to insure, you might just find your next ride on the list.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a great place to start your search.

Safety Features Save Money

Safety features have a big impact on insurance rates. This can be especially true if you are shopping used vehicles. Insurers track accident statistics on how well the latest safety features reduce accidents and cars that incorporate these features are cheaper to insure. Anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and numerous airbags come standard on most new cars today but can lower your premiums if you are shopping for a used car. If a new car is in you budget look for collision avoidance technology like lane departure and blind spot monitoring to bring down insurance costs.

Sports Cars Are Always More Expensive to Insure

If you can get by with a mid-range sedan your rates should be reasonable. On the other hand, if you won’t be happy with anything less than a high-end sports car be prepared to pay in the insurance department. These cars are more dangerous to drive, are involved in more accidents and are a big target for thieves. Be prepared for your insurance rates to skyrocket when you climb behind the wheel of a sports car.

No Affect on Rates

While the year, make and model will have an impact on your insurance costs, there are some new car factors that will have no effect on your insurance rates. While a red car may result in more speeding tickets, it will not raise your insurance rates. Vehicle mileage will also have no effect on your premiums, or will the fuel economy of the car. If you are shopping for a used car keep an eye out for after market parts that have been installed, these can often void your warranty and be the basis for a denial of an insurance claim if the non-stock parts turn out to be responsible for any accidents.

Shop Around

As you shop around for a new car, this is also a great way time to shop your insurance. Call a number of insurers and get a quote on any car that you are considering. While you are at it, shop the prices on any other cars you plan on keeping to see if you can lower your overall insurance costs.

Ask for all available discounts and be sure that your insurer is aware of all the safety features your new car has as standard equipment. If you have gotten a new job which has prompted your new car purchase and your commute has changed, let your insurer know. Your rates may drop if you are driving fewer miles each day.

Contacting numerous insurers is the best way to lower your rates. Insurance companies rate driver and vehicle risk differently so shopping around will give you the best chance at lowering your premiums.  

Over the life of your car, insurance will be a substantial cost so make sure you do a bit of research before signing on the dotted line for your new car. Check with a number of insurers to get the best price and policy on your new car. `