From having to pay for gas to depreciation costs, the costs of car ownership can pile up quite fast. While it might be tough to reduce your fuel expenses or look for a fuel-efficient car overnight, it might be easy to reduce your insurance premiums. Typically, insurance takes a huge chunk of car ownership expenses, with it accounting for 10% of the average salary for UK drivers between 18 and 21 years old, according to Finder.com.
Lucky for you, a lot goes into determining the cost of your insurance, and you can use these considerations to your advantage. It all trickles down to exactly how you run your car and the kind of deal you have with your insurance company.
Here are four tips to reduce your insurance premiums:
Take a Defensive Driving Course
Regardless of whether you have a bad driving record or not, most insurance companies tend to offer discounts to people who have undergone a defensive driving course (not to be confused with an intensive driving course). At its core, a defensive driving course is aimed at providing a driver with skills for avoiding collisions caused by other drunk or aggressive drivers and poor weather. As a result, insurance companies perceive that people with these skills have a low chance of collision when on the road.
However, you need to have done the course recently as most agencies will not consider one that you did five years ago. Also, ensure that the discount provided by the course isn’t lower than its costs. Of course, the costs can eat into the savings of the first year, but look to limit this.
Build Your Credit Score
Insurance companies will typically focus on your credit score when deciding to offer you their services. If you happen to have a low score, the chances are that your insurance premiums will be overpriced. However, improving your credit score will not mean that your current insurance premiums have to be reduced, but it can promise a lower insurance cost once you get to shop for more insurance.
Ideally, you need to make a significant improvement in your credit score to enjoy this. For instance, you can raise your score from a low one of around 500 to a high one of 700 and above. There is a diversity of ways for reducing your credit score, including paying bills on time, maintaining a great credit utilization ratio and co-signing your credit card accounts.
Increase Your Insurance Deductible
An insurance deductible is an amount that you get to pay out of your pocket in case your vehicle is involved in an accident. In turn, the amount is deducted from what the insurance company was to offer you. For instance, if you have a £500 deductible, and are involved in an accident that costs £2,000 in repairs, the insurance company will contribute £1500.
Changing your deductible from £500 to £1000 will mean that you can save £500 more per year. In case you are afraid that the deductible you choose might be too high to produce out of the blues, you can typically open up a savings account for the exact amount of your deductible.
Buy an Insurance-friendly Vehicle
The higher the value of your vehicle, the more its collision coverage will be – that’s why sports cars’ insurance cost more. While it might be tricky to change your current vehicle, your next purchase should be insurance-friendly, that’s if your goal is to reduce insurance premiums paid.
Start by looking for vehicles with innovative safety features. You can consult your insurance company for any safety features that will help lower your insurance premiums. For instance, you can buy a car with lane assist systems and antilock brakes.
Insurance companies will typically offer you their services at a low premium as long as they perceive you as a low-risk driver. Aspects such as having defensive driving certificates and driving a safer car can be of great help. Consider the tips above to reduce your car ownership costs.