For approximately the last hundred years, America has been all about cars. Henry Ford’s Model T was unveiled in 1908, and with mass production, suddenly car ownership was within reach of many Americans. Fast forward to the 1950’s, and the country had become designed around cars, with drive-in movie theaters and suburbs built near highways. Now, adult Americans either own a car or know someone who does. With that car ownership comes the responsibility of car insurance.

But as much as we love our cars, most of us aren’t made of money, and saving money has become serious business. It’s true that we’re legally required to buy auto insurance, but that doesn’t mean you need to pay more than your fair share. Read on, and we’ll share with you a few tips to help you save when you’re buying car insurance. These tips won’t work with all companies, but they are worth trying.

  • Some companies offer usage-based insurance. The way it works is, the company will install a device in your car that tracks information, such as how frequently you brake abruptly and how much you drive. The data is analyzed, and if it shows that you practice safe driving behaviors, you’ll get a discount. However, if you have concerns about privacy, this might not be the best option for you.
  • With most policies, you’ll have the option to add or subtract certain kinds of coverage. Opt out of towing coverage, and you’ll save, since a single towing fee usually costs around $100, while towing coverage will cost you between $10-$30 every year. To avoid the necessity of a tow, stay on top of all your vehicle maintenance, and the os of the car breaking down will plummet. Also, learn how to change a flat yourself, and make sure not to lock your keys in the car.
  • Along similar lines, you also won’t need car rental coverage. Keep in mind that car rental coverage usually costs from $20-$40 yearly, whereas the cost of renting an economy car is about $25 per day. The odds are good that you won’t need it, and if you’re on vacation and decide to rent a car, your regular insurance policy will cover you while you’re driving it.
  • If you’re considering buying a new car, but you don’t have your heart set on a particular model, you may want to partially base your purchase decision on how it will be insured. Sometimes the liability cost is base on how much potential damage your vehicle can do, so a big truck might have a higher liability due to the bigger possible damage. Ratings are also based on how likely the car is to be stolen, how badly injured the driver and passengers might be, and how damage resistant the vehicle itself is.
  • Some of us love to spend money on car accessories, like an amazing stereo system or aftermarket options like spoilers or exhaust systems. That’s fine, but if your car ends up stolen or totaled, your company will pay you based on a fair market value. That means they will evaluate the cost of the vehicle as a “whole package.” If you spent $2,500 on aftermarket options, the insurance company might just compensate you $1,000. You won’t be compensated on a dollar for dollar basis.