3 Little-Known Tips to Save on Car Insurance as Rates Rise

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  • There is more to saving on car insurance than bundles.
  • Many drivers qualify for special discounts, but they must request them.
  • Drivers may also save through usage-based insurance and dropping unnecessary coverage. 

Drivers should browse their insurance carrier dashboard to see if they qualify for discounts.

Get out your holy water and start sprinkling. Yes, the rumors are true: Rates are rising. Car insurance is just one of those things that are getting more expensive. And car insurance rates in 2023 will probably be even more costly.

Sadly, a little prayer probably won't chase away the specter of higher premiums. That's why clever drivers are checking out how to squeeze the most from their auto policy.

Most folks know the power of bundles. Drivers get discounts for bundling multiple insurance lines or cars under the same line. But there's more to saving on car insurance.

Here are three little-known tips to save on car insurance as rates rise.

1. Switch to usage-based insurance

Some insurance carriers, like Metromile, offer cheaper insurance to low-mileage drivers. Drivers fix a device to their car, which Metromile uses to track distance driven. Casual drivers may prefer this option to insurance carriers that don't take miles driven into consideration.

To a lesser degree, some carriers offer small discounts for low-mileage drivers. Drivers can check with their insurance to see whether they qualify for usage-based programs like Allstate's Drivewise, Progressive's Snapshot, or State Farm's Drive Safe & Save.

Author's Note: Metromile insurance is currently unavailable to many California drivers.

2. Drop unnecessary coverage

Consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage if your car is old. If your vehicle is worth less, it may not make sense to pay for coverage that would only reimburse you for a small portion of the cost of repairs or replacement.

When I insured my cheap 1999 Ford, I didn't bother applying for replacement insurance. It was cheaper to sell the wrecked car for spare parts. I ended up doing just that, to my delight.

3. Request special discounts

Drivers can typically manage discounts via online dashboards provided by insurance carriers. In some cases, drivers self-report on whether they qualify. Drivers without this tool should call the insurance company directly to ask which discounts they are eligible for.

Student discount

Geico offered me a discount for maintaining a 3.0 GPA average in high school and college. Many carriers offer similar deals. Drivers may have to be 25 years old or younger to qualify. 

California drivers who qualify for the "Good Student" discount can see their insurance costs slashed by 20%.

Defensive driver discount

Some carriers offer discounts to drivers who complete an online defensive drivers course. California drivers who complete the course can save up to 5% on their insurance costs.

Drivers may have to be 50 years or older to qualify.

Anti-theft discount

Right now, I qualify for the anti-theft discount for having an anti-theft device active within my vehicle. The value is small -- about $5 in savings per quarter -- but I didn't have to do anything special to qualify.

Does your car have an alarm system installed? If so, your vehicle may qualify for the discount. 

New car discount

New car owners should double-check if they qualify for a new car discount. After swapping a 1999 Ford F-150 for a 2021 Toyota Corolla, I saved over $140 per year with my new car discount.

This discount is worth checking out if your car is less than three years old.

Other special discounts

The best discounts get snagged by drivers with clean records. Drivers should avoid striking out with the DMV by practicing safe driving. Discounts are enormous for drivers with both a clean DMV record and zero insurance claims.

Shop around

Sometimes, drivers need more discounts than their current insurer offers. If you want to switch insurers completely, shop around. Make sure your next insurer meets your needs.

The best car insurance companies offer comprehensive coverage at reasonable prices. Low-budget shoppers may prefer to stick with the best cheap car insurance. And drivers haunted by a poor driving record may want to consider the best high-risk car insurance for warding off demons like reckless driving, prior accidents, etcetera.

Drivers have options. A little research on car insurance companies -- and research into little-known ways to save on car insurance -- can save drivers hundreds in yearly premiums.

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