4 Tips for Getting Auto Insurance for the First Time

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

These pointers could lead to big savings.

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 with gas (another big cost these days), and repair it when things go wrong.

And then there's auto insurance to think about. Insuring your car could cost you a fair amount of money, especially if you're a newer driver without much experience under your belt.

The good news, though, is that there are steps you can take to save money on auto insurance -- even as a first-time driver. Here are some worth looking into.

1. Take a defensive driving course

If you're a newer driver, it may cost more to insure your vehicle because your inexperience behind the wheel might translate to higher risk in the eyes of insurance companies. A good way to show that you're less of a 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 more likely to land you a discount. Some insurers, for example, may not count an online course the same way they'd count an in-person one. But generally, these courses are fairly inexpensive, and your investment could end up more than paying for itself in the form of lower car insurance premiums.

2. Bundle with your homeowners insurance

Though this won't always happen, you can often snag a discount on auto insurance if you use the same company for both car and homeowners insurance. If you own a home already, contact your current insurer and ask for a rate quote.

3. See if you qualify for a student discount

If you're a student and are therefore a younger driver, that might work against you when it comes to auto insurance premiums. But some insurers do offer a discount for strong academic performance. Though you'd think your grade point average wouldn't have an impact on the premium rate you're quoted, you may be surprised at how good grades can translate into nice savings.

4. Shop around with different companies

Gathering rate quotes from different auto insurers could be your ticket to snagging lower premiums on your insurance. This holds true even if you have homeowners insurance and are looking to bundle your policies, because while that could result in 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. That could help you narrow down your search when seeking out coverage for your vehicle.

Budget accordingly

Clearly, there are different steps you can take to snag a great deal on auto insurance. But if you're new to buying car insurance, remember that even if you manage to land a discount, your insurance costs are apt to take up a decent chunk of your income. Make sure to factor that cost into your budget so your finances aren't thrown off-course.

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