How to Get the Best Car Insurance Discounts

Car insurance rates can be impacted by everything from your driving record to your age, and as you get older and more experienced, you may be entitled to auto insurance discounts. These discounts are often available when you renew, but you can also take advantage of them before you apply.

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In this guide to car insurance discounts, we’ll tell you what discounts you’re likely to be entitled to, how you can get them, how much they can save you, and more. 

Car insurance quotes can be astronomically high for some applicants, but armed with this advice you can bring those rates down and shave tens and even hundreds of dollars off your policy.

What are Car Insurance Discounts?

Auto insurance companies base their prices on a series of risks and probabilities. They use statistics to determine the likelihood of each applicant applying, and this allows them to earn a profit when all policyholders have been considered.

If you’re young, drive frequently, and have a history of road traffic accidents, you’re a higher risk as you’ll likely cost them more over the term. If you drive less, claim less, and reach an age where you’re deemed to be low-risk, you will cost them less so they can save you more.

In some states, a driver discount is required by law. State law requires these benefits to be offered to encourage good driving, as many policyholders take their driving records very seriously.

What Types of Discount Can You Get?

There are many types of car insurance discounts available, all of which can help you to save money on your insurance policy. These discounts relate to everything from your driving record to your loyalty and more.

Driving Record

You can get better rates if you can prove that you’re a low-risk driver, which typically means you have driven for several years without claims. A good driver who has never been in a car accident can shave over 25% off their insurance premiums. The types of discount and potential savings include:

  • No Accidents (up to 25%): You need to be accident-free for at least 3 years. However, this only applies to chargeable or no fault accidents, which is essentially an accident for which the insurance company needs to payout.
  • Low-mileage (2%): If you drive between 5,000 and 15,000 miles a year, you could qualify for a low-mileage car insurance discount.

Age and Gender

Driving habits are closely tied to your age and gender. A man between the age of 16 and 18 is significantly more likely to be involved in an accident than any other demographic. And that’s not the only difference, as the likelihood of claiming decreases for each decade until a certain point, after which it begins increasing again.

You can save huge sums of money by changing your provider or your policy as you age, and all this stems from the following car insurance discounts:

  • Good Student Discount (up to 25%): Work hard in high school and college, secure some good grades and you could qualify for a good student discount, reducing your policy by anywhere from 15% to 25%.
  • Students Away from Home (up to 30%): Students who study a long way from home (typically over 100 miles) can qualify for discounts as they are less likely to use the vehicle.
  • Homeowner Discount (up to 15%): Homeowners are deemed to be more responsible than renters. This might seem a little harsh, but it all comes back to statistics and they suggest that you’re less likely to claim if you own your own home.
  • Low Income (varies): Car insurance companies are required to offer discounts for policyholders in low-income employment, and these discounts can differ considerably.
  • Senior (up to 35%): Car insurance companies are also required to offer discounts to applicants aged over 65, even though the risk of claiming on an auto insurance policy increases above the age of 60.

Brand Loyalty

Many companies offer loyalty discounts these days and your insurance provider is no different. You can save money on your auto policy just because you have stuck by a single provider for a number of years, with discounts for all the following:

  • Multi-Policy (up to 10%): You can get a multi-policy discount when you purchase several different insurance options from the same company. Speak with an insurance agent to discover how much you can save by combining homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, and more from the same company. The biggest car insurance providers (GEICO, Allstate, State Farm) provide numerous options. This is also known as “bundling”.
  • Multi-Car Policy (up to 25%): Add all the drivers in your home onto the same policy. This can make things complicated if you have young drivers on the policy, but it’ll be cheaper than if you were to get separate policies for them. A multicar discount could net you a saving of up to 25% on comprehensive coverage, so it’s well worth looking into.
  • Renewal (up to 10%): Renew with the same provider at the end of the term and they might offer you a discount, offsetting the extra cash you might spend by going elsewhere.

Driver Training and Safety Features

Everything from training courses to safety equipment can reduce your likelihood of claiming. And this goes beyond seat belts, airbags and the insistence that your driving is better than average. You need to make a concerted effort if you want to secure some serious safe-driver discounts:

  • Anti-lock Brakes (10%): An important safety feature that could reduce your car insurance policy by as much as 10%.
  • Anti-Theft Features (up to 20%): Theft is a common occurrence, with roughly 230 thefts for every 100,000 car owners. This simple feature could net you some vehicle discounts by reducing the likelihood of your car being stolen.
  • Green Car (10%): Driving a green or hybrid car can save you money on gas while also reducing your auto insurance premium.
  • New Car (10%): Newer cars are more likely to have an anti-theft device installed and also offer better safety features and other benefits. They are less likely to breakdown, as well.
  • Airbags: While we joked that you won’t receive a discount just because your car has airbags, there is an exception. You may require more car insurance coverage if you have an old car with no airbags, but if you have factory-installed airbags in an old car you can save on this feature. This discount is also known as passive restraint.
  • Driving Training (Varies): Take a defensive driving course to prove you can handle yourself better. A defensive driver is less likely to claim and the money you save by taking this course is likely to offset its cost.

Affiliations

Simply being associated with certain companies or associations can reduce your auto insurance premiums, as outlined below:

  • Company Affiliation (up to 25%): Membership clubs, schools, and workplaces may have discount programs in place to help you save.
  • Military (up to 90%): Military vets can save up to 10%, but this increases significantly for anyone actively employed, with discounts going as high as 90%.

Payment Options

A few simple adjustments to the way you pay for your car insurance premiums could net you a substantial saving on your policy.

  • Auto-Pay (Varies): Schedule an auto-pay to ensure you never miss a payment and your provider may give you a percentage discount or some cash back.
  • Paperless (3%): Go paperless to reduce waste and to save your auto insurance provider a few dollars in the process. There really is no need to get paper statements in this day and age, so this is something that every policyholder should consider.
  • Paid in Full (up to 10%): If you pay your annual policy up front you may be offered a sizeable discount. These discounts are nearly always provided by subscription services as it keeps you locked in and allows them to collect all the cash straight away. By offering you a discount, they can pass some of the savings on.

How Much Can I Save?

We have given you a few examples of how much you can save, but that’s all they are, examples. You shouldn’t take this as fact and assume that your provider will offer you these discounts. 

Talk it through with them or with your insurance agent, see what discounts they can offer you, and if you’re not happy with what’s on the table then don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.

You can also improve your auto insurance quote by increasing your credit score and shopping around for the best car insurance. There are dozens of major providers nationwide and once you factor the smaller players into the equation that number stretches well above 100. Don’t assume that you’re getting the best offer possible just because the same company has offered you a good rate for other types of insurance.

It’s also worth noting that the cost will be impacted by your location, with car insurance prices and discounts differing considerably from state to state.