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Cheap auto insurance: a step-by-step guide

Before you start your search for the cheapest policy of all time, remember you get what you pay for in this life. The lower the annual premium you agree to pay, the lower the value for money the policy will deliver. So you should be searching for the most affordable policy: a policy that strikes a reasonable balance between the extent of the coverage and the quality of service the insurer usually delivers on claims. Sadly, this requires a little more effort. If all you are doing is comparing the annual premium rates quoted, the search will be over quickly. Taking the time to read the quotes and all the associated documentation takes longer, but is necessary if you are going to turn your cheap auto insurance policy into good value for money. Here's what you should be doing.

1. Buy the right make and model

Before you set out to buy the vehicle of your dreams, check how much it costs to insure all the models you like. Assuming you want to find cheap auto insurance, it all starts with the models that get into the fewest accidents. As a generalization, these are the family cars. People drive safely when they have young children on board. Finding the cheapest rates starts with buying the safest possible make and model.

2. Comparison shop

If you're the seventh child of the seventh son you can probably buy cheap auto insurance with your eyes closed. Everyone else has to get multiple quotes from all the leading insurers, compare all the terms on offer and then pick the best deal.

3. Don't forget the discounts

There are a number of discounts that probably apply to you so before you buy, check you have them added into the calculation. Often insurers work on the basis that, if you don't ask, they don't give.

4. Can you give your insurer more business?

Without exception, all insurers offer you reductions if you place multiple vehicles with several drivers, or buy both home and auto insurance policies. The reductions start around 10% and rise depending on how much business you have to give.

5. Think seriously about how much insurance you need

If you have an auto loan, you will be obliged to buy both collision and comprehensive cover in addition to the mandatory liability cover. But if you own the vehicle, you can decide how much cover it's economical to buy. In many cases it makes no sense to have anything more than cheap auto insurance liability cover.

6. Drive safely

No matter how old you are, the general rule is you earn access to the cheap auto insurance rates if you drive for long periods of time without picking up a ticket or being involved in an accident. Since the way in which you drive is entirely under your control, you can always give yourself the best chance of getting and keeping the cheap auto insurance rates.

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