Unless you own a classic car, keeping your vehicle locked in your garage overnight probably won’t save you any money on your car insurance rates. Most car insurance companies no longer ask if you park in a garage. Even if they do ask, it doesn’t mean they’ll give you a break on rates, despite the fact that the garage keeps the car out of the elements and out of the reach of vandals.
At one time, information about where you park your car was a factor in determining rates. But auto insurance companies have found that where you park doesn’t have much of an impact on whether you file an insurance claim.
These days, insurers look at factors over which you may – or may not – have control. Factors weighed when setting rates include:
- Make and model of your car
- How that type of vehicle tends to fare in crashes
- Likelihood of that model being stolen
- Driving records of you and anyone else who drives the car
- Whether or not the car is driven for business purposes
- Whether you live in a rural or urban area
- Your credit score
Insurance companies also look at the claims history of residents in the ZIP code where you live. If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of claims, expect your rates to be higher than someone who lives in an area with fewer claims. The old adage “location, location, location!” comes into play here. More affluent neighborhoods typical see lower car insurance premiums because they are supposedly safer places to live and drive.
However, if you own a classic car, a whole other set of factors comes into play. You typically need to keep your vehicle in a locked garage, rather than keeping it covered outside, if you want the vehicle to be insured as a classic car. Such cars can’t be used for your daily transportation, and are insured for a value that you and your car insurance company agree upon. While their price tags can be hefty, these vehicles may be cheaper to insure than the one you use each day because they’re driven infrequently and owners tend to be passionate about protecting them. As a result, they are less likely to deteriorate and lose their value.
If you own a home, then combining auto insurance with homeowner insurance can save you money. Most companies will give you a 10 percent discount on your entire policy. You’re likely to obtain as much as a 20 percent discount for having all your insurance with the same company. Ten or 20 percent doesn’t seem like a lot, but as the years tick by, it adds up. The key is to ask, because you never know how much cash you can save.
One of the questions an insurance agent will ask when you apply for auto insurance is “How many miles do you drive?” Do you know? Start counting the miles. Those who drive less, pay less. The logic is simple: The less you drive, the less likely you are to get in an accident. Some companies offer drivers up to a 50 percent discount for driving fewer miles.