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Driving a Good Bargain
Many factors affect your auto insurance premium, including your age, the state in which you live, the make and model of your car, where your car is garaged, and your driving record. Although you can't do much about some of these factors, here are some things you can do to help lower your premiums:
-Increase your insurance deductible
-Eliminate optional coverage (i.e. towing and labor, rental insurance) from
your auto insurance
-Eliminate collision and comprehensive coverage if you drive an older car
valued at less than $1,000 and could afford to pay for repairs if necessary
-Ask about available discounts (i.e. low-mileage discounts, discounts for
safety or antitheft devices) for your auto insurance
-Avoid buying a vehicle that is prone to theft or expensive to repair
-Keep your car in a garage
-Drive safely to establish a good driving record
It's important to shop around for auto insurance coverage. Insurance premiums for the same coverage on the same car can vary widely among different insurers, even in states that regulate auto insurance rates. A particularly good time to investigate your alternatives is when yur current insurance policy is up for renewal, but you can shop and change policies at any time. Get quotes from several reputable companies, but don't let price be your only consideration. Make sure the coverage offered by each insurer meets your needs, and find out whether the insurer has a good track record in the industry (contact your state's department of insurance for more information).
Between gas prices and the economy, American drivers are having trouble deciding what autos to buy. Many people are exploring alternatives, from bikes, to buses, to biofuels. One auto alternative is hybrid cars. But what exactly is a hybrid and why would you want one?
The reason most people want a hybrid is because of the great gas mileage they can get. How is this possible? Technology for hybrid auto varies, but higher fuel efficiency is usually accomplished with an electric motor. Batteries store energy recovered during braking and supply that energy back to the electric motor, cutting down on the amount of gas used.
However, make sure you understand what type of hybrid you're buying. Some hybrids are designed not to save gas, but to increase performance. For example, there are sports autos that take the gas engine from another model and add an electric motor to increase power. This design uses less gas than an auto with a bigger gas engine, but could actually use more gas overall than the same auto without the electric motor.
You could be eligible for discounts if you buy a hybrid. Although their numbers are dropping quickly, some hybrid models may qualify for a federal tax incentive. In addition, many states offer tax incentives, parking incentives, and other toll or driving incentives. When you add these savings in the amount you can save in gas, suddenly a hybrid auto doesn't seem as expensive.
Another great savings opportunity could be a discount on your auto insurance rate. Some companies have started to feature discounts of up to 10% for hybrid auto insurance rates, although it depends on the type of hybrid.
You'll need to shop around and compare auto insurance rates from different companies to see who has the best rate.
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