Picking an Insurance-Friendly Car

As a general rule-of-thumb - the faster and flashier a car is the more expensive it is to insure.

In fact, the type of vehicle you drive directly influences how much you pay for auto insurance. Auto insurance is designed to protect you and your finances in the event of an accident. Because of repair and replacement costs associated with higher-priced sport and performance cars, less expensive vehicles like four-door sedans and mini-vans are cheaper to insure.

Flashy Cars = More Tickets

Speeding tickets also affect your premium costs. Police officers tend to hand out more speeding tickets to faster, flashier cars than others. In fact, just driving a red, green, or silver-colored vehicle is far more likely to attract attention than other colors.

Having speeding tickets on your driving record can dramatically affect your insurance premium costs in the long run.

If you are in the market for a new car, you can research which are more likely to be ticketed. A recent study of 1.7-million driving records by ISO Quality Planning drew some interesting conclusions. In summary, the study determined that Hummer and Scion owners are typically more likely to be ticketed while Chevy and Buick owners are not.

It's easy to see why you should be pragmatic about choosing a style and color of vehicle as it relates to your insurance premiums. If you're truly realistic about saving money on insurance, perhaps that low-key family four-door rather than the fire-engine-red convertible is a smart idea.

Safety First

Take a look at what kind of safety and security features your car has. Not only do they save your life and protect your car from theft, they can also save you money on your auto insurance.

If you are thinking of purchasing a new car, consider one with side-curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes. Remember that anything that is going to protect you and your passengers in the event of an accident can also possibly lower your insurance costs.

There are a lot new high-tech safety features now appearing on newer model automobiles. Some of the more noteworthy technologies that you may wish to consider are things such as tire-pressure monitoring, blind-spot detection, collision warning systems, rearview cameras, and many more!

Of course, before you start searching for options and high-tech ways to lower your insurance premiums, consider first starting with a safe car. Please check out our article Is Your Car Safe? for a rundown of some of the safest new 2009 vehicles being sold.

Beware Thieves

The best way to avoid getting your car stolen is to practice common sense.

First and foremost, don't leave your car running unintended. You may think it's only going to be 30-seconds but how much time does it really take for someone to get in and drive off with it?

If you have a garage or a locked gate, use it; otherwise if you have a driveway, park it there. In the case of college students or city dwellers, who live in areas where parking is often limited to curbside, be sure to park in a well-lit area, preferably where you can see it from your house.

Also, theft deterrent devices such as car alarms and VIN etchings also positively affect insurance costs. If the new car you're purchasing isn't equipped with an alarm system, you may want to consider installing one as the initial cost will likely defray the total cost of that extra insurance over the time you own your vehicle.

Finally, if you really want to protect your car, particularly if it's a specialty vehicle, you should consider a GPS-based recovery system such as OnStar or Lojack. These systems are pretty efficient at quick vehicle recovery and on some newer systems, even allow for remote vehicle disabling to further thwart thieves.

Please check out our article Frequently Stolen Vehicles for a rundown of the more commonly-sought cars and trucks.