Skip to main content

You can’t escape the barrage of auto insurance ads on TV (unless you turn the set off), but you can take some concrete steps to reduce your car insurance premiums – in ways that are perfectly legal, but that might tick off a talking gecko.

Average car insurance premiums tend to vary from state to state, with Louisiana demanding the highest average rates in the nation, at $2,510.87, and Maine at the low end of the spectrum, at $902.85.

No matter where you live, you can usually save some significant coin on your car insurance if you follow the following steps:

Get some “rec” room. If you work at home, or have a second car sitting in your garage that you drive occasionally, you may qualify for a lower “recreational vehicle” insurance rate.

Insurance companies are all about playing the percentages. The less you drive a vehicle, the less at risk you are to get in accident and force the insurer to pay out. Insurers, therefore, will offer lower rates for a car that’s not used to commute to work or to school. The cut-off rate for mileage is usually about 7,500 miles per year. Check with your insurer for details.

TheStreet Recommends

Re-take your driver’s education class. Sure, you took it before, likely when you were a teenager angling for your first driver’s license. But insurers love prepared, knowledgeable drivers, and nothing says “prepared” to an insurer like a well-informed driver fresh from a driver’s education course. Such classes usually take about four-to-five weeks, and can save you up to $300 on your annual insurance premiums.

Consolidate your insurance. Why not? Bundling all of your insurance with one carrier not only makes your record keeping easier, you’ll likely wind up with better insurance rates across the board by consolidating your car, home, life, and even health insurance under one roof.

Don’t take the first offer. It seems like a no-brainer, but busy consumers often grab the first deal they get, and don’t bother to shop around. Of course, people are busy these days and time is a commodity, too. But you’re really missing out on great deals if you don’t get out there and kick some tires, car insurance-wise. A good place to start is the National Association of Insurance Carriers. Check out the carriers in your state and see who offers the lowest rates (usually via your state’s Auto Insurance rate Comparison Chart.)

It’s also a good idea to absorb as high a deductible as you can (and then drive safely). Remember, the average auto insurance customer only makes one claim every 11 years, so the odds are good that you’ll rarely have to make that deductible payment.

Take the above tips to heart and put them to use. If you do, you really can save a bundle on car insurance – just like the TV commercials say.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at