If you’re a young car enthusiast, then you’re probably aware that insurance rates are the sticky buns of car ownership. In fact, they can be downright terrifying for your wallet. However, there are often things you can do to bring them down and make them less terrifying without sacrificing too much of what makes driving fun in the first place.
Here are some quick tips that’ll help as you navigate the insurance world. They’re easy to implement and, more importantly, they work.
1) Buy a Car That’s Cheap to Insure:
This is one of those “duh” pieces of advice, but it really is the first step on your journey. If you have a car that’s cheap to insure, then you can more easily afford the rates and still enjoy what makes the car great—namely more horsepower. If insurance costs are killing your budget, a first step might be buying a less powerful car with lower insurance premiums.
2) Shop Around:
Your best bet is doing an Internet search for insurance agents in your area. It’s important to have an idea of what you are expecting to pay, so that you can compare quotes more effectively. Make sure to get a quote from the agent themselves, since car insurance sites often just use information provided by the previous customer. It doesn’t allow for much personalized service and won’t be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
3) Drop Comprehensive and Collision:
If you’re like most drivers, then comprehensive and collision coverage is the last thing you need for a daily driver that’s also a weekend toy. Even if it’s an older car, there’s no reason to spend the extra money on insurance when it doesn’t need to be there. As your cheap performance car approaches 10 years old, this becomes even more important as the value of the vehicle will decline as it gets older and less competitive with other similar vehicles in its class.
4) Be a Good Driver:
If you’re a young driver with an accident or two on your record, insurance companies will take notice. This is going to hurt your premiums, but if you can avoid accidents and violations for a few years—and get any traffic offenses expunged from your record—then you’ll start to see lower rates in no time.
5) Be Aware of Your State Regulations:
We’re all about the freedom of the open road, but sometimes the state won’t let you enjoy it because they see your car as a menace to society. Take California for example; high-performance cars like the WRX STi aren’t welcome in their streets because of emissions laws. You can fight them with expensive modifications, but that’s not always feasible. Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and go for a more sensible daily driver.
6) Drive Your Car, No Questions Asked:
If you’re the kind of person who takes their car to Walmart or elsewhere without any consideration for where you’re going, then don’t plan on getting good insurance rates. Most modern cars are fairly fuel efficient these days—even performance cars—so if you’re worried about gas money, then don’t drive your car. Otherwise, enjoy the low-cost miles per gallon you get with your cheap performance car.
7) Sign Up for Your Car’s Track Days:
If you own a track-worthy performance car but can’t afford to go to the track yourself, then there are clubs that exist to bring together track-going enthusiasts and allow them to share the cost of a track day. For a small fee, you can enjoy a day at a race track doing runs with a pack of other drivers—it’s one of the best ways to really test your car and have fun without breaking too many laws or your bank account.
8) Get a Car That’s Reliable:
As fun as it is to drive, the last thing you want is for your car to break down while you’re out on a run or at a race track. This will only help you enjoy the open road and race track if it happens in your driveway and not on the track itself. Take the time to find the car that will get you where you want to go without any problems, and be sure to check its reliability ratings before buying it.
9) Put Down a Healthy Down Payment:
If your cheap performance car is going to cost you an arm and a leg in insurance rates, then take steps to ensure that you can afford those rates—and then some. Put down a healthy deposit on the purchase of your car, and set it aside for 16 years or so until you’re ready to pay off your car entirely. If you never miss a payment and avoid racking up any tickets or violations along the way, then you’ll have enough money to pay off your car and still have some left for a new one when the time comes.
10) Be Realistic about Your Driving Habits:
All of these tips can be applied to a cheap performance car, but don’t forget that you’re going to get what you give. If you want insurance rates that are low enough to make buying your car a no-brainer, then you’re going to have to be the kind of driver that insurance companies love. Otherwise, you’ll still be paying top dollar for cheap performance cars well into your retirement years.
Do I need to list my car as a “business vehicle” if I take it Track Daying?
No, you don’t. You can list your track days under recreation transportation.
I heard that hybrids give lower insurance rates because they use less gas–is this true?
No, it’s not true. Insurance rates for hybrids and other eco-friendly cars tend to be higher than gas-guzzling performance cars simply due to the added safety features and better gas mileage. If you’re looking for a cheap car that will get good gas mileage, then consider buying a gas-powered car with features like premium sound systems and alloy wheels–you’ll be able to get all of the performance you want without spending thousands of dollars on gas.
Should I make sure my cheap performance car is a “brand-name” model?
No, this isn’t going to make one bit of difference in your insurance rates. The only thing that matters is the condition of your car, so you’re better off buying a vehicle that gets good gas mileage and saving the brand-name purchases for other areas.
What if I know that my driving habits are going to upset insurance companies?
If you’re not comfortable following the steps above, then you should consider buying a different car. Insurance rates for cheap performance cars tend to be disproportionately high compared to other vehicles, so if you know that your driving habits will land you with sky-high premiums, then you’d be better off buying a car that doesn’t end up costing you thousands of dollars each year.
Is there anything else I should consider when buying insurance for my cheap performance car?
Yes, be sure to check the insurance requirements for any state you might be driving through. Some states require additional minimum coverage above what’s necessary in your home state, so make sure to account for that when navigating insurance for your cheap performance car.
To Wrap Things Up
With some key tips and tools, any hot hatch owner can navigate the process of insurance with ease. What do you think? Comment below to share your thoughts!