First, you need to understand how your personal circumstances affect your car insurance rates. Though not legal in California, some states use a driver’s credit rating to determine their insurance rates. The main thing drivers in California must consider is their driving record. The better the driving record the less you will pay for auto insurance.
There is also good news for drivers who made mistakes in the past, but have since kept their driving records clean. Over time, insurance companies pay less and less attention to old mistakes. With the occasional exception of drunk driving offenses, most citations eventually fall off of your record or receive very little attention from insurance companies. If you have prior offenses, work hard now to be a responsible driver and eventually your car insurance rates will drop.
Another thing affecting your rate is your vehicle. When you choose a vehicle that is considered higher risk by your insurance company, they are going to charge you more to cover that risk. Typically, vehicles considered sportier or faster are given the higher car insurance rates, but the higher rates might also be applied to vehicles that are frequently stolen. If you are considering a new car purchase and you want to save money in the long run on car insurance rates, be sure to choose a vehicle that requires less insurance coverage.
Finally, where you live affects your car insurance rates. Drivers who live a long distance from work and have long commutes everyday, or those who do a great deal of driving for their jobs can plan to pay higher rates than other people. Your chosen neighborhood also makes a difference. If car theft rates are high where you live, you will pay more for insurance than people who live in areas considered low-crime by the insurance companies. Though you are unlikely to move or change jobs when shopping for insurance, it can help to know why you will pay higher rates and balance the cost of your insurance with other parts of your budget.
Shopping for car insurance rates can seem like a complicated process, but it does not have to be. Simplify your car insurance shopping by using our free online search tool for the best car insurance rates.