Having a spotless driving record doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive a low car insurance rate. While your driving history matters, the car you drive also matters — and it can affect your rates more than you may think.
Your car insurance rate is based on a number of factors that help determine the risk presented by you and your vehicle. If you want to keep the cost of your car insurance down, you’ll want to pay attention to these things when you search for your next ride.
Rates are based on your car’s value, says Jacki Frank, president of operations at Tri-County Agency of Brick Insurance in Brick, New Jersey. The more expensive your car is, the more it’ll cost to repair or replace it.
That’s why new cars and sports, electric and luxury vehicles tend to cost more to insure. Frank says they often have additional features like custom paint jobs, hiking up the price of the car — and your insurance bill.
Your car’s safety record can also affect your rates. A car that is better at avoiding crashes and protecting its passengers generally means fewer and cheaper insurance claims.
Carriers also look at how frequently claims are filed for each car model. For example, sports cars tend to attract young drivers, who are more likely to get into crashes than older adults, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As a result, insurance prices are often higher for these kinds of vehicles.