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April 19, 2012

Helpful Tips for Buying a New or Used Car

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The decision to buy a new or used car is a major one for many reasons. First, there is the new car payment and its potential affect on your budget to consider. Second, there is the safety of the new vehicle to explore. Third, you must become familiar with the mechanical stability of the used (or even new) vehicle. And finally, you have to think about the potential insurance costs.

Believe it or not, each of these items is relatively easy to evaluate. You can streamline your budget to accommodate the new car payment; you can look at consumer reports and studies to see how the car faired in safety tests; or you can bring the vehicle to your mechanic to look over before you decide to make the purchase.

But how can you make sure the vehicle you are buying will have affordable insurance rates? Well, that may seem like a much lengthier process than accommodating your other considerations but it’s really just as easy. Here are a few ideas.

  1. Review the car’s safety features: This is a step that you are already doing to ensure your family’s safety—but it can double as an insurance premium control factor. The safety features in any vehicle you buy will help reduce your auto insurance costs since they will reduce the likelihood of accident and injury. Look for features like:

    • Anti-lock brakes
    • Side and front airbags
    • Daytime running lamps
    • Vehicle stability systems and traction controls
    • Pre-collision systems
    • Lap and shoulder safety belts

    Since there are many other factors involved in a vehicle’s safety (including its weight and the materials that create its body) it’s also a good idea to check its crash test vehicle ratings before you decide to buy it. You can go to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website to get this information.

  2. Look at theft rates: some vehicles that are really popular with car thieves while others are relatively ignored by them. As you narrow down your choices based on make and model, look at auto theft statistics to see if any of the automobiles you’ve chosen are highly sought after by thieves. If so, then your auto insurance rates are likely to be higher because of this increased risk.
  3. Look for comparable models: After narrowing down your top choices based on safety features and theft probability, you can do some comparison shopping online to find less expensive models with similar safety and theft ratings. This will allow you to have lower limits on your car insurance policy which will lower your car insurance premiums.
  4. Be sure to purchase a used car report if you are thinking of buying a used car. Some companies will provide vehicle history reports that contain valuable information that can make or break your decision about purchasing a particular used vehicle. While this won’t impact your auto insurance premium, it will certainly make a difference to your wallet if it prevents you from buying an attractive car with many hidden (and potentially costly) problems.
  5. Call a Cliff Cottam Insurance Agent for quotes: Once you have decided which automobiles you are interested in, call us to give you a rate quote for each of the vehicles on your list. While the rate quote may vary from your final premium, requesting a rate quote comparison is a great way to get an idea of the difference in premium costs for each make/model you are considering.

Make sure to be savvy about your purchase, not doing so result in a high insurance premium that you can’t afford and can’t get out of—which would certainly take the fun out of buying that new or used vehicle. The worst decision you can make as a shopper is to fall in love with a car and buy it without doing all the necessary research.

Another valuable protection is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance – – for both new or pre-owned vehicles. Cliff Cottam Insurance Services can find you the lowest rates that typically beat the car dealer rates. Coverage is transferable if you sell your vehicle before your agreement expires that provides added resale value.

Contact us today to find out more! (800) 807-6871

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