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“I have three vehicles. How can I save on my auto insurance?”
It’s a frequent question that many drivers ask insurance companies these days. For the past few years, the number of households with three or more vehicles has been steady at 20%, and for the drivers that have families, this means that any opportunities to save on premiums are sorely needed.
But how can families or couples take advantage of having three or more cars? Can they use these to save money on car insurance? In this article, we explore all the different ways policyholders can save while insuring three cars.
If you’re looking for providers that can offer the best premiums, coverage and saving opportunities for your three vehicles, our team of experts has also reviewed and rated the best car insurance companies. You can use our comparison tool to get a free quote. Just enter your zip code and wait for the tool to generate a report.
Bundle Car Insurance Policies to Get Discounts
If you get insurance from one provider, you can get a discount from 10% to 25% on a portion of your coverage, depending on the insurance company. Consider looking for an insurance provider that can give you the broadest range of discounts. Most providers offer multi-car discounts, which means all three of your vehicles go under one auto insurance policy. Or, you could have two or more policies under the same provider.
Three Cars, Three Drivers
You can get discounts for all cars, but car insurance costs largely depend on each driver’s demographics. If all three drivers have good driving habits and records, you can get the full range of the discount. However, if one of the drivers is a teenager, your rates will increase significantly.
Parents should immediately enroll their teenage drivers in their car insurance policies as soon as their teen starts using the family car. This will increase their rates, but it’s still better than buying a separate policy for their teen driver.
Some companies will still provide a small discount if parents have bought multiple policies from them. Another strategy is to assign the teenager to the oldest car.
Three Cars, Two Drivers
Some married couples have three or more cars but no children, so can they get a discount? Whose driving habits will determine the third car’s insurance rate?
Most insurance companies will still offer discounts in this case. The rates for the first two cars will depend on driver demographics, while the third car’s premium will be based solely on its year, model and make. This will also apply to a single driver with two or more cars.
Unmarried couples who live together and drive each other’s cars can also get a multi-policy discount. They can even bundle their home or renters coverage with their auto insurance to enjoy more savings.
Take Advantage of Other Discounts
Auto insurance companies provide many saving opportunities for their customers. Find discounts you’re eligible for to get lower rates. Below are some of the most common discounts that providers offer:
- Safe driver discounts: You can get a good driver discount if you practice safe driving habits. Providers usually award it to those with zero accidents or traffic violations in the past three-to-five years.
- Vehicle safety discounts: If your vehicles have certain safety features, you may be qualified for this discount. Providers look for anti-lock brakes, airbags and daytime running lights, to name a few.
- Pay-in-full discounts: Some auto insurance companies reward you with a discount if you pay upfront for your policy instead of spreading it out. Major providers can give discounts of up to 14%.
- Anti-theft system discounts: Providers give discounts as high as 25% to those with anti-theft systems installed in their vehicles. It can be a GPS-based system or a stolen vehicle recovery system. Even VIN etching can earn you a discount.
- New vehicle discounts: For GEICO, having a vehicle no older than three years can take up to 15% off your premium for some coverage.
You can also opt for a higher deductible on your policy. You’ll have to pay more out of pocket in the event of a crash, but if you trust the drivers under your car insurance, it may be worth the risk.
Choose Telematics Insurance
Some telematics insurance programs help drivers cut car insurance rates by as much as 30%. Instead of a fixed premium, telematics insurance uses your driving performance as the basis for your insurance bill.
Major car insurance providers have their own branded and specialized telematics insurance programs that often come in the forms of apps. How your driving habits are monitored through these apps may depend on which provider you’re using.
Generally, apps monitor some or all of the following:
- Your speed
- The times of day you drive
- How hard you break
- How abruptly you turn
- How many hours a day you drive
- How often you’re on the phone while driving
Some of the best telematics programs come from GEICO and State Farm. GEICO’s usage-based program DriveEasy is available in about half the states. State Farm’s Drive Safe & SaveTM program is available in most states and can help customers save up to 30% off their premiums.
Pay-per-mile (or “pay-as-you-go”) insurance is another version of telematics insurance that is more specified towards the distance a person drives per month. Nationwide’s pay-per-mile program SmartMiles® has a variable rate of $0.07 per mile, for example. Metromile can help some drivers save up to $947 per year.
How Can Young Drivers Save on Car Insurance?
Drivers ages 16 to 25 pay the highest for insurance rates because they have less experience on the road and a higher risk of getting into a car accident. According to sources collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the car accident rates for teen drivers are nearly four times as much as the crash rates of drivers 20 and older.
So, providers make up for the higher risk of claims for young drivers by raising insurance premiums. Fortunately, there are discounts made especially for young drivers and students:
- Good student discount: Full-time high school and university students can get a discount up to 25% by maintaining good grades. Auto insurance providers usually look for at least a B average.
- Away-at-school discount: This discount applies to students studying at least 100 miles from home and can only use the car when they’re back for the holidays.
- Family car insurance: Instead of purchasing a separate policy, young drivers can stay under the family car insurance. Any student discounts they’re eligible for will be applied to the whole policy.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
Our recommendations for cheap auto insurance coverage are State Farm, USAA and Progressive. To help you determine which provider fits your needs best, you can also consult our comparison tool and look at free car insurance quotes side by side. Just enter your zip code.
State Farm: Best Access
State Farm is known for its wide range of local insurance agents, so you can easily find one in your area. With decades of experience in the insurance industry, the company is known to have excellent customer service and a wide array of discount programs, especially for young drivers. State Farm’s Steer Clear® program helps drivers under 25 lower their premium rates.
USAA: Affordable Premiums
Known for giving affordable premiums and providing strong customer service, USAA has received a high 9.6 overall rating from us. The company offers no-frills car insurance coverage that you may find sufficient for your needs, plus discounts for good students and drivers who take defensive driving courses. However, this company is only available to active military, veterans and their families.
Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers
Having a 9.1 overall rating, Progressive is the choice of many car owners because it often has some of the best prices for high-risk drivers. If you are considered a high-risk driver, this insurance provider may be the right one for you. Aside from competitive rates, it also offers discount programs for good students and teen drivers.
FAQ: I Have 3 Vehicles, So How Can I Save on My Auto Insurance?
Is it cheaper to insure three cars on one policy?
It can be cheaper to insure three cars on one policy, as many insurance providers offer discounts for this situation. While putting more cars on one policy can increase the general rates, it may still be cheaper than getting separate policies for all three cars.
How can I reduce my auto insurance rates?
The first thing to do is to shop around and compare rates. Car insurance companies offer different rates depending on several factors like your credit history and driving habits. You can take advantage of the bundling discounts or ask about group insurance if you own a business that offers insurance as an employee benefit.
Can I insure more than one car at a time?
Yes, with many auto insurance providers, you can insure up to five vehicles under one policy, though there will be varying levels of coverage for all five cars.
Is insurance cheaper if your car is paid off?
Paying off your car is not going to lower your insurance rate. However, it gives you more control over the type and coverage you can get for the vehicle. The flexibility will help you save more.