It’s been called a junker, a clunker, a heap, an oil burner. The old-timers even call it a Tin Lizzie … whatever that means right?
It may not qualify as a classic car and your friends kid you all the time about not cruising stylishly but your old automobile is paid for, it still drives well after all these years and you’re laughing all the way to the bank with the thousands of dollars you save on car payments. And that counts for plenty in these tough economic times.
Another area that smart consumers driving old cars save money on is insurance premiums. And if you aren’t saving money there, the savvy steps below will help you start:
- Do Your Homework – That 1978 Toyota Corona Deluxe may have a greater sentimental value than what it is actually worth on the street. And in most cases, the older a vehicle the less it’s worth. So find out what it’s worth to ensure you’re not paying more for car insurance than you have to. Your local classified ads or the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) online is a good place to start.
- Bump It Up – Knowing how much your veteran wheels are worth will go a long way in determining whether or not you need to bump up your insurance deductible. Raising your deductible up to $500 – $1,000 could save you between 30 – 40% on insurance premiums, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
- Eliminate Comprehensive – This is the portion of your policy that covers you for acts that are out of your control like freak hail storms or some kids taking your four-door 1973 Ford Torino for a joyride like what happened to The Dude in “The Big Lebowski.” The big question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you could afford to replace your old jalopy if it were vandalized, totaled or stolen because this is cash-value coverage and will only pay you what the car is worth.
- No On Collision Coverage – If your old auto needs to be replaced or repaired after an accident, collision coverage will only cover you for the dollar listed by the NADA or Kelley’s Blue Book. Additionally, most policies won’t pay to repair a vehicle if the cost is more than the retail value.
These are just a few ways to save on car insurance for your clunker so talk to your insurance company on more ways to save. But it’s a buyer’s market out there with more competition leading to better prices and more options for savvy consumers who can find good deals whether it’s on the Internet, picking up the telephone or driving that rattletrap to their local insurance agency.
Just think with the money you’ll save you can finally afford to replace that old eight-track tape player with one of the latest iPods.