If you own a car, you already know how important it is to have adequate coverage to ensure that you’re not out of pocket if it gets damaged or stolen.

But did you know that auto insurance rates can vary by hundreds of dollars from insurer to insurer? And other factors play a part, too. This is why so many turn to FreewayInsurance.com for affordable car insurance rates.

With the cost of living rising every year, nobody can afford to pass up ways to save money any way they can. Let’s start with five smart ways you can save on your auto insurance.

1. Shop Around

The amount you pay for car insurance varies tremendously – even from different insurers with the same level of coverage.

In fact, the rates vary so widely from one insurer to another that one state’s cheapest insurer is less than half the amount of the most expensive insurer. By checking the rates and coverage, you can compare car insurance companies to find the cheapest option.

Even drivers with good credit can save around $100 per month simply by shopping around for a less expensive insurer, and drivers with a recent at-fault accident on their record or bad credit can save even more – around $200 per month.

2. Ditch Auto Insurance You Don’t Need

If you drive an old car, consider ditching your collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision plans will pay for damage to your vehicle if you have an accident, while comprehensive coverage will typically pay for damage caused by storms, vandalism, or if your car is stolen.

If your car is worth less than the amount of your deductible plus the annual coverage, you may be wasting a lot of money on auto insurance – this is because collision and comprehensive insurance plans will never pay out more than the car is worth.

3. Look for Cars That Are Cheaper to Insure

Next time you’re in the market for a new or used car, research the rates for the models you are interested in before you make a purchase.

The car you drive can have a huge impact on how much you will pay to insure it – especially when it comes to rates for collision and comprehensive policies. Minivans and small SUVs in the mid-price range have more safety features and are typically less expensive to insure than their more expensive counterparts.

4. Improve Your Credit Rating

Your credit rating can have a huge impact on your insurance premium because it is used to calculate your risk. In some states, your credit rating can impact your insurance more than your driving record. To get a better rate, focus on improving your credit score.

Keeping all your credit cards paid up, making all payments from all creditors on time, and limiting the number of credit cards you own can all help you improve your credit score – which can help keep your premiums low.

5. Increase the Deductible

In collision or comprehensive policies, the deductible is the amount you will have to pay if you are involved in an accident. Increasing this amount will certainly save you money because it will lower the amount of your monthly insurance payment.

Beware, however, that increasing your deductible to more than you can afford to pay if you damage or write off your car is never a good idea.