Five Tips For the Best Car Insurance Quotes

You have dozens of options when it comes to car insurance, and only you know what's best for you. Consider these points before shopping for an auto policy for you and your family.

Is your car big or small? Lightweight cars tend to cost more to insure because they're more likely to be involved in an accident. This is partly because they're commonly used as commuter cars and are driven more often. However, maintenance on vans, trucks and SUVs may cost more. When you are researching car insurance quotes, compare the cost to maintain such a vehicle against the cost to insure your small car.

Consider your options for an electric or hybrid vehicle. Though a hybrid vehicle initially costs more than nonhybrids, you may be able to save money in several ways. Other than tax credits or deductions you may be eligible for, some insurance carriers tout discounts you could score. For example, Travelers Insurance offers a 10% discount for hybrid vehicle policies. If the carrier doesn't offer a discount, ask for it and tell the representative about other deals you've found.

How many miles do you average each year? Before you begin the insurance quote search, know that the more miles you drive, the higher your premium will be. The reason for this is the carrier sees you as a higher risk because your chances of getting into an accident increase.

Check out the carrier's reputation. Research whether the company has had numerous, legitimate complaints. Is the company listed in your state's insurance department? Employees there may be able to give you a rundown of the company's pros and cons. Check the financial rating, and ask around to see if your friends, family or co-workers use the company. Ask whether they are happy and what they would change if they could.

Will there be a teenager listed on your policy? Because of their short driving history and high accident rate, teens usually get a bad rep on car insurance. However, there are ways to navigate an insurance quote while including your teen. Many carriers offer discounts for safety driving programs, good grades and installed monitoring devices.

Armed with this information, use Bankrate's car insurance quote comparison tool to find a carrier that fits your needs. Then fit your plan around the type of car you have, the type of people listed on your policy and your driving habits.