Thinking About Buying a Car? Here’s Some Help For Determining Your Insurance Rate

During the depths of the recession, the automobile industry suffered mightily as consumers pulled back their spending and cut back on big-ticket purchases. However, as the economic recovery has taken hold, auto sales have surged. In fact, in January of this year Chevrolet, Ford, GM and Honda all posted sales gains in the double digits compared to January 2010.

As consumers return to their old buying ways, auto lending has risen concurrently. Banks that all but discontinued their auto lending programs during the recession are now extending credit to subprime borrowers, illustrating the great strides the industry has made over the past 18 months.

With auto sales and auto lending up, many consumers are either looking to buy or thinking about purchasing a car. However, like any big purchase there are lots of hidden fees that can arise. One question many potential car buyers often have is how much they will have to pay in insurance costs on a car once they decide to buy it.

Insurance rates are affected by myriad variables, including driving history and where a person lives. Though it can often seem like a daunting and complex process to determine the actual price you’ll pay in insurance on your car, has assembled a graphic that can illustrates the different factors that come into play with insurance and the likely costs a person will pay based on the region someone lives, the type of car purchased and other criteria.

For example, the site has broken down all of the potential deciding factors in your insurance rate. According to their insurance experts’ graphical representation, driving record and claim history account for 35 percent of a person’s projected insurance rate; age and marital status make up 25 percent; the type of car is 13 percent; a person’s sex is 5 percent; the location and state of the driver represents 8 percent; the insurer and the policy make up 5 percent; and credit rating is 3 percent of the total.

Also lightly weighted but still indicative of a total insurance rate are insurance deductibles, which make up 4 percent; a person’s occupation figures 2 percent into the equation; and theft protection devices – including parking indoors at night – weighs 1 percent in that decision.

That may seem like a lot of variables because, well it is. Nonetheless, these factors are important deciders in the rate that you’ll pay when you’re cruising around town in your stylish and sporty 1997 Ford Windstar. If you’re thinking about buying a car or looking to switch your insurance, take a look at the graphic and see what your rate could be. Know this, though: The average American pays $1,560 per year on car insurance.

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