Read the Spanish version: 12 Formas de ahorrar dinero en tu seguro auto

Searching for ways to save money on car insurance? Look no farther. Here are the best ways to obtain cheap car insurance rates.

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1. Comparison shop -- with at least three companies

Car insurance rates vary considerably from company to company for the exact same coverage levels. That is due to each car insurance provider having their own algorithms and ways in which they weight risk factors. Get  quotes from at least three insurers. But don't shop on price alone: Look at the company's reputation and its customer satisfaction ratings. Check out consumer reviews on some of the top car insurance companies in the nation, as well as their A.M. Best financial strength rating.

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2. Consider higher deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage

If you file a claim under collision or comprehensive coverage, the deductible is the amount of money you must pay before your insurance coverage kicks in. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums. For example, increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 on collision and comprehensive coverage could save you 15 to 30%. Increasing it to $1,000 can save you up to 40% or more, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Just make sure you can pay it in the event that you need to make a claim.

There is no deductible on liability insurance. That means if you're at fault in an accidents and someone files a claim against your insurance, you do not pay anything toward that claim. But you might face increased rates at renewal time after an accident.

3. Drop collision and/or comprehensive coverage on old cars

If your car is totaled in an accident, you receive the actual cash value of the car. Although car insurance companies use their own criteria to determine fair market value for vehicles, you can get a ballpark estimate from NADA Guides and local sales for the same year model vehicle. For older cars, it may not make financial sense to pay premiums over many years to maintain collision and comprehensive coverage. As a general rule, it doesn't make sense to buy comprehensive and collision coverage for a car worth less than $1,000 or if the cost of collision and comprehensive is bumping up on the value of the vehicle.

4. Buy a car that’s cheap to insure

Buying a sports car won't save you any money on auto insurance, but buying a small SUV might.

Small SUVs are among the cheapest to insure. Insure.com’s car insurance comparison tool has average premiums for hundreds of new models. Another tip -- shop for insurance when you shop for your car. That will allow you to budget for the car and insurance together so there are no surprises, such as the car is affordable the insurance for it is not.

5. Consider usage-based insurance

Usage-based insurance (UBI) programs can save you money if your driving habits align with the insurer’s view of “good driving.” Typically a telematics device is plugged in below your steering wheel and it records data such as when you drive, how much and whether you brake hard. Usually discounts are then applied to your next policy term. If you drive a lot, drive at night or are prone to slamming on the brakes, UBI likely won't save you money. Discounts for allowing the insurance company to monitor your driving can be quite good, up to 50% some insurers boast.

6. Take advantage of low-mileage discounts

Most all car insurance companies offer savings to drivers who put fewer than a predetermined number of miles on their vehicles each year. The typically discount is around 5% but some insurance state they offer up to 20% discounts for low mileage. So, if you drive less, make sure to inform your car insurance company to help lower your rates.

7. Ask about car-safety discounts

Your insurance agent can tell you about discounts available if you have certain safety features on your car. Many insurers give discounts for air bags, antilock brakes, car alarms and more.

8. Ask about other car insurance discounts

There are numerous auto insurance discounts out there, and they often vary by state and insurance company. Have your agent review available discounts to see if you might be missing out on some. Insure.com's study of car insurance discounts reveals these as the top five biggest money savers:

Biggest discounts and national average savings:

  • Student away - 14%
  • Bundling auto and home- 11%
  • Bundling auto and condo - 10%
  • Good student- 7%
  • Bundle auto and renter- 5%

Many auto insurers will give you a discount if you buy two or more types of coverage from them, called bundling. Common policies bundled with auto are home insurance, motorcycle insurance, boat insurance and RV insurance.

9. Take advantage of affinity groups

Sometimes discounted auto insurance policies are available through large employers, professional groups and other organizations. You an also get discounts on your own for having affiliation with certain companies or organizations, so it's always worth asking what affiliate or affinity discounts you may be eligible. for.

10. Keep your driving record clean

Tickets for moving violations, at-fault accidents and claims are a driver's worst enemy when it comes to insurance. You may have been a smart shopper for a competitive rate and discounts, but crashing your car could erase all savings at renewal time. Keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel could be your best money-saving strategy. Good drive discounts are normally pretty good at 30 to 40%.

11. Maintain good credit

All but four states allow credit history to be used as a factor in pricing car insurance. Insurers have shown that statistics show that drivers with good credit records tend to make fewer insurance claims. If you have worked hard to up your credit score, then it may be the perfect time to shop around for car insurance.

12. Consider spying on your teen driver

Teens are the most expensive drivers to insure because they're the riskiest. Some car insurance companies offer savings to customers who participate in their "monitoring programs" of teen drivers. Programs vary by insurer, and not all companies offer them. Some "spying" programs use cameras, installed inside the car, that provide you with video and audio footage of your teen driving. The camera is triggered "on" by aggressive driving.

Other insurers use global positioning systems (GPS) to track how your teen drives (including speeding and sudden breaking or accelerating) and where they go. You can even set the system to send you an e-mail or text message when your teen arrives at a specific address. The savings on your insurance can be anywhere from 10 to 30%.

If you don't have a teen, you can still be monitored as our #5 tip suggested and earn your own decent discount -- as long as your driving behavior shows you deserve one according to the insurer's criteria.

No matter what type of driver you are, the way to get the best rates on car insurance is to shop around and find the insurer offering the best prices for your specific situation. Remember to ask for discounts and there is nothing wrong with going with a smaller, regional insurance company, but make sure to check out their financial strength and customer reviews. You want cheap rates paired with good service and the financial means to pay out if you have a claim.