Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 21, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • Your credit score can impact your auto insurance rates
  • Maintaining a clean driving record will lower your monthly premium
  • Taking a defensive driving class may help you get a discount

Getting auto insurance on that new sleek car is not nearly as fun as the test drive was. Those premiums can be just as confusing as the dealer’s paperwork though.

The three factors that play a role in your auto insurance premiums are your driving record, where and how much you drive, and your experience or lack of it.

Of course, there are many things other than these three issues you’ll need to be aware of. However, this trio truly can make or break your wallet each month.

Here are three factors that play into how your auto insurance premiums are calculated:

Compare auto insurance rates online from competing insurance companies. Simply enter your ZIP code on this page to get started right now!

Driving Records Follow You Like a Bad Headache

Driving records are like your credit score: The worse the driving records, the higher your premiums will go.

Maintaining a clean driving record is the best way to bring those auto insurance calculations down to earth.

Having a bad driving record won’t follow you around all of your life though.

Many states will start dropping accidents and speeding tickets off your driving record in a matter of a few years.

Check with your auto insurance company as they can hold that fender-bender against you for a few years longer.

What you have on your driving record will also play into those auto insurance premium calculations.

A minor speeding ticket will weigh lighter than a drunk driving arrest will. It is just a good idea to avoid any issues and drive safe, and drive smart.

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Long Drives Cost More Than Just Gas

Living in the city might not be your idea of fun. It is crowded, loud, and just not your style. How far you are driving for work could play a large part in how your premiums are calculated.

This calculation does not stop at your every day driving distances though.

Walking into the agent with a car that is one year old and has 50,000 miles on it is going to hurt your auto insurance premium score as well.

Also, look for alternative methods for road trips.

Trains and buses don’t count against you on your premium calculations.

These also help save from the stress of driving, wear and tear on your car, and the possible auto insurance claim due to an accident.

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Experience Counts

When all else fails, getting more time behind the wheel is the easiest way to drop insurance premiums.

Young drivers are put into higher-risk categories, where older people are considered safer drivers due to more time behind the wheel.

Getting old is not the only way to drop your risk category. Try finding a defensive driving class to partake.

Complete this class successfully and take your certificate to your auto insurance agent.

Not only does your time behind the wheel count, but also the defensive driving class just gave your risk assessment a kick in the pants.

Another easy way to add experience is to go for different endorsements on your license.

These help with auto insurance by the types of restrictions they add to your license.

One example comes in obtaining a Commercial Drivers License. This type of license means you can get tickets for far more minor traffic violations than a normal driver’s license.

Save Money on Your Auto Insurance!

These are only three factors that play a role in those mysterious auto insurance premiums.

Armed with this knowledge, you will be in a better position to grasp what those weird premiums really mean.

It just might worth your while to live near where you work to help reduce those premiums.

Enter your ZIP code in on this page to get started comparing free auto insurance rates and start saving some money.