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Picture this: you’re driving along the Sea-to-Sky Highway in a new car, the sun is shining, the water is calm, and you’re listening to your favourite playlist. Perfect, right?

Getting a new car is exciting. We imagine the smooth ride and road trips, but we often overlook the less-exciting parts of getting a new car – like insurance. However, while insurance isn’t exciting, it’s essential. And while having car insurance isn’t optional, there are several things you can do to lower your premiums or get more bang for your buck with your policy.

To help you save money when getting a new car insurance policy, here are four things you can control when buying a new vehicle.

Car make, model, and year

The more expensive the car, often the more expensive it is to insure. When you buy a brand new car with high-end features, it can be more expensive to repair or replace if you have an accident, which could result in higher insurance premiums.

Some insurers – like BCAA, also offer optional car insurance – offer discounts for fuel efficiency, so buying a hybrid or fuel-efficient vehicle can help lower your premiums and save you money at the pump.

On the other hand, opting for a used car or lower-end model instead can be cheaper to repair, likely resulting in more money in your pocket each month from lower insurance premiums.

Safety matters

Your insurance isn’t only insuring your vehicle – it’s insuring you.

In addition to considering the value of your vehicle, your personal circumstances, and your driving history, your insurer will look at your car’s safety rating and features when determining your rate. A better safety rating and features like autonomous emergency braking (AEB) can result in a better rate, so do your research before picking a car. Beyond saving money with lower premiums, driving a safer car can protect you if you’re in an accident.

Security system and anti-theft devices

Auto theft is an obvious concern – for you and for insurance companies. If your car doesn’t have any sort of anti-theft device, you’ll likely get higher rates than you would otherwise.

Anti-theft and security devices come in many forms, including remote engine immobilizers, alarm systems, and wheel or clutch locks, like the club. By installing anti-theft devices and increasing your vehicle’s security system, you’ll make your car less of a target for theft.

If you’re planning to buy a vehicle that doesn’t have a security system, you should ask your insurer which type will get you the best discount on your premiums.

Tailor your insurance

Okay – this tip isn’t specific to your new vehicle, but it will save you money. If you have multiple cars or insurance for your home, you can save big by bundling them together with BCAA.

You can also lower your premiums by opting for a higher deductible - which is the portion of the repair cost you pay when making a claim. For example, if you get rear-ended and repairing the bumper costs $2,000, if your deductible is $500, your insurer would pay $1,500. But if your deductible is $1,000, your insurer would pay $1,000. So when you have a higher deductible, you’ll pay lower premiums. However, if you choose to go this way, you should set aside the extra deductible amount so you have it available in case you ever need it.

On top of taking these steps to lower your premiums, you should also consider the extra services your insurer offers to make life a bit easier as a driver. For example, BCAA Optional Car Insurance offers free perks like one accident forgiveness, windshield chip repairs, family pet protection, and lock re-keying with their optional insurance policies. Plus, you can get an instant quote online or by calling 1.888.268.2222, and buy your new policy without leaving home.

Best case scenario, you never need to use your insurance policy. But knowing you’re covered makes driving a little bit sweeter - and the right policy could save you money, get you better coverage, or even both. So when it comes time to get a new policy or renew your existing insurance, your first stop should be BCAA.