It's the moment of truth; your dream of owning a sleek, imported car manufactured by one of the many prestigious foreign auto groups is about to become a reality, but before you sign the papers, here's what you need to know to avoid a nightmare when it comes to car insurance rates. Policyholders insuring foreign imports won't always qualify for cheapest car insurance premiums due to the higher cost of replacement. However, these tips can help you maximize your coverage benefits and minimize your out-of-pocket expenses.
Before committing to any imported vehicle, particularly those powered by alternative fuels, it's important to verify that the car is street-legal and in compliance with Department of Transportation requirements. Your local Department of Motor Vehicles can typically provide information about importing vehicles as well as state regulations for cars that use alternative fuels or have different specifications used by foreign automakers.
Car insurance rates for any vehicle are affected by replacement cost, parts availability and market value. In the case of imported vehicles, car insurance rates are generally higher because repairs are performed by foreign specialists who order replacement parts from overseas distributors. The cost of imported replacement parts is also higher due to the integrated freight costs for transoceanic shipping.
Where you live can also affect the car insurance rates for your Italian sports car or German roadster. If your vehicle is likely to be damaged or keyed while parked on street, you insurance company will charge higher rates. Likewise, parking in a private garage can reduce your car insurance rates and the risk of exterior damage occurring to your vehicle.
Shopping for a policy with a high deductible is one way to find the cheapest car insurance for imported vehicles. One common method for determining the deductible on collision or bumper-to-bumper coverage is to choose a plan with the highest deductible you comfortably afford. Shopping for plans with higher deductibles will lower car insurance rates immediately. However, it's important to remember that certain personal factors, such as a poor credit score, history of moving violations and lack of driving experience can lead to increased car insurance rates whether you drive an imported car or a domestic vehicle. In addition to increased car insurance rates due to a high-risk driver profile, car insurance rates can become extremely costly when a high-risk driver is insuring a high-risk sports car or sleek coupe with tremendous power and speed capabilities.
Finding the cheapest car insurance for imported vehicles is largely dependent on your personal driving record, your vehicle's value and available discounts. Regardless of your record, defensive driver discounts and customer loyalty discounts offered to all consumers.