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Nearly everyone needs insurance coverage, but no one wants to drop a big sum on yet another bill. Unless you’ve been saving up for a few months, you might not have an extra few hundred dollars to spend to get you on the road legally. Luckily, you can find cheap car insurance online, without having to talk to an insurance agent.

With a little research, you can find an insurer that will offer an auto insurance policy with no down payment. This can benefit individuals who cannot afford to pay a big, lump-sum upfront for coverage or for those who simply prefer to pay monthly installments for their policies. Although there are companies that will insure motorists with no money down, that doesn’t mean you can get covered for nothing. Consumers should be aware that they will still have to pay for their first month of coverage in order to get insured.

Finding no down payment car insurance

The most effective way to find car insurance companies with the least amount of money down is to shop around. As mentioned, although there are companies that offer auto insurance with no down payment, the amount of the first month’s premium will need to be paid. So finding a company that will provide coverage with a low upfront cost comes down to shopping and comparing.

It’s worth noting—the more money you pay upfront, the less the cost of coverage will be overall, especially if you have bad credit. If your goal is to save money, paying your insurance premium upfront is one good way to do this. It’s not in everyone’s budget, but the sooner you can switch away from monthly payments, the sooner you’ll stop paying the extra fees. But there are plenty of other ways to save.

Finding other ways to save

There are numerous insurers in the market to choose from, and taking the time to locate the one who will offer the cheapest premium is vital. Because there are a number of personal factors at play, the amount of money you pay can vary significantly with each applicant. Luckily, it is not very hard to locate the cheapest one for a specific individual.

Your rates will be determined by a combination of your age, location, and the vehicle you drive. They may also use your credit, claims history, and a few other factors. You’ll need to provide your credit score and driving history to get the most accurate car insurance quotes.

There are a variety of discounts you can get that will affect the price of your insurance policy as well. Most companies offer safe driver discounts, but installing a driving monitor can fetch a further price break, especially if you don’t drive very much. Before you sign a policy, ask your insurance agent about good student discounts, military discounts, or anything else that you can do for a break on your monthly payment.

Better coverage costs more

When you are choosing an insurance policy, you have to understand the kind of coverage you’re getting. Car insurance policies with only minimum liability insurance are going to be the cheapest option, but they will also do the least for you. If you wreck your car and it’s your fault, you’ll have to pay any damages to your car out of pocket. Car insurance isn’t just an expense. The right policy should give you a feeling of security.

You’ll also want to consider the kinds of coverage you need on your insurance policy before you start comparing rates. If you have an older car that isn’t worth very much money, you might not need collision or comprehensive coverage. But if you’re still paying off your loan, you will definitely need the policy to cover the cost of the vehicle in the event that something unfortunate happens.

If the coverage you select has a high deductible, you’ll need to be able to meet it before your car insurance pays out for any damages. Choosing a deductible that’s reasonably within your reach is the only way your policy will be worthwhile.

Compare car insurance companies from your computer

Consumers can easily gather multiple free quotes from various companies. The more quotes you have, the easier it will be to find a rate that you can afford. An online car insurance quote comparison makes this process exceptionally smooth and is a very fast and efficient way to obtain the best cheap car insurance policy. By filling out a brief form, you can see the rates from multiple companies. This will get you insured and on the road much quicker.

Don’t make the mistake of choosing the first cheap car insurance coverage you find. Once you find a car insurance provider with a startup cost that you are satisfied with, you can go ahead and complete the transaction. (In some states, the purchase can be completed online.) Once you purchase the policy, you will then begin to make monthly payments.

Before entering an agreement, be sure to understand the terms and conditions of the payment policy. You should also understand the length of the term. A policy’s term is usually 3, 6, or 12 months. That means the customer is expected to pay for the remaining months of the term. Failure to pay on time can result in fees and a lapse in coverage, so make sure you aren’t late.

The bottom line

Many individuals prefer to pay for their policies on a monthly basis for various reasons. It may feel easier on your wallet, or you may like the freedom of being able to switch car insurance companies without having the hassle of canceling and incurring cancellation fees. Or it might simply be that you don’t have the cash to pay a big lump sum.

This is why insurers offer monthly payment plans. They want potential customers to get insured at an affordable startup cost and help them maintain coverage by paying monthly installments. If offering flexible payment options gets them more customers, the savvy insurance companies will happily provide them.

But make sure your policy has earned your business by offering more than low money down. Do the research and you’ll get the coverage you need at a price you’re willing to pay—without compromising.