How to save money on your car insurance costs with proper car maintenance

By: Nelson Smith on May 3, 2016
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Car maintenance is important. After all, you don’t want to have your tires fall off while you’re doing 110 km/h on the highway. And as we all know, fixing small issues now is a much cheaper solution than waiting until they become a bigger – and more expensive – deal.

There are other reasons why you should keep your car well maintained. Saving on car insurance costs is one of them.

Fewer accidents

Well-maintained cars get into fewer accidents. It’s that simple.

A terrific example is your brakes. Most people don’t pay attention to their brakes until they start squeaking, grinding, or even worse. It has to get to the point where it’s really bad for some people to go into the shop.

By the time it gets to that point, you’re likely facing a pretty hefty repair bill, along with having to go without your car for a day or two at a minimum. It also means you’ve driven thousands of kilometres using brakes that aren’t working right.

Sometimes, the difference between a collision and a close call is just a few feet or even inches. Good brakes can help a driver turn more accidents into close calls. Better yet, good brakes can help you turn good driving into something so routine it’s not even worth mentioning. More accidents mean higher car insurance costs in Canada, so avoiding them is key.

Older cars

In certain provinces, to get new insurance on a car more than 10 years old, the vehicle must first pass an inspection. This can be done at any repair shop and shouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred dollars.

Depending on the condition of this car, the inspection either goes well or poorly. Sometimes, cars need thousands of dollars in repairs until they’re deemed roadworthy -- even though the owner drove them into the shop. Maintaining your car means you’re more likely to pass inspection without a hefty bill.

An older car in need of repairs is not the end of the world if you still have the option to stay with a current insurer. It’s bad news if you’re buying (or trying to sell) an older car.

For someone who’s planning to own a car for years, this can be a problem. You usually don’t need an inspection if you stick with the same insurer past year 10, but you will if you switch providers. Since jumping from provider to provider can save you some serious cash, you’ll want to at least keep that option open.

One factor of many

Over the years, insurance companies have collected reams of data. All this information has revealed some important truths.

One simple truth is people who are careless with car maintenance tend to be careless in other areas as well. They might text and drive more often, leading to more collisions and tickets. They might drive faster or take more risks.

As I mentioned earlier, a lack of maintenance can lead to accidents. Bald tires lead to blowouts. Procrastinating on an oil change can do serious engine damage. Damage to axles or other mechanical components can lead to catastrophic outcomes. All of these could lead to insurance claims, which ultimately mean higher rates for the careless driver.

The amount of maintenance done on a car can tell you a lot about the driver. A lack of maintenance won’t just cost a driver more in long-term repair bills. It’ll cost them more in insurance as well.

Don’t be that driver. It’s better to keep your car well maintained. It’ll save you money on car insurance in the long run.