Why you should shop for car insurance before buying the car

Are you in the market for a new or used car? With the interest rates as low as they are right now and competition for customers fierce, there are plenty of deals to be had.

These days, new and used car dealers are offering all kinds of incentives to get potential customers onto their lots. Among the more popular deals are cash-back, free upgrades and low-interest financing, according to Cars.com.

But before you fall in love with the idea that new car prices have never been better, you should price out auto insurance. Most states require drivers to have at minimum liability insurance.

It goes without saying that it will cost significantly more to insure a Corvette than a Ford Focus. But what will it cost to insure the used car you want to buy? The answer will determine if you can afford to buy it.

To get the best rates, you need to shop around and ask about the following discounts, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles:

* Good driving record: Many auto insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who have not made a claim, been in an accident or received a traffic ticket in three years.

* Multiple policies: Some insurance companies offer discounts if you have two or more policies with them, like homeowner’s and auto.

* Safety equipment: Equipment such as antitheft devices and antilock brakes may qualify you for a discount.

If the price of car insurance comes back too high on your first choice for a new vehicle, try pricing out similar models from other manufacturers. The make and model of the vehicle, the car value, crash rating and its likelihood of being stolen all play a key role in the cost of insurance.

Once you have price quotes on both insurance and the vehicles you are considering purchasing, you can compare cars and see which deal makes the most sense for you.