Little Old Lady from Pasadena Seeks Car Insurance
April 17, 2006 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Car insurance options for someone who scarcely drives in California.

I work at home and when I do go out, my fiance usually drives his car. I'm maybe driving my car 20 miles a week, or more precisely one short trip every 7-10 days. My car insurance is due, and while I reported this reduced mileage to AAA, there's been no noticable reduction in my $650 annual premium. I'm wondering if there is some alternative auto insurance option for, well, for Little Old Ladies From Pasadena, who only drive to church on Sunday (or the thrift shop on Tuesday)? Please don't suggest selling the car: I do sometimes need my own wheels, and mine is the only vehicle in the family suited to certain magazine distribution chores.
posted by Scram to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It may help to explicitly report to your insurance company that you do not drive your car to work. Also ask if they have any special categories for infrequent drivers.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:46 PM on April 17, 2006


California might have an option for 'financial responsibility' where you prove you have $X amount of assets rather then having insurance. If you hardly ever drive the car, it would probably be worthwhile financially.

You should also shop around for diffrent insurance companies.
posted by delmoi at 6:50 PM on April 17, 2006


Do sell the car, but to your fiance. Transfer the title into his name (work out a contract or whatever if you like), and add the car as a second vehicle under his policy. Insuring two cars under one policy is usually far, far cheaper than a single policy. You can be on his policy as a second driver. Not being married yet shouldn't be a problem, though the premium savings might be less if he's under 25.
posted by pekala at 7:16 PM on April 17, 2006


I know that Allstate has some reductions if you drive the car only a few thousand miles per year.

When I renewed my policy, I was asked whether I drive less than 7,500 or 6,000 miles/year; that would have qualified me for a lower rate.

Selling the car to your fiance might not be the best option, because of the sales tax.
posted by Ervin at 7:27 PM on April 17, 2006


Have you verified with AAA that your rate has been properly reduced? They told me that anything under 5000 miles/yr has to be documented with repair records showing actual odometer readings of that amount during the past 18 months max.

Might want to contact CityCar to find out if they know if similar companies operating in L.A. Something like that could make selling your car viable as long as magazine distro isn't a time-intensive task.

The option b1tr0t is talking about is here. Got $35 grand lying around?

CA doesn't charge sales tax when you add a relative as co-owner. Then you'll be eligible for their insurance. You get even better rates is that relative is someone older than you, with few accidents, in a lower-crime neighborhood.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 7:31 PM on April 17, 2006


If you're comfortable with the financial arrangement, you should definitely look into getting onto the same policy. My fiance and I both just called our own car insurance rates, and discovered that we could save more than $400 a year by being jointly covered. It took us three years to make the call, which adds up to $1,200 wasted.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:39 PM on April 17, 2006


Try Amica. They have nice low rates.
posted by special-k at 8:08 PM on April 17, 2006


$650 a year sounds fairly cheap.

-Drop the comprehensive and buy liability only.
-Have an antique car (over 30 years old)?
-Increase the deductible.
-If you don't have a lot of assets at risk, keep the policy at the state minimum.
-Describe car - better advice
posted by phewbertie at 12:09 AM on April 18, 2006


I was able to insure my 1967 Coupe deVille for something like $80/year, with a 1000 mile/yr limitation. In California. It's beause it was both antique and not driven often. That $80/year covered liability and collision/comprehensive. Look for botique type insurance agents.
posted by u2604ab at 8:01 AM on April 18, 2006


Turns out they were calculating my mileage at 7800 based on the previous year, and are sticking with that for the next year no matter what I tell them I drive. So I will probably just drop comprehensive, thus cutting the premium in half. This makes sense for an 11-year-old Jeep that I drive so infrequently. Thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by Scram at 11:41 AM on April 19, 2006


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