Congratulations, you are about to take the plunge and purchase your first new car. You’re trading in your 2012 Honda Civic for the brand-new model and now you are looking to insure it. Will the premium be more or less? Several factors will determine its cost.

Let us begin with your driving record. How many tickets do you have? How many accidents have you been in?  According to Insurance.com, a speeding ticket of one to 15 miles-per-hour over the limit, can increase your rate by as much as 20 percent.

Bank Rate says drivers involved in at-fault bodily injury or pricey property damage incidents currently average an increase of 34 percent in their car insurance rates.

“Your driving record absolutely has an effect on your premiums,” says Kelly Gonyo, Owner/President of Blue Line Insurance Agency. “If you have accidents, if you have tickets, they certainly can surcharge or increase, based on how many you have. That said, some companies do offer accident forgiveness, which is really important to add to your policy.”

How much you drive and where you live are two more factors. An individual who drives more than 12-thousand to 15-thousand miles, annually, will pay more than one who is behind the wheel less. Also, living in a rural community will also cost you less than in an urban area.

“If you live in New York City, or Albany, your chances of getting into an auto accident are greater than if you live in the Adirondacks and the north country,” adds Kelly. “So, you will see a fluctuation from those areas, just based on the amount of people that live around there.”

Kelly also points out that there is no evidence suggesting gender plays a role in premium cost,  but she does say age and experience are considerations.

“If you are 16 or 17 years-old you are going to have an inexperienced operator surcharge,” she notes. “Once you have had your license for three years and the older you get, you become more experienced, seasoned behind the wheel, so your rates do reduce over time.”

Do not let your new car’s “bells and whistles” scare you into thinking that your insurance will cost more. In fact, because of new car safety technology, the final cost may even be a bit lower than what you were paying.

Most importantly, research insurance premiums before purchasing your new car. Having adequate auto insurance is smart and prudent, but there is no question that it is an added expense. 

Finally, be sure to review your coverage at renewal time to make sure your insurance is in step with your needs.