Green Car Insurance: Reduce Your Footprint and Save Big

Protecting the planet and reducing pollution is something many Americans feel strongly about. But is it possible to go green and save money at the same time? It sure is. When you go green you could save big on your car insurance policy.

In the simplest terms, you'll have green car insurance.

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Fuel Efficient Cars

One way to both go green and save on gas is to choose a more fuel efficient car. A car with better gas mileage will burn less fuel—saving you money at the pump. Do your research before buying to see your new car’s fuel economy rate. One possible way to do this research is the US Department of Energy’s website, fueleconomy.gov, which lets you compare different makes and models side-by-side.

Drive Less, Save More

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), vehicles account for almost 1/3 of smog-forming emissions. Americans drive over 200 billion miles each month (US Department of Transportation). By going green and limiting your driving you’ll decrease the number of miles put on your car. Instead of making multiple trips, combine errands. Use public transportation or try to carpool. You will save money on gas and reduce vehicle pollution.

People who drive fewer miles per year can qualify for low-mileage car insurance discounts, too. If you have significantly reduced the number of miles you drive, talk to your car insurance carrier to see if you qualify for a better car insurance rate.

Flex-Fuel Options

If you are thinking of purchasing a new car and would like to help improve pollution levels, go for a green option: consider a flex-fuel vehicle. Some flex-fuel vehicles use a combination of gasoline and ethanol (an alcohol made from common crops like corn or sugar cane). Others use hydrogen or biodiesel (derived from vegetable oils or animal fats). Many public transit vehicles now run on clean natural gas. Flex-fuel vehicles powered by ethanol get 20-30% fewer miles to the gallon then regular fuel vehicles, so do your research before buying.

Try a Hybrid Car

Another green option is a hybrid car. Hybrid cars have combination gasoline/electric engines. There are different types of hybrids—some that shut off at stops, others that switch back and forth between the electric and gas engine. Some engines favor the gasoline engine using the electric as a power back-up, and vice versa. The point of a hybrid is to reduce the amount of gasoline needed to power the car. If less gas is being consumed and burned, then fewer emissions are put into the air, and less money is being shelled out at the pump. Hybrids tend to cost a bit more than their gas-only counterparts, though, so make sure to weigh the costs of a hybrid car against the gas money you'll save.

Go Paperless

Many auto insurance companies offer electronic billing, and sometimes entice consumers to go paperless by offering a discount. Ask your insurer about paperless billing—it could help reduce paper consumption and save you money.

You can save some money by shopping around for the best car insurance rates for your new hybrid or flex-fuel vehicle by checking out InsWeb.com’s online car insurance quote form.

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