You’ve checked all the automobile sites, looked into multiple manufacturers, and even checked out a local auto dealership. You think you might have found the right one. It’s considered one of the safest cars on the road, with excellent safety features and high ratings from its drivers. Having these safety features is enough to excite you; surely, these features will lower your auto insurance quotes, right? If this is your methodology, you may be in for a surprise.

A vehicle’s safety hardly has an impact on the quotes you will receive from insurers. Though it may be a small factor in lowering your rates, many drivers find that purchasing vehicles with safety features does not change their car insurance costs whatsoever.

Why not?

It should make sense that safer vehicles should be cheaper to insure, right? More safety features lead to less accidents, which lead to less claims… or so it seems. Unfortunately, this doesn’t completely add up to insurance companies.

The amount of serious accidents that occur pale in comparison to the number of minor accidents, such as fender benders, on a day-to-day basis. These small accidents are what is costing insurance companies the most amount of money, as they occur frequently and often lead to thousands of dollars in damage costs. The safety features that come with vehicles deemed the top safety picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety may prevent serious accidents and save lives, but they may not yet affect insurance rates.

What actually affects your car insurance rates?

While driving a safe vehicle doesn’t have a significant impact on your auto insurance payments, a few other details about your vehicle are more likely to lower or raise your rates. The vehicle’s track record often contributes to its cost to insure it. If the insurer believes this type of car (or typical drivers of this vehicle) have a driving trend, whether positive or negative, this will be reflected in the quotes. Minivans tend to be less expensive to insure than glitzy sportscars, as the drivers of the former are considered to be more safe than typical drivers of the latter. The car’s value will make it more expensive to insurance. Not only is it more costly to repair a high-end vehicle, if it’s stolen or totaled, your insurer doesn’t want to be stuck paying the market value to replace it. In this case, expect some hiked premiums.

While safety features don’t always have an impact on your insurance rates, oftentimes, certain vehicle modifications can lower your rates. These modifications usually have to do with preventing minor accidents, which tend to cost insurances companies the most. Parking sensors, tow bars, and airbags are technologies that will lower your insurance rates.

Vehicles with automatic braking and forward-collision warning systems may save your life in the case of a potentially life-threatening accident. For that reason, purchasing a safe car is worth it. If you’re buying this vehicle to lower your insurance rates, you may be out of luck. Instead, looking into car insurance discounts might be the best tactic to save on your premiums. Staying accident-free and bundling your insurance policies will lower your premiums. Finally, make sure you’re getting the best deal on car insurance by shopping for quotes. Your current auto insurer may be charging you far more than you should be paying. Saving money on car insurance may involve less of a gamble than purchasing a vehicle with top-notch safety features. It can be as simple as driving safely and altering your current policy.