If you have had your car for a number of years, it may not be quite as shiny and new as it was at one time. However, that doesn’t mean it’s any less essential to you for your daily needs—and it is still worth money, which is something you want to protect in the long-term. What can you do to keep an older car running well in its later age? Do you still need the insurance coverage that you had on the vehicle when it was brand new?
Your insurance needs to your vehicle will change as it ages. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make drastic changes to your auto insurance coverage. Sometimes, you can make a few practical changes to make sure you still are getting the most essential and cost-effective coverage for yourself and the vehicle.
Maintaining Cars as They Age
Cars receive a lot of use over their lifetimes. They also depreciate in value over their lifetimes, in most cases. Therefore a fifteen-year-old car is probably worth a lot less than it was when the vehicle was brand new. However, if you have maintained the vehicle well over its lifetime, you can often make it work like new in most cases.
That’s why it is important to:
- Clean the vehicle’s interior and exterior regularly
- Take the vehicle for preventive maintenance like oil changes, tire rotations or parts replacements as necessary
- Drive safely to try to avoid accidents
- Keep the vehicle parked in a safe area, and locked at all times
With steps like these, you can help keep your vehicle in very good condition. This can preserve its functionality throughout its lifetime, even as the odometer miles continue to increase. Additionally, by protecting the car, you can maintain your car’s resale value, even if it will still decrease little by little over the years.
While you might not be able to prevent depreciation, you can still slow it off to the point where you still have a quality asset to sell when you are ready to do so. However, no matter how well you protect the vehicle, you can’t prevent damage and monetary losses in a lot of cases. For those situations, your car insurance might be able to help you out.
Adjusting Your Car Insurance for an Older Car
When your car was new, it probably was worth a lot more money, and therefore needed a lot of insurance coverage. As it ages, however, you might want to re-evaluate that protection. Some types of coverage aren’t as essential to have on older cars as with newer ones.
- You might have carried gap insurance on the vehicle while you had a loan on the car. Had an accident totaled the car, then this coverage would have paid the difference between the car’s market value, and the cost of the loan. If you no longer have the loan, but still maintain this coverage, then it’s likely necessary to remove this protection from your coverage.
- While your does depreciate with time, you can still choose to keep your collision and comprehensive damage coverage on the vehicle. However, over time, the car’s value might only be worth a few hundred dollars, and you might be able to afford paying for any damage out-of-pocket. Therefore, carrying full physical damage insurance may not be worth the cost. All the same, if you would like assistance with certain costs of damage, your policy might be able to help you.
Don’t forget however, that other coverage, like the liability insurance required by your state of registration, has to stay attached to you and your vehicle at all times. Therefore, you can’t simply drive uninsured by any means. Instead, you can work with your insurer to determine the right balance of coverage that’s appropriate for your older vehicle.