The best way to protect a new car or a well-maintained older car is to keep it in a garage. A garage will protect the finish of your car from the various harmful elements of the weather. In addition to protecting it from hail, rain and snow, keeping your car inside a garage will also keep tree pollen, air pollution and even the sun’s powerful rays from your car’s finish.
If you do not have the benefit of a garage to protect your car from the elements, there are still ways to protect your car. With a little creative thinking and some simple maintenance, you can keep your looking as good as new.
A Car Cover
Most auto parts stores carry vinyl covers that will completely cover your vehicle. These covers do a good job of protecting your car from most of the weather elements as well as the sun. The main drawback to such a protective cover is that they are a bit cumbersome to put on and remove. If you are in and out of your car more than a few times each day, you probably will not want to leave the cover on all the time. For the most part, a car cover should be put on at night and removed in the morning.
Where You Park
If you are forced to park in an outdoor parking lot, try to avoid parking under a big tree that might leave sticky sap deposits on your car finish. It is nice to have shade to keep your car cool, but it is not so nice to come back to your car and see the hood stained with tree sap. While some trees do not drop their leaves or stain the cars below them, many trees do. Be sure to know the characteristics of any tree you may park under.
Just like people need to take a shower to stay clean, cars need to be washed regularly to keep their shiny finish. If you can not afford to take your car to a car wash every week, make a practice of removing some of the dirt with a squirt from the garden hose.
If you are asking yourself if comprehensive or liability auto insurance is still necessary for high mileage cars that are paid off, the resounding answer is "Yes, positively!" Ask yourself this question also: Can you get along without a car? Your car can still become a total loss no matter how much you do or do not owe on it; without some insurance coverage you will have nothing left toward replacement of that vehicle. Basic insurance protection depends on vehicle worth; liability and comprehensive damages are a different matter.
Some drivers believe that just because a vehicle or home is paid off, they can drop all insurance coverage. This is a worst-case decision, because accidents can always happen. Without proper insurance coverage on a fully paid-off vehicle, all accidental damage costs will come out of your own wallet. The minimum coverage for comprehensive damage should be maintained, as should liability coverage. Your responsibility when someone else is hurt on, in or because of your vehicle hitting them or their property does not end with a final vehicle payment. Liability lawsuits can involve astronomical dollar amounts you could possibly owe.
One example for maintaining comprehensive damage insurance on a paid-off car would be spring and summer hail storm damage. Yes, hail stones do fall that are as large as golf balls and baseballs. These can cause multiple breaks in glass and deep dents in metal. Large hail can even break through metal surfaces. Without comprehensive damage coverage, you bear all repair costs.
It’s wonderful to have a vehicle fully paid off, but remember to keep minimal insurance coverage in effect to protect yourself from liability claims, accidental damage and vandalism. A small monthly payment is much better than paying hundreds or thousands of dollars out-of-pocket.
When you get car insurance in Texas, any insurance company through which you obtain a policy is going to look at your profile to determine whether you’re an acceptable risk to them. What does this mean, exactly? If you’re a "good risk," according to the insurance company, you have:
A safe driving record
Insurance rates are based upon the risk profile you present to the insurance company. If you have a good driving record, you’re less of a risk to an insurance company because you’ve already shown that you’re less likely to have an accident than the average driver. This gives you lower rates. The longer you have a good driving record and no accidents, the lower your rates are going to be.
No speeding or other moving violations tickets
Even if you’re a "good" driver in that you haven’t had any accidents (or haven’t had any for a long time), speeding tickets and other tickets for moving violations show irresponsibility on your part. Follow the rules of the road, including staying within speed limits. The more you can show a sense of responsibility on the road, the lower your insurance rates are going to be. (Getting too many tickets can also mean license suspension, which will automatically identify you as a bad risk and increase your insurance rates.)
An age above 25
Older drivers generally have lower insurance rates than younger drivers do, simply because statistically, younger drivers make more mistakes and are more cavalier about their driving than older drivers are – and young men under the age of 25 are the most "risky" demographic group of all. Simply put, as a demographic group younger drivers have more accidents than older drivers do, so they are charged higher rates. The good news is, getting older improves your statistics demographically and therefore drops your rates automatically. By the time you’re 25, you should be paying reasonable insurance rates as long as you haven’t had any accidents, DUIs, etc.