Weekly auto rail, with tips on auto insurance rates, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
You know that where you live, what you drive and how you drive can affect how much you pay for auto insurance. But did you know that your credit score can also influence how much your insurance company charges you for coverage?
If you plan to buy a car, apply for new insurance or just want to lower your auto insurance rate, here are some things you should know about vehicle insurance and credit scores:
- Most vehicle insurance companies do consider your credit score when determining your auto insurance quote. Don't forget, however, that your credit score is just one factor; your driving record, the type of vehicle you drive, where you live, how many miles you drive each year, your gender and age, even your education level are all other factors that insurance companies consider.
- A vehicle insurer looks at your credit score differently than the way a potential lender might. For example, an insurer is likely going to be more interested in how reliably you pay your bills than in how many different types of credit are on your credit report. Insurance companies try to use your financial reliability and sensibility, as reflected in your credit score, to predict how reliable and sensible you're likely to be as a driver and vehicle owner.
- Your credit score is a fluid number that changes. Whenever a change occurs in your credit report, your score can change - going up or down, depending upon the change and its impact on your finances. If your score has improved significantly since the last time you applied for auto insurance, it may be worth it to see if your improved score will qualify you for a better rate.
- Checking your credit score is fast and easy, thanks to online resources like Freecreditscore.com. The website allows you to access a credit score when you enroll in credit monitoring membership. While this score is not the specific scoring model an auto insurer may look at when reviewing your policy application, it can help educate you about your credit standing. By monitoring your credit you'll be able to see how changes in your credit report can affect your score, and you'll receive credit score alerts whenever your score changes.
According to Forbes, here are the cities that guzzle the most gas:
1. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.
2. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, N.C.-S.C.
4. Nashville, Tenn.
5. Monmouth-Ocean Counties, N.J.
Did You Know
General Motors recently recalled about 4,500 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks because of potentially faulty windshield wipers.
Q: I have a 2002 Chevy Monte Carlo SS. The car runs fine at low speeds, but when you hit the passing gear, the engine misses and almost chokes out. If in neutral if you rev up the engine to 4,000 RPMs, same thing happens.
A: Engine speed is preset to a limited RPM level to protect it from damage. As for your drivability problem at high engine speed, a few simple tests need to be done. The technician will need to hook up a fuel pressure tester and scan tool and monitor both while on the road test. Another common failure with this car and other GM makes with the same engine is a partly blocked catalytic converter.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service