Owning or operating a car is almost a necessity in most parts of the country. Unless you live in a highly urbanized area like the New York City borough island of Manhattan and can get around on the mass transit available to the public, you pretty much need a car to get to and from work, errands, social calls, and entertainment. Having the right car can even mean out-of-town travel for vacations and visiting friends and family.

For all the benefits they provide though, they cost a lot of money. Monthly loan payments add up on top of filling the gas tank and routine maintenance. One thing you can save money on though is the insurance package you cover a vehicle with. Keep reading to learn 9 ways to enjoy affordable car insurance.

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1) Don’t wreck or get tickets: Hopefully, the last three years of driving have been uneventful for you. If not, make sure the next three are. Nothing drops or raises your rates harder or higher than a ticket or an accident.

2) Clean up your credit report: Many insurance providers now factor a person’s credit score into their rates, assuming someone with a low credit rating is going to have a higher likelihood of filing a claim.

3) Change ZIP codes: Some areas have higher rates of incidents with their vehicles, and so insurance rates are higher.

4) Drive something thieves don’t want: Keep an eye on reports or statistics about what kinds of cars are stolen the most. You’ll pay more if you own or drive one of these.

5) Buy used: Second-hand vehicles are worth a lot less in terms of market value, so they cost a lot less to insure.

6) Pay upfront: Car insurance policy terms vary by provider and location, but six and 12 months are very common. You’ll usually have the option to pay a little every month, but you’ll also likely face a finance charge of $3 a month when you do it. Paying in full in advance can spare you $36 a year.

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7) Raise your deductibles: Deductibles are often offered at $100, $500, and $1000 or a similar three-tiered structure. The larger your deductible is, the less chance there is of the company paying out for something, so they reward you with lower rates.

8) Ask about discounts: The discounts each insurance provider offers varies, but they can be anything from where you work to a school you used to go to or even a professional organization you are a member of. You never know until you ask.

9) Bundle policies: If you also have policies for renter’s insurance, homeowner’s insurance, a motorcycle, a boat, or anything else, check and see if they also insure those to get a bundled discount.

Car insurance is not just necessary to protect you financially and possibly even legally in case of an accident, many states or municipalities require it to even drive. Use any or all of these 9 techniques and tips to enjoy affordable car insurance and have more money for the gas tank and fun.