What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance?
The average cost of auto insurance in the U.S. is $880 for a six-month policy. But car insurance rates depend on a number of factors — let's dive into the data and learn more.
What is the average cost of car insurance?
The average cost of car insurance is $147 per month. That puts the average car insurance cost per year at $1,759. Of our customers, 39% said they're paying too much for car insurance. Whatever your reason for shopping for auto insurance might be, we're here to help.
Auto insurance quotes vary widely based on individual rating factors. The Zebra's team of licensed insurance experts crunched the numbers using a composite user profile and gathered rates from the top auto insurance companies to develop these figures. Dive into the data below to see how age, gender, location and type of vehicle can affect your auto insurance rate.
Which car insurance companies have the lowest monthly rates?
As part of our car insurance rate analysis, we compared premiums from some of America's best car insurers. Check out average auto insurance rates from the best car insurance companies below. Keep in mind your individual rates will vary, depending on your driving history.
USAA offers the cheapest prices on car insurance with rates at $114 per month, or $683 for a six-month policy. However, USAA isn't available to everyone, as it is designed for military members and their families.
Nationwide offers the second cheapest coverage with rates of $123 per month ($738 for six months).
GEICO offers another affordable option with car insurance rates at an average of $129 per month, or $771 for a six-month policy.
Among the surveyed car insurance companies, USAA was the cheapest based on our average profile. Nationwide came in as the second cheapest. Our individual profile might not reflect your specific rate, but you can use our auto insurance premium data as a jumping-off point to explore options from multiple car insurance companies.
Average car insurance rates by company
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Car insurance quote pricing by location
Anytime you move, you'll need to update your car insurance. Car insurance is regulated at the state level and priced by ZIP code. Your exact location can have a major impact on your premium. Here are the top states that rank as the cheapest, and most expensive, for car insurance.
Top 5 cheapest states:
- North Carolina
Top 5 most expensive states:
- Rhode Island
We've listed each state's average cost of car insurance and sorted them from least expensive to most expensive. Take a look below and see where your state ranks when it comes to auto insurance rates, then compare your premium against your state's average to see whether you're paying too much for auto insurance.
Car insurance rates by state
|State||Avg. Annual Premium|
The difference between the state with the cheapest car insurance (North Carolina) and that with the most expensive (Florida) is over $3,550 per year, which is about a $300 per-month difference. Learn more about auto insurance rates by state.
State minimum vs. full coverage: state-by-state cost analysis
Each state regulates its insurance laws, governing what coverage types drivers must carry and in what amounts. Nearly every state requires certain minimums for liability coverage, while some states may require additional coverage types such as personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured/underinsured coverage.
Below, you'll find a state-by-state rundown of the average six-month premiums for the minimum liability limit versus a "full coverage" policy. While "full coverage" is generally a combination of other coverage types, in this case, it refers to higher liability limits (50/100/50) and collision and comprehensive deductibles at $500 each — a fairly typical coverage level in the United States.
|State||State Minimum Liability||Full Coverage|
Average car insurance rates by driver age
Age is a major component of auto insurance premiums. Based on traffic safety data, age is a reliable proxy for risk behind the wheel. For example, teen drivers tend to pay significantly more than older, more experienced drivers. To help offset the effect of age on auto insurance and find the cheapest possible rates, we recommend comparing car insurance quotes yearly.
See below the relationship between age and car insurance rates.
Average rates by age group
|Age Group||Avg. 6 Mo. Premium||Avg. Monthly Premium|
Average car insurance rate by coverage level
Depending on your level of coverage, your premium will vary. The average auto insurance policy includes liability insurance with limits of $50,000/$100,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage coverage, alongside collision and comprehensive deductibles at $500. If you're leasing or financing your vehicle, you might be required to carry gap insurance as well.
We grouped coverage levels by categories of best, good, and minimum, along with average rates for a six-month policy by top insurance companies. See more details per coverage tier:
Liability limits of 100/300/100, $500 deductible for collision and comprehensive coverage (full coverage). 16% of our customers opt for the best level of coverage.
Liability limits of 50/100/50, $1,000 deductible for collision and comprehensive coverage (full coverage). 30% of our customers choose to carry this level of auto coverage.
State minimum liability only, no comprehensive and collision coverage. 31% of The Zebra's customers opt for the minimum level of coverage.
At every coverage level, USAA was the cheapest insurance company but Nationwide and GEICO are also good options if you don't qualify for USAA coverage. Keep in mind that USAA auto insurance is only available to USAA members. Continue reading below to see a breakdown of average premiums for each coverage tier.
Average premiums for "best" full coverage car insurance coverage level
We recommend carrying full coverage if you have assets to protect, multiple drivers on your policy (especially teenagers), drive a high-performance or luxury car, or are currently leasing or financing a vehicle. Due to the high liability limits (at least 100/300/100) and physical protection provided for your own car at this coverage level, it's typically the most expensive.
Average rates for the best full-coverage
We generally recommend keeping your liability limits to at least 50/100/50. This middle-of-the-road level of full coverage also provides comprehensive and collision coverage for your own vehicle with a $1,000 deductible.
A $500 deductible is the most common, but you can further decrease your premium by upping your deductible because of the inverse relationship they share — see this illustrated below at the "good" coverage level with a $1,000 deductible.
Average rates for good coverage (50/100/50 with a $1,000 decutible)
Average premiums for "minimum" liability-only car insurance coverage level
Liability limits are set by each state. You must carry at least the state-mandated minimum level of liability insurance in order to be a legal driver in that state. However, keep in mind that this does expose you to more risks:
- A history of having just the minimum level of coverage can reflect negatively on you as a driver in the eyes of an insurance company. They could charge you higher rates because insurers view drivers who consistently carry the minimum amount of insurance as riskier clients.
- In the event of an at-fault accident in which your liability limits aren't sufficient to cover the other driver's injuries and/or property damage, you would be underinsured. You could then be sued to cover the remaining amount.
- If your own vehicle is damaged in an at-fault accident by an uninsured driver or by a comprehensive claim incident (like theft, weather and animal-related damage), you would have no coverage.
Minimum liability coverage — without comprehensive and collision to cover damage to your own vehicle — is the cheapest tier of auto insurance you can buy. However, it also leaves you the most exposed to risk.
The risks of low liability limits
Not carrying enough liability coverage can leave you at risk of being sued if you cause enough damage to eclipse your liability limits — leaving any assets vulnerable. Compare rates for higher limits, as the price difference for more protection isn't typically much more than state minimum coverage.
Average rates for minimum coverage
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Average car insurance premium by driving record
Getting any type of violation — even a minor one — can have major impacts on your premium. For an at-fault accident, the average rate increase in the last year was $335 per six-month policy — or $670 per year. Most insurance providers will raise rates for three to five years after any violation, ticket or claim. Driving safely and keeping a clean driving record is one of the best ways to save money on car insurance.
Take a look at the table below to see how much a specific ticket or violation can impact your rate over the course of a six-month policy.
|Accident/Violation||Avg. 6 Mo. Premium||% Rate Increase||$ Rate Increase|
|Texting while driving||$1,070||22%||$190|
|Speeding 16 - 20 MPH over limit||$1,095||24%||$215|
|Speeding 21 - 25 MPH over limit||$1,141||30%||$261|
|At-fault accident - $1000-$2000||$1,252||42%||$373|
|At-fault accident - greater than $2000||$1,302||48%||$423|
|Driving with a suspended license||$1,598||82%||$718|
|Leaving scene of an accident/hit and run||$1,738||98%||$858|
Average cost of car insurance by credit score
In all but a handful of states (California, Massachusetts, Michigan and Hawaii are exceptions), your credit score is a major rating factor. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), drivers with low credit not only file more claims than drivers with high credit but their claims tend to be more expensive. This makes credit a predictor of claim severity. 33% of our customers have “fair” credit which averages $1,104 for a 6-month policy.
|Credit Tier||Avg. 6 Mo. Premium||Avg. Monthly Premium|
Car insurance rates by gender
In states like California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Montana, there is no difference in car insurance premiums for men and women. In other states, the difference between car insurance rates for men and women is small — less than a 0.5% difference in car insurance premiums, nationwide.
Average car insurance rates by gender
|Gender||Avg. Annual Premium||Avg. Monthly Premium|
Although many people assume car insurance costs vary greatly between men and women, it's a minor factor when you look at the bigger picture. However, gender does play a factor in premiums for young drivers. On average, male drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 pay about $600 more per year than do female teens.
Car insurance quotes by vehicle
It goes without saying: your vehicle contributes to the cost of your car insurance. Every single vehicle will generate a unique premium based on its vehicle identification number (VIN). Insurance companies use the VIN to assess your vehicle’s mileage, accident history and other characteristics that are factored into your premium. It’s difficult to give an average cost of car insurance by vehicle — below are some national averages.
|Vehicle Type||6-Month Premium||Monthly Premium|
How car insurance premiums are calculated
An “average rate” is hard to calculate, thanks to the myriad of rating factors contributing to any driver's auto insurance premium. For instance, homeowners are likely to pay less for car insurance in general. Your driving record is also a major contributor, as those with a DUI are more likely to pay far higher rates for insurance as well.
Car insurance is designed — and priced — to suit each individual driver, accurately estimating the risk they represent to an insurer. While car insurance quote pricing varies by driver, it also varies by company. Between the cheapest company and the most expensive, you might find a substantial price gap. This is because every insurer weighs different factors when underwriting a policy.
It's important to take the national average cost of car insurance with a grain of salt. The best way to find an affordable policy, consult an insurance agent or compare car insurance online.
Why is car insurance getting more expensive?
The average rate for a six-month policy in 2022 was $742, but now in 2023, it's up to $880. This is a big jump in price, and you may have noticed the increase. As we already noted, car insurance rates depend on many different factors. Some are within your control, but there are several that aren't. Let's look at a few reasons why car insurance has been increasing across the country.
Many areas are susceptible to severe weather, and natural disasters are a real concern for insurance companies. For instance, Florida auto insurance can be very expensive due to the risk of storm damage. Hurricane Ida in 2021 was the second-most expensive hurricane for insurance losses, greatly affecting several states. Mississippi ranked #1 of states with the most tornadoes in 2022, as another example of severe weather. Insurers have to account for weather risk in certain areas, and as storms become more frequent and more expensive, these increased costs are passed on to drivers in risky areas.
Although you may be a safe driver with a low or non-existent claims history, that doesn't mean that the drivers around you have the same good habits. In many cities, it isn't unusual to find that 25% to 35% of drivers are uninsured. This means more risk for you, and your insurance company. Although it does increase your rates slightly, it may be worth looking into coverage to protect yourself against uninsured drivers (UMBI/UMPD).
It also makes sense that as different cities and regions have experienced growth in the last few years, there are more drivers on the roads in general. Naturally, this leads to more accidents, which in turn raises risk (and insurance rates, accordingly). If you live in a highly populated area, expect to pay more than someone in a more rural setting with fewer drivers on the roads.
Sometimes costs simply increase and don't have much to do with drivers at all. Think about the rising costs for all kinds of goods and services we experience each year. Insurance is no different. In places that have a high cost of living for residents, it's usually more expensive for businesses to operate as well. These increased costs are generally passed along to drivers in the form of higher rates.
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Average car insurance rate FAQs
What is the average cost of car insurance per month?
Across the U.S., the average annual premium is $147 per month, which comes out to $1,759 per year. That's an increase of 19% compared to 2022's national average of $1,484.
How much does car insurance cost in my state?
Your location — down to your specific ZIP code — is a critical rating factor when insurance companies calculate your premium. In addition, because auto insurance is regulated on the state level, each state's laws and regulations do make an impact on average rates. For instance, Michigan tends to be an expensive state for car insurance largely due to mandated coverage requirements enforced by law.
Other expensive states include Louisiana, Florida, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Nevada and California. Some of the cheapest states for car insurance include Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia and Vermont.
Which car insurance companies have the most affordable rates?
In our survey of top car insurance companies, USAA was the cheapest for the average driver profile. However, USAA coverage is only available to members, so not everyone is eligible. Nationwide and GEICO are good alternatives if you don't qualify for USAA. Keep in mind that the individual profile we use to calculate rates likely won't match yours exactly. The best way to find a budget-friendly rate is to shop around for quotes before the end of every policy period.
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About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
- The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
- The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
- The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
- The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.