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Finding the best cheap car insurance

Finding the best choice for car insurance with a low price tag is a challenge every driver faces. With so many companies to choose from, the task can seem overwhelming. Through this handy guide, finding the right car insurance company at the best price is simplified. The Zebra has compiled lists of car insurance companies by price for a variety of rating factors like driving historydemographic data, and other factors. It's important to note that premiums are priced to fit each individual driver, and insurance companies evaluate each application to determine the level of risk they present. Because of this, rates vary among policyholders.

The Zebra's guides to finding the cheapest car insurance

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Brush up on the basics

Learn more about common types of insurance, including comprehensive coverage and state-minimum liability coverage, and choose the right protection for you.

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Compare quotes from multiple companies

Decide on a shopping method and get quotes from multiple companies by inputting your information into free, online quote tools. The Zebra's quote tool compares hundreds of companies at once so you don't have to. 

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Find the policy for you

The quoting process should tell you which company offers the right coverage at the lowest price. If you're having trouble getting cheap car insurance, consult The Zebra's explainer on how to find car insurance for high-risk drivers.

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Drive safely and save

If you have a clean driving record, review our analysis of auto insurance coverage options for good drivers.


The cheapest car insurance companies

The Zebra analyzed rates from top auto insurers to determine which insurance company provides the best cheap car insurance in 2021. View average insurance rates from some of America's most popular insurance companies below, or continue reading to see rates from more large insurance companies.

usaa
USAA - $94 / month

At just $94 per month, USAA's average rates are the industry's cheapest. The company's policies are only available to active-duty U.S. military, veterans and their family members.

geico
GEICO - $102 / month

GEICO's average monthly rate is $102, and the company's customer service is well-regarded.

nationwide
Nationwide - $106 / month

Nationwide is the third-cheapest auto insurance company, at $106 per month on average. 


Best cheap car insurance companies

While smaller insurers are also worth looking into, let's start by checking out average rates from America's most popular insurers. Below you'll find premiums for the average driver from USAA, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. Read on to learn more about typical car insurance rates for drivers by age group, credit tier, and violation history. 

Company Avg. Annual Premium Avg. Monthly Premium
USAA $1,365 $114
Nationwide $1,476 $123
GEICO $1,542 $129
State Farm $1,569 $131
Progressive $1,882 $157
Updated: 11/29/22.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.


Cheapest car insurance companies after an accident

It's the "golden rule" of car insurance: as a driving profile changes, so does a driver's premium. Not every company assesses accidents in the same way, so it's worth comparing insurance quotes occasionally to find the best prices.

An at-fault accident raises insurance rates by an average of 45%. The cheapest car insurance company in this situation is USAA, which still offers eligible drivers affordable rates after an accident ($144 per month).

CAR INSURANCE RATES AFTER AN AT-FAULT ACCIDENT CLAIM
Company Accident/Violation Groups Avg. Monthly Premium
Allstate No accident $201
Allstate After at-fault accident $279
Farmers After at-fault accident $191
Farmers No accident $149
GEICO After at-fault accident $186
GEICO No accident $129
Nationwide After at-fault accident $173
Nationwide No accident $123
Progressive No accident $157
Progressive After at-fault accident $234
State Farm After at-fault accident $162
State Farm No accident $131
USAA No accident $114
USAA After at-fault accident $144
Updated: 11/29/22.

Cheapest car insurance companies after a ticket

Car insurance rate increases may occur after a driver receives a ticket.

Included in the below insurance price analysis are violations with major insurance implications:

 

Cheapest insurance companies after a DUI

A DUI can raise a driver's car insurance rates by $80 per monthProgressive is the most affordable choice after a DUI or DWI offense, while Allstate raises rates the most after a DUI citation.

INSURANCE RATES WITH A DUI
Company DUI status Avg. Monthly Premium
Allstate No DUI $201
Allstate After DUI $295
Farmers No DUI $149
Farmers After DUI $213
GEICO No DUI $129
GEICO After DUI $269
Nationwide After DUI $289
Nationwide No DUI $123
Progressive No DUI $157
Progressive After DUI $207
State Farm After DUI $221
State Farm No DUI $131
USAA After DUI $211
USAA No DUI $114
Updated: 11/29/22.

Progressive and Farmers assess relatively small penalties against drivers with DUIs, upping rates by less than $70 per month. Progressive's $50-per-month increase is well under the national average rate hike following a DUI conviction.

 

Cheapest insurance companies after a driving with a suspended license ticket

The average monthly rate increase after a ticket for driving with a suspended license is $75. USAA and GEICO are the cheapest companies after a citation for driving with a suspended license.

Company Ticket status Avg. Monthly Premium
Allstate No suspended license ticket $201
Allstate After a suspended license ticket $273
Farmers No suspended license ticket $149
Farmers After a suspended license ticket $232
GEICO After a suspended license ticket $193
GEICO No suspended license ticket $129
Nationwide After a suspended license ticket $268
Nationwide No suspended license ticket $123
Progressive After a suspended license ticket $232
Progressive No suspended license ticket $157
State Farm No suspended license ticket $131
State Farm After a suspended license ticket $205
USAA No suspended license ticket $114
USAA After a suspended license ticket $194
Updated: 11/29/22.
 

Cheapest insurance companies after a hit-and-run

In most states, a hit-and-run incident is the most costly citation for insurance — even pricier than a DUI. Drivers ticketed for a hit-and-run should consider State Farm, a relative bargain after a citation at $218 per month.

Company Violation status Avg. Monthly Premium
Allstate After hit-and-run $293
Allstate No hit-and-run $201
Farmers After hit-and-run $235
Farmers No hit-and-run $149
GEICO After hit-and-run $266
GEICO No hit-and-run $129
Nationwide No hit-and-run $123
Nationwide After hit-and-run $255
Progressive No hit-and-run $157
Progressive After hit-and-run $238
State Farm No hit-and-run $131
State Farm After hit-and-run $218
USAA After hit-and-run $214
USAA No hit-and-run $114
Updated: 11/29/22.

Cheapest insurance companies after reckless driving

The definition of reckless driving varies by state, but regardless of location, it comes with a hefty insurance penalty. On average, a reckless driving charge raises insurance rates by around $75 per month. 

If you don't qualify for USAAState Farm is the second-cheapest insurer after a reckless driving citation, at $215 per month. 

 
Company Ticket Status Avg. Monthly Premium
Allstate No reckless driving ticket $201
Allstate After reckless driving ticket $284
Farmers After reckless driving ticket $234
Farmers No reckless driving ticket $149
GEICO No reckless driving ticket $129
GEICO After reckless driving ticket $227
Nationwide After reckless driving ticket $259
Nationwide No reckless driving ticket $123
Progressive No reckless driving ticket $157
Progressive After reckless driving ticket $227
State Farm After reckless driving ticket $215
State Farm No reckless driving ticket $131
USAA No reckless driving ticket $114
USAA After reckless driving ticket $163
Updated: 11/29/22.

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Cheapest auto insurance companies for teen drivers

If a parent's greatest fear is their child getting behind the wheel, covering their car insurance premiums might be a close second. On average, teen drivers pay 83% more for insurance than older drivers do. USAA is the cheapest company for teen drivers, with Nationwide the best option for drivers who don't qualify for USAA coverage. 

See below the average monthly premiums from popular car insurance companies with a teen driver added to the car insurance policy of a married couple.

Teen drivers and insurance: more data

Consult our in-depth guides for age-specific data and company-by-company breakdowns:

 

CAR INSURANCE RATES FOR TEEN DRIVERS
Insurance company Monthly rate (no teen driver) Monthly rate (with teen driver)
Allstate $168 $273
Farmers $143 $242
GEICO $102 $211
Liberty Mutual $137 $211
Nationwide $106 $177
Progressive $107 $237
State Farm $112 $203
USAA $94 $137

Cheapest insurance companies for drivers with bad credit and good credit

In most U.S. states, insurance companies take into consideration a driver's credit score when setting rates. An improvement of one credit tier leads to savings of an average of about $32 per month.

Drivers with bad credit should consider Nationwide and GEICO. This is especially important considering insurance for drivers with bad credit is $125 more expensive per month than it is for drivers with excellent credit.

The use of credit scores in setting insurance rates is controversial, and some lawmakers are working to curtail it. In fact, several U.S. states already prohibit the practice.

Insurance for drivers with bad credit is $125 more expensive each month than it is for drivers with excellent credit.

Credit Tier Company Avg. Annual Premium
Poor Allstate $3,434
Excellent Allstate $2,160
Excellent Farmers $1,525
Poor Farmers $2,724
Excellent GEICO $1,397
Poor GEICO $2,174
Poor Nationwide $1,984
Excellent Nationwide $1,331
Excellent Progressive $1,461
Poor Progressive $3,716
Excellent State Farm $1,224
Poor State Farm $4,126
Poor USAA $2,393
Excellent USAA $1,216
Updated: 11/29/22.

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Cheapest insurance companies for business use

The cheapest company for business-use car insurance is State Farm.

While the majority of drivers use their vehicle for leisure or commuting, using a personal auto policy for business may result in more expensive rates. A business-use policy isn't a commercial auto insurance policy. Rather, it comprises the use of a car for personal and business purposes. 

Most insurance companies have their own versions of these rules, which may cover delivery drivers or salespeople who travel by car.

Use of Vehicle Company Avg. Monthly Premium
Pleasure Allstate $201
Business Allstate $213
Pleasure Farmers $149
Business Farmers $167
Pleasure GEICO $129
Business GEICO $144
Business Nationwide $139
Pleasure Nationwide $123
Pleasure Progressive $157
Business Progressive $186
Business State Farm $119
Pleasure State Farm $131
Pleasure USAA $114
Business USAA $134
Updated: 11/29/22.

If you're a driver for Uber or Lyft and would like to see this can impact what you pay for car insurance, consult the below resources:


Cheapest car insurance companies for low-mileage drivers

Mileage is an influential factor in car insurance pricing. For instance, low-mileage drivers in California save 32% on insurance premiums compared to high-mileage drivers.

High-mileage drivers should consider Nationwide, while less-frequent drivers should look into a policy with USAA or State Farm

CAR INSURANCE RATES BY MILEAGE TIER
Annual Mileage Company Avg. Monthly Premium
15001+ Allstate $205
0-7500 Allstate $196
15001+ Farmers $154
0-7500 Farmers $147
15001+ GEICO $132
0-7500 GEICO $122
0-7500 Nationwide $121
15001+ Nationwide $125
15001+ Progressive $163
0-7500 Progressive $155
15001+ State Farm $131
0-7500 State Farm $119
15001+ USAA $121
0-7500 USAA $109
Updated: 11/29/22.

Mileage-based car insurance options


Many car insurance providers have embraced telematics and mileage-based models in recent years to offer alternative options to less frequent drivers. Some companies operate purely on a pay-per-mile system, like Metromile and Mile Auto. In addition, many major insurance companies have per-mile coverage options in addition to regular insurance offerings. For more on annual mileage and car insurance, including more information on the companies offering the cheapest rates for low-mileage customers, consult this guide to low-mileage auto insurance.


How to get cheap car insurance: discounts and tips

 

If you're looking for affordable insurance, the best place to start is online. Your best bet is to gather quotes from multiple companies to see which offers the best coverage at the best rate. It's also a good idea to look into discount opportunities, as most car insurance companies may apply discounts for qualifying drivers. If you aren't sure where to start, read on for tips or speak to a licensed agent to understand your options. 

 

 

Remember: your car insurance rate is specific to you

Many factors determine car insurance rates, including location, your age, insurance history, driving history and the make and model of your vehicle.

If you've accumulated at-fault accidents or claims, your rate will increase. If your credit score is low or your ZIP code has a large number of uninsured motorists, you might not be able to find cheap auto insurance.

Auto insurance discounts

You can’t improve your credit score overnight, but there are some easy ways to reduce the cost of insurance — like car insurance discounts.

Multi-policy/bundling auto insurance discount

Qualifying for this discount involves carrying two insurance policies with one company. Common bundling combinations include a home-and-auto bundle or a renters-and-auto bundle. A homeowners-auto combo saves an average of $12 per month, compared to $6 for a renters-auto pairing.

Safe driving discount

This discount entails taking a defensive driving course and presenting your insurance company with proof — like a receipt or transcript. The logic behind this discount is clear: a safer driver is a cheaper client because they're less likely to file a claim. Consult our guide to auto insurance for good drivers to learn more about how to save.

bundle

Equipment discount

If your car comes with an anti-theft device or a service like LoJack, your insurance company may provide a discount. The discounts tend to be smaller than a multi-policy or defensive driver discount. In our survey, we found systems such as night vision devices, park-assist devices and rearview cameras did not earn discounts.

AVERAGE INSURANCE SAVINGS WITH SAFETY DEVICES
Safety/Anti-Theft Device Average Annual Premium Discount
None $1,483
Blind Spot Warning Device $1,481 $2
Collision Preparation System $1,482 $1
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) $1,474 $9

Good driver discount

This discount is available to drivers with clean driving records. Good driver discounts can be added when your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) or CLUE report is pulled at the inception of your auto policy. If you're convinced your record is clean (no at-fault accidents or violations) and you aren't receiving a discount, speak with your insurance company and inquire about a discount. By keeping a clean slate, you can earn a discount of approximately 10%.

Military discount

Many companies offer discounts for active or former military members and their families. The amount and qualifications differ per company but you should ask if your current company has this discount.

Multi-car discount

A multi-car discount involves insuring more than one car with a single insurance company. Typically, the discount is automatically added either at policy inception — if two cars were originally added — or when you add the second vehicle to the policy.

Preferred payment discount

This discount refers to the manner in which you make your insurance payments and has tiers, typically. For example, if you pay your entire premium upfront, you are often given a discount: the highest preferred payment discount. A paid-in-full discount can save you $73 per year on your auto policy.

If you set up automatic payments from a bank account, you can often receive an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) discount. An EFT discount can lead to savings of about $21 annually. If you are able to pay up front or through automatic payments, this is a great way to get cheaper car insurance.

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Occupation discount

Some insurance companies will offer a discount based on your occupation. Statistically, some occupations — teachers, physicians or police officers — are less likely to file a claim and thus pose less risk. Because of this, some insurance companies return the savings back to you. Usually, they will require proof of your profession, such as a photocopy of your professional degree or certification.

For more information on cheap car insurance and profession-based discounts, see our guides:

 

Good student discount

If you're responsible for insuring a young driver, you understand how expensive this can be. Given the number of claims they cause, teen drivers are considerable risks for insurance companies. If your son or daughter has the grades — typically a GPA of 3.0 or better — speak with your insurance company about a good student discount. Normally, they’ll ask for a transcript every policy period as proof.

Save an average of $440 a year by comparing your options.

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Cheap car insurance near you: comparing rates by state

Because each driver, location and situation differs, it's hard to say which insurance company has the cheapest rates.

To find out which company offers the best cheap car insurance for you, compare auto insurance options every six months from multiple insurance companies.

Find cheap car insurance by state:


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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 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.