Which company has the cheapest car insurance rates?

 

On average, USAA offers the cheapest auto insurance rates, at just $94 per month ($1,133 per year). USAA's coverage is only available to active-duty U.S. military, veterans, and their family members.

Your car insurance premium is priced to fit you. Insurers evaluate your driving history, demographic data and other factors to determine what level of risk you present as a customer. The Zebra's team of unbiased car insurance experts surveyed top insurance companies and assessed common rating factors to determine which insurer provides the best cheap car insurance — even for young motorists or high-risk drivers. View average insurance rates from some of America's most popular insurance companies in the table below, or continue reading to see rates from major insurance companies across various age groups and circumstances. 

Best Cheap Car Insurance
CompanyAverage 6-Month Car Insurance Rate
USAA$567
GEICO$615
Nationwide$639
Progressive$644
State Farm$676

 


 

The best cheap car insurance companies:

 


 

What is the best and cheapest car insurance after an accident?

Depending on your insurance company, an at-fault accident can raise your premium by about 33%. The best and cheapest car insurance company in this situation is USAA, charging an average of just $127 per month after an accident. 

Accidents and other incidents can raise a driver's car insurance premiums substantially. Most property damage or collision claims will be ruled by your insurance provider as an at-fault accident.

 

Company6-Month Premium Without Claim
Car Insurance Premium After an Accident
Allstate $1,013$1,706
Farmers$797$1,138
GEICO$615$982
Liberty Mutual $823$1,144
Nationwide $639$952
Progressive $644$1,088
State Farm$676$810
USAA$567$767

 

No matter which insurance company you choose, being involved in an at-fault accident will raise your car insurance rate. If you have a recent at-fault collision on your driving record, look to USAA for the cheapest car insurance rates. If you don't qualify for USAA coverage, consider State Farm.

It's the "golden rule" of car insurance: as your driving profile changes, so will your premium. Not every company will assess your profile and apply rate changes in the same way. If you’ve been involved in a collision and your auto insurance rate increases, shop around to find a company that upcharges less after a collision than does your current insurance provider.

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How to find the best cheap car insurance after receiving a driving citation

"Violation" is a broad term comprising a number of offenses. Included in our insurance price analysis are violations with major financial implications: a DUI or DWI, driving with a suspended license, hit-and-run and reckless driving. Here's how rates from popular auto insurance companies compare for drivers with recent infractions.

 

Which company is cheapest for car insurance if I have a DUI, DWI, or OWI?

Aside from the legal implications of a DUI, having one on your insurance record will, on average, raise your car insurance premium by $485 every six months. Allstate is the car insurance company that raises rates the most after a DUI citation — by over $900 every six months.

cheapest insurances with dui
Company6-Month Premium Without DUI
Auto Insurance Rate With DUI
Allstate$1,013$2,001
Farmers$797$1,244
GEICO$615$1,377
Liberty Mutual$823$1,317
Nationwide$639$1,479
Progressive$644$919
State Farm$676$940
USAA$567$1,106

 

After a DUI, premiums for Progressive and State Farm increased by under $300, the smallest financial penalty for drinking and driving among these insurers. While Progressive isn't the cheapest auto insurance company for a driver without a DUI, the $275 increase is well under the national average rate hike following a DUI conviction.

This is why it’s important to not become complacent with your insurance company. Just because GEICO was the cheapest insurance company before a DUI doesn't mean things will stay as-is with a serious violation on your record.

 

Where can I find low car insurance rates after receiving a driving with a suspended license citation?

While the average annual increase from driving with a suspended license is about $909, rates vary substantially by company. While State Farm's auto insurance rates are already quite cheap for drivers without violations, they tend to remain the cheapest after a citation for driving with a suspended license.

Company6-Month Premium Without License Suspension
Premium After Suspended License Citation
Allstate$1,013$1,973
Farmers$797$1,335
GEICO$615$1,177
Liberty Mutual$823$1,258
Nationwide$639$1,414
Progressive$644$1,037
State Farm$676$877
USAA$567$1,042

 

If you've been convicted of driving with a suspended license, your best bet for cheap auto insurance might be State Farm. After an incident, companies that were originally the cheapest without any prior claims or convictions may no longer be cheap options.

 

Which is the cheapest auto insurance company after a hit-and-run violation?

In most states, a hit-and-run incident is the most expensive citation you can receive — even more costly than a DUI. If you’re ticketed as a result of a hit-and-run, finding an affordable auto insurance quote can be difficult.

best cheap for hit and run violation
Company6-Month Premium Without Hit-and-Run Charge
Premium After Hit-and-Run
Allstate$1,013$2,001
Farmers$797$1,345
GEICO$615$1,386
Liberty Mutual$823$1,333
Nationwide$639$1,321
Progressive$644$1,061
State Farm$676$919
USAA$567$1,146

 

State Farm is an affordable option after a hit-and-run. State Farm increases rates by just $243, $349 less than the average among other major insurance companies. Rate increases after a DUI ($485 every six months) and a license suspension ($455) are less expensive than the cost increase after a hit-and-run.

 

Car insurance costs after a reckless driving ticket

The definition of reckless driving can vary by state. In general, it is described as driving with a general disregard for the rules of the road and other drivers — and it comes with a pretty hefty fine. On average, a reckless driving charge will raise your six-month premium by over $450.

cheapest insurances with reckless driving
Company6-Month Premium Without Reckless Driving Charge
Premium After Reckless Driving
Allstate$1,013$1,949
Farmers$797$1,309
GEICO$615$1,225
Liberty Mutual$823$1,275
Nationwide$639$1,357
Progressive$644$1,015
State Farm$676$906
USAA$567$841

 

If you don't qualify for USAA — the cheapest insurance company after a reckless driving violation — State Farm is the second-cheapest insurer. State Farm has a six-month premium of $906 — a $230 post-violation increase. If you have a reckless driving charge on your record, consider USAA, State Farm and Progressive in your search for an affordable car insurance quote.

 

Additional resources

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How much does it cost to add teen drivers to my insurance policy?

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, adding a teen driver increases annual car insurance rates by about 83%. This is because of the risks posed by teen drivers: they're less experienced and more likely to take risks behind the wheel, leaving the insurance company vulnerable.

We assessed premiums from top insurers after adding a teen to the car insurance policy of a married couple.

Insurance Company6-Month Premium Without Teen Driver
Insurance Premium After Adding Teen Driver
Allstate$853$1,642
Farmers$757$1,455
GEICO$621$1,267
Liberty Mutual$647$1,270
Nationwide$628$1,063
Progressive$680$1,427
State Farm$642$1,221
USAA$397$823

 

USAA is the cheapest company for adding a teen driver to your policy, with Nationwide coming in as second-cheapest. Bear in mind, the data above was generated by averaging the projected premium for a teen male driver and a teen female driver. A male teenager, on average, costs $239 more in annual premium than a female driver. This is because of the additional risk presented by a young male driver compared to a female driver.

 

Additional resources

To find out which company has the cheapest rates for teen drivers of specific ages, consult our in-depth guides:

 

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Which auto insurance companies offer the best cheap car insurance for drivers at various credit levels?

Insurance companies place substantial weight on your credit score, using it to determine risk. Studies by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) show drivers with low credit scores not only file more claims than drivers with higher credit scores, but the actual dollar amount is greater than higher scoring drivers. Drivers with better credit scores are considered lower-risk clients, thus paying less for auto insurance. On average, moving from one credit tier to the next among our selected insurers saves an average of $392 in annual premium payments.

Average Premium With Poor and Excellent Credit.png
CompanyPremium w/ Poor CreditPremium w/ Excellent Credit
Allstate$1,577$927
Farmers$1,179$706
GEICO$903$502
Liberty Mutual$1,707$705
Nationwide$785$500
Progressive$1,181$526
State Farm$1,481$544
USAA$1,382$566

If you have bad credit, you should consider Nationwide and GEICO in your search. This is especially important considering the average cost of insurance for drivers with "bad credit" can be over $1,500 more expensive annually than premiums for those the "excellent" group. If you have excellent credit, GEICO is $70 cheaper than the average for that credit group.

For more information related to car insurance and credit, see our related articles:

 

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Insurance history and car insurance rates

As a general rule, the longer you have insurance the cheaper your premium will be. Insurance companies use data showing those who cover their vehicles above and beyond state minimum coverage requirements are less likely to file a claim or get into an accident. These drivers are also considered more financially stable.

Because of this decreased risk, insurance companies provide lower rates for longer-term clients. If you're new to the world of insurance, you should start your record with higher than state minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. This will protect your property and get you off on the right foot with insurance companies.

The data below is based on two 30-year-old drivers with either no history of liability insurance history or five years of high-liability limit car insurance coverage. With all other metrics constant, the same car insurance quote is $62 cheaper for the driver with a longer insurance history.

Average Premium by Insurance History.png
Company6-Month Premium With No Insurance History6-Month Premium With 5 Years Insured
Allstate$1,131$984
Farmers$923$774
GEICO$633$548
Liberty Mutual$1,050$752
Nationwide$661$527
Progressive$688$625
State Farm$646$646
USAA$664$614

If you're looking for insurance and you either don't have an insurance background or only have a history of carrying state-minimum coverage, GEICO could be an affordable option.

For more information on cheap car insurance coverage, see our resources:

 

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Car insurance rates by primary vehicle use

While the majority of people use their vehicle for pleasure, using your personal auto policy for business use can bump up your premium quite a bit. This has to do with the way your insurance company views the increased risk that comes with using the vehicle for business uses.

The best place to start your search for cheap business-use car insurance is State Farm. A business-use policy isn't a commercial 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 can cover delivery drivers or salespeople.

Insurance Company

PleasureBusiness
Allstate$1,019$1,074
Farmers$788$904
GEICO$562$610
Liberty Mutual$735$810
Nationwide$541$624
Progressive$627$744
State Farm$646$599
USAA$636$766

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

 

Annual mileage and auto insurance rates

How much you drive — or your annual mileage — is an influential rating factor in places like California but can still positively and negatively affect your premium in other states. If you live in California, you can expect a 32% gap in average annual premiums between those who drive up to 7,500 miles a year and those who drive more than 15,000 miles a year. On average, the less you drive, the more it saves you — but this benefit is usually small.

 

Insurance Company0-7,500 Miles per Year15,501+ Miles per Year
Allstate$985$1,066
Farmers$782$800
GEICO$532$595
Liberty Mutual$706$738
Nationwide$541$541
Progressive$621$641
State Farm$592$651
USAA$612$669

 

Car insurance companies can raise the rates of drivers who tally above-average annual mileage because more time on the road equates to additional risk. If you drive more than 12,000 miles a year, your best bet for affordable auto insurance is Nationwide.

 

Additional resources

For more information on annual mileage and car insurance, including which insurance providers offer low rates for low-mileage customers, see our 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 compare quotes from multiple companies to see which offers the best coverage at the best rate.

 

Remember: your car insurance rate is specific to you

Myriad 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. The car insurance discount is greater for the former, with a homeowners-plus-auto combo saving an average of $145 per year, compared to $79 for a renters-and-auto pairing. The discount affects both policies. The estimated savings below refers only to the auto insurance policy discount.

AVERAGE MULTI-POLICY INSURANCE BUNDLE DISCOUNTS
RentersHomeowners
$79$145

 

Telematics- and usage-based insurance policies

Telematics — or usage-based insurance — is a growing trend in the insurance industry. These programs track your driving habits via an in-car device. Your car insurance rates will be determined by your driving habits, including speed, mileage, and other factors, rather than your age, credit history, or location. Some insurance providers offer major discounts for good drivers who opt for telematics-based insurance.

 

CompanyEstimated Savings
Progressive SnapShotAverage of $130
Allstate DrivewiseAverage of 10 to 25%
State Farm Drive Safe & SaveUp to 15%
Nationwide SmartRideUp to 40%
Liberty Mutual RightTrackAverage of 5- to 0%
GEICO DriveEasyVaries

 

Not every state authorizes the use of telematics programs. Check with your company or insurance agent to gauge your eligibility.

 

Consider your coverage needs carefully

Your 2003 Pontiac isn't gaining value over time. If you own an older vehicle, it might not require the same levels of coverage as a newer vehicle, i.e., comprehensive and collision insurance. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when thinking about your insurance coverage options.

  • Using Kelley Blue Book and the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association), determine the market value of your vehicle.
  • Using the information from step 1, look at the difference in price between having full coverage (comprehensive and collision) and having only liability. If the amount of money you save in premium from losing full coverage is not enough to cover or replace your vehicle (which you determined from step 1), keep these coverages.
  • If you determine that you still need comprehensive and collision coverage, consider raising your deductible. By raising your deductible, you lower your premium as you assume a greater amount of financial responsibility if your vehicle is totaled.

Note: Even if you remove these optional coverages, you should keep your bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. Consider keeping your uninsured/underinsured coverage as well.

Learn more about how to find the best cheap full coverage auto insurance.

 

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.

 

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 that systems such as night vision devices, park assist devices and rearview cameras did not result in a discount.

AVERAGE INSURANCE SAVINGS WITH SAFETY DEVICES
Safety/Anti-Theft DeviceAverage Annual PremiumDiscount
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

Naturally, this discount is offered for 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 you've maintained a clean driving record — meaning no at-fault accidents or violations — and aren't receiving a discount, speak with your insurance company and ask if they offer a discount for good drivers. By keeping a clean slate, you can earn a discount of approximately 10% while avoiding the costly penalties listed below.

AVERAGE ANNUAL INSURANCE COST INCREASE BY VIOLATION
Accident/Violation6-Month Premium Increase
None
Speeding 11 - 15 MPH Over Limit$203
Speeding 16 - 20 MPH Over Limit$233
Speeding 21 - 25 MPH Over Limit$261
At-Fault Accident$329
Reckless Driving$445
Racing$490
DUI$477

 

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. Moreover, 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 upfront or through automatic payments, this is a great way to get cheaper car insurance.

AVERAGE RATES: ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER (EFT) AUTO INSURANCE DISCOUNT
YesNoAnnual Savings
$1,462$1,483$21
AVERAGE RATES BY PAYMENT PLAN
Paid-in-FullInstallmentsAnnual Savings
$1,410$1,483$73

 

Occupational discounts

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.

If you'd like more information on finding cheap car insurance via profession-based discounts, see our other articles:

 

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 (6-12 months) as proof.

GOOD STUDENT DISCOUNTS: AVERAGE SAVINGS
Average TeenAverage Male TeenAverage Female Teen
$283$360$207

 

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Low-cost car insurance near you: comparing rates by state

Because every driver, location and situation is different, it's hard to say which insurance company will provide the cheapest rates. To find out which company offers the best cheap car insurance for you, shop around every six months and compare auto insurance options from multiple insurance providers.

Find the best cheap car insurance rates in your state:

AlabamaKentuckyNorth Dakota
AlaskaLouisianaOhio
ArizonaMaineOklahoma
ArkansasMarylandOregon
CaliforniaMassachusettsPennsylvania
ColoradoMichiganRhode Island
ConnecticutMinnesotaSouth Carolina
DelawareMississippiSouth Dakota
District of ColumbiaMissouriTennessee
FloridaMontanaTexas
GeorgiaNebraskaUtah
HawaiiNevadaVermont
IdahoNew HampshireVirginia
IllinoisNew JerseyWashington
IndianaNew MexicoWest Virginia
IowaNew YorkWisconsin
KansasNorth CarolinaWyoming


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Recent Questions:

Need low income car insurance in California

California is one of the few states that has government sponsored car insurance programs. You can apply for this program online through their DMV page or here.

Zero down payment car insurance

Most "standard" insurance companies don't advertise based on no down payments or being able to pay as you go. This is because they believe it will attract risky clients.

How can I get an affordable car insurance rate in California with no credit?

California does not allow credit to be used for car insurance purposes so you won't have to worry about that impacting your rate. Finding an affordable rate is all about shopping with as many companies as possible to find your best insurance option.

I would like car insurance for around 40 to 60 per month

Although lots of car insurance companies advertise "name your price tools," it doesn't really work that way. Your car insurance quote is based on a driving profile made of driving and non-driving factors.

Kristine Lee
Kristine Lee LinkedIn

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent and one of The Zebra’s in-house content strategists. With a background in copywriting, she covers the ins and outs of the home and car insurance industries. She has contributed to numerous publications focused on the nuances of insurance, including Automoblog, USInsuranceAgents.com, and BestCompany.com.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We’re an independent, unbiased partner for consumers, on a mission to help you compare insurance options apples-to-apples, so you can make a truly informed decision. We’re proud because: