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The cheapest car insurance companies

usaa
USAA

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

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

nationwide
Nationwide

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

Car insurance premiums are priced to fit each individual driver. Insurance companies evaluate each applicant's driving history, demographic data and other factors to determine the level of risk they present.

The Zebra analyzed rates from popular insurance companies 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 in the table below, or continue reading to see rates from more large insurance companies.

Best Cheap Car Insurance.png
Insurance companyAverage monthly rateAverage annual rate
USAA$94$1,128
GEICO$102$1,224
Nationwide$106$1,272
Progressive$107$1,284
State Farm$112$1,344

Cheapest car insurance companies after an accident

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 ($127 per month).

 

CAR INSURANCE RATES AFTER AN AT-FAULT ACCIDENT CLAIM
Insurance companyMonthly rate (no accident)Monthly rate (after accident)
Allstate $168$284
Farmers$143$209
GEICO$102$164
Liberty Mutual $137$190
Nationwide $106$158
Progressive $107$181
State Farm$112$135
USAA$94$127

 

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. 

Auto insurance data methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of The Zebra's State of Insurance car insurance pricing analysis. This analysis of more than 83 million insurance rates spans every U.S. ZIP code, using a sample user profile: a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord, good credit and full coverage at these levels:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
  • $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage

To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the driving profile based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies. These factors include credit score, coverage level, driving record and others.

In some instances, average rates from Liberty Mutual were derived from internally sourced sales data.

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 month.

Progressive is the most affordable choice after a DUI or DWI offense, while Allstate raises rates by the most after a DUI citation.

cheapest insurances with dui
INSURANCE RATES WITH A DUI2
Insurance companyMonthly rate (no DUI)
Monthly rate (after DUI)
Allstate$168$333
Farmers$143$207
GEICO$102$229
Liberty Mutual$137$219
Nationwide$106$246
Progressive$107$153
State Farm$112$156
USAA$94$184

Progressive and State Farm assess relatively small penalties against drivers with DUIs, upping rates by less than $50 per month. Progressive's $46-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. State Farm is the cheapest company after a citation for driving with a suspended license.

Insurance companyMonthly rate (no suspended license ticket)
Monthly rate (after suspended license ticket)
Allstate$168$328
Farmers$143$222
GEICO$102$196
Liberty Mutual$137$209
Nationwide$106$235
Progressive$107$172
State Farm$112$146
USAA$94$173
 

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 $153 per month.

best cheap for hit and run violation
Insurance companyMonthly rate (no hit-and-run)
Monthly rate (after hit-and-run)
Allstate$168$333
Farmers$143$224
GEICO$102$231
Liberty Mutual$137$222
Nationwide$106$220
Progressive$107$176
State Farm$112$153
USAA$94$191

 

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.

cheapest insurances with reckless driving
Insurance companyMonthly rate (no reckless driving ticket)
Monthly rate (after reckless driving ticket)
Allstate$168$324
Farmers$143$218
GEICO$102$204
Liberty Mutual$137$212
Nationwide$106$226
Progressive$107$169
State Farm$112$151
USAA$94$140

If you don't qualify for USAA, State Farm is the second-cheapest insurer after a reckless driving citation, at $151 per month. 

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high risk driving
Find the policy for you

If you're having trouble getting cheap car insurance, consult The Zebra's explainer on how to find car insurance for high-risk drivers.

good driver insurance
Drive safely and save

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

types of insurance
Brush up on the basics

Learn more about common types of insurance, including comprehensive coverage and state-minimum liability coverage

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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 do older drivers. 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.

CAR INSURANCE RATES FOR TEEN DRIVERS
Insurance companyMonthly 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

Teen drivers and insurance: more data

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

 


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.

Average Premium With Poor and Excellent Credit.png
 
Insurance companyMonthly rate (bad credit)Monthly rate (excellent credit)
Allstate$262$154
Farmers$196$117
GEICO$150$83
Liberty Mutual$284$117
Nationwide$130$83
Progressive$196$87
State Farm$246$90
USAA$230$94

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.

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Cheapest insurance companies for business drivers

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.

Insurance company

Monthly rate, pleasure-use (Leisure)Monthly rate, business-use
Allstate$169$179
Farmers$131$150
GEICO$93$101
Liberty Mutual$122$135
Nationwide$90$104
Progressive$104$124
State Farm$107$99
USAA$106$127

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 GEICO. 

CAR INSURANCE RATES BY MILEAGE TIER
Insurance companyMonthly rate, low-mileage (0 - 7,500 MPY)Monthly rate, high-mileage (15,000+ MPY)
Allstate$164$177
Farmers$130$133
GEICO$88$99
Liberty Mutual$117$123
Nationwide$90$90
Progressive$103$106
State Farm$98$108
USAA$102$111

Additional information

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 compare quotes from multiple companies to see which offers the best coverage at the best rate.

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.

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.

Compare rates and find a policy or bundle in minutes.

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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 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 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

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.

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.


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:

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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Kristine Lee
Kristine LeeManager, Content and Data

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer.

She is an authority on all things insurance and covers the ins and outs of auto, home, life and renters insurance. Her specialty is in providing data-backed insights and information to help insurance shoppers make informed decisions.

Kristine's insurance expertise and research have been cited by publications such as CNBC, Car and Driver, Business Insider, Yahoo!, The Balance, Nationwide and Elephant.

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.