Car insurance discounts
Along with the initial purchase price and ongoing fuel expenditures, auto insurance is one of the costliest aspects of car ownership. According to the zebra's industry-leading annual study of auto insurance rates, the average car insurance rate in the U.S. is $1,548 per year.
Failing to explore the discounts for which you are eligible amounts to leaving money on the table. We’ve compiled a list of the most common car insurance discounts offered by 16 of America's most popular auto insurance companies to help you get the savings you deserve.
Common auto insurance discounts from A to Z
Advance Purchase Discount
When considering a move to a new car insurance carrier, timing is key. A coverage lapse of just one day can result in a hefty price increase. On the flip side, some insurance companies reward careful planners with discounts if you begin your policy seven days before your next premium is due to your current insurer. Make sure you give yourself at least two weeks before your current policy is up to shop around and find an applicable car insurance advance purchase discount.
|Advance Purchase (Days)||Avg. Annual Premium||% Savings|
Where you work, attend school, or pay membership fees may help you to save on your car insurance. Some insurance companies offer affinity discounts to those in occupations requiring less driving than average and to pre-selected occupations, such as police officers, firefighters, doctors, dentists, registered nurses, engineers, scientists, and teachers.
See our in-depth coverage of auto insurance affinity discounts.
Annual Mileage Discount
Car insurance companies are in the business of predicting and anticipating risk. By driving less, you're less likely to get into an accident and file a claim. This makes you a less risky, more appealing client to an insurance company. If you're a low-mileage driver, consider asking your insurance company about low-mileage discounts. Some insurance companies may require electronic monitoring of your mileage to confirm a rate reduction.
For more information on this discount, see our article on car insurance for low-mileage drivers.
Popular insurance carriers with annual mileage discounts include USAA, AAA, and Travelers.
A car equipped with anti-theft devices can save you the hardship of dealing with a stolen vehicle and the corresponding insurance headaches. Depending on your insurance company, you receive the added benefit of a discount. While the discounts listed below are quite small, more advanced anti-theft devices such as fuel/ignition cut off switches and tracking devices can save you an average of 10% to 25% on car insurance premiums.
|Anti-Theft Device||Avg. Annual Premium||% Difference|
|Passive Disabling Device||$1,417.69||0.67%|
|Active Disabling Device||$1,421.91||0.38%|
Popular insurance carriers offering anti-theft discounts: USAA, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, AAA, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Esurance, Nationwide, 21st Century.
Driving Class Discount
Discounts are often available after the successful completion of an accident-prevention or defensive driving course. These courses typically cover traffic laws, defensive driving techniques, and drug and alcohol education. These classes are typically available via states' Department of Public Safety or Department of Motor Vehicles. Contact your carrier to see which courses are approved for discounts and whether you qualify — some carriers may only offer defensive driving discounts for seniors.
New drivers under the age of 21 could benefit from the successful completion of a training course, which typically includes both a minimum number of classroom hours and supervised driving hours.
Top carriers offering driving class discounts: USAA, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, AAA, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Esurance, Nationwide, MetLife, American Family, Travelers, 21st Century.
Reducing the unnecessary use of paper is good for the earth, good for business, and potentially good for your wallet. A handful of companies offer discounted car insurance policies to customers who utilize e-Sign services — where you sign your policy documents online — or e-Pay options — where you receive paperless billing through email statements.
|e-Sign / e-Pay||Avg Annual Premium||% Savings|
Carriers offering paperless car insurance discounts: Progressive, Allstate, Nationwide, Travelers.
Good Driver Discount
A Good Driver Discount is an excellent perk for drivers with clean records. Eligibility for a good driver discount entails going a certain number of years — typically between three and five — with no at-fault accidents and no moving violations. Safe driver discounts tend to increase the longer your record has remained claim-free, and run between a savings of around 10% to 26%.
Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, GEICO, State Farm, Allstate, Esurance, Nationwide, MetLife, American Family, Travelers, 21st Century.
Good Student Discount
Car insurance companies consider good students less likely to drive in a risky manner. Many insurers reward students with grade point averages (GPAs) of 3.0 or better with good student discounts. This discount is often restricted to drivers under 25 and requires proof of GPA — typically via a transcript or report card — at the start of every policy period. Below are average savings from a good student discount combined with a good driver discount.
Popular insurance companies offering good student auto policy discounts: USAA, GEICO, Progressive (available in some states), State Farm, AAA, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Esurance, Nationwide, MetLife, American Family, Travelers, 21st Century.
Green Vehicle Discount
An eco-friendly car is also wallet-friendly, at least when it comes to car insurance (and fuel conservation). Instant discounts — typically up to 10% — may be available for drivers that own or lease hybrids or alternative-fuel vehicles. Since hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) are often built with the latest features (research from the Highway Loss Data Institute shows people traveling in hybrids are 25% less likely to be injured in an accident than people in traditional vehicles), you may qualify for additional discounts for newer safety developments like curtain airbags or Electronic Stability Control.
Companies offering green vehicle car insurance discounts: Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Travelers, 21st Century (available in some states).
Premiums are calculated based on the amount of risk a car insurance company shoulders when covering a policy. Homeowners (this includes traditional houses, condos or apartments) are considered to be low-risk (read: less likely to file claims), receiving a discount as a result.
|Homeowner Status||Avg. Premium|
|Renter w/ Multi-Policy||$1,350|
|Condo Owner W/ Multi-Policy||$1,280|
|Homeowner w/ Multipolicy||$1,261|
One way to get a car insurance discount is to buy Homeowners, Renters, or Condo insurance with the same insurer. This practice, commonly referred to as bundling, may translate into additional discounts with each policy. An added benefit of bundling is that you can keep track of and make changes to your current policies all in one place.
Carriers offering multi-policy car insurance discounts: USAA, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, AAA, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Esurance, Nationwide, MetLife, American Family, Travelers, 21st Century (available in some states).
Similar to the multi-policy discount, many insurance providers offer discounts for covering more than one vehicle on the same insurance policy. To qualify, the vehicles must be placed under a single policyholder’s name, be driven only by the policyholder or family members in the same household, and be currently in use, i.e., not in storage. The multi-car discount can be especially beneficial if you need to insure a teenage driver.
Restrictions vary, with some providers placing a four-vehicle cap on each policy.
Top Carriers that Offer this Discount: USAA, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, AAA, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Esurance, American Family, Travelers, 21st Century.
New Vehicle Discount
Savings between 10% to 30% are up for grabs if you’re covering a new car — or sometimes a vehicle less than three years old.
Insurers providing new vehicle discounts: USAA, AAA, Allstate, Travelers, 21st Century (available in some states).
Passive Restraint Discount
Factory-installed safety features like motorized seat belts and airbags not only keep you safe but also keep money in your pocket. Additional discounts may be available for other safety features like anti-lock brakes and daytime running lights. Consult your insurance carrier on discounts offered when shopping for a new car.
Carriers offering passive restraint discounts: USAA, GEICO, State Farm, AAA, Allstate, Farmers, Esurance, American Family, 21st Century.
Paying your annual premium in full means you can clear any thoughts about payment from your mind for 12 months, and perhaps more importantly, earn a discount. Almost half of the insurers we assessed offer a discount for paying your premium in full rather than in monthly or semi-annual installments.
|Payment Type||Avg. Annual Premium||% Savings|
Auto insurance companies with paid-in-full discounts: AAA, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Esurance, Travelers, The General, 21st Century (available in some states).
Distant Student Discount
If you are a college student attending an out-of-state — or just out-of-town — university, or if you have a young driver on your policy who is attending school far from home, the Distant Student Discount could save you up to 30%. Terms and mileage vary based on carrier, but the conditions are straightforward: an eligible student must attend a school several hundred miles from home, without access to a vehicle.
Carriers providing distant student discounts: State Farm, AAA, Allstate, Farmers, American Family, Travelers, 21st Century.
Telematics and usage-based insurance present new ways for auto insurance companies to price policies — and for good drivers to save. Telematics-based insurance involves an insurance company monitoring its client's driving via a plug-in device and calculating monthly premiums based on the client's driving habits. Telematics-informed premiums can be calculated as soon as six months into the policy. This is a great way to save on auto insurance premiums if you're a cautious driver, as your average speed and driving habits come into play in determining your premiums.
|Average of $130|
|Allstate||Average of 10-25%|
|State Farm||Up to 15%|
|Nationwide||Up to 40%|
|Liberty Mutual||Average of 5-30%|
Insurance companies with telematics discounts include Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, Esurance, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual (available in some states). Telematics is the central component of newer insurtech companies like Root and Metromile.
Car Insurance Promotions
Like any product, auto insurance prices fluctuate from time to time. While seasonal auto insurance promotions are uncommon, car insurance companies frequently modify their pricing strategies based on industry-wide data and adjustments to rating factors.
It pays to do your research when looking for the cheapest insurance coverage. Discounts for keeping a good driving record or for pairing a life insurance or homeowners insurance policy with auto coverage may entice you to stay with your current company. Some companies may even offer a customer loyalty discount for keeping their policy.
Ultimately, however, finding the best rates could come down to simply locating a cheaper auto insurance carrier. The Zebra can help by providing car insurance quotes from a number of the top car insurance companies, giving you the chance to compare rates and decide on the policy that's best for you. By seeking quotes every six months, you can keep your finger on the pulse of insurance prices and ensure you don't pass up an opportunity to save.