Here's what you need to know when driving in North Carolina
The average North Carolina driver pays $1,067 per year for car insurance — 30% less than the U.S. average. However, there's more that goes into setting your auto insurance rates than just your location. Car insurance rates are comprised of many factors, often including age and driving record. The Zebra's team of experts analyzed thousands of North Carolina car insurance rates for many such factors to help you find an affordable policy.
Learn how much car insurance costs in North Carolina based on these variables, or enter your ZIP code above to get customized quotes from the top insurers in the country.
The best car insurance companies in North Carolina
Erie Insurance is a top-rated insurance company, receiving a score of 874 on J.D. Power's 2021 auto study for the Southeast region.
State Farm comes in third place, scoring in the top three in The Zebra's survey and getting a score of 859 in J.D. Power's 2021 customer satisfaction survey.
The cheapest car insurance companies in North Carolina
For the following scenarios, these companies offer the cheapest rates.
The cheapest rates are from North Carolina Farm Bureau at $864 annually, or $72 per month.
Erie Insurance has the cheapest rates for drivers with bad credit on average, coming in at $1,130 annually, or about $94 per month.
If you're a teen driver, consider checking with State Farm, where average rates come in at $1,550 annually, or $129 per month.
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.
North Carolina auto insurance laws
Car insurance is mandatory in nearly all states, including North Carolina. For the minimum required coverage in North Carolina, you can expect to owe an average of $426 each year. This is less expensive than the nationwide average by 21%.
For the minimum required coverage in North Carolina, you can expect to owe an average of $426 each year.
State minimum coverage
In North Carolina, drivers are required to maintain auto insurance at or above the below levels:
- Bodily Injury $30,000 per person
- Bodily Injury $60,000 per accident
- Property Damage $25,000 per accident
- Bodily Injury $30,000 per person
- Bodily Injury $60,000 per accident
- Property Damage $25,000 per accident
Optional coverage in North Carolina (varies by carrier):
- Loan/Lease Payoff
- Medical Payments
- Rental Car Reimbursement
- Roadside Assistance
If you opt for better car insurance coverage, you can choose a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage, insuring against damages caused by car-on-car collisions, auto theft, or weather incidents. Better car insurance has a cost: in North Carolina, a comprehensive policy with a $1,000 deductible costs around $990, 132% more than state-minimum only coverage. For a comprehensive policy with a $500 deductible, expect to pay about $1,103 on average.
In North Carolina, a comprehensive policy with a $1,000 deductible costs around $990, 132% more than state-minimum only coverage.
Compare car insurance rates from the best companies in North Carolina.
North Carolina car insurance premiums by rating factor
Car insurance companies use many different individual factors when determining your rates. These can include your driving history, location and age. Take a look at the average premium costs by rating factor in the tables below to see much you should be paying for auto insurance in North Carolina.
Cheap auto insurance in North Carolina for minimum coverage
Those looking for cheap car insurance often lean towards minimum liability coverage. This is simply the lowest amount of coverage that you can carry while remaining legal. While price is an important consideration, it's not the best option to forego important coverage, as this can leave you and your vehicle at risk. Have a look at the table below to get a sense of where to start if looking for affordable coverage in North Carolina.
Cheap auto insurance in North Carolina with bad credit
Credit history is a major factor in determining how much you pay for car insurance, at least in most states. Most carriers equate a poor credit history with high-risk drivers, meaning you could pay more for your policy. On average, North Carolina drivers with poor credit pay around $1,573 per year, 56% more than those with exceptional credit. Have a look at some common rates by credit tier below.
Cheap auto insurance in North Carolina with an at-fault accident
Driving history plays a big part in how much you pay for insurance coverage. Those with a recent at-fault accident will almost definitely see higher rates, as insurers will see you as being higher risk. On average, an at-fault accident can cause car insurance rates to increase to as much as $1,843 per year.
Safe driver discounts
In addition to having a cheaper premium, some companies offer a safe driving discount. While the amount varies based on your company, it can range between 5 and 10%.
Cheap auto insurance for young drivers in North Carolina
Drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 pay much high car insurance rates generally. However, the highest rates are often paid by those aged 16 to 19. Because of the risk presented by inexperienced drivers, teen drivers pay more than three times the national average for car insurance. In North Carolina, teen drivers pay especially high rates: $2,585 per year — 142% more than the state average.
North Carolina auto insurance rate by violation
In North Carolina, a bad driving record will cause your rates to skyrocket. If you receive a ticket, your auto insurance premiums may get more expensive. That amount depends on the specific citation, your insurance company's pricing strategy, and local insurance regulations. That's why tickets may have a different impact on insurance in your state compared to the national average.
See below average auto insurance rates in North Carolina after some common violations.
|Accident/Violation||Avg. Annual Premium||% Rate Increase||$ Rate Increase|
|One Med/PIP claim||$1,148||0%||$0|
|One comp claim||$1,191||4%||$43|
|Two Med/PIP claims||$1,191||4%||$43|
|Two comp claims||$1,229||7%||$81|
|Failure to show documents||$1,359||18%||$212|
|Child safety restraint||$1,502||31%||$354|
|Driving without lights||$1,502||31%||$354|
|Failure to wear a seat belt||$1,502||31%||$354|
|Cell phone violation||$1,582||38%||$435|
|Texting while driving||$1,582||38%||$435|
|Speeding 6 - 10 MPH over limit||$1,600||39%||$453|
|Driving with expired registration||$1,602||40%||$455|
|Wrong way/wrong lane||$1,637||43%||$489|
|Operating a vehicle without permission||$1,637||43%||$489|
|Driving too slowly||$1,637||43%||$489|
|Failure to stop at a red light||$1,637||43%||$489|
|Failure to yield||$1,637||43%||$489|
|Speeding in school zone||$1,645||43%||$497|
|At-fault accident - less than $1000||$1,658||45%||$511|
|At-fault accident - $1000-$2000||$1,658||45%||$511|
|In 65 MPH zone||$1,747||52%||$599|
|Speeding 11 - 15 MPH over limit||$1,747||52%||$599|
|Speeding 16 - 20 MPH over limit||$1,754||53%||$607|
|Speeding 21 - 25 MPH over limit||$1,754||53%||$607|
|Following too closely||$1,797||57%||$649|
|At-fault accident - greater than $2000||$1,928||68%||$781|
|Passing school bus||$2,195||91%||$1,047|
|Driving with a suspended license||$3,429||199%||$2,281|
|Leaving scene of an accident/hit and run||$4,819||320%||$3,671|
|Refusal to submit to a chemical test||$4,875||325%||$3,727|
North Carolina DUI laws
A DUI offense in North Carolina can increase your annual car insurance premium to an average of $4,888. That’s 102% more than the national average rate hike after a DUI. Finding affordable auto insurance in the wake of a DUI violation isn’t simple. In fact, a DUI often brings about a bigger premium increase than any single road violation — more than an at-fault accident, racing, or reckless driving.
Low-cost car insurance after a DUI in North Carolina
Those with a DUI or DWI violation in North Carolina must consider insurance choices carefully. Auto insurance premiums following a DUI can vary substantially by insurer. For example, the least expensive car insurance company with a DUI in North Carolina, North Carolina Farm Bureau, has an annual average rate that is 27% less than the statewide average insurance rate with a DUI. The second-cheapest insurer for auto insurance after a DUI in North Carolina is State Farm, while the priciest firm is Allstate, with prices 66% above average.
There is no car insurer in particular that offers inexpensive DUI car insurance. The recommended way to save in the wake of a DUI citation is to shop around.
Compare and buy car insurance online or reach out to an insurance agent to assess your choices and find a cost-effective policy.
North Carolina SR-22 insurance
An SR-22 is a routine legal requirement triggered by a violation such as a DUI conviction, a ticket for driving without insurance, an at-fault collision, driving with a suspended license, or accumulating too many points on your license. It is not a type of insurance policy, but a form issued by your insurance company to your many to your state to ensure that you remain insured.
The state of North Carolina does not utilize the SR-22. Instead, the stead operates on a system called the Safe Driver Incentive Plan. This plan assigns a certain amount of "insurance points" based on the seriousness of the infraction. Drivers will see a corresponding percentage increase to their rates. For instance, driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 amounts in 12 points and a 340% rate increase.
Finding cheap auto insurance with a serious traffic infraction in North Carolina might require some research, but it could pay off in the end.
2, as you will need to furnish proof of insurance to receive the certificate. In this scenario, purchase a non-owners car insurance policy before filing an SR-22 request. Non-owners auto insurance is typically less expensive than traditional coverage since it doesn't protect against material damage to your vehicle.
Find an affordable policy in minutes!
Rates by city
Car insurance companies calculate your rate based on many factors, the location of the vehicle being an important one. The cheapest car insurance is found in Alexander, North Carolina, and the most expensive in Newell, North Carolina.
Have a look at the table below to see average car insurance costs in some of North Carolina's biggest cities.
Car insurance price trends in North Carolina
In North Carolina, average annual auto insurance costs increased by $56 in the past year. A typical North Carolina driver pays an average of $1,067 per year.
The recent pricing trend in North Carolina leans toward slightly more expensive car insurance costs. Between 2021 and 2018, rates went up by an average of around $25 each year. At the same time, car insurance rates across the United States have jumped in the past few years, jumping from $1,470 in 2018 to $1,529 in 2021.
|Year||Avg. Annual Premium — Texas||Yearly Change — Texas||Avg. Annual Premium — US||Yearly Change — US|
North Carolina car insurance FAQs
Below you'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding North Carolina auto insurance.
Who has the cheapest car insurance in North Carolina?
How much is car insurance in North Carolina?
What type of car insurance is required in North Carolina?
Save money on your next car insurance policy!
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If I buy a car from someone who has let their insurance lapse am I responsible for paying for their insurance lapse at all? Or am I responsible for their penalty?
Can I get a short-term insurance policy for my car if I'm a US citizen living in Mexico but will be coming back to the US for a few weeks?
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.