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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

1st place medal
USAA

Along with topping The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey, USAA received a score of 890 (out of 1,000) in J.D. Powers' 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for the Southeast region.

2nd place medal
Erie Insurance

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.

3rd place medal
State Farm

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.

Key takeaways
  • North Carolina drivers pay about 30% less for car insurance on average
  • USAA tops the list for best insurer in North Carolina
  • The cheapest car insurance company in North Carolina is North Carolina Farm Bureau

The cheapest car insurance companies in North Carolina

For the following scenarios, these companies offer the cheapest rates

Farm Bureau logo
Cheapest full coverage: North Carolina Farm Bureau

The cheapest rates are from North Carolina Farm Bureau at $864 annually, or $72 per month.

medal for most affordable
Cheapest with bad credit: Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance has the cheapest rates for drivers with bad credit on average, coming in at $1,130 annually, or about $94 per month. 

Most affordable medal
Cheapest for teen drivers: State Farm

If you're a teen driver, consider checking with State Farm, where average rates come in at $1,550 annually, or $129 per month.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
North Carolina Farm Bureau $864
State Farm $917
Erie $949
GEICO $965
Progressive $1,192
Nationwide $1,564
Allstate $1,774
Updated: 12/06/22.

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.


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:

Liability

  • Bodily Injury $30,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury $60,000 per accident
  • Property Damage $25,000 per accident

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

  • 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):

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Loan/Lease Payoff
  • Medical Payments
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance
car with blue windshield

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.

The Zebra's guide to North Carolina car insurance laws


Discover more about car insurance laws in North Carolina with our helpful guide.


Compare car insurance rates from the best companies in North Carolina.

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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.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
North Carolina Farm Bureau $350
State Farm $365
Erie $378
GEICO $434
Progressive $482
Nationwide $575
Allstate $685
Updated: 12/06/22.

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.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
Erie $1,130
Progressive $1,192
North Carolina Farm Bureau $1,387
GEICO $1,401
Nationwide $1,996
State Farm $2,112
Allstate $2,873
Updated: 12/06/22.

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%.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
North Carolina Farm Bureau $1,302
State Farm $1,414
Erie $1,504
Progressive $1,810
GEICO $2,008
Nationwide $2,495
Allstate $3,634
Updated: 12/06/22.

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.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
State Farm $1,550
North Carolina Farm Bureau $1,834
Erie $2,050
GEICO $2,478
Progressive $2,542
Nationwide $3,647
Allstate $3,955
Updated: 12/06/22.

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
None $1,148 0% $0
One Med/PIP claim $1,148 0% $0
Not-at-fault accident $1,168 2% $20
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
Driving without lights $1,502 31% $354
Failure to wear a seat belt $1,502 31% $354
Child safety restraint $1,502 31% $354
Texting while driving $1,582 38% $435
Cell phone violation $1,582 38% $435
Speeding 6 - 10 MPH over limit $1,600 39% $453
Driving with expired registration $1,602 40% $455
Failure to yield $1,637 43% $489
Failure to stop at a red light $1,637 43% $489
Driving too slowly $1,637 43% $489
Wrong way/wrong lane $1,637 43% $489
Illegal turn $1,637 43% $489
Open container $1,637 43% $489
Operating a vehicle without permission $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
Speeding 11 - 15 MPH over limit $1,747 52% $599
In 65 MPH zone $1,747 52% $599
Speeding 21 - 25 MPH over limit $1,754 53% $607
Speeding 16 - 20 MPH over limit $1,754 53% $607
Improper passing $1,783 55% $635
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
Reckless driving $2,215 93% $1,068
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
DUI $4,888 326% $3,741
Racing $4,971 333% $3,823
Updated: 12/06/22.

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.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
North Carolina Farm Bureau $3,571
State Farm $3,970
Erie $4,171
Progressive $5,013
GEICO $5,256
Nationwide $6,005
Allstate $8,107
Updated: 12/06/22.

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.

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.

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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.

City Avg. Annual Premium
Winston-Salem $1,055
Durham $1,138
Greensboro $1,158
Raleigh $1,159
Charlotte $1,318
Updated: 12/06/22.

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
2021 $1,067 $56 $1,529 $46
2020 $1,011 $8 $1,483 -$61
2019 $1,003 $35 $1,544 $74
2018 $968 -$828 $1,470 $32
2017 $1,796 $234 $1,437 $69
2016 $1,562 -$323 $1,368 $88
2015 $1,885 $216 $1,280 $51
2014 $1,669 $155 $1,229 $34
2013 $1,514 -$63 $1,195 -$80
2012 $1,577 $323 $1,276 $82

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? Chevron down icon

NC Farm Bureau offers the cheapest premiums for North Carolina drivers with an average rate of $432 for a six-month policy, or $72 per month. If you're interested in seeing quotes from multiple insurance companies, use our comparison tool to get started.

How much is car insurance in North Carolina? Chevron down icon

The average cost of car insurance in North Carolina is $1,068 per year for full coverage or $426 for liability-only.

What type of car insurance is required in North Carolina? Chevron down icon

North Carolina requires bodily injury and liability limits of 30/60/25 along with uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

Will GEICO increase my rates if I file a windshield claim?

This is a tricky question to answer. How a claim will impact your rate is specific to the coverage and company you have.
Aug 4, 2018 Charlotte, NC

What is Extended Transportation Expenses Coverage?

This is another way to describe rental reimbursement coverage. Meaning, if your vehicle would temporarily disabled due to a covered claim/incident, this coverage would reimburse you for the transportation expenses you have.
Feb 22, 2018 Fayetteville, North Carolina

Does car insurance cover vet bills for injured dogs?

Sorry to hear about your accident. There are some insurance companies that offer pet coverage for this exact situation, but if not, the injuries to your pets should be covered by the property damage liability of the at-fault party's insurance.
May 5, 2019 Star Valley Ranch, WY

If my laptop was stolen from my car, how do I get it replaced?

Your personal items should be covered by your renters insurance policy; even inside your vehicle. Keep in mind that your renters deductible will be subtracted from the amount you receive for your computer.
Feb 23, 2017 Wichita, KS

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.