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Renata Balasco

Senior Content Strategist

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Renata joined The Zebra in 2020 as a Customer Experience Agent. Since 2021, she has worked as licensed insurance professional and content strategist.…

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

Here's what you need to know when driving in Washington, D.C.

The average car insurance rate in Washington, D.C. is $1,457 per year — 5% less than the U.S. average. Car insurance rates are impacted by more than just your location. Auto insurance rates comprise many factors, including a driver's age and driving history. The Zebra's experts analyzed average Washington, D.C. car insurance rates for these rating factors in an effort to help you find an affordable policy.

Read on to learn how much auto insurance costs in Washington, D.C. based on these variables, or submit your ZIP code above to receive personalized auto insurance quotes from top insurers.

The best car insurance companies in Washington, D.C.

Based on data from J.D. Power's 2021 Auto Satisfaction Study and The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey, we have compiled a list of the best car insurance companies in Washington, D.C.

1st place medal

Along with topping The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey, USAA received a score of 879 (out of 1,000) in J.D. Powers' 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for Washington, D.C.

2nd place medal
NJM Insurance

As a highly-rated regional carrier, NJM Insurance scored an 867 on J.D. Power's 2021 auto study.

3rd place medal

Erie Insurance placed third in this region with a score of 856 in J.D. Power's 2021 Auto Insurance Study. This carrier also received 4.3 stars out of 5 in The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey. 

Key takeaways
  • Washington, D.C. drivers pay about 5% less for car insurance on average
  • The cheapest major car insurance company is USAA

The cheapest car insurance companies in Washington, D.C.

These companies offer the cheapest rates in the following scenarios.

cheapest overall
USAA — cheapest overall

USAA — which is only available to military members and their families — was the cheapest company in Washington, D.C. at $107 per month.

cheapest after at-fault accident
USAA — cheapest after at-fault accident

USAA also has the cheapest rate after an at-fault accident, but if you don't qualify, Erie was the runner-up.

cheapest for teen drivers
Erie — cheapest for teen drivers

Auto insurance for young drivers can be exorbitantly expensive, but we found that Erie has the most affordable rate.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,284
Erie $1,406
Progressive $1,804
GEICO $1,988
State Farm $2,249
Nationwide $2,498
Allstate $4,598

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool data methodology

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool for home and auto insurance rates utilizes the latest ZIP code-level rate filings from across the U.S., sourced from Quadrant Information Services and S&P Global. These filings, typically updated annually or biennially by insurers, are verified through Quadrant’s QA process and then integrated into The Zebra’s estimator.

The displayed rates are based on a dynamic home and auto profile designed to reflect the content of the page. This profile is tailored to match specific factors such as age, location, and coverage level, which are adjusted based on the page content to show how these variables can impact premiums.

For a comprehensive understanding, see our detailed methodology.

Washington, D.C. auto insurance laws

Car insurance is mandatory in almost every state, including Washington, D.C. If you choose the legal minimum coverage level in Washington, D.C., expect to pay an average of $565 annually. This expenditure is less expensive than the nationwide average by 63%.

State minimum coverage

In order to drive legally in Washington, D.C., you must carry at least the minimum liability limits listed below:

Liability coverage:

  • Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury: $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage: $10,000 per accident

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage:

  • Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury: $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage: $5,000 per accident

Optional coverage in Washington, D.C. (varies by carrier):

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

If you opt for better coverage, you can choose a policy with comprehensive and collision, which will protect against the costs of car accidents, theft, vandalism or weather incidents. But better coverage comes with a cost: in Washington, D.C., a comprehensive insurance policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $1,257, 122% more than liability-only car insurance. For a comprehensive policy with a $500 deductible, expect to pay 163% more than you would for basic coverage.

The Zebra's guide to Washington, D.C. car insurance laws

Learn more about car insurance requirements in the nation's capital with our helpful guide.

Compare car insurance rates from the best companies in Washington, D.C.

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Washington, D.C. car insurance premiums by rating factor

Your rates are determined by a number of individual factors, including your coverage level, driving history, location and more. Explore average premium costs by rating factor below to get a better sense of how much you should be paying for auto insurance in Washington, D.C.

Cheap auto insurance in Washington, D.C. for minimum coverage

Choosing liability-only at the state minimum level instead of full coverage will make your car insurance significantly cheaper. In Washington, D.C., the average cost for minimum coverage is $47 per month, or $565 yearly — a savings of $923 compared to full coverage.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
Erie $525
USAA $556
GEICO $718
Progressive $799
State Farm $1,089
Allstate $1,191
Nationwide $1,191

Cheap auto insurance in Washington, D.C. with bad credit

Your credit history is an important factor in determining your car insurance rates. Many carriers see those with a poor credit score as being higher risk, meaning you could pay more for your policy. On average, Washington, D.C. drivers with poor credit pay $1,762 more per year than those with exceptional credit.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $2,423
Progressive $3,255
GEICO $3,540
Erie $3,726
Nationwide $3,728
State Farm $4,534
Allstate $5,914

Cheap auto insurance in Washington, D.C. with an at-fault accident

Your driving history plays a big part in how much you pay. Insurance companies look for previous accidents for which you have been at fault to gauge the level of risk you pose as a customer. An at-fault accident in recent years could see your car insurance rates increase by as much as $841 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
USAA $1,796
Erie $1,823
GEICO $2,902
State Farm $2,913
Progressive $3,392
Nationwide $3,657
Allstate $6,108

Cheap auto insurance for young drivers in Washington, D.C.

Young drivers — aged between 16 and 25 — pay very high car insurance rates, with those aged 16 to 19 paying the most expensive premiums of all. Because of the risk presented by inexperienced drivers, teen drivers pay more than three times the national average for car insurance. In Washington, D.C., teen drivers pay especially high rates: $5,343 per year — $3,814 more than the nationwide average and 267% more than a typical 30-year-old Washington, D.C. driver.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
Erie $3,535
USAA $3,743
GEICO $4,851
Nationwide $7,805
State Farm $8,538
Allstate $12,842
Progressive $13,235

Washington, D.C. auto insurance rate by violation

In Washington, D.C., a bad driving record will cause your rates to skyrocket. If you receive a ticket or citation, your auto insurance premiums will probably rise. How much depends on the violation, your insurer's pricing standards and differing local insurance regulations and risks. 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 Washington, D.C. after a few common citations.

Accident/Violation Avg. Annual Premium % Rate Increase $ Rate Increase
None $2,212 0% $0
One Med/PIP claim $2,212 0% $0
Two Med/PIP claims $2,250 2% $37
Not-at-fault accident $2,258 2% $45
One comp claim $2,277 3% $64
Two comp claims $2,305 4% $92
Failure to show documents $2,531 14% $319
Failure to wear a seat belt $2,547 15% $335
Driving with expired registration $2,548 15% $336
Child safety restraint $2,572 16% $360
Cell phone violation $2,582 17% $370
Texting while driving $2,582 17% $370
Driving without lights $2,599 17% $386
Speeding 6 - 10 MPH over limit $2,600 18% $387
Driving too slowly $2,600 18% $387
Speeding in school zone $2,600 18% $387
Failure to yield $2,607 18% $395
Wrong way/wrong lane $2,607 18% $395
Failure to stop at a red light $2,607 18% $395
Speeding 11 - 15 MPH over limit $2,611 18% $399
Following too closely $2,615 18% $402
Improper passing $2,615 18% $402
Illegal turn $2,615 18% $402
Speeding 16 - 20 MPH over limit $2,615 18% $402
In 65 MPH zone $2,619 18% $406
Passing school bus $2,659 20% $446
Speeding 21 - 25 MPH over limit $2,705 22% $493
Operating a vehicle without permission $2,736 24% $523
Open container $2,900 31% $688
At-fault accident - less than $1000 $2,989 35% $776
At-fault accident - $1000-$2000 $3,136 42% $923
At-fault accident - greater than $2000 $3,136 42% $923
Driving with a suspended license $3,372 52% $1,160
Reckless driving $3,422 55% $1,210
Racing $3,427 55% $1,215
Refusal to submit to a chemical test $3,587 62% $1,374
DUI $3,587 62% $1,374
Leaving scene of an accident/hit and run $3,637 64% $1,425

Washington, D.C. DUI laws

In Washington, D.C., a DUI offense can increase your annual car insurance premium by over $1,370. 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 Washington, D.C.

If you're convicted of a DUI or DWI violation in Washington, D.C., it’s key to mull over each of your 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 Washington, D.C., Erie, advertises annual rates 39% less than the statewide average insurance rate with a DUI. The second-cheapest insurer for auto insurance after a DUI in Washington, D.C. is Progressive, while the priciest firm is Allstate, with prices 58% above average.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
Erie $2,174
Progressive $2,225
USAA $2,479
State Farm $3,460
GEICO $3,488
Nationwide $4,804
Allstate $5,662

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.

Washington, D.C. 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 with the state of Washington, D.C. to ensure that you remain insured.

Finding cheap auto insurance with an SR-22 in Washington, D.C. might require some research, but it could pay off in the end.


How to acquire an SR-22 in Washington, D.C.

For currently insured drivers

If you already have auto insurance, getting an SR-22 certificate is straightforward. Contact your car insurance company and ask the company to file an SR-22 request for you. If your insurer isn’t willing to file a request, you'll need to look for a new insurer.


For uninsured drivers

When filing for a new policy, you might be saddled with an up-front fee to have your prospective insurer file an SR-22 request for you and to cover your high-risk driving profile. Needing an SR-22 might disqualify you from purchasing insurance from some companies, while others would be happy to sell you a policy.


For drivers without a vehicle

Not owning a vehicle makes it more difficult to obtain an SR-22, 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 Washington, D.C. in minutes!

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Car insurance price trends in Washington, D.C.

In Washington, D.C., average annual auto insurance costs increased by $30 in the past year. A typical Washington, D.C. driver pays an average of $1,457 per year.

The recent pricing trend in Washington, D.C. leans toward slightly pricier car insurance costs and remains lower than the national average. The steepest decrease occurred from 2015 to 2016, while the highest surge took place from 2016 to 2017. At the same time, car insurance rates across the United States have stayed relatively steady in the past few years, moving from $1,521 in 2018 to $1,529 in 2021.

Year Avg. Annual Premium — Washington, D.C. Yearly Change — Washington, D.C. Avg. Annual Premium — US Yearly Change — US
2021 $1,457 $30 $1,529 $46
2020 $1,427 $34 $1,483 -$61
2019 $1,393 -$188 $1,544 $23
2018 $1,581 -$215 $1,521 $84
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 -$81
2012 $1,577 $323 $1,276 $82

If your rates are rising faster than the average in your state, compare quotes and find a better deal. The Zebra's car insurance comparison engine furnishes quotes based on your specific profile — enter your ZIP below to get started.

Washington, D.C. car insurance FAQs

Below you'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Washington, D.C. auto insurance.

Car insurance in the District of Columbia has premiums that are relatively consistent with the national average: $729 for a 6-month policy or $121/month.

The average cost of auto insurance in Washington, D.C. is actually on par with the rest of the country, as it's just 5% less than the nationwide average.

Save money on your next car insurance policy!

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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 editorial 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.