Car Insurance Quotes

Find cheap car insurance quickly and easily — compare quotes online!

Getting cheap car insurance quotes easily and quickly


After finding your dream car, choosing the correct car insurance policy is a less exciting task. It’s often boring, inconvenient, and expensive, but in order to protect your investment and follow the rules of the road, it's a necessity. The good news is, getting cheap car insurance quotes doesn't need to be difficult — let's review some tips on how to find quotes and end up with an affordable insurance premium.


How to get cheap auto insurance quotes:
  1. What do I need to get a car insurance quote?
  2. Do insurance quotes cost money?
  3. What actually goes into my premium?
  4. Best ways to save on car insurance
  5. Car insurance quotes: summary and overview




How to find auto insurance quotes online


If you don’t want to spend your entire day dealing with car insurance companies, be sure you have the following information on hand to get an accurate quote.

  1. The driver's license and personal information of you and any other drivers on the policy: This includes date of birth, address, occupation, and marital status.
  2. Your car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): If you're getting a car insurance quote for a new car, reach out to the private seller or dealership to get the VIN. If you can't provide an exact VIN, you'll need to furnish the year, make, and model of the car to get a preliminary quote.
  3. Mileage
  4. Date of purchase
  5. Driving history: Your recent driving history — and that of any other driver on the policy — with accidents, citations, claims, and any completed driving courses.
  6. Insurance record: Some car insurance companies require six months to a year of continuous auto insurance prior to issuing you a policy. Ensure you can provide a brief history of your recent insurance background.



Are car insurance quotes "free"?


Many companies advertise "free" auto insurance quotes. Any car insurance quote you receive is and should be completely free. Insurance companies want to incentivize you to purchase a car insurance policy from them, so they’re not going to charge you for an up front assessment (the quote). When shopping around for insurance, remember you can find free car insurance quotes from a variety of sources.


Compare auto insurance quotes now!




What goes into a car insurance quote?


You might wonder how auto insurance quotes are calculated. It's important to understand the primary goal of an insurance company is to effectively predict risk and assign premiums based on the risk a particular driver may pose. Car insurance companies assess your entire driving profile to estimate this risk, including factors such as location, demographics, insurance history, driving record, and vehicle.


  1. Where you live
  2. Who you are
  3. Insurance history
  4. How you drive
  5. What you drive


1. Where you live

Because most forms of insurance are regulated at the state level, state legislation influences car insurance premiums. For instance, in Michigan, a no-fault state, state law requires an unlimited amount of Personal Injury Protection coverage, a requirement that increases the cost of car insurance. Although each state legislates insurance differently, auto insurance prices may vary on a zip code-by-zip code basis. Below is an analysis of the cheapest and most expensive states for car insurance (from The Zebra's State of Insurance study).


CHEAPEST AND MOST EXPENSIVE STATES FOR CAR INSURANCE

Most Expensive States Least Expensive States
Michigan - $2,610 North Carolina - $901
Louisiana - $2,225 Virginia - $901
Kentucky - $2,050 Maine - $927
Rhode Island - $2,004 Iowa - $1,015
Florida - $1,878 Idaho - $1,018
Texas - $1,810 Vermont - $1,027
Nevada - $1,802 Ohio - $1,037
Mississippi - $1,800 Wisconsin - $1,040
California - $1,731 Hawaii - $1,079
Delaware - $1,700 New Hampshire - $1,083

Whether you can get a cheap car insurance quote may come down to your zip code. If you live in a densely populated area, with a high number of auto insurance claims, your premium will be more expensive than that of a person living in a less dense and less claim-laden part of town. Even if you haven’t filed any claims, you could pay more based solely on your neighborhood.



2. Who you are

"Who you are" is a pretty broad way to talk about the kind of risk you represent to an insurance company. Every company takes different factors into consideration, including the below:



How gender affects car insurance quotes

Unless you’re a teen driver, your gender isn’t a significant auto insurance rating factor. In fact, the national difference between car insurance premiums paid by women and men is less than 1%. For teenagers, this premium difference is much more dramatic: male teen drivers pay nearly $600 more per year than do female teens. Again, this comes back to the main goal of an insurance company – anticipating and limiting exposure to risk. Car insurance companies' historical data says young male drivers are more likely to take risks while driving than are female drivers in the same age group.


AVERAGE CAR INSURANCE COSTS BY GENDER

Age Male Female
16 $2,794 $2,440
17 $2,645 $2,325
18 $2,449 $2,180
19 $2,154 $1,191


How age influences auto insurance rates

Your age helps to determine your car insurance premium. Statistically, a young driver is less experienced and more likely to receive a citation or cause an accident. In the eyes of an insurance company, that means more risk and a greater need for financial protection, i.e., a higher premium.

Your likelihood of getting cheap auto insurance quotes increases once you turn 19, and again at 25, as you become less likely to drive recklessly. This remains consistent until you get into your 60s, when rates start to tick up again.


AVERAGE CAR INSURANCE COSTS BY AGE
Age Group Avg. Annual Premium
16 to 19 $5,151
20 to 29 $1,918
30 to 39 $1,407
40 to 49 $1,355
50 to 59 $1,258
60 to 69 $1,287
70 to 79 $1,514
80 to 85 $1,804


How marital status affects car insurance quotes

While the difference is small, married drivers are more likely to get affordable car insurance quotes than are single, divorced, or widowed drivers. Car insurance companies see married drivers as more likely to share driving responsibilities and less likely to file claims.


AVERAGE AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS BY MARITAL STATUS

Martial Status Premium
Single $1,427
Married $1,347
Divorced $4,425
Widowed $1,394


How homeowner status changes car insurance costs

On average, renters face higher car insurance premiums than do condo or homeowners — by about $35 per year. Homeowners are considered more financially stable and less likely to file a claim.


AVERAGE ANNUAL CAR INSURANCE EXPENDITURE BY HOMEOWNER STATUS

Renter w/ Multi-Policy Condo Owner w/ Multi-Policy Homeowner w/ Multi-Policy
$1,350 $1,280 $1,260


How education affects auto insurance quotes
Although it’s not hugely impactful, drivers with a Masters or Ph.D. save $44 per year on car insurance premiums, compared to those without a degree. Car insurance companies see clients with higher education levels as less risky and reward that decreased risk with a lower premium. The only states that do not consider education when determining rates are California, Massachusetts, Georgia, Hawaii, and Montana.

MEAN ANNUAL CAR INSURANCE RATES BY EDUCATION LEVEL

Education Level Premium
None $1,460
High School $1,443
Bachelors $1,427
Masters $1,416
Ph.D. $1,416


How credit score impacts car insurance premiums

Unlike your education level or gender, your credit has a big impact on your insurance rate. Drivers with poor credit (524 or below) pay more than twice what those with excellent credit (823 or more) pay for auto insurance. Again, this has to do with how insurance companies view drivers with poor credit in terms of risk. A driver with poor credit is more likely to file a claim than a driver with excellent credit. Moreover, when a claim is filed by a driver with poor credit, the claim payout by the insurance company tends to be higher. Insurance companies cover this risk by charging those with poor credit scores higher rates.


AVERAGE CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS BY CREDIT LEVEL

Credit Level Premium
Poor $2,687
Below Fair $2,191
Fair $1,800
Good $1,495
Excellent $1,257



3. Your insurance history

It’s important to consider how your previous auto insurance record reflects on your car insurance quotes. Gaps in insurance — or periods spent with bare minimum coverage — can increase your quote, as insurance companies see you as financially unstable and more risky to insure. A lengthy insurance history with high limits and fewer claims can lead to cheap car insurance quotes.


AVERAGE ANNUAL CAR INSURANCE RATES BY INSURANCE HISTORY

Insurance History Avg Annual Premium
No Insurance $1,599
1 Year with 50-100 BI Limit $1,463
3 Years with 50-100 BI Limit $1,427
1 Year with 100-300 BI Limit $1,424
5 Years with 50-100 BI Limit $1,398
3 Years with 100-300 BI Limit $1,390
5 Years with 100-300 BI Limit $1,367



4. How you drive

An insurance company's assessment of how you drive entails more than you might think. When assigning a quote, an auto insurance company will look at the primary way you use your vehicle, how many miles you drive annually, and your driving record.



Primary vehicle use and car insurance quotes

How you use your vehicle can impact the affordability of car insurance quotes. Using your vehicle for pleasure — the most common usage — results in an average annual premium of $1,427. However, if you're a traveling salesman or someone using your vehicle for business, you could pay $152 more per year.


AVERAGE ANNUAL CAR INSURANCE PREMIUM BY VEHICLE USE

Vehicle Use Premium
Farm $1,348
Pleasure $1,427
Work/Commute, 10-15 Miles $1,436
Business $1,577

It’s important to consider the difference between a business-use personal policy, outlined above, and a commercial car insurance policy. If you’re using your vehicle to transport goods or lending your vehicle to employees, you may need a commercial insurance policy.

If you’re a rideshare driver working for Uber or Lyft, consult your insurance company about getting a Rideshare Endorsement. This endorsement protects you from getting denied coverage if you’re in an accident while working.



How annual mileage affects car insurance quotes

Annual mileage can be represented in car insurance pricing. If you live in California, the only state where mileage makes a significant impact, it’s less of a gray area. In California, those who drive more than 15,000 miles per year pay $370 more annually than less-frequent drivers who cover less than 7,500 miles each year.

If you live anywhere else in the US, mileage may have less of an impact, but it isn’t ignored altogether.


MEAN ANNUAL CAR INSURANCE RATES BY MILEAGE

Annual Mileage Annual Premium
0-7,500 $1,368
7,500-10,000 $1,427
10,000-15,000 $1,440
15,000+ $1,449


Violations: how driving safety impacts auto insurance quotes

Among the factors that go into car insurance quotes, driving history is probably the most significant. How you have driven is a good indicator of how you will drive. If your driving résumé includes speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, or other violations, expect your premium to reflect that. In other words, you're going to pay a lot.

Speeding tickets, DUIs, and other violations will make it tough to get cheap car insurance quotes. A DUI may raise your rate by as much as 80% — with some states penalizing drivers by more.


AVERAGE ANNUAL INSURANCE RATES BY DRIVING BACKGROUND

Accident/Violation Average Annual Premium Increase
None $1,427
Driving too slowly $287
Speeding 11-15 MPH Over Limit $298
At-Fault Accident - Greater than $2,000 $687
Reckless Driving $1,054
DUI $1,092
Racing $1,101
Hit and Run $1,218

Most at-fault accidents and violations will raise your insurance rates for three years. In California, a DUI can influence your insurance costs for 10 years! Don’t drink and drive: it will cost you.




5. What you drive


The car your drive makes a big difference in your insurance rate. Vehicles built for performance, with high MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price), and foreign-built models are often costlier to insure. Vehicles that don't cost as much to repair or aren't built for faster driving — such as vans and sedans — are correspondingly cheaper to insure.


AVERAGE ANNUAL CAR INSURANCE RATES BY VEHICLE TYPE

Vehicle Type Average Annual Premium
Sedans $1,724
Electric/Green $1,654
Luxury $2,018
SUVs and Crossovers $1,579
Trucks $1,535
Vans $1,484



How to get a cheap car insurance quote and keep your rates low


Now that we’ve outlined why insurance can cost so much, let’s look at some ways to save.


Be smart with your claims

At-fault accidents can lead to inflated insurance rates. If you’re not familiar with the way insurance companies price policies, you might be inclined to use your collision coverage if you’ve damaged your vehicle. But unless you’ve done significant damage, it may be worth paying for damages yourself and declining to involve your insurance company.

Should you file a claim? Take the below steps and assess:

  • Get an estimate for the repairs at a local mechanic
  • Use The Zebra's State of Insurance analysis to determine what the average premium increase would be if you were to file a claim in your state. Remember: this compounds over three years.
  • Compare the cost of repairs to the total rate of increase plus your deductible to the total cost of repairs.


Be smart with your coverage

When you get an insurance quote, an agent might add extraneous coverage. Unlike your home, your vehicle will rapidly depreciate in value, meaning the coverage you once had might not be necessary after a few years. For example, collision and comprehensive coverage are designed to protect your vehicle from damage. But if your vehicle is worth less than $4,000, the value of insurance payout you would receive may not justify the cost of your insurance premium.

When shopping for affordable car insurance quotes, come in with a good idea of your vehicle's value via Kelley Blue Book and NADA. If you determine your vehicle is worth more than $4,000 but you need to save money, consider raising your deductible. Because your car insurance deductible and premium are inversely related, you can lower your bill by raising your deductible. Looking at the chart below, you can see how your premium is affected by adjusting your deductible.


AVERAGE ANNUAL INSURANCE COSTS BY COVERAGE LEVEL

Coverage Level Average Annual Premium
Liability-Only $672
$500 Deductible $1,427
$1,000 Deductible $1,268

Discount car insurance quotes

Some car insurance discounts are automatically added to your auto insurance policy when they pull your driving report. But, you will want to make sure they’re not forgetting anything. Here are some potential discounts and cost-cutting programs you can participate in. Certain restrictions apply, of course.


  • Multi-policy discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Good student discount (ages 16-25)
  • Good/safe teen driving discount (pre-approved safety training course)
  • Telematics
  • Payment by bank account
  • Paid in full discount
  • eSignature discounts
  • Paperless billing discount
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Safe driving senior discount


Shop around for insurance quotes

Your auto insurance quotes can vary based on your circumstances. You should shop around for new car insurance quotes as often as possible! For the most part, car insurance policies are non-binding. If you find a better rate elsewhere, cancel your current policy and move on to the next. The remaining outstanding premium should be refunded back to you. Opportunities to look for cheaper rates include when you move, when you add or change a car to your policy, get married, or celebrate a birthday.




Getting cheap car insurance quotes: primary takeaways


Auto insurance companies attempt to predict and price the risk you and your vehicle pose in order to reduce their exposure. Keeping in mind the factors we just covered, the more risky you appear to your insurance company, the more you will be charged. Factors like age, marital status, and homeowner status, are less easy to change. Avoiding unnecessary claims, being smart with your coverage needs, and shopping around for car insurance quotes every so often are great ways to save on car insurance.


Compare auto insurance quotes and find a policy today!




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