Compare the best prices for car insurance
We found that USAA and State Farm are the two national insurers that offer the lowest prices on average, but what you'll pay may vary based on where you live, your driving history and more.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
Factors that affect car insurance rates
The primary factor that affects car insurance rates is the amount of coverage you select. But beyond your elected coverage, many variables will affect your rates including your age, location, vehicle type, accident and violation history and credit score.
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Compare car insurance rates by state
Insurance is regulated on a state level, and comparing auto insurance rates by state can show how drastically state regulations affect the price of car insurance where you live. Here we've compiled the average cost of insurance for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and found the cheapest insurer for each.
Auto Insurance Rates by State
Rates are for state minimum coverage for a 30-year-old male with a good driving history.
Compare car insurance rates by accident history
Curious how different insurers change your rates after you get into an accident? We compared rates before and after an accident for the five biggest car insurance companies.
Allstate saw the largest increase in rates after an accident, while State Farm tends to penalize drivers less.
What if you wanted to compare the states in which insurance companies tend to impose the biggest rate increases after an accident? Below, we compare how average insurance rates change after a sample at-fault accident by state, showing the five states where insurers penalize drivers the most, and the five states that are most forgiving of drivers with an accident history.
New York residents are in luck: Their rates only go up by 6% after the sample accident. Every other state sees an average annual rate increase of at least 20%.
If you live in Maine, you should take extra care to be careful on the road! Compared to other states, insurance rates went up by 70% after an accident.
Average annual insurance rates for five major insurers before and after an accident
States with the smallest increases in rates after an accident
Rates are average annual premiums before and after an accident
States with the biggest increases in rates after an accident
Rates are average annual car insurance premiums before and after an accident
Compare car insurance rates by age
Age is a major factor when comparing car insurance rates. Younger drivers — considered the riskiest drivers, according to insurance company calculations — pay comparatively more for auto insurance than older drivers, all else equal.
Taking three specific ages as an example: 18, 25 and 30, you can see how insurance rates change over the course of the average young adult's driving life.
- Our sample 18-year-old driver pays an average of $7,179 per year for car insurance.
- The same driver at 25 years old pays $3,207 per year for car insurance, a decline of 55%.
- But as drivers reach adulthood, rates tend to level out. The same driver pays $2,399 per year at 30 years old, only 25% less than a 25-year-old, but easily the lowest car insurance rates of this group.
Average annual car insurance rates by age and company
Our graphic below shows how average auto insurance rates compare for ages ranging from late teens to 30 years old. Car insurance rates generally decline as you age but then spike again in your later years, as senior drivers are thought of as riskier than middle-aged drivers.
Average annual car insurance rates by age
Compare car insurance rates by credit score
We found that drivers with excellent credit can save an average of 35% off their premium compared to those with poor credit.
Credit scores can also be a key factor in determining your auto insurance quote. Insurance companies use a proprietary calculation — called a credit-based insurance score — to rate their customers. Policyholders with good credit scores tend to be offered lower car insurance premiums, while those with poor credit scores tend to be offered higher premiums, all else equal.
We compared average annual insurance rates for 13 major insurers, showing how annual rates change between the same drivers if they have either poor or excellent credit.
- Farmers provides the biggest discount for excellent credit profiles, decreasing its rates by 54%.
- Metropolitan (or MetLife) provides the smallest discount, only decreasing rates by 12% if our sample driver had an excellent credit history instead of a poor one.
Annual insurance rates for select insurers for poor and excellent credit ratings
|Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)||$436||$320||-27%|
|Auto-Owners Insurance Co||$649||$347||-46%|
Rates are a national average of car insurance policies meeting minimum coverage requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
Some states have outlawed the use of credit scores in determining insurance rates. If you live in one of these states, your rates will be the same regardless of your credit score.
How to compare car insurance rates
Getting a car insurance quote has become a more straightforward process after the growth of online quote tools. But before quote shopping, you'll have to do some legwork to ensure you're making appropriate car insurance price comparisons. Make sure you take the following three steps before comparing auto insurance companies.
1. Collect relevant personal information before comparing rates
Online car insurance quote tools and insurance agents can provide you with an estimate of your rates, but the estimate will only be as accurate as the information you provide. Make sure you have the following information about you and your vehicle before seeking out a quote.
To obtain an accurate car insurance quote you need the following information:
- full name
- current issurer (and your policy's declaration page)
- license number
- equivalent information of any other drivers on the policy
- model (including year and make)
- vehicle information number (VIN)
- date of purchase
Your driving history:
- ticket and accident history
- any license suspensions
2. Decide on fixed coverage levels before comparison shopping
Perhaps the most important factor affecting the price of your car insurance policy is how much coverage you choose to buy. Car insurance policies can include the following types of coverages, and when comparison shopping you should make sure you select the same coverage limits for each. In the cases of collision and comprehensive insurance—which don't have limits—you should ensure you select the same deductibles.
Types of coverage:
- Liability coverage (for both bodily injury and property damage)
- Collision and comprehensive insurance
- Personal injury protection (PIP)
- Uninsured/underinsured driver coverage
At the end of this piece, we break down when you need to purchase these coverages (liability insurance is usually required by state law), when they're optional and how much of them you should buy.
When you compare vehicle insurance online across multiple insurers, the most important thing is that you keep these coverages and their limits consistent with each insurer. Then you can compare auto insurance quotes side by side knowing that your coverage will be equivalent.
3. Collect and compare quotes
Once you have all your personal information and have decided on appropriate coverage limits, it's time to shop. If you're looking to compare cheap car insurance, you can use our insurance comparison tool.
Or you can go to multiple insurer websites, use their quote tools and compare quotes from different companies. A good place to start are our recommendations for the best and cheapest car insurance companies below.
Read on if you're looking to learn how about what factors affect car insurance rates and by how much.
Frequently asked questions
How do I compare car insurance?
You can compare car insurance prices by using multiple online quote tools or by working with an insurance agent who will gather prices on your behalf. But the best way to compare car insurance rates is to use ValuePenguin's quoting tool.
Why should I compare auto insurance quotes online?
Every driver will get a different price for insurance based on where they live, what kind of car they own and their driving history, and you'll find a different price at each insurer as well. The only way to find the best price for you is to get multiple quotes from different insurers, and doing so only takes a few minutes.
When should I compare car insurance?
Ideally, you should compare insurance on an annual basis to make sure you're always getting the best rate for you. But at the very least you should shop for quotes any time something about your life changes that could affect your rates. This includes buying a new car, moving and having a driver added to or removed from your policy.
Which auto insurance companies offer the cheapest quotes?
Insurers charge different rates for every driver, so there's no single best and cheapest insurer for everyone. But we found that among major insurers, State Farm, Progressive and Geico tend to have the best prices nationally.
What do I need to compare insurance quotes?
To compare insurance quotes, you'll need your home address, the make and model of your car and a record of any recent tickets or driving incidents. You may also want your Social Security or driver's license number for the most accurate quote.
We gathered rates through 50 states and Washington, D.C., for 51 insurance companies. To ensure some level of availability for our recommendations given differing state insurance markets, an insurer is only noted in the lists above if it is available in at least five states.
Our sample driver was a 30-year-old male who drove a 2015 Honda Civic EX, and rates used all available ZIP codes in each state. The driver was profiled as having no credit history, which makes him equivalent to a driver with below-fair to poor credit, according to our data source, Quadrant Information Services.
When our driver had a full coverage policy, we gave him coverage limits slightly above any one state's minimum requirements.
Full coverage policy
|Bodily liability||$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident|
|Property damage||$25,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist BI||$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident|
|Comprehensive & collision||$500 deductible|
|Personal injury protection||Min. when required by state|
- Our rates for minimum coverage policies represent the average cost of a policy that meets any state's minimum required auto insurance coverage.
- Rates by age were drawn solely from the 10 most populous states.
- ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.