Best cheap car insurance
10 cheapest car insurance companies
State Farm is the cheapest national car insurance company, at $41 per month for liability-only coverage.
Geico also has cheap quotes, averaging $52 per month. USAA has the most affordable liability-only rates at $31 per month. But only military members, veterans or their families can qualify for USAA.
To help you get the most affordable car insurance near you, ValuePenguin's editorial team spent hundreds of hours ranking the best cheap companies. We collected millions of car insurance quotes across every ZIP code in the U.S. Then we studied cost, coverage, availability and customer support for the 37 top companies across the US.
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Cheapest car insurance overall: State Farm
- Liability-only: $41/mo
- Full coverage: $99/mo
Pros and cons
State Farm is the best cheap car insurance company for most drivers.
State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the country. It also has the best rates in 25 states if you're not eligible for USAA. You'll have to buy a policy through a local agent. But State Farm's large reach means there's likely a nearby agent who can help you compare the cheapest rates near you.
Cheapest national companies
Only current and former military members and their families are eligible for a USAA policy.
Will I sacrifice good support for cheap rates with State Farm?
You can count on State Farm to provide a fast and easy claims process after an accident. The company earned a high score on J.D. Power's claims satisfaction survey. State Farm also gets fewer complaints than similar companies, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Safe drivers can enroll in State Farm's Drive Safe & Save program to turn good driving habits into affordable car insurance. You can also save with an accident-free discount,bundling discount, an anti-theft device discount and more.
State Farm has all of the coverage options you would expect from a major insurance company. This includes liability insurance, personal injury protection and comprehensive and collision coverage. You can also get pet coverage, rideshare insurance and roadside assistance. However, it's missing some popular coverage options, like new car replacement and gap insurance.
Cheapest liability-only car insurance: Auto-Owners
- Liability-only: $36/mo
- Full coverage: $120/mo
Pros and cons
Drivers shopping for the absolute cheapest car insurance can find the best rates with Auto-Owners. A minimum coverage policy from Auto-Owners costs an average of $36 per month. That's 38% cheaper than average across the U.S.
Cheap liability-only car insurance quotes
However, minimum-coverage car insurance isn't the best choice for most drivers. It doesn't pay for repairs to your car after an accident. Plus, the amount of protection you get with minimum coverage usually isn't enough to cover a major accident. That's why full coverage is better for most drivers, especially drivers with newer cars or a daily commute.
Auto-Owners also offers affordable full-coverage car insurance at $120 per month, on average.
Drivers are generally happy with the service they get from Auto-Owners, too. The company has 33% fewer complaints than similar companies, according to the NAIC.
The biggest downside to Auto-Owners is that it's only available in 26 states. Drivers who can't buy car insurance from Auto-Owners should consider State Farm.
Cheap car insurance rates after discounts: American Family
- Liability-only: $53/mo
- Full coverage: $140/mo
Pros and cons
American Family (AmFam) has some of the cheapest car insurance in the country. A minimum coverage policy from AmFam costs around $53 per month, while full coverage costs $140 per month.
American Family stands out when it comes to potential savings through discounts. AmFam's car insurance rates are slightly more expensive than State Farm or Geico. But you may pay less overall if you qualify for its many car insurance discounts.
Car insurance companies with the best discounts
AmFam helps young drivers save on car insurance by offering discounts for good students and safe teen drivers. You can also save money with AmFam if you:
- Bundle home and auto insurance policies
- Insure more than one car with AmFam
- Get a quote seven days before your old policy expires
- Switch to American Family from a competitor
- Have certain safety equipment installed in your car, like airbags
- Take a defensive driving course
- Avoid accidents, tickets and claims
- Drive fewer than 7,500 miles per year
- Enroll in KnowYourDrive telematics, and practice safe driving habits
- Pay your balance in full, or make automatic payments
Cheap car insurance for new drivers: Allstate
- Liability-only for new drivers: $100/mo
- Full coverage for new drivers: $160/mo
Pros and cons
Allstate has the cheapest rates for new drivers looking for an individual car insurance policy. Allstate costs just $85 per month for liability coverage for a driver under 25 years old with no driving experience.
However, Allstate isn't the cheapest option for teen drivers looking to share a policy with their parents. Sharing a policy with family is usually the cheapest way for new drivers to get insurance.
Cheap liability-only rates for new drivers
Under age 25
Over age 25
*USAA is only available to members of the military, veterans and their families.
In addition to cheap rates, Allstate offers lots of discounts for new drivers. You could save with an automatic payments discount, paperless discount and smart student discount.
However, drivers aren't very happy with the service they get from Allstate after an accident. The company scored below average on J.D. Power's claims satisfaction survey. That means it may take longer for Allstate to get you back on the road after a crash.
Cheapest car insurance with a bad driving record: Erie
- Liability-only with one ticket: $44/mo
- Full coverage with one ticket: $112/mo
Pros and cons
Erie has some of the most affordable car insurance quotes for drivers with a ticket, accident or DUI. For example, drivers with a single speeding ticket pay around $112 per month for full coverage from Erie. That's 39% cheaper than the national average.
Erie also increases auto insurance rates the least after a driving incident.
It will only raise your rates by an average of 11% if you get a ticket, while most companies increase quotes by 23% or more. For an at-fault accident, Erie will only raise your rates by 27% instead of the average 49%. And Erie's average quote with a DUI is $169 per month for full coverage, an increase of 67%. Other companies increase rates by an average of 83% after a DUI.
Cheapest car insurance quotes after a driving incident
Monthly quotes for a full coverage policy
Erie customers who enroll in Erie's Rate Lock program won't pay more for insurance after getting a ticket or filing a claim. This is a unique program where, if you are eligible, your car insurance rates can only increase if you move, change the people on your policy or change which cars are covered.
Erie also offers the same car insurance discounts as larger national companies, including bundling multiple insurance policies, having a vehicle equipped with anti-lock brakes or anti-theft equipment or driving safely as a young or senior driver. Erie also has a reputation for excellent customer service.
The biggest downside to Erie is that it's only available in 12 states and Washington, D.C.
Cheap insurance for safe and low-mileage drivers: Nationwide
- Liability-only: $69/mo
- Full coverage: $164/mo
Pros and cons
If you drive less than average or are generally a safe driver, Nationwide may have the cheapest insurance quotes for you. The company offers both a usage-based and pay-per-mile auto insurance plan to help drivers save on car insurance.
Nationwide has cheap car insurance options if you work from home, are retired, are a student living on campus or are a young driver with a clean driving record.
Nationwide safe driver programs: SmartMiles vs. SmartRide
SmartMiles can save low-mileage drivers up to 30% on their car insurance rates. Safe drivers could save up to 40% by tracking their driving through the SmartRide app.
People that drive fewer than 12,000 miles per year can get cheap car insurance from Nationwide's pay-per-mile program, SmartMiles. SmartMiles tracks the number of miles you drive per month using a device you plug in to your car. Nationwide charges you a set amount for every mile you drive, plus a monthly base rate.
Nationwide also offers a usage-based program, SmartRide. Usage-based insurance is often cheaper than standard car insurance because your rates are based on your driving habits. This includes how often and how well you drive. It's a good option for people who are generally safe drivers but can't find cheap rates because they are young, have poor credit or live in a busy city.
The biggest downside to Nationwide is that these programs aren't available to everyone. The SmartMiles pay-per-mile program is available in 40 states and Washington, D.C. While SmartRide is more widely available, drivers in New York and California can't get the full 40% discount.
Cheapest quotes for drivers with poor credit: Geico
- Liability-only with poor credit: $80/mo
- Full coverage with poor credit: $212/mo
Pros and cons
Geico has the cheapest car insurance quotes for drivers with poor credit scores. At $212 per month, a full coverage policy from Geico is 16% cheaper than the national average for drivers with poor credit.
Cheap full coverage insurance for drivers with poor credit
Drivers with poor credit typically pay 70% more for car insurance compared to drivers with good credit. Improving your credit score is a great way to get cheaper auto insurance quotes.
Geico also offers lots of discounts to help lower your rates. These include usage-based discounts, safe driver discounts and discounts for bundling home and auto insurance.
Best cheap car insurance for military members: USAA
- Liability-only: $31/mo
- Full coverage: $91/mo
Pros and cons
USAA is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. As the fifth-largest auto insurance company in the country, it serves almost as many drivers as other big names like Progressive and Allstate.
However, only military members, veterans and their families may be eligible for USAA.
Cheap companies for liability-only insurance
USAA stands out for more than just cheap car insurance rates. It also has one of the best customer service reputations in the industry.
The company takes the top spot in J.D. Power's Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Study every year. That means drivers can expect USAA to help get things back to normal quickly after an accident. USAA also has a low complaint index from the NAIC, which means customers don't have many complaints about support or claims.
Who has the cheapest car insurance near me?
Farm Bureau's quotes are also cheap at $43 per month, and it's available in more states than Auto-Owners or Erie.
Cheapest car insurance by state
State Farm is the cheapest widely available insurance company in 25 states.
USAA is almost always the cheapest car insurance company in every state, but its eligibility requirements mean most people won't qualify.
Best cheap car insurance near you
In some states, a smaller, local company might have the least expensive car insurance for you. For example, Erie has the cheapest insurance in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. While local companies might have cheaper rates and more personalized service, national companies often have better online features and bundling options.
Which drivers can get cheap car insurance?
A variety of factors affect your car insurance quotes, including your location, age, driving history, vehicle, credit score and coverage.
Having more driving experience and no tickets or accidents helps make car insurance cheap. Drivers who opt for minimum coverage policies can get cheaper auto insurance quotes, though they risk not being fully covered after a major accident.
How to find affordable car insurance coverage
Taking the first step — knowing how much car insurance you need — is important for finding the right cheap car insurance. You don't want to overpay for unnecessary coverage. But you do want to buy enough coverage to meet your state's requirements and cover your risk. This also makes comparison shopping easier, since different insurance companies might recommend different coverage levels by default.
How much auto insurance you need depends on your budget, your state's requirements and the kinds of coverage you need.
- Do I need it? BI is required in every state except Florida, New Hampshire and Virginia.
- How much should I get? As much as you can afford, so injuries after a major accident are covered.
- Do I need it? PD is required in every state except New Hampshire and Virginia.
- How much should I get? As much as you can afford so repairs after a major accident are covered.
- Do I need it? UIM is required in 22 states and Washington D.C.
- How much should I get? The same amount as your bodily injury and property damage limits.
- Do I need it? PIP is required in 16 states.
- Should I get it? Recommended if you don't have health insurance or you have a high deductible.
- Do I need it? Full coverage is required if you have a car loan or lease.
- Should I get it? Recommended if your car is worth more than $5,000.
How to get cheaper car insurance with discounts
Once you know how much coverage to buy, it's time to compare car insurance companies.
Even when you choose the exact same coverage, some companies will have cheaper car insurance rates than others. One could be much cheaper for you than another, based on how each company calculates rates for different drivers.
Online quote tools make it easier than ever to compare cheap auto insurance. But you may want to talk to an insurance agent too so you get the most accurate quote possible.
By talking to an agent, you can check for discounts that were not added to your online quote. This may change which company has the most affordable car insurance for you. Car insurance discounts are generally broken into four categories:
- Driver safety discount: Cheaper rates for having a safe driver history or taking defensive driving courses.
- Driver discount: Savings based on who you are or things you do, such as getting good grades in school or being old enough to qualify for a senior discount.
- Policy discount: Savings based on the policies you choose. The most popular option is a home and auto bundle, where you can save by buying both policies from the same company.
- Safe car discount: If your car has safety features, such as anti-theft technology or automatic braking, you may qualify for a discount.
Chances are you could get cheaper car insurance
Once you know how much coverage you need, the best way to find cheap car insurance is to compare quotes from multiple companies.
A driver looking for a minimum coverage policy could be overpaying by an average of $384 per year. This means Americans are overpaying for car insurance by almost $41 billion per year.
You can get cheaper car insurance by comparing rates online. If you prefer to work with an actual person when looking for car insurance, you could talk to an independent insurance agent. They can help you compare quotes from multiple companies at the same time to find the most affordable car insurance rates.
Frequently asked questions
Who has the cheapest car insurance?
What's the cheapest online car insurance?
Geico, Progressive, USAA and State Farm are some of the cheapest companies that let you get quotes and buy a policy online. It's often cheaper to buy car insurance online than it is to work with an agent. You might be able to get a discount for buying online.
How can I save money on car insurance?
The best way to save on auto insurance is to compare quotes from multiple companies. Consider every factor that goes into your quote, such as your coverage amounts, deductibles and discounts. Don't just get quotes from big national companies. Local companies like Erie, Farm Bureau and Auto-Owners could have some of the lowest car insurance rates if you live in a state they serve.
What's the cheapest type of car insurance?
State-minimum liability coverage is the cheapest type of car insurance. Liability-only insurance is $90 per month cheaper on average than a full coverage policy. Switching to a liability-only policy could help you save if your car isn't worth much and you don't have a car loan or lease.
Is it a good idea to get the cheapest car insurance?
It depends on what you're giving up in exchange for the cheapest rate. If you raised your deductible or lowered your coverage, for example, consider how much extra you'd have to pay out of pocket after an expensive accident. Or, if you choose a company known for a slow claims process, consider how long you could afford to be without a car or pay for a rental car while you wait for the repair check in the mail.
What credit score do I need to get the cheapest car insurance?
Typically you can get the cheapest auto insurance rates if you have good to excellent credit, which means having a credit score of at least 700. But not every state allows car insurance companies to base your quotes on your credit-based insurance score.
When does car insurance get cheaper for young drivers?
Car insurance for young drivers costs up to three times more on average. Teen drivers can expect car insurance rates to go down with each year of driving experience, with a big drop at ages 21 and 25.
Methodology: How we got our info
We collected quotes for thousands of ZIP codes in the U.S. from 36 insurance companies. Rates are for a single 30-year-old man with good credit who drives a 2015 Honda Civic EX and has a clean driving record. Your quotes may vary.
Minimum coverage quotes are based on the minimum required coverage in each state. Full coverage quotes are based on a policy with higher liability limits, along with comprehensive and collision coverage:
|Bodily injury liability||$50,000 per person; $100,000 per accident|
|Property damage liability||$25,000 per accident|
|Uninsured or underinsured motorist BI||$50,000 per person; $100,000 per accident|
|Personal injury protection||Minimum when required by state|
Rates for new drivers are based on a driver living in Texas with no driving experience and a good credit score. Quotes include $30,000 of bodily injury liability per person and $60,000 per accident, along with $25,000 of property damage liability per accident, which are the minimum legal requirements in Texas.
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.
ValuePenguin calculated the average amount drivers overpay for car insurance by calculating the difference between the average cost of a minimum coverage policy across all sample insurers in each state and the average cost of the cheapest sampled insurers in that state
These figures were then averaged across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., to find a national average. This average was multiplied by the Federal Highway Administration's latest figure for the number of registered automobiles in the country to find the aggregate amount drivers overpay for insurance.