Best Cheap Car Insurance For Those With a Bad Driving Record

State Farm and Progressive have the cheapest widely-available car insurance rates for people with a bad driving record.

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Best car insurance for bad drivers

You may be able to find more affordable rates from regional companies, like Erie or Auto-Owners. And bad drivers with military ties can typically find the cheapest quotes at USAA.

To help you find the best auto insurance for a bad driving record, ValuePenguin collected rates from ZIP codes across the U.S. Our experts also considered how insurance companies raise rates after a ticket, accident or DUI.

Full methodology

Cheapest car insurance companies for bad drivers

State Farm is the cheapest major car insurance company for drivers with an accident or speeding ticket on their record.

Full coverage from State Farm costs 33% less than the national average after a ticket, and 38% less after an accident. Progressive has the cheapest widely-available rates after a DUI, at 30% less than average.

Some drivers can get even cheaper rates from Erie or USAA. However, Erie is only available in 12 states and Washington, D.C. And only military members, veterans and their families can get car insurance from USAA.

Speeding Ticket

Accident

DUI

Comparing the cheapest auto insurance companies for a driver with an a speeding ticket

Speeding Ticket

Comparing the cheapest auto insurance companies for a driver with an a speeding ticket

Accident

Comparing the cheapest auto insurance companies for a driver with an at-fault accident

DUI

Comparing the cheapest auto insurance companies for a driver with a DUI

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Full coverage car insurance from the most expensive company can cost four times more than coverage from the cheapest provider.

The best way for high-risk drivers to get the lowest car insurance rates is to compare quotes from multiple companies.

Monthly full coverage rates for bad drivers

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How does a bad driving record affect car insurance?

Not all traffic tickets and accidents are equal. Typically, the more severe the incident, the more your car insurance rates will go up.

Minor accidents and tickets, like speeding or running a stop sign, usually cause a smaller rate increase. The average increase after one speeding ticket is 23%, or $38 per month for full coverage.

However, if you have a serious traffic violation, like a DUI, you could see an increase of 84%. That's an average increase of $138 per month for a full coverage policy.

Average full coverage rates by driving incident

Violation
Monthly cost
% increase
None$2010%
Speeding$22914%
Running a stop sign$23014%
Racing$23718%
Reckless driving$23718%
DUI$28341%
Compare rates

Insurance companies believe that people with a bad driving record are more likely to cause an accident. These drivers pay more for insurance because insurance companies expect them to make a claim in the future. That makes them more expensive to insure.

A bad driving history won't impact your auto insurance rates forever. Insurance companies typically only consider accidents and traffic tickets from the past three years.

That means incidents that happened more than three years ago usually won't have an effect on your rates.

However, there is an exception when it comes to DUIs, which may affect your car insurance rates for up to five years.

How to get auto insurance for bad drivers

People with a bad driving record may have to spend more time shopping around to find affordable car insurance.

This is because insurance companies might quote you high rates. Additionally, some companies may not even offer auto insurance for bad drivers, such as those that require SR-22 insurance.

What is SR-22 insurance

SR-22 (or FR-44 in some states) insurance is a policy add-on for people with bad driving records. States require these drivers to have their insurance company file a certificate of financial responsibility. It confirms you have the required amount of liability coverage.

States usually require SR-22 insurance if you have serious convictions on your driving record, like a DUI. You may also need an SR-22 if you've had your driver's license suspended.

If you need an SR-22 form, major insurance companies like Farmers, State Farm and Allstate might not be an option. They may not offer you coverage because of your bad driving record.

Instead, you may have to consider nonstandard auto insurance companies that specialize in offering bad driver car insurance.

Two good nonstandard car insurance companies are The General and SafeAuto.

How to get cheap car insurance for bad drivers

The best way for bad drivers to save on car insurance is to compare online quotes from multiple companies.

Car insurance quotes for bad drivers can vary based on your location, age, driving record and the company you choose. It's important to shop around to find the best deal for you.

In addition, people with bad driving records should try to find as many discounts as possible. Many companies offer discounts that are easy to get. You can usually save by signing up for automatic payments or buying a policy online.

If you're committed to driving more safely, you should consider signing up for a usage-based discount program. These programs track your driving habits, like speeding and hard braking, by using your phone or a device that plugs into your car. Bad drivers should look for a program that won't raise your rates for bad habits, like State Farm Drive Safe & Save.

Lastly, be sure to shop around for insurance regularly to make sure you are getting the most affordable rates. The impact of a bad driving record on your car insurance rates changes over time, so the cheapest company for you may also change over time.


Frequently asked questions

Is there an auto insurance company that doesn't check your driving record?

No, most every insurance company will consider your driving record when setting insurance rates. However, some companies are more forgiving than others when it comes to driving history, like State Farm and Erie.

What is the cheapest insurance for drivers with accidents on their records?

State Farm is the cheapest insurance company after an at-fault accident. At $125 per month, its full coverage rates are 43% cheaper than average.

What is the best insurance for a bad driving record?

State Farm is the best national insurance company for drivers with an accident or speeding ticket. Progressive has the most affordable rates for drivers after a DUI.

Bad drivers may find even cheaper rates with Erie or USAA, but these companies aren't available to everyone.

How does a bad driving record affect my insurance rates?

A bad driving record will cause your insurance rates to go up. That's because companies believe you're more likely to cause an accident in the future. A single speeding ticket increases your rates by around 23%, while rates tend to double after an accident. Drivers can expect to pay 84% more for insurance after a DUI.


Methodology

To find the best cheap car insurance for bad drivers, ValuePenguin gathered thousands of quotes from all residential ZIP codes across the country. Quotes are for a 30-year-old man with good credit who drives a 2015 Honda Civic EX.

All rates are for a full coverage policy, which includes comprehensive and collision coverage, along with the following limits:

  • Bodily injury liability: $50,000 per person; $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 per accident
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist liability: $50,000 per person; $100,000 per accident
  • Comprehensive and collision: $500 deductible

Rates were provided by Quadrant Information Services and sourced from public insurer filings. Your rates will likely be different, as these are for comparison purposes only.

To determine the impact of different driving incidents, we collected quotes for a driver in Jacksonville, Fla., from five major insurance companies. Incidents included:

  • Speeding
  • Running a stop sign
  • Careless driving
  • DUI
  • At-fault accident

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author's opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.