In our nation's capital, car insurance can be quite expensive. It's densely populated and its roads are prone to accidents - factors correlated with high costs. Our extensive analysis found that the average price in Washington, D.C. for a 30 year old male with a clean driving record was $2,074. Using auto insurance quotes in the District, we delved into some of the trends D.C. exhibits compared to other major cities. Below we further explore how D.C. compares to other major cities and the areas surrounding the city.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Washington D.C.
We looked at several companies that serve the D.C. area and got quotes for a 30 year old single male driver. We got quotes from several different D.C. neighborhoods and averaged them together. Below you can see the top four insurers and how they compare to the city average.
According to our analysis, GEICO offers the best full coverage rates for our 30 year old driver. Erie was a close second, followed by State Farm. The three companies averaged together are about 47% cheaper than the D.C. average. Below you may see the other companies we examined and how their prices compare.
How Do Car Insurance Costs Compare in the D.C. Metro Area?
Washington, D.C. is encircled by suburbs located in both Maryland and Virginia, from where many commute from. As a result, we were curious about how car insurance costs compare in those areas to the city itself. Overall we found the states of Maryland and Virginia to be cheaper, but cities and towns closer to D.C. tended to be the most expensive in those states.
Maryland was slightly more expensive than Virginia based on our sample motorist at $1,325 per year compared to $1,185, but both were nearly half as expensive as D.C. itself. We then looked at the 25 closest cities to D.C. within Maryland and Virginia. The narrower sample size showed prices were indeed more expensive--but only by $20 on average. The 25 cities not including D.C. itself had a yearly rate of $1,345.
Washington, D.C. was still far more expensive than cities only a few miles away, such as Alexandria and Arlington. That shouldn't come as a total surprise, however, considering those areas are much less congested and have fewer cars than the District. The table below shows the 25 nearest cities to D.C. and their yearly rates.
|Silver Spring, MD||$1,487|
|Falls Church, VA||$1,286|
|College Park, MD||$1,679|
|Great Falls, VA||$1,256|
|La Plata, MD||$1,382|
|Ellicott City, MD||$1,265|
There was a slight trend where the further from D.C. you were in Maryland and Virginia, the cheaper car insurance became. The largest concentration of pricer cities were all within 30 to 45 minute drives of D.C. Overall, the five furthest cities were about $200 cheaper than the five closest. The below graph demostrates this trend.
The correlation is not perfect, but a trend nonetheless exists. Price will start to uptick again as one gets closer to Baltimore, which is shown as the highest data point in the graph above.
How Does D.C.'s Metro Area Compare With Other Major Cities' Metro Areas?
We also wanted to see how the price drop between D.C. and its metro area compared to other major cities and their metropolitan surroundings. We looked at quotes from New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore and their connected metro areas and compared it to Washington, D.C. While each city was more expensive than its surrounding areas, D.C had the second biggest discrepency of the four cities, behind Baltimore.
Baltimore and its metro areas had about a 69% difference in price, far larger than the other three cities. By comparison, NYC and Philadelphia differed by 21% and 23% respectively, giving D.C. the second largest discrepancy. Interestingly, D.C. came out to be the overall cheapest of these four major East Coast Cities.
Costs Do Not Vary Much by Neighborhood within Our Nation's Capital
In several cities we analyzed, car insurance prices fluctuated within a cities boundaries. In D.C., that wasn't much the case. Between the different neighborhoods, price stayed relatively the same. It was a stark contrast from our findings in this study on Chicago, where price differed by nearly 20% between some Chicago neighborhoods. Below you can see how the highest and lowest average price in other major cities compare to Washington, D.C.
|Cities||Difference b/w High and Low Avg Price|
Perhaps it is because the area size of Washington is nearly 3.5x less than Chicago, and 8x less than Los Angeles that price does not have much room to vary. On the other hand, Boston, the city with the largest difference, is only slightly larger than D.C.