If you have car insurance, it can sometimes seem like your money is going nowhere — that is, until you get into an accident. It’s no secret that car insurance can be costly, but it’s a necessary expense. If you’re on a budget, finding the cheapest car insurance might sound like the best way to save, but in reality, you still need a policy that’s going to give you a good return on your investment.
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
To determine auto insurance rates, providers use an algorithm that changes every year. That equations factors in new statistics on driving behaviors and customer requirements that could lower or increase rates. Because rates are constantly changing, it can be difficult to determine which insurance provider will give you the best price.
To find the cheapest car insurance near you, get multiple car insurance quotes from different providers to determine how much you can expect to pay. You can also look at discounts that companies offer, which could help you save even more money on your monthly premiums.
To simplify your insurance shopping journey, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to compare some of the cheapest car insurance plans of 2020. Out of 28 companies and 250 different quotes, these are the five auto insurance companies that offer some of the most cost-friendly options.
Best cheap car insurance companies
|Overall rating||Affordability||Tools and features||Customer satisfaction||Discounts|
|USAA||5 out of 5||5 out of 5||4.5 out of 5||5 out of 5||4.5 out of 5|
|GEICO||4.5 out of 5||5 out of 5||4 out of 5||3 out of 5||5 out of 5|
|State Farm||4 out of 5||4 out of 5||5 out of 5||4 out of 5||4 out of 5|
|Progressive||3.5 out of 5||3 out of 5||4 out of 5||4 out of 5||3.5 out of 5|
|Allstate||3 out of 5||3.5 out of 5||3 out of 5||3 out of 5||5 out of 5|
There’s no guarantee that any one company will offer the cheapest car insurance for your situation, so it always pays to get a few quotes and compare prices and each insurer’s strengths and weaknesses.
|Annual cost||Monthly cost||Weekly cost||Daily cost|
|Excellent discounts||Military households only|
|Top-rated customer service||More expensive in some states|
USAA consistently provides some of the most affordable insurance throughout the country. The only caveat is that its membership is restricted to members of the military and their families, so it is not an option for everyone. If you qualify, you can enjoy superior customer service provided by a financially sound company with quick claims processing and often what is the cheapest car insurance.
|Among cheapest coverage||Limited discounts available|
|Excellent discounts||Expensive for DUIs|
|Poor credit forgiveness|
According to our research, it’s safe to say that 15 minutes could often save you “15 percent or more” on a state-minimum policy. Geico had the best insurance rates much of the time. When it comes to the good driver’s discount, Geico offers lots of savings. Geico also is one of the cheapest options for drivers with good driving records but poor credit. That said, if you have a DUI on your record, Geico may no longer be an affordable option for the best insurance rates.
|Financially sound||Not the cheapest on our list|
|Excellent mobile tools||Average claims satisfaction|
|Variety of payment options|
State Farm usually costs a little more than the competition. Quotes aside, State Farm is the nation’s largest auto insurer. It ranks consistently well for customer satisfaction in most of the regions J.D. Power surveys. It also earns AM Best’s top marks (A++) for financial strength. Plus, it has the best tools of any auto insurance provider out there, including mobile bill pay, mobile claim filing and a pay-by-bank account option. It’s a great choice if you can spare a few extra dollars each month.
|Prepay discounts||Pricey in most states|
|Fantastic mobile accessibility||Average customer satisfaction|
|Online tools to recommend coverage|
Progressive was the cheapest option in only seven states, usually less than $20 ahead of the runner-up (usually Geico). That doesn’t mean Progressive is never a viable option, though. Progressive customers can take advantage of great tools like mobile claims filing, loyalty discounts, prepay discounts and low-mileage discounts that Geico doesn’t offer.
|Accident forgiveness||Just average customer satisfaction|
|Several rewards programs||Not all features available online|
Coverages and discounts shine with Allstate, reating cheap insurance quotes that deliver some of the best insurance rates. Allstate customers enjoy prepay discounts, low-mileage discounts, interior vehicle coverage, and new car replacement — all of which are not offered at customer favorite Geico. Allstate even includes ridesharing in its low-cost insurance as an add-on for Uber and Lyft drivers. Coverage is expansive, but be prepared to buy by phone if you want to take advantage of all the features and discounts available.
How to find cheap car insurance
Certain factors that affect your car insurance rates are largely beyond your control. These include basic demographics such as your age, gender, marital status, location and job.
Other factors, including how you manage your credit and what and how you drive, are easier to change. So, comparison shop, use discounts and consider bundling policies to find the cheapest car insurance companies.
Save time by using an online quote tool to get a quick snapshot of potential rates from several auto-insurance companies at once. It also helps you avoid price optimization, where rates are established not just on how risky a driver is to insure but also on how much insurance companies think they’re comfortable paying. Getting new quotes regularly is the best way to avoid price optimization because insurers can see how often you shop around and therefore how likely they are to lose you as a customer.
Many car insurance companies will give you a discount if you have other policies with them. For instance, you may get a break on low-cost insurance if you use the same provider for life, home or renters insurance policies. Bundled policies are convenient too; you’ll be dealing with only one bill and one company.
Boost your deductible
Raising your deductible is a good move if you have cash stashed away to pay a higher deductible in case of a crash. Factors such as your age and driving record will also affect how much raising your deductible will actually save you.
Drive a low-risk car
Luxury cars are always the most expensive to insure. These cars also cost a lot more to fix and are attractive targets for thieves. Family-friendly vehicles including minivans, sedans and smaller SUVs cost the least to insure. Their drivers tend to be more careful and are simpler to fix, ultimately creating fewer claims.
Change your driving habits
If you get a speeding ticket every month, your bill will skyrocket. If you’ve had a clean driving record for years, you will have cheaper car insurance. Driving less is the simplest, easiest way to change your driving habits. Many states have already outlawed texting and driving. Another good tip is to exercise patience and come to complete stops when necessary. Tell your insurer about your new habits to receive the best insurance rates.
Maintain good credit
Most car insurance companies look at your credit score to help determine your rate. According to consumer advocacy group United Policyholders, a rock-bottom credit score could mean you’ll pay double, triple or even quadruple over someone with a perfect credit score. This controversial practice is illegal in four states: California, Hawaii, Maryland and Massachusetts. If you don’t live in one of those states, working to raise your credit score can help you get cheap auto insurance.
What types of car insurance do I really need?
When you purchase car insurance, you’ll have to decide whether you want to opt for liability coverage or full coverage car insurance. Full coverage insurance, which includes comprehensive and collision coverage, comes with a much heftier price tag than liability-only insurance. If you took out a loan to pay for your car, you probably don’t have a choice — your lender will require proof of comprehensive and collision coverage. Dropping this coverage usually isn’t a good idea if your car is worth a decent amount of money.
There are situations when opting only for liability makes sense. For instance, if you drive an older, paid-off vehicle that doesn’t have much value to anyone but you, keeping only liability coverage can mean significant savings. Comprehensive and collision coverage may also be overkill on an older car you drive sparingly.
Would I personally drop my comprehensive and collision policies? No, because my 2013 Jeep Patriot is still relatively new and would cost a significant sum to repair or replace. My brother, however, drives a 1984 Ford F150. At best, it’s worth around $2,500 — and his policy is only $19 a month! For him, dropping comprehensive and collision coverage made a lot more sense.
The bottom line: Liability coverage is your cheapest option and meets the legal requirement, but dropping collision and comprehensive coverage would be a risky move if it would be a major financial hardship to fix or replace your car after an accident.
State-required liability insurance
Each state has different requirements when it comes to car insurance. Many simply require liability insurance — both bodily injury and property damage — which covers damage to another person’s car or their injuries if you cause an accident. Others go a step or two further, requiring add-ons such as personal injury protection and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, here are the kinds of insurance each state requires as of January 2019 and the minimum required amounts of liability insurance. The only state that does not require liability insurance is New Hampshire; however, you’re still required to show that you have sufficient funds to meet state requirements if you’re at fault in a crash.
|Types of insurance required||Minimum required liability insurance|
|Alabama||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Alaska||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||50/100/25|
|Arizona||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||15/30/10|
|Arkansas||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection||25/50/25|
|California||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||15/30/5|
|Colorado||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/15|
|Connecticut||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||25/50/20|
|Delaware||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection||25/50/10|
|District of Columbia||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist||25/50/10|
|Florida||Property damage liability, personal injury protection||10/20/10|
|Georgia||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Hawaii||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection||20/40/10|
|Idaho||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/15|
|Illinois||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||25/50/20|
|Indiana||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Iowa||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||20/40/15|
|Kansas||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, personal injury protection||25/50/25|
|Kentucky||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||25/50/25|
|Louisiana||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||15/30/25|
|Maine||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, medical payments||50/100/25|
|Maryland||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||30/60/15|
|Massachusetts||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||20/40/5|
|Michigan||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection||20/40/10|
|Mississippi||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Missouri||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist||25/50/25|
|Montana||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/20|
|Nebraska||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||25/50/25|
|Nevada||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/20|
|New Hampshire||Uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, medical payments (financial responsibility only — insurance not compulsory)||25/50/25 (minimum available in NH, but not required by state law if you show sufficient funds)|
|New Mexico||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/10|
|New York||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist,wrongful death||25/50/10|
|North Carolina||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||30/60/25|
|Ohio||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Oklahoma||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Pennsylvania||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection||15/30/5|
|Rhode Island||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/25|
|South Carolina||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist||25/50/25|
|South Dakota||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||25/50/25|
|Tennessee||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/15|
|Texas||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection||30/60/25|
|Utah||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection||25/65/15|
|Vermont||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||25/50/10|
|Virginia||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||25/50/20|
|Washington||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/10|
|West Virginia||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist||25/50/25|
|Wisconsin||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist, medical payments||25/50/10|
|Wyoming||Bodily injury liability, property damage liability||25/50/20|
Add-ons and other types of coverages
There are a number of other coverage types and add-ons, some of which may be required in certain states.
Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged or totaled in an accident. You might also want to purchase comprehensive coverage, which protects your vehicle from almost anything except damage sustained in an accident. Common situations covered under comprehensive insurance are theft or damage from severe weather.
Another common add-on to a car insurance policy is personal injury protection, which pays your medical expenses after a crash. If you’re trying to keep your bill low, personal injury coverage probably isn’t a smart buy as long as you have a good health insurance plan — there would be too much overlap between the two policies.
There are also uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages, which get you off the hook after a crash where the other driver is at fault but doesn’t carry enough (or any) insurance and can’t afford to pay. Other add-ons pay for rental cars while your car is being fixed and for roadside assistance.
As for other little add-ons, consider skipping them. If you can cover the cost of a rental (or borrow a car from a friend while you’re in a jam), rental-car riders are unnecessary and an AAA membership is often a better deal than roadside assistance coverage if you have an older vehicle.
Frequently asked questions
How can I get cheaper car insurance?
There are several ways you can lower your monthly premium for more affordable insurance. Start by shopping around for quotes to find a provider who can offer you the best insurance rates. You can also opt for a higher deductible, which will lower your monthly premium. Take advantage of discounts, like bundling your policies or insuring multiple vehicles. And don’t forget about your credit score — paying your bills on time and keeping credit card balances low will boost your score, which will translate into cheaper insurance rates. These factors can combine to help you get low cost insurance.
Do I need full-coverage car insurance?
The type of car insurance you choose depends on your needs and the amount of risk you’re willing to take. You aren’t required to have full-coverage car insurance, but it does offer the most protection if you’re in an accident.
If you’re able to pay the higher premiums associated with full-coverage insurance, it’s probably worth the additional money. For example, if you don’t have full-coverage insurance and you’re found at-fault for an accident that caused injury to someone else, you could be responsible for paying their medical expenses out-of-pocket.
Which auto insurance provider is the cheapest?
There is no single auto insurance provider that offers the cheapest car insurance rates for all drivers across the board. The most affordable insurance provider will vary from person to person. Remember that insurance companies look at a variety of factors when determining your rate, such as your age, the car you drive, your zip code and your credit score.
How much car insurance coverage do I need?
Every state has a minimum coverage requirement that drivers must have before putting their car on the road. However, many people choose to purchase additional coverage on top of what is required for even more protection. How much coverage you purchase depends on your budget, and how much risk you are willing to take.
To find the best insurance rates from the cheapest car insurance companies, we started with the top ten providers in each state — those with above-average customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power & Associates and high financial strength marks from AM Best. We did this because affordable auto insurance quotes are great, but purchasing them from unreliable or fickle insurers could wind up being far more expensive down the road.
Next, we tallied and compared how many times each company had the first, second or third cheapest yearly premium after looking at several quotes, awarding five points for first place, three points for second place and one point for third place. Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates