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How to get cheap car insurance

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Compare ways to save on your car insurance premiums without cutting corners.

Car insurance is an essential investment for every driver, offering important financial protection in the event of accidents, fire, theft and more. It can seem pricey, but it’s still cheaper than paying out of pocket for damage and medical bills when an accident happens. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can get a good rate on cheap, bare-bones coverage or full coverage at a great price. Compare deals and coverage to save more on your policy.

Cheap car insurance quotes

Comparing car insurance quotes can be difficult, especially since every driver will get a unique quote based on your driving history, vehicle and state. The cheapest car insurance company for one driver might not be the same one for another. To give you an idea of some of the cheapest car insurance providers, compare sample quotes for a California driver looking for the state minimum required coverage.

CompanyAverage annual rateLearn more
Geico$394Read review
USAA$416Read review
Alliance$435
Progressive$536Read review
Grange$557
Mercury$564Read review
Esurance$609Read review
Kemper$615
21st Century$651Read review
Allied$666
Nationwide$666Read review
Allstate$693Read review
Liberty Mutual$709Read review
State Farm$726Read review
The Hartford$727Read review
Average$598Compare all reviews

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How do I get the cheapest car insurance?

Price is important, but it’s not everything. The best move is to find the coverage you want first, and then try to reduce your premiums from there. Compare the top 10 ways to save on your car insurance to find out if you could lower your premiums.

  1. Choose the right policy for you. When choosing a policy, consider how much you drive and what your risks are. Only pay for the cover you’re likely to need, and resist adding optional extras unless you’ve decided you need them. If your car is garaged most of the time, comprehensive might not be worth it. If you carpool to work and often drive with passengers, bodily injury coverage is probably a good idea.
  2. Consider the vehicle you drive. The coverage you need and your insurance rates are based on your vehicle. Getting comprehensive on an older car might not be worth it. A luxury car might need extra coverage and see higher premiums. Your total coverage amount should be enough to completely replace your car in the event of a total loss.
  3. Try a higher deductible. If you’re a safe driver, consider raising your deductible. This is an amount you have to pay when making a claim, and it can be anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Most insurers will offer much lower premiums if you get a higher deductible.
  4. Nominate your drivers. If you have the chance to nominate drivers on your policy, it might be worth doing. Nominating fewer drivers and, if possible, drivers over 25 years old and with good driving records will keep the cost of your premiums down. You should see lower premiums by insuring in the oldest or safest driver’s name and nominating drivers with higher risk.
  5. Be a safe driver. Take a defensive driving course to get a safe driver discount and some new skills, especially if you are a younger driver. Keeping your claims history and tickets to a minimum will help keep your premiums lower.
  6. Park in a safe location. Cars that are kept in locked garages overnight are cheaper to insure than those parked on the street. If you live in a high-crime area and you park your car on the street, you may want comprehensive insurance. Consider installing antitheft or security features for lower premiums.
  7. Look for discounts. It always pays to keep an eye out for discounts, including buying car insurance online, bundling policies, driving an electric car and qualifying for a no claims discount.
  8. Drive less. If you don’t drive much, you may want to see if you can apply for the low mileage discount option. Consider pay-as-you-go policies that are calculated depending on how much you drive.
  9. Swap to agreed or market value. You’ll save money if you insure your car for market value instead of agreed value. You want this if your car is not a classic, modified or high-end car. Agreed value coverage will cost more, but if you have a more expensive car, or you’ve improved it by adding features, this could save you money in the case of an accident.
  10. Maintain your car. Maintaining your car is important so make sure to take your vehicle for a check-up and have it serviced on a regular basis. Any deterioration could negatively impact the value of the car and lead to problems when you make a claim. Your car insurance policy will probably not cover you for damage caused by old age and improper maintenance.

The biggest way to save? Compare all your options. Don’t just sign up for the first policy you come across. For the best prices, always play the market including requesting new quotes from your current insurer. A lot of companies give better deals to new customers in order to lure them away from competitors. Take advantage of this by switching car insurance instead of renewing, or asking for a new customer price from your current insurer. Then see how each policy stacks up against the competition in both price and quality.

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Cheap car insurance options

Cheapest car insurance for drivers under 25

If you’re a driver under the age of 25, and you’re looking for the cheap car insurance you may have trouble. Younger and less experienced drivers pay more for car insurance than older drivers. Insurance companies see people who are under 25 as a greater risk, and charge more for premiums.

What’s the cheapest car insurance for people who don’t drive much?

If you’re someone who doesn’t drive often — you live in a city and take public transportation or are retired and no longer commute — a low-mileage discount is an option offered by some car insurers that reward drivers with lower premiums if they travel less than the average 15,000 miles a year.

If you think you qualify for this coverage, it could be a good way to reduce your premiums.

What are the cheapest cars to insure?

Among the ways to lower your insurance rate is to pick a car that is less expensive to cover. There are many factors that car insurance companies consider, one being the kinds of car you drive. Here is what insurers look at when determining your rates.

Car insurance breakdown by brand

What coverage do I need and how much will it cost?

When you’re hunting around for the lowest price car insurance, you’ll see a lot of options with big differences in price. When you’re comparing whether to add certain kinds of coverage, consider both the minimum state requirement and whether any optional coverage is worth it for you.

You don’t want to find yourself underinsured, particularly if you depend on your car and you can’t afford to repair it yourself. The cheapest car insurance isn’t always the right one for your needs, even if saving money is your number one priority. Consider how you’d pay for your car if it was stolen or totaled in an accident. Could you afford a new car without insurance?

Liability claims, for example, could total much more than the bare minimum if you crash into someone’s garage or a car full of passengers. If you’re looking for the cheapest coverage, it pays to play around with maximum coverage and monthly payments. An extra $5 a month could cover you for extra hundreds of thousands in coverage. But for an older car that’s worth less than your annual premium, consider cutting comprehensive and umbrella coverage.

CoverageAnnual costCoverage detailsRequiredWorth it?
Collision$300Damage to your carNoYes
Comprehensive$135Non-accident damage like theft & weatherNoOnly for newer cars or high risk areas
Property damage liability$1,000 – $2,000At fault damage to propertyYesYes
Personal injury protection$50 – 100Your post-accident injuries regardless of faultYes in 15 statesYes
Bodily injury liability$1,000 – $2,000At fault post-accident injuries to othersYesYes
Uninsured motorist5% of annual premiumDamages caused by uninsured driverYes in 22 statesYes
Umbrella$150 – $300Damages above and beyond other coverageNoOnly for high value assets
Medical payments$50 – 100Post-accident injuries for you & passengersNoOnly as health insurance supplement
Gap insurance$20 – $30Damages if car is stolen or totaledNoOnly for loans over car value

Compare the cheapest car insurance providers

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection
Metromile
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
Drive less, pay less: Metromile offers pay-per-mile driving that offers huge potential savings for low-mileage drivers. Available only to residents of California, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey and Illinois.
Liberty Mutual
Included free
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Esurance
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go.
Allstate
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.

Compare up to 4 providers

What factors go into car insurance premiums?

There are some factors that have a big effect on your premiums no matter where you get your car insurance.

  • Your age. Young drivers are riskier and pay higher premiums than older drivers.
  • Male or female. Women make fewer car insurance claims than men overall, and generally have get lower premiums.
  • Where you live. Less densely populated places have fewer accidents and so get lower premiums. More densely populated spots, particularly ones at a higher risk of incidents such as theft, will result in higher premiums.
  • Your job. Truckers, delivery drivers, taxi drivers, travelling salesmen and anyone else who’s always on the road will pay higher premiums. More time driving puts you at higher risk of an accident.
  • Vehicle size. Larger vehicles tend to be safer in a crash, and get reduced premiums compared to smaller vehicles.
  • Engine power. Stronger engines raise premiums.
  • Age of your car. Older cars tend to be less valuable and therefore cheaper to insure. The catch is that they are often more expensive to repair due to scarcity of parts. This means that when you have an accident in an older car, there’s a chance that the damage will cost more to repair than the car itself is worth.
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How to balance cheap car insurance with the best car insurance

The cheapest car insurance you can find isn’t necessarily the best car insurance for you for several reasons.

Less coverage means less protection. Your state’s minimum requirements are a good place to start, but in a major accident, you might be glad you increased your coverage. Available limits can seem incredibly high in a typical fender bender or minor crash, but consider bigger incidents that could pile up into the thousands. You’ll be left to pay for damages after your insurance coverage tops out.

Consider a few scenarios that could cost far more than a basic policy.

  • Multi-car pileup where you’re hit from behind and knocked into another car
  • Living in a no-fault state where your damages comes out of your insurance regardless of fault
  • Uninsured motorist damages to your car
  • Hitting a traffic pole that falls onto someone else’s house
  • Injured passengers in either car with extensive medical costs
  • Totaled car that still has outstanding loan payments
  • Legal damages and fees from lawsuit

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Cheap car insurance traps

  • Automatic renewal. This might be easy, but it’s not cheap. Insurers offer better deals to new customers than they do to existing ones, so don’t blindly renew your policy each year. Always check quotes from multiple providers, including your current one. If your insurer quotes you a lower new customer price than you’re currently paying, try asking for a discount. Premiums are always changing, so getting the cheapest car insurance means always looking at other options.
  • Not knowing how your coverage works. Check the fine print on your policy before signing up, and ask yourself if you know exactly what’s covered, what’s an optional extra and what’s not covered.
  • Making too many claims. Before you make a claim, remember that your claims history will influence the future cost of your premiums, and you may have a high deductible to pay. If the accident wasn’t too severe, the excess alone might cost more than the damage and it might not be worth being hit with increased premiums.
  • Too good to be true. Price is obviously an important factor when shopping for cheap car insurance, but don’t just choose a policy based on price alone. Compare the features, benefits and limits of several policies on the market. If you find much cheaper car insurance from one insurer, look for the catch.
  • Too high deductible. You can save money by selecting a higher deductible in return for cheaper premiums, but if your deductible is too high it may make it too expensive for you to lodge a claim. A good deductible is high but affordable.
  • Letting others drive your car. If you have a policy that lets you nominate specific drivers or drivers above a certain age, don’t let an excluded driver take the wheel. They are usually not covered at all in the event of an incident.

Bottom line

If you want cheap car insurance for your vehicle, you’ll need to compare the options available from a range of insurers. From liability coverage to full coverage, there are a wealth of policies and providers to choose from. The right policy at the right price is out there — you’ve just got to go and find it.

Get your personalized auto quote

Use our magical comparison tool to find providers with the best rates in your area.

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