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How to get cheap car insurance

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Compare the cheapest car insurance rates to save on coverage.

Car insurance is a must have 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 damages. 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 discounts to save more on your policy.

Our top pick:

  • Pay by miles driven
  • Low base rates
  • Drive less, pay less

Our top pick: Metromile

Drive less than 30 miles a day? Save on the coverage you need with pay-per-mile insurance from Metromile. Get a low monthly rate then pay just a few cents per mile. Available in AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA and WA.

  • Rates from $29/month plus pennies per mile
  • Low-mileage drivers could save $611/year
  • All miles over 250 a day are free
  • Easy app and online claims plus 24/7 support
Promoted

Compare cheap car insurance companies

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Available states
Optional
Yes, cars under 3 years old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Save up to 31% with safe driver discounts and bundling all your rides in one convenient policy.
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA, WA
Drive less than 30 miles a day? Save on the coverage you need with pay-per-mile insurance from Metromile. Get a low monthly rate then pay just a few cents per mile. Available in AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA and WA.
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Included free
No
AZ, AR, DE, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, MT, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, TX, UT
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save. Available in 20 states.
Included free
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All states except AK, DE, HI, MT, NH, VT, WY
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go. Available in 42 states.
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Backed by nearly 100 years in the business, Farmers Insurance aims to offer options and support to help you find the coverage you need.
Optional
No
All states except Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey
The General offers affordable coverage for nearly any driver who needs car insurance.
Optional
Not specified
IL, IN, MD, TN, TX, VA
Elephant Insurance offers low-cost auto insurance with big discounts. Breaking from the national herd could save up to 40% off your current car insurance.
Included free
No
AZ, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA
Known for providing insurance to high-risk customers who may have trouble finding coverage elsewhere, SafeAuto offers a lot of different discounts, from those for homeowners to good drivers.
Optional
No
AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, MO, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA
Discounts, flexible payments and a life coach that guides you to your best rates and coverage with Direct car insurance.
Optional
No
CO, DE, ID, IA, MD, MS, NE, NV, OH, TN, WA
Connects high-risk drivers to providers in its network offering affordable policies
Optional
No
All states except AK, LA, GA, HI, MA, MI, MT, NH, NJ, NY, ND, OK, RI
Dairyland offers auto insurance with flexible payment and coverage options for high-risk drivers in 37 states.

Compare up to 4 providers

Cheapest car insurance rates

Comparing car insurance quotes can be difficult, especially since every driver will get a unique quote based on his or her driving history, vehicle and state. The cheapest car insurance company for one driver might not be the same one for another. Compare the companies with the best rates for the same driver profile.

CompanyLowest annual rateLearn more
Geico$394Read review
USAA$416Read review
Progressive$536Read review
Mercury$564Read review
Esurance$609Read review
21st Century$651Read review
Nationwide$666Read review
Allstate$693Read review
Liberty Mutual$709Read review
State Farm$726Read review
The Hartford$727Read review

Who has the cheapest car insurance?

The cheapest insurance for you depends on what you’re looking for in a policy. Compare a few of the cheapest options for different drivers.

Driver categoryCheapest insurer
Safe driversGeico
Low-mileage driversMetromile
Student driversAllstate
Drivers who want to bundle insuranceProgressive
Military members, veterans and familyUSAA

Find the cheapest car insurance in your state

How much can I save on car insurance with discounts?

Just about every provider offers discounts, and you could save up to 30-50% with driver and vehicle discounts if you qualify.

  • Defensive driver. Take and pass a driver safety class and get a 5-10% discount with some providers. Bonus: If you have a poor driving record, some classes will also erase violation points from your license.
  • Anti-theft device. A car alarm will deter would-be thieves, which lessens the insurer’s risk. Today, these alarms come standard on most cars. But don’t forget about other anti-theft devices, like a steering wheel lock bar, an electronic immobilizer or a vehicle tracking system.
  • Multiple policies. Bundling your policies can bring big savings. If you and a member of your household both have car insurance, make sure you get both cars on the same policy. You can get even greater savings by bundling other insurance policies like homeowner’s and life insurance.
  • Safety devices. A car with safety features or above average safety ratings can save you money. Some safety features that will get you a discount include anti-lock brakes, air bags, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
  • Paid in full. If you are financially able to pay your full premium upfront instead of in monthly payments, you are likely to get a discount.
  • Homeowner. If you own a home, you can save on insurance, even without bundling it. Insurance providers assume homeowners are more financially stable and are, thus, less of a risk.

Save with car insurance discounts

How can I lower my car insurance rates?

Compare the top 10 ways to save on your car insurance to find out if you could lower your premiums.

    • Only pay for the coverage you need. Resist adding optional extras unless you’ve decided you need them. Consider dropping comprehensive on an older car.
    • Trade in for a cheaper car. The next time you’re shopping for a new or new-to-you car, look for lower insurance rates on safer cars or cheaper cars.
    • Try a higher deductible. Consider raising your deductible, which is the amount you have to pay when making a claim before you get reimbursed. A higher deductible means lower premiums.
    • Nominate your drivers. You should see lower premiums by insuring your policy in the oldest or safest driver’s name and nominating drivers with higher risk.
    • Be a safe driver. Take a defensive driving course to get a safe driver discount and some new skills, and keep your claims history and tickets to a minimum.
    • Park in a safe location. Cars kept in locked garages are cheaper to insure than those parked on the street. Consider installing antitheft or security features for lower premiums.
    • Shop around to compare price. Switch car insurance instead of renewing, especially if you’ve been through any big life changes like getting married or moving. You can also use comparison quotes to ask for a price match from your current insurer.
    • Beware paying in installments. If the annual cost of your car insurance is too much to pay all at once, many insurers will let you to pay your premium in installments throughout the year. While it may save you from paying a lump sum, it typically costs more overall.
    • Reduce your mileage. You could get a low mileage discount if you reduce the miles you drive. Carpool or take public transit if you can, or plan your errands for one trip per day instead of taking lots of little trips.

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What’s the cheapest type of 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.

Start with the bare minimum requirements for your state and add more coverage types from there. Then see how much extra it costs to increase maximum coverage. You can often double your coverage for only a few bucks more a month. For example, if your state requires $15,000 bodily injury liability, bumping that up to $30,000 might only cost an extra $10 a month. A good rule of thumb is that your total coverage amount should be enough to completely replace your car in the event of a total loss.

  • State minimum. Get the basic bodily injury and property damage liability insurance coverage and maximums required by your state. Some states also require uninsured motorist coverage.
  • Liability only. Cheap, liability-only auto insurance is a good starting place for low cost premiums. Add on extra coverage maximums for a slight premium increase.
  • Collision. For an extra $25 a month on average, you could get coverage for damage to your car in a crash.

What kind of coverage can I consider removing?

You might be able to drop certain kinds of coverage from your policy to get big savings on the cheapest auto insurance rates. Make sure this option works for you before cutting coverage you do need.

  • Comprehensive. Drop comprehensive on an older vehicle to save big.
  • Medical payments. Your health insurance might be enough to cover your bills in an accident.
  • Gap insurance. After you pay off your car loan, you won’t need gap insurance anymore.

How to balance cheap car insurance with the best car insurance

The cheapest car insurance you can find won’t necessarily be the best car insurance. When selecting car insurance, you’ll want to weigh cost vs. value to find the right insurance for your needs.

  • Accident forgiveness could save you long term. This feature might cost more on the front end, but when your rates go up because of a fender-bender, you could end up paying more in the long run.
  • Customer service is worth paying for. Getting great support may be worth the extra couple dollars each month. You might wish you’d factored in customer support when it comes time to file a claim or get help with an issue.
  • 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. After your coverage maxes out, you’ll be left footing the bill.
  • Free towing is often handy. Included roadside assistance can end up paying for itself when you consider the fees, hassle and time involved in getting help when you’re stranded on the side of the road because your car broke down.

Compare the best car insurance companies

When it makes sense to buy the cheapest car insurance

Getting only your state’s minimum coverage requirements could give you really cheap car insurance rates, but it could cost you much more money in the long run if you’re involved in an accident. If the cost to fix the damage to your car exceeds your max coverage amount, you’ll be left to make up the difference. That’s why it’s not always advisable to best the absolute cheapest car insurance you can find.

However, there are certain situations where you might want to consider getting minimum coverage. As your financial situation changes, be sure to review your coverage.

  • You don’t plan on putting many miles on your car. Does your car sit in the garage most of the time? The less you drive the less risk there is that you might get in an accident. This is a time when minimum coverage might be a good choice.
  • Your car isn’t worth much. Are you driving around an old car that would cost more to fix than to replace? More than minimum coverage probably isn’t worth it in this situation. Go ahead and find a budget insurer for your beater car.
  • You have little to no income. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and need your car to simply get to work, the savings that minimum coverage provides might be worth it.
  • You have a low net worth and no major assets. You are less likely to be sued if you are at fault in an accident if you don’t have any valuable assets like a home or expensive collectibles. However, you can still have a lien placed against you, or you could lose your license for an inability to pay.
  • You’re working to remove points from your license. If a poor driving history has racked up points on your license, you are likely paying a higher insurance premium. Obtaining minimum coverage in this situation can help to offset the costs.

Why can’t I get cheap car insurance?

Watch out for these enemies of cheap car insurance and other insurance traps that could prevent you from getting the right coverage. Reasons you can’t get cheap car insurance could include:

  • 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 set up automatic renewal for your policy. 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.
  • 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. For example, knowing if there are cancellation costs or exclusions on a modified part of your car could save you extra costs and headache down the road.
  • 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 deductible alone might cost more than the damage, and it might not be worth higher premiums.
  • Too good to be true. 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 a catch.
  • Wrong 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 make 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’re usually not covered at all in the event of an incident.

Bottom line

If you want inexpensive car insurance, you’ll need to compare the options available from a range of insurers. The right policy at the right price is out there, you’ve just got to go and find it. Compare your options to find cheap auto insurance that’s right for you.

Find the cheapest rates

Compare the best car insurance companies near you.

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Frequently asked questions about cheap car insurance

Jing Jun Ma

Jing Jun Ma is the innovations expert at finder.com. With nearly a decade of experience in digital marketing and programming, Jing is our tech and data guy. He develops strategy and teases relevant data into useful pages for readers across our site, among other projects companywide.

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