How to buy car insurance online

Compare quotes and get a car insurance policy the same day.

Last updated:

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Everyone who drives needs some form of auto insurance, if not to cover the costs of damage to their own vehicle, then at least to cover damage to other people’s property. But the days of visiting an insurer or broker’s office or phoning them for a quote are numbered, as most people get quotes and buy car insurance online.

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

Cheapest for safe drivers: Metromile

Pay-as-you-go rates based on how much and how well you drive start at $29/month plus pennies per mile.

  • 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

Buy car insurance policies online

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
All 50 states
Choose from a long list of discounts and coverage for almost any driver.
All 50 states
Customize your policy and get quotes online in minutes. Many drivers could save up to $500 by switching.
The Hartford
All states except AK, HI, LA, MI, RI
Enjoy benefits including rate lock, no-drop policies and accident recovery. Exclusively for drivers 50+.
Pay-as-you-go rates based on how much and how well you drive start at $29/month plus pennies per mile.
Liberty Mutual
All 50 states
Build a policy online or with local agent support, with features like better car replacement and accident forgiveness.
Find basic coverage and low rates through its easy online or app-based experience.
All 50 states
Upload your current bill and get 20+ quotes from top brands for the same level of coverage.
Safe, low-mileage drivers could save up to 52% by tracking their driving in the app.

Compare up to 4 providers

Why should I buy car insurance online?

There are many reasons to go online for car insurance:

  • Convenience. You can get a quote and buy insurance 24/7 on any device connected to the internet.
  • Immediate coverage. You can print out your policy at the point of purchase and be covered instantly.
  • Comprehensive information. You can easily find the answers to insurance questions online, for free.
  • Instant quotes. Online insurance comparison sites bring all of the insurers and their policies together in one place for you to compare. No more jumping between providers’ websites to find the best rate.
  • Money savings. Buying online is cheaper, as many insurers offer a discount for doing so.

Compare online car insurance quotes

Looking for the cheapest car insurance you can buy online? Compare sample car insurance rates for California drivers and find out how much you could save.

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

What kind of coverage can I buy online?

Regulations and minimum coverage amounts vary from state to state, but all states except New Hampshire and Virginia require drivers to have both forms of liability insurance. Whether you buy online, by phone or in person, there are five main types of car insurance.

  • Liability insurance for bodily injury. This type of coverage protects you if you are liable for any bodily injuries caused to another party.
  • Liability insurance for personal property. Personal property liability helps pay for any property damage to third parties where you’re at fault.
  • Collision coverage. This type of insurance provides coverage for collision damage to your own vehicle if you happen to get in an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage provides protection beyond liability and collision coverage. Often called “fire and theft coverage,” this type of insurance covers losses from things other than an accident like vandalism, theft and other natural causes.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist. Most drivers are required to have some form of auto insurance, but some may be driving without. Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance provides protection in the case that another driver doesn’t have enough coverage to cover the damage to your vehicle.

Can I get same-day insurance online?

Need an insurance policy on a car today? You can buy car insurance online the same day you pick up your new or new-to-you car.

If you have insurance already and want to add a new car to your current policy, some insurers offer a 5- to 30-day grace period. That means your current policy will cover your new car for a few weeks until you update your car details.

If you don’t have insurance, you can buy it online the same day you get the car, but you’ll need to show proof of coverage before driving a new-to-you car off the lot. It could take less than an hour to get, but you may need to make a down payment to activate your policy.

Pay less for car insurance

Compare your current policy with cheaper quotes for the same coverage.

  • Upload your current coverage
  • Shop 20 quotes in 2 minutes
  • Pick the best quote
  • Save an average of $825

Your information is secure.

How do I compare car insurance policies online?

Follow these four steps to compare car insurance online. Once you’ve found the right policy for your needs and gotten quotes, many providers allow you to buy car insurance online through comparison tools and get coverage on the same day.

  • Know what type of insurance you want. Do you want liability, collision or comprehensive? Decide which type of policy is best for your situation, then look for these policies specifically.
  • Compare car insurance policies online. Once you’ve decided which type of policy is best for you, use an online car insurance comparison website to look at the options side by side. Don’t just look for the cheapest policy, however. First, find one that has everything you need. You may also wish to compare each insurer’s industry standing, claims record and level of customer service.
  • Review the options. Once you narrow your search down to a handful of policies that match your needs, read the product details thoroughly to check for conditions or exclusions that might affect your level of coverage.
  • Get car insurance quotes online. Once you are satisfied with your short list, get some online quotes. These are provided instantly on many insurers’ websites and only require the input of basic details such as age, type of car, parking location, etc. Now you’re looking at several options that fit your needs and can compare them by price.

What info do I need to get an online quote?

When getting a car insurance quote online, you’ll need to provide some basic information. The more details your provide, the more accurate the quote. Here is the info you might be requested to provide:

  • Your car’s make, model, year, mileage and VIN
  • Personal info, including age, marital status and address
  • How much you drive in a year and why
  • Your driving record
  • Your credit history
  • What kind of coverage you want, like liability, collision and comprehensive
  • Other drivers who will be using your car regularly

Compare online car insurance

Is it always a good idea to buy car insurance online?

Buying car insurance online is fast and easy, but there are some reasons why you might want to consult with a car insurance agent before purchasing your policy.

If you have a great deal of assets, like owning a home, multiple cars or a business, you might want to purchase insurance through an agent. Not only will an agent help you manage all of your different insurance needs, he or she can help you save money by bundling those policies. And the agent can make sure you have adequate insurance to protect all of your assets in case you are sued as the result of a car accident.

Bottom line

The convenience of purchasing car insurance online is undeniable, plus many providers offer a discount for doing so. But make sure you’re informed about the basics of car insurance so you can choose the best coverage for your needs.

Get the cheapest quotes

Compare car insurance companies near you.

Your information is secure.

Questions about buying car insurance online

Read more on this topic

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site