How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance [2022 Guide]

Everyone wants to save money, right? One way you can do that is by getting cheap auto insurance. However, finding the perfect balance between quality of coverage and a cost that’s in your budget can be overwhelming, especially if you are unfamiliar with how auto insurers operate.

With that in mind, we created this comprehensive guide to finding cheap auto insurance. We will give you our picks for the best cheap auto insurance companies, explain how providers set rates, and give you some shopping tips.

If you would like to skip ahead and start your search for a new policy, simply enter your zip code below. By following the prompts, you can get multiple auto insurance quotes in minutes. We have reviewed all the major providers and identified the best car insurance companies in the industry so that you can buy with confidence and know your vehicle is protected when you get behind the wheel.

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Best Cheap Auto Insurance Companies

Even if your goal is cheaper car insurance, there’s more to consider than just the cost of your premiums. The best car insurance companies don’t just offer affordable rates, they also provide responsive, attentive customer service — especially during the claims process.

In our insurance study, we found that these four companies offer high-quality car insurance coverage at some of the cheapest rates:

Best Car Insurance Companies Best For Overall Rating Coverage Price
#1 GEICO Most drivers 9.1 9.5 10.0
#2 USAA Military families 9.6 8.5 9.0
#3 Progressive High-risk drivers 9.1 9.0 9.3
#4 State Farm Students 9.1 9.0 9.0

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

Our study found that the nationwide average rate estimate for full coverage insurance is around $1,732 per year or per month, based on the profile of a 35-year-old driver with good credit and clean driving history. However, your rates will almost certainly vary because insurers base your rates on a variety of different factors.

These are some of the most important:

  • Age: Younger drivers and especially teen drivers pay much higher rates than drivers from other age groups.
  • Driving record: Drivers with a clean driving record will get lower rates on average. Accidents and traffic violations can raise the price of your insurance policy.
  • Credit score: In states where they can, insurers adjust your rates based on your credit score. Drivers with higher credit scores tend to get better rates, while drivers with poor credit can pay substantially more for coverage.
  • Location: Due to different regulations and different state minimum coverage limits and coverage types, rates can vary widely between states. But they can also vary within those states too, as insurers adjust for different risk factors.
  • Vehicle: The age, make, model, mileage, and overall value of your vehicle can also factor into the cost of your coverage.
  • Coverage options: Policies that only satisfy the state minimum coverage requirements will be your most low-cost option. But if you want more coverage, you can choose to pay more.
  • Coverage amounts: As long as it meets your state’s requirements, you can choose the coverage limits on your car insurance policy. As you’d expect, higher coverage limits cost more.
  • Deductible: You’ll also have some choice over the deductible on your auto insurance policy. While a higher deductible comes with lower insurance costs, you’ll have to pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident.

Cheapest Car Insurance For Good Drivers

Cheapest Car Insurance Company Average Monthly Rate Estimate Average Annual Rate Estimate
USAA $84 $1,013
State Farm $112 $1,339
GEICO $113 $1,352
Progressive $116 $1,397
American Family $125 $1,505

Cheapest Car Insurance For Young Drivers

Cheapest Car Insurance Company Average Monthly Rate Estimate Average Annual Rate Estimate
USAA $119 $1,422
GEICO $136 $1,627
State Farm $147 $1,765
Travelers $159 $1,907
Progressive $169 $2,029

Cheapest Car Insurance For Drivers With A Speeding Ticket

Cheapest Car Insurance Company Average Monthly Rate Estimate Average Annual Rate Estimate
USAA $102 $1,220
State Farm $130 $1,554
GEICO $152 $1,828
Progressive $156 $1,871
American Family $157 $1,881

Cheapest Car Insurance For Drivers With A Recent Accident

Cheapest Car Insurance Company Average Monthly Rate Estimate Average Annual Rate Estimate
USAA $119 $1,428
State Farm $139 $1,671
American Family $173 $2,073
Travelers $188 $2,257
GEICO $202 $2,427

Cheapest Car Insurance For Drivers With A DUI

Cheapest Car Insurance Company Average Monthly Rate Estimate Average Annual Rate Estimate
Progressive $155 $1,862
USAA $161 $1,933
State Farm $161 $1,929
American Family $177 $2,119
Travelers $211 $2,527

Cheapest Car Insurance For Drivers With Poor Credit

Cheapest Car Insurance Company Average Monthly Rate Estimate Average Annual Rate Estimate
USAA $151 $1,807
GEICO $173 $2,077
Nationwide $186 $2,227
Progressive $210 $2,514
American Family $220 $2,642

GEICO: Best Overall

Average annual premium: $1,352

J.D. Power satisfaction rating: 881/1,000

BBB rating: A+

AM Best rating: A++

Telematics program: DriveEasy

GEICO is best known for its gecko-centered marketing campaign. However, the insurer brings much more to the table than just a clever advertising strategy. In fact, the company topped our rankings in all of our review categories.

We awarded GEICO a 9.5 out of 10.0 for industry reputation. The company earned a 9.0 for coverage, customer experience, and cost. We like GEICO for its low prices, wide array of discounts, and usage-based insurance option. GEICO also offers mechanical breakdown insurance and rideshare insurance.

USAA: Best Military Provider

Average annual premium: $1,013

J.D. Power satisfaction rating: 909/1,000

BBB rating: A+

AM Best rating: A++

Telematics program: SafePilot

USAA consistently offers affordable car insurance for drivers from many different categories and performs well in industry studies. However, to have access to USAA, you must be a military member or a family member of one.

USAA is known for its first-rate claims servicing and has a wide selection of car insurance discounts. USAA also offers flexible payment plans to meet the unique needs of military personnel. If your family lives on base, you can receive additional discounts.

Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers

Average annual premium: $1,397

J.D. Power satisfaction rating: 862/1,000

BBB rating: NR

AM Best rating: A+

Telematics program: Snapshot

If you have a less-than-stellar driving record, Progressive can be a smart choice. The company often offers some of the cheapest auto insurance for people with DUIs and other high-risk drivers.

Progressive has numerous discounts and ways to save on coverage. The company offers discounted rates for online account management, loyalty, safe drivers and multi-vehicle coverage, just to name a few. Progressive’s Name Your Price tool can also help you find a policy that fits your budget.

State Farm: Best Student Discounts

Average annual premium: $1,339

J.D. Power satisfaction rating: 892/1,000

BBB rating: A

AM Best rating: A++

Telematics program: Drive Safe & Save

State Farm was founded about 100 years ago in 1922. Since then, it has become a market leader in the auto insurance industry by offering unique coverage options and a variety of discounts.

Several of those discounts are aimed at students and other young drivers. These drivers typically get some of the highest car insurance premiums, so price breaks like the company’s good student discount can help teen drivers and other younger people get more affordable rates.

Car Insurance Coverage

When you search for car insurance, you’ll find that you have a lot of options to choose from. Your state has minimum insurance requirements. But beyond fulfilling those, you can choose what kind of coverage and how much you want.

Standard Auto Insurance Coverage

Ranging from basic liability insurance to full coverage options, you’ll find the following standard types of coverage at almost every insurer:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: Covers the cost of medical treatment and lost wages for other parties in an accident you cause.
  • Property damage liability coverage: Covers the cost of damages to other vehicles and property in an accident you cause.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): Covers your medical expenses and your passengers’ medical expenses, along with lost wages, regardless of who is found at-fault for an accident.
  • Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM): Covers the cost of damages in an accident if the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance.
  • Collision coverage: Covers damages to your vehicle, regardless of who is found at-fault in a car accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Covers damages to your vehicle from causes other than accidents, such as fire, theft, civil unrest, vandalism, and weather.

Additional Coverage Options

Car insurance companies offer additional insurance products that can help pay for other costs related to owning and driving a car. Here are some of the most common:

  • Roadside assistance: Covers some or all of the cost of emergency roadside services like towing, fuel delivery, and tire fixes.
  • Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI): Covers the cost of mechanical repairs in much the same way as an extended car warranty does.
  • Gap insurance: Covers some or all of the difference between what you owe on a car and what it’s worth.
  • Rideshare coverage: Covers your car while you’re waiting and in other situations that aren’t covered by rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber.
  • Accident forgiveness: Can keep your rates the same after some at-fault accidents.
  • Rental car reimbursement: Covers some or all of the cost of a rental car while your car isn’t available following an accident.

These are just some of the coverage options you’ll find. These add-ons can change based on provider and location, so ask an insurance agent for a full list of coverage options if you’re interested in getting more protection.

How to Find The Cheapest Car Insurance

Finding the cheapest car insurance quotes is much more science than art. With a little strategy and legwork, you should be able to find low rates on great coverage. There are just a few principles to keep in mind.

Look For Discounts

Discounts are one of the easiest ways to get cheap car insurance. Every insurance company is different, but there are certain discounts that are offered among most major providers.

Popular discounts include:

  • Multi-policy: Most auto insurers will give you a discount if you combine other insurance products like homeowners, renters, or life insurance with your auto policy.
  • Multiple vehicles: You can often get a discount on your entire policy if you insure more than one vehicle with the same company.
  • Safe driver: Many insurance companies offer discounts for enrolling in approved safe driving courses.
  • Good driver: Companies typically offer discounts to policyholders for maintaining a clean driving record for a specified period of time.
  • Good student: Some insurers offer discounts to students who earn high grades in school.
  • Loyalty: You may be able to get a discount for renewing your auto policy with the same insurer.
  • Military: Some companies offer discounts to military members. These discounts can sometimes extend to their family members as well.
  • Paperless billing: Some insurers reward you for switching to paperless statements with a policy discount.
  • Autopay: You can often get a discount for signing up for automatic payments.

The more of these discounts that you qualify for, the better your chances are of obtaining cheap car insurance. Before you finalize a policy, be sure to inquire about any profession-specific discounts, as these often go overlooked.

Decide How Much Coverage You Need

One easy way to get cheaper insurance is to simply get less of it. If you currently have high coverage limits or lots of add-ons, you can always remove them to get lower rates. Raising your deductible is also an option.

However, this does leave you exposed to more financial risk. Most state minimum policies have a good chance of not covering the full cost of an accident. You’ll be personally liable for any costs that exceed your coverage limits and other parties can sue you to recoup those losses.

Do Your Research

Understanding who is likely to offer the best rates for your profile can help you narrow down your search for the cheapest car insurance. Again, insurers offer different rates based on a variety of factors. While one company may typically offer the lowest average cost overall in your state, they may not offer the best for drivers in your situation.

You can use our rate tables above and similar kinds of cost estimate data to do some research on who typically offers low rates for drivers in your area and situation. This will help you build a shortlist of providers to compare and give you a general idea of what you can expect to pay.

Always Compare Quotes

Doing research can get you an estimate of what you might pay for insurance. But if you want real numbers, you’ll have to get actual auto insurance quotes.

Quotes are like offers from an insurance company and will show you the actual rate you will pay. Getting quotes from multiple companies allows you to compare those rates and find the cheapest car insurance with certainty. These days, almost every company offers fast online quotes, making it much easier to compare.


Other Ways of Getting Cheap Auto Insurance Rates

Before settling on a policy, make sure to do your research. Compare multiple quotes and coverage options. You can also request a higher deductible, which will reduce your monthly premium.

Review your existing coverage levels to see if you are paying for coverages that you do not need. You may be able to renegotiate your current policy rate by speaking to an agent.

If you are ready to shop for new car insurance rates, enter your zip code below to get free quotes from top providers in your area. 


Methodology

The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.

We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.