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These top-rated insurers offer quality coverage at affordable rates for budget-conscious drivers.

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12/15/2023 01:54 PM

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There is no single cheapest car insurance provider for everyone. This is because every insurer uses a different formula to calculate its premiums for customers. Some auto insurance companies offer discounts that others do not, and rates vary by city and state. Because of this, comparing car insurance quotes from several providers is the best way to find cheap auto insurance.

But where should you start? This guide discusses the best cheap car insurance for several types of drivers and provides tips for lowering your auto insurance rates. You can also check our list of the best car insurance companies to get started.

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11 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

While no company is the cheapest insurer for every driver, some companies tend to offer lower rates on average than others. The table below lists average rate estimates for 11 of the cheapest car insurance companies for a 35-year-old driver with good credit history and a clean driving record.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies Average Annual Cost Estimate
USAA $1,013
Erie $1,113
Auto-Owners $1,229
State Farm $1,339
Geico $1,352
Progressive $1,397
Nationwide $1,533
Travelers $1,617
Farmers $2,032
The Hartford $2,166
Allstate $2,430

We’ve highlighted five of the most affordable auto insurance providers below.

USAA: Best For Military Members

USAA is a nationwide insurer, though its coverage is not available to all drivers. To be eligible for a policy with USAA, you must be a member of the U.S. armed services or have a direct family member (parent, grandparent, or spouse) who has an account with USAA.

For those who are eligible, USAA offers every type of standard car insurance including:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist
  • Medical payments
  • Personal injury protection

The company also provides add-on insurance options, like the following:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Rental car coverage
  • Car replacement assistance

USAA Car Insurance Discounts

USAA tends to offer the best rates for many types of drivers and provides the following car insurance discounts:

Good student discount Available to teen drivers with good grades
Good driver discount Available to drivers with clean driving records (no recent accidents or DUIs)
Military garage discount Available to drivers who garage their vehicles on military installations
Bundling discount Available to those who bundle their auto insurance policies with homeowners or renters insurance products from USAA
New vehicle discount Available for cars that are less than three years old
Anti-theft discount Available for cars with anti-theft devices
Deployment discount Available for military members who store their vehicles while on deployment
Loyalty discount Available for members whose parents have USAA policies

USAA Insurance Reviews

USAA has one of the most positive customer service ratings in the insurance industry. The company scored the highest of any provider in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠, though it does not formally rank due to eligibility requirements.

Our 2022 car insurance survey which polled 1,000 respondents found 10 percent or 101 people had a car insurance policy through USAA. Further, over 64 percent of the 101 USAA policyholders were very satisfied with the company, the highest of any provider in our survey.

Read more about the provider in our full USAA insurance review.

Erie Insurance: Good Customer Service

Erie is a regional provider known for offering comprehensive coverage options and competitive rates. Coverage from Erie is only available to drivers in the following locations:

District of Columbia Illinois Indiana Kentucky
Maryland New York North Carolina Ohio
Pennsylvania Tennessee Virginia West Virginia

In states where it operates, Erie has a positive reputation for customer service and comprehensive coverage. You can purchase all of the standard types of auto insurance through Erie.

Erie Car Insurance Discounts

Discount offers from Erie Insurance include:

Rate lock Premium rates are locked in–even if you file a claim–and will only change if you add or remove a vehicle or after you move
Multi-policy discount Available to those with multiple Erie insurance policies (such as life insurance or home insurance)
Vehicle storage discount Available for drivers who store their vehicles for at least 90 consecutive days without using them
Safety discount Available for cars with safety features such as factory-installed airbags, anti-theft devices, and anti-lock brakes
Annual payment discount Available if you pay for your entire premium up front
Youthful driver discount Available for young, unmarried drivers with good credit who live with their parents
College credit Offered to students who live away from home while attending college and do not have access to the insured vehicle while away at school

Erie Insurance Reviews

Erie Insurance has a positive customer service reputation. In the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, the company ranked first in the North Central region and second in the Mid-Atlantic region. The insurer also holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best.

Learn more about the company in our Erie auto insurance review.

Auto-Owners: Good For Affordable Rates

Auto-Owners is another well-regarded regional provider. Policies are available through individual insurance agents in the following states:

Alabama Arizona Arkansas Colorado
Florida Georgia Idaho Illinois
Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky
Maine Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota
Missouri Nebraska New Hampshire North Carolina
North Dakota Ohio Pennsylvania South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Utah Vermont
Virginia Wisconsin

You can purchase any of the main types of auto insurance through Auto-Owners, as well as home, life, and business policies.

Auto-Owners Car Insurance Discounts

Auto-Owners car insurance discount offers include:

Multi-policy discount Available for drivers with home, life, or business policies with Auto-Owners
Payment history discount Offered to drivers who paid their premiums on time for the past 36 months
Paid-in-full discount Available for those who pay their entire annual premiums up front
Green discount Available for customers who enroll in paperless billing
Advance quote discount Available for drivers who request premium quotes before purchasing policies
Multi-car discount Available for policyholders who insure more than one vehicle with Auto-Owners
Safety features discount Available for vehicles with safety features such as anti-lock brakes, airbags, and anti-theft devices
Favorable loss history discount Offered to drivers who have not filed many insurance claims in the past
Good student discount Offered to students who maintain an average of “B” or better
Student away at school discount Available to students who attend school more than 100 miles from home and do not bring their vehicles
Teen driver monitoring discount Available to drivers who install GPS devices that track driving behaviors (fast braking, late-night driving, hard cornering, and speeding)

Auto-Owners Reviews

Auto-Owners has largely positive reviews for being a smaller provider. In areas where it’s present, it scores above average in the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study. The company has an accreditation with the BBB and holds an A+ rating.

State Farm: Best For Student Drivers

State Farm is a national insurer available to every driver. Policies are sold through local agents who can tailor insurance coverage to individual needs and budgets.

State Farm Car Insurance Discounts

State Farm car insurance discount offers include:

Accident-free discount Available for drivers who maintain policies with State Farm for three years without filing any claims
Defensive driving discount Available for drivers who complete an approved defensive driving class
Good student discount Offered to students between 16 and 25 years old who maintain a “B” average or higher
Good driving discount Available to drivers who have gone three or more years without accidents or moving violations
Driver training discount Available to drivers under 21 who complete an approved driver education course
Student away at school discount Available to drivers under 25 who move away from home for college and only use the insured vehicle while on break from school

State Farm also offers programs to help customers save even more: Drive Safe & Save™ and Steer Clear®. Drive Safe & Save monitors driving habits through your smartphone and provides premium discounts for safe driving practices. Steer Clear is a training program for drivers under 25 that offers discounts to drivers who enroll in and complete it.

State Farm Reviews

State Farm has a strong claims record and solid reputation with review sites like the BBB. In the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM, the company tied for first among large insurers and ranked above the segment average. It also performed well in most regions and ranked highest in three out of 11 regions in the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study.

In our car insurance survey which polled 1,000 respondents, 13 percent or 133 people reported having State Farm insurance. Of those who had a State Farm policy, 90 percent reported being satisfied with the company overall.

For more information about this insurer, check out our complete State Farm insurance review.

Geico: Best Overall Provider

Geico is one of the best-known national insurers and offers every standard type of car insurance policy. Geico has some of the highest coverage limits of any insurer. While our quote estimates show Geico as the fifth-cheapest insurer on average, it can often be the cheapest provider for many drivers.

Geico Car Insurance Discounts

Geico discount offers include:

Vehicle equipment discounts Offers discounts for airbags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft systems, daytime running lights, and new vehicles
Accident-free discount Available to drivers who go accident-free for at least five years
Seat belt discount Offers a discount for medical payment insurance and personal injury protection policies for those who always buckle up
Defensive driving discount Available to drivers who complete an approved defensive driving class
Driver education discount Available to young drivers who complete a driver education class
Good student discount Available to full-time students with good academic records
Driver affiliation discounts Available to drivers who are government employees, enlisted in the armed services, or part of one of Geico’s 500-plus affiliate organizations
Multi-vehicle discount Offers a discount for customers who insure multiple cars through Geico
Multi-policy discount Offers a discount for customers who also have life, homeowners, renters, condo, or mobile home policies with Geico

Geico Reviews

Geico insurance reviews indicate a reliable company that honors claims obligations in a quick manner. The company has an A+ rating from the BBB and A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best, indicating its ability to pay out claims on time.

Our January 2022 car insurance survey found 11 percent or 117 people purchase coverage through Geico, making it the second most popular provider behind State Farm. Of the 117 Geico policyholders, 78 percent stated they were satisfied with the company.

Find out more about the company in our Geico insurance review.

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What Car Insurance Coverage Do You Need?

Your car insurance rates will largely depend on the coverage you wish to purchase. However, each state (except New Hampshire and Virginia) requires drivers to purchase a certain level of bodily injury and property damage liability car insurance. Some states require you to purchase additional coverage such as underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage and medical coverage. No state requires you to carry collision insurance or comprehensive insurance.

Our January car insurance survey found 67 percent of the 1,000 respondents surveyed purchased full coverage insurance, which includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Around 37 percent stated they would buy full coverage with low limits, while 30 percent mentioned they would buy full coverage car insurance with high limits.

What Determines Car Insurance Rates?

While every provider will offer different rates for your car insurance policy, most use the same factors to calculate premiums. In general, how much your car insurance costs depends on the following:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • City and state
  • Vehicle age, mileage, and safety features
  • Credit score
  • Driving history

The cheapest car insurance premiums are typically offered to drivers over the age of 25 with a clean driving record and high credit score. Those who live in cities with lower theft and accident rates will also see cheaper premiums. State insurance regulations, including which coverage is required, can impact rates as well.

Icons showing the main factors that affect car insurance costs.

Cheapest Car Insurance For Young Drivers: USAA

Younger drivers (under 25) often see some of the highest rates for full coverage car insurance. These drivers are less experienced and file more claims on average. If you’re searching for the cheapest rates as a young driver, consider the following insurers:

Car Insurance Company Annual Rate Estimate
USAA $1,422
Geico $1,627
State Farm $1,765
Progressive $2,029
Nationwide $2,293
Allstate $2,959

Cheapest Car Insurance For Drivers With Poor Credit: USAA

A poor credit score can mean increased car insurance premiums. Using credit score to determine auto insurance rates is prohibited in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington.

Car Insurance Company Annual Rate Estimate
USAA $1,807
Geico $2,077
Nationwide $2,227
Progressive $2,514
State Farm $3,616
Allstate $3,765

Cheapest Car Insurance For High-Risk Drivers: State Farm

It can be hard for drivers with recent at-fault accidents or DUIs to find affordable car insurance coverage. Driving history is one of the most consequential factors used to determine your rates.

Cheapest Car Insurance Estimates For Drivers With A Recent DUI

Car Insurance Company Annual Rate Estimate
State Farm $1,998
Erie Insurance $2,034
Progressive $2,106
USAA $2,209
American Family $2,433
Travelers $2,649

Recent accidents may not raise your premiums quite as much as a DUI, but they can still have a significant impact on your auto insurance bill.

Cheapest Car Insurance Estimates For Drivers With A Recent Car Accident

Car Insurance Company Annual Rate Estimate
USAA $1,428
State Farm $1,671
Geico $2,427
Progressive $2,471
Nationwide $2,545
Allstate $3,798

Cheapest Auto Insurance Rates In Your State

According to our cost research, the national average cost for full coverage car insurance is $1,732 per year. Car insurance rates are personalized, so you may end up with a quote that is either higher or lower than the national average depending on several factors. The table below includes full coverage car insurance estimates by state along with the cheapest provider in each state.

StateCheapest ProviderAverage Annual Rate Estimate
DelawareState Farm$1,094
District of ColumbiaUSAA$812
IllinoisCountry Financial$1,044
IowaState Farm$740
LouisianaFarm Bureau$1,482
New HampshireAuto-Owners$602
New JerseyProgressive$1,326
New MexicoUSAA$874
New YorkProgressive$1,310
North CarolinaErie Insurance$927
North DakotaUSAA$671
OregonState Farm$961
Rhode IslandUSAA$1,057
South CarolinaUSAA$1,016
South DakotaNationwide$968
TexasTexas Farm Bureau$1,010
West VirginiaUSAA$903
WyomingAmerican National$809

How To Lower Your Car Insurance Rates

Even after you find the cheapest car insurance provider for your vehicle, it’s always nice to lower your car insurance payments even further. If you are getting especially high auto insurance quotes or you’d just like to save money every month, there are a few strategies you can use to achieve cheaper car insurance rates.

#1 Shop Around

It never hurts to consider other auto insurance companies if you think you’re paying too much for your current policy. Many car insurance providers even offer discounts if you switch from another provider. The only way you will know which company offers the cheapest car insurance for you is to compare car insurance offers.

#2 Take A Defensive Driving Class

Defensive driving classes are offered in every state, and some states even require insurers to provide discounts to drivers who complete a state-approved course. The length of these courses varies from state to state, but they are typically between six and eight hours long. A driving class can be especially helpful in lowering rates if you’ve recently gotten a speeding ticket.

#3 Bundle Policies

If you have homeowners insurance, rental insurance, or insurance for anything other than your car, it may be worth purchasing these policies from the same company that handles your car insurance if possible. Nearly all insurers offer discounts for policy bundling.

Insuring multiple vehicles with the same company can also lead to discounts. You can often find savings if every driver in your household is covered by the same policy.

#4 Review Discount Offers

Review the discount offers provided by your insurer. Many companies offer special programs that monitor driving habits and provide discounts to safe drivers. If you don’t drive very often, you may find steep discounts with insurers that offer such programs.

#5 Improve Your Credit Score

Except in states where it is prohibited, insurers use your credit score to set your rate. If you improve your credit score, you can decrease your car insurance bills. Try to pay all of your bills on time and in full.

#6 Reassess Your Policy After Significant Events

There are a number of life events that can have a big impact on your insurance costs. Whenever your circumstances change, it’s a good idea to look around when you shop car insurance policies. You may find that a different insurer has the cheapest car insurance for you in your new situation. Times to reassess your insurance coverage include:

  • After a move
  • After a marriage or divorce
  • After a significant change in your credit score
  • As you get older, particularly after you turn 25
  • After you buy a house

#7 Reduce Coverage

You’re required to carry state minimum coverage car insurance, and we generally recommend drivers maintain comprehensive and collision coverage as well. However, you can drop extra coverage to reduce your premium. As your vehicle ages, comprehensive and collision policies may not be as useful.

Find The Cheapest Car Insurance In Your State

Our top choices for the best cheap car insurance are: 

  1. USAA: Best for Military members
  2. Erie Insurance: Good Customer Service
  3. Auto-Owners: Good for Affordable Rates
  4. State Farm: Best for Student Drivers
  5. Geico: Best Overall Provider

Remember that cheap auto insurance depends on each driver. We recommend comparing car insurance quotes from providers to find the most affordable coverage for your situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who has the cheapest car insurance coverage?

According to our research, USAA offers the cheapest car insurance rates for most drivers, starting around $1,013 per year for full coverage car insurance.

How do you get cheap car insurance?

The easiest way to get low-cost car insurance is to compare your options. Each insurance provider will quote you differently since costs are personalized to your situation. Reaching out to multiple car insurance companies will allow you to find the best cheap car insurance coverage for your situation.

You can also get cheap insurance by looking for discounts like bundling discounts or low-mileage discounts.

What is an insurance quote?

An insurance quote is an estimate of how much you can expect to pay for insurance coverage from a specific provider. Insurance quotes are not offers for insurance or an insurance contract.

Who has the best car insurance coverage?

Based on our research, Geico and USAA offer the best car insurance coverage for drivers. Both companies provide drivers with affordable car insurance coverage and a wide variety of discounts.

At what age does car insurance get cheaper?

According to our research, rates drop significantly after the age of 25. You will then see your insurance costs go down year by year until the age of 70, when they begin to rise again.

What is cheap monthly car insurance?

Our experts found that the average 35-year-old with a clean driving record and good credit history pays $1,732 per year for comprehensive car insurance coverage. Based on this, cheap monthly payments would total around $144.

How We Rate Insurers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car insurance providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a car insurance company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between insurers because so many factors impact annual premiums. The cheapest auto insurance provider for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. To determine our cost score, we look at insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, discount opportunities, and consumer reports.
  • Coverage: To determine our coverage score, we look at the number of coverage options available as well as coverage limits and deductible options. Our rankings also take into account additional services and benefits like roadside assistance.
  • Reliability: It’s important that an auto insurer is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong financial strength rating from AM Best score best in this category. Established insurers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Service: We comb through customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to learn about customer experiences. Insurers with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider customer satisfaction with the claims process, giving higher ratings to car insurance providers that offer easy-to-use claims apps.

*Data accurate at time of publication.