When looking for the cheapest car insurance, you might start with USAA, Erie Insurance, Root Insurance, Geico, and State Farm – which, based on our in-depth research, all offer competitive prices. In the article below, we take a look at average rates and coverage options to help you find the best auto insurance provider for your needs.
If you're ever wondering how to get cheap car insurance, we recommend seeking quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
In this article:
- Best Cheap Car Insurance Providers
- #1 USAA: Cheapest Car Insurance For Military Families
- #2 Erie: Cheapest Car Insurance For Bundling Discounts
- #3 Root Insurance: Best Usage-Based Insurance
- #4 Geico: Cheapest Car Insurance For Good Drivers
- #5 State Farm: Cheapest Car Insurance For Students
- Average Full Coverage Car Insurance Prices By State
- What Determines The Cost Of Car Insurance?
- You Can Keep Car Insurance Rates Low By...
- Choosing The Best Car Insurance Coverage
- FAQ: Cheap Car Insurance
Best Cheap Car Insurance Providers
In our study of the cheapest auto insurance companies, we found several companies that provide relatively low rates. While there are other car insurance companies that provide cheap auto insurance, we are going to focus our attention on the five mentioned above. These providers have the best rates for minimum car insurance coverage, as well as the cheapest full coverage insurance.
|Best Cheap Car Insurance||Motor1 Star Rating||Usage-Based Insurance||Accident Forgiveness||Our Annual Cost Estimate|
#1 USAA: Cheapest Car Insurance For Military Families
Not only does USAA provide some of the cheapest liability insurance, but it also offers full coverage. According to our rate estimates, USAA costs about $990 per year for the average 35-year-old driver.
The organization also made it to the top of our other charts. The only trouble with USAA is that not everyone will qualify for coverage. In fact, USAA is designed to cover only military members, veterans, and their families.
USAA also provides perks such as roadside assistance, accident forgiveness, rental car coverage, and car replacement assistance (CRA). USAA also offers other types of insurance, including life insurance, homeowners/renters insurance, health insurance, and more.
We are fond of the USAA mobile app, which makes filing a claim simple. In addition, the organization is known for its superior customer satisfaction. Throughout our research, we found two studies on auto insurance, both done by J.D. Power. Both the Insurance Shopping Study and the 2021 Auto Insurance Study indicate this provider is among the best.
USAA auto insurance might be right for you if:
- You are part of the military, a veteran, or a military family member
- You want the cheapest car insurance available
Affordable rates and numerous discounts
Only available for military and their families
Good option for military members and young drivers
Superior financial rating from AM Best
To learn more about this affordable car insurance provider, check out our USAA auto insurance review.
#2 Erie: Cheapest Car Insurance For Bundling Discounts
Another provider that shows up in three out of our four lists is Erie Insurance. This company provides cheap car insurance quotes online and is also known for customer service. The average 35-year-old driver pays about $1,183 per year, according to our rate estimates. The downside with Erie Insurance is that the coverage isn’t available in every state. You can only get an auto insurance policy if you live in these regions.
District of Columbia
Looking at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings for Erie Insurance, you'll find this provider has an A+ rating. Furthermore, the J.D. Power 2021 Auto Insurance Study suggest Erie is a leader wherever coverage is sold.
Erie Insurance might be right for you if:
- You live in a covered state
- You have had an at-fault accident
- Your credit score is excellent
|A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and A+ rating in financial strength from AM Best||
Only available in 12 states and Washington, D.C.
|High customer satisfaction||
Mixed customer service reviews during claims process
|Comprehensive insurance options||
|Variety of auto insurance discounts available||
To learn more about this cheap auto insurance provider, check out our Erie auto insurance review.
#3 Root Insurance: Best Usage-Based Insurance
Root Insurance is a little different from other insurance providers. Instead of basing your auto insurance premium mainly on your driving record, it weighs your driving behavior first. That means that in order to get a quote from Root Insurance, your driving behavior first has to be recorded through the Root mobile app, which can take a couple of weeks.
Since Root provides coverage only to good drivers, it pays out less often, which makes it one of the cheapest car insurance providers. However, that means Root can deny coverage if you aren’t a good driver.
Root Insurance provides all of the standards types of coverage. On top of that, every plan comes with roadside assistance already included.
Root might be for you if:
- You are a good driver
- You prefer doing everything through a mobile app
|Great rates for good drivers||
May deny coverage based on your driving behavior
|Everything is done through a mobile app, making for a simple quotes and claims process||
Only available in 29 states
|Includes roadside assistance||
No personal insurance agents assigned to your policy
|A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau||
A very young company compared to others in the industry
To discover more about this cheap car insurance provider, check out our Root car insurance review.
#4 Geico: Cheapest Car Insurance For Good Drivers
Geico isn’t just well-known because of its commercials, but it's also one of the cheapest auto insurance providers you can choose. According to our rate estimates, Geico costs about $1,356 per year for the average 35-year-old.
While Geico might not be the best choice for someone with a spotty driving record, safe drivers find a lot of benefits in using the provider. Perks offered by Geico include roadside assistance, ridesharing insurance, and mechanical breakdown coverage.
In addition, the company has an A+ rating from the BBB, plus it scored highly on the 2021 Auto Insurance Study. When you use the organization’s website, you will also find the quote process is simple and that you can track claims with ease. You can find a variety of plans covering property damage liability and bodily injury liability coverage, as well as comprehensive plans. No matter what type of coverage you opt for, you are likely to get one of the lowest rates through Geico.
Geico might be for you if:
- You want to customize coverage
- You don’t have infractions on your driving record
|Many choices for coverage||
Average quotes experience
|A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and A++ financial strength rating from AM Best||
|High level of customer satisfaction||
|Available in all 50 states|
To get to know this cheap auto insurance provider a bit better, check out our Geico auto insurance review.
#5 State Farm: Cheapest Car Insurance For Students
State Farm is another one of the cheapest car insurance company options and is especially well-suited for students and teen drivers. According to our rate estimates, the average 35-year-old pays about $1,312 for State Farm annually. Furthermore, the company boasts an A+ rating from the BBB.
State Farm offers Drive Safe & Save Discounts to help you keep more money in your pocket. By participating in the program, you can save up to 30 percent. The program is simple to use and can be performed from OnStar or your smartphone.
In addition, State Farm is a provider that shows up on both the J.D. Power 2021 Insurance Shopping Study and the 2021 Auto Insurance Study, although some regions rank it slightly lower than others.
State Farm might be a good fit for you if:
- You want to participate in the safe driving program
- You have poor credit
- You are an inexperienced driver
- Your driving record shows an accident
|Comprehensive coverage offerings||
Reported errors with autopay
|An extensive selection of discounts||
Not available for new customers in Massachusetts or Rhode Island
|Positive online quotes process|
|A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau|
For more on this cheap car insurance provider, read our State Farm auto insurance review.
Average Full Coverage Car Insurance Prices By State
Average car insurance rates can vary greatly from state to state. In fact, the cheapest car insurance company in one state might not be the cheapest in another. Below, you will find average full coverage car insurance estimates by state, the cheapest provider in each state, and that same provider's average cost in the state. These 2021 estimates apply to 35-year-old drivers with good driving records and credit.
Cheapest Provider Cost
|District of Columbia||$1,787||USAA||$812|
|North Carolina||$1,277||Erie Insurance||$927|
|Texas||$2,067||Texas Farm Bureau||$1,010|
What Determines The Cost Of Car Insurance?
The Insurance Information Institute (III) details all of the factors that go into determining your rates. While a few of these seem obvious, it might come as a shock to see a couple of them.
- Driving record: If you drive well and have a clean driving record, you will generally find lower your car insurance rates. If you have had serious traffic violations or accidents, received a DUI, or are considered a high-risk driver, you will pay more.
- Use of vehicle: The more you drive, the more you will pay because your risk is increased. If you do a lot of commuting or traveling, insurance companies will give you a higher rate. If you don’t spend a lot of time driving, you can sign up for what’s known as a “pleasure” rate.
- Age: Once you hit 25 years old, you will notice your car insurance premiums begin to decrease. That’s because you aren’t considered as much of a risk as a young driver. As you become a senior, the rates will once again start to rise.
- Location: Urban drivers can expect to pay more because of the increase in vandalism, accidents, and theft. Furthermore, where you park your car can have an impact on the bottom line as well. Parking in a garage might lower your car insurance rates.
- Vehicle type: Some cars are known to be expensive to insure, while others are rated as the cheapest. The companies consider the cost of your vehicle as well as the likelihood of theft, the price of repairs, and the overall safety record.
- Credit history: Credit scores designed specifically for insurance purposes are usually always taken into account as a way to examine your reliability. A poor credit history indicates a higher likelihood of filing a claim.
- Gender: Statistics by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that women get into fewer car accidents than men. As a result, women will pay less for car insurance than men, on average.
- Auto insurance coverage: The limits you choose, the amount of your deductible, and policy options affect the price you pay for coverage.
You Can Keep Car Insurance Rates Low By...
If you have speeding tickets or accidents on your record, or you suffer from poor credit, you might need to pay a higher insurance premium. Still, there are some ways to save money on your insurance costs, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
- Consider what car you buy: Before you buy a car, get a quote on insurance. You might be surprised at what models raise your rates.
- Reduce comprehensive car insurance: If you have an older car, you might consider removing the collision coverage or comprehensive coverage. Just make sure you have the money to replace the vehicle if something should happen. Not every state requires you to carry personal injury protection, either. Play with the plans to see what works for your financial situation.
- Increase deductibles: If you have some money in your savings, you can increase the deductible to lower the premium.
- Maintain a good credit score: This is an automatic way to get bigger savings.
- Ask about the discounts: You might find a lower rate for safe driving, bundling your car insurance policies, or taking a defensive driving course. Many insurers also offer good student discounts for those with high grades.
- Look for low-income car insurance: Some states have government-sponsored programs that help low-income families afford car insurance. While not everyone qualifies, it might be something to look into if you are struggling to make ends meet.
Shopping For Cheap Auto Insurance
The main key to finding cheap auto insurance is knowing how to shop. Because of the many factors that are unique to you, what might be considered low-cost car insurance for you may not be the same for someone else. Here are a few tips that might help:
- Shop: Don’t just go with the first company you land on. Instead, shop around. Each insurance company will have its own car insurance discounts and rates.
- Don’t assume one company is the best: Just because you see a lot of commercials for a car insurance company doesn’t make it the cheapest car insurance provider. Do your own research to determine who deserves your business.
- Check local insurers: While many of the big companies can provide low insurance costs, you don’t want to look past the local companies. Call a local broker to see what’s offered in your area.
Cheap Monthly Car Insurance
If you don’t drive a lot, you might consider pay-per-mile or usage-based insurance. There are many options, such as Allstate’s Drivewise and State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save. These let the insurer track how many miles you drive and how well you do on the road in exchange for a discount.
With a little work and some patience, you will find the auto insurers with the best car insurance rates for your situation.
Choosing The Best Car Insurance Coverage
While we all want to save money, it's important to remember that the cost of auto insurance isn’t the only factor to consider. After all, if you decide to go strictly with state minimum coverage and you cause an accident, you might be liable for the additional damages out of pocket. This expense is something to consider when trying to save a dollar on coverage long-term. Sometimes, paying more is better.
When choosing an auto insurance provider, you can’t strictly assess your options based on affordable auto insurance prices. You might get the lowest rate but have a company that drags its feet when it comes time to pay. In the meantime, you are left without a vehicle and in worse shape than if you had paid more for your auto insurance.
When you do your online comparison shopping among insurance providers, always consider:
- Customer satisfaction scores
- Reliability ratings
- Financial reputation
- Ease of filing an auto insurance claim
All these factors put together will help you to find the provider that fits your needs, and you can save money in the process.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best car insurance companies. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts such as J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services, and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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