Listen to this article

Advertiser Disclosure

When looking for the cheapest car insurance, you might start with USAA, Erie Insurance, Root Insurance, Geico, and State Farm. Based on our in-depth research, these companies all offer competitive prices. Below, we 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.

 

In this article: 

What Is The Cheapest Car Insurance Company?

According to our rate estimates, USAA tends to be the cheapest provider overall with full coverage rates as low as $1,013 per year on average. This estimate applies to 35-year-old good drivers with good credit scores. We also found USAA to be the cheapest option in 29 states in our nationwide cost review.


Best Cheap Car Insurance Providers

In our study of the cheapest auto insurance companies, we found several companies with relatively low rates. While some other car insurance companies provide cheap auto insurance, we are going to focus in this article 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 Our Star Rating Our Annual Cost Estimate
1. USAA Auto Insurance 5.0 $1,013
2. Erie Auto Insurance 4.0 $1,113
3. Root Insurance 4.0 Depends on driving habits
4. Geico Auto Insurance 4.5 $1,352
5. State Farm Auto Insurance 4.5 $1,339
 

#1 USAA: Cheapest Car Insurance For Military Families

USAA Pros USAA Cons
Affordable rates and numerous discounts Only available for military members, veterans, and their families
Excellent option for military members and young drivers No ongoing veterans discount
Superior financial rating from AM Best  
Nationwide availability  
 

Whether you're searching for liability insurance or a full coverage policy, USAA provides some of the cheapest average rates. According to our rate estimates, USAA costs about $1,013 per year for the average 35-year-old driver.

USAA provides perks such as roadside assistance, accident forgiveness, rental car coverage, and car replacement assistance (CRA). Plus, the USAA mobile app makes filing a claim simple. USAA also offers other types of insurance, including life insurance, homeowners/renters insurance, and health insurance.

The company is known for its superior customer satisfaction. USAA earned the highest score among large insurers in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM and outscored every provider in every region in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance StudySM.

However, not everyone will qualify for coverage with USAA because it covers only military members, veterans, and their families.

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

To learn more about this affordable car insurance provider, check out our USAA auto insurance review.


#2 Erie Insurance: Cheapest Car Insurance For Bundling Discounts

Erie Pros Erie Cons
A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and AM Best Only available in 12 states and Washington, D.C.
High customer satisfaction Mixed customer service reviews about claims process
Comprehensive insurance options  
Various auto insurance discounts  
 

Erie Insurance provides cheap car insurance quotes online and is known for its customer service. The average 35-year-old driver pays about $1,113 per year, according to our rate estimates. The downside with Erie Insurance is that coverage isn’t available in every state. You can only get an auto insurance policy if you live in these locations:

Washington, D.C. Illinois Indiana
Kentucky Maryland North Carolina
New York Ohio Pennsylvania
Tennessee Virginia West Virginia
Wisconsin    
 

Looking at the BBB ratings for Erie Insurance, you'll find this provider has an A+ rating. Furthermore, the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study suggests 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

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 Pros Root Insurance Cons
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 BBB Young company compared to others in the industry
 

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. 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, making it one of the cheapest car insurance providers. However, Root can deny coverage if you aren’t a good driver. 

Root Insurance provides all the standard types of coverage. On top of that, every plan comes with roadside assistance.

Root might be for you if:

  • You are a good driver
  • You prefer doing everything through a mobile app

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 Pros Geico Cons
Many choices for coverage Average quotes experience
A+ rating from the BBB and A++ financial strength rating from AM Best No gap insurance
High level of customer satisfaction  
Available in all 50 states  
 

Geico isn’t just well known because of its commercials – it's also one of the cheapest auto insurance providers. According to our rate estimates, Geico costs about $1,352 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 in the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study. When you use the organization’s website, you will find the quote process is simple and you can track claims with ease.

You can find various 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

To get to know this cheap auto insurance provider better, check out our Geico auto insurance review.


#5 State Farm: Cheapest Car Insurance For Students

State Farm Pros State Farm Cons
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 BBB  
 

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 $1,339 for State Farm annually. However, State Farm is not rated by the BBB at this time.

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 Insurance Shopping Study and the 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

For more on this cheap car insurance provider, read our State Farm auto insurance review.

 

How Others Shop For Cheap Car Insurance

Our team surveyed 1,000 car insurance customers on their experiences. When choosing car insurance, the cost was the most important factor for 28 percent of the participants, while 25 percent said having coverage options (comprehensive, uninsured motorist, etc.) was the most important factor. Because drivers are required to purchase car insurance in most states, it makes sense that many people want to find the cheapest rates.

So how and how often do most people shop? According to our survey, 30 percent prefer to use a quote comparison tool online, and 24 percent get quotes online from individual companies. Many people also use independent brokers or call agents over the phone. Of course, since most companies offer multi-policy discounts, a number of respondents said someone else does the shopping.

Unfortunately, cheap car insurance may not stay cheap forever. On average, 41 percent of respondents said they’ve experienced a rate increase without an obvious cause like a ticket or accident.


Average Full Coverage Car Insurance Prices By State

Average car insurance rates 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. Also included below is Washington, D.C. These rate estimates apply to 35-year-old drivers with good driving records and credit.

State Average Cost Cheapest Provider Cheapest Provider Cost
Alabama $1,448 USAA $809
Alaska $1,287 USAA $893
Arizona $1,625 Geico $1,099
Arkansas $1,449 USAA $869
California $2,339 USAA $1,425
Colorado $1,672 USAA $1,070
Connecticut $1,885 Geico $972
Delaware $1,921 State Farm $1,094
Washington, D.C. $1,787 USAA $812
Florida $2,894 Geico $1,565
Georgia $1,548 USAA $1,107
Hawaii $1,238 Geico $851
Idaho $1,089 USAA $657
Illinois $1,474 Country Financial $1,044
Indiana $1,087 USAA $695
Iowa $1,095 State Farm $740
Kansas $1,364 USAA $776
Kentucky $1,817 Geico $922
Louisiana $3,828 Farm Bureau $1,482
Maine $995 Auto-Owners $535
Maryland $1,941 USAA $845
Massachusetts $2,568 Geico $1,589
Michigan $4,390 Progressive $1,682
Minnesota $1,487 USAA $942
Mississippi $1,357 USAA $825
Missouri $1,741 USAA $719
Montana $2,214 USAA $813
Nebraska $1,372 Nationwide $929
Nevada $2,332 USAA $1,357
New Hampshire $1,181 Auto-Owners $602
New Jersey $2,108 Progressive $1,326
New Mexico $1,356 USAA $874
New York $3,964 Progressive $1,310
North Carolina $1,277 Erie Insurance $927
North Dakota $1,310 USAA $671
Ohio $923 USAA $662
Oklahoma $1,630 USAA $893
Oregon $1,284 State Farm $961
Pennsylvania $1,405 Geico $1,135
Rhode Island $1,923 USAA $1,057
South Carolina $1,592 USAA $1,016
South Dakota $1,331 Nationwide $968
Tennessee $1,217 USAA $755
Texas $2,067 Texas Farm Bureau $1,010
Utah $1,446 USAA $872
Vermont $1,013 USAA $782
Virginia $1,079 USAA $782
Washington $1,271 USAA $760
West Virginia $1,390 USAA $903
Wisconsin $946 USAA $602
Wyoming $1,499 American National $809
 

According to our research, USAA is the cheapest option in 29 states. Other cheap car insurance companies include Geico, State Farm, and Progressive, plus regional providers such as the Texas Farm Bureau.


What Affects Car Insurance Rates?

The Insurance Information Institute (III) details all the factors that go into determining your rates. While a few of these seem obvious, a couple might surprise you.

  • Driving record: If you drive well and have a clean driving record, you will generally find lower 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 greater your risk. 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 higher car insurance rates because of the increase in vandalism, accidents, and theft.
  • Vehicle type: Some cars are known to be expensive to insure, while others are rated as the cheapest. Insurance companies consider the cost of your vehicle as well as the likelihood of theft, price of repairs, and overall safety record.
  • Credit history: Credit scores are usually taken into account as a way to examine your reliability. A poor credit history indicates a higher likelihood of filing a claim.
  • Gender: Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that women get into fewer car accidents than men. As a result, women pay less for car insurance on average.
  • Auto insurance coverage: The limits, deductible, and policy options you choose affect the price you pay for coverage.

How To Keep Your Car Insurance Rates Low

You can keep your car insurance rates low by choosing your car wisely, increasing your deductibles, maintaining a high credit score, finding the best discounts, and reducing insurance limits. You can also shop around to compare rates from providers.

If you have speeding tickets or accidents on your driving profile or have poor credit, you might pay a higher insurance premium. Still, there are ways to save money on your insurance costs.

  • 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, consider removing collision coverage or comprehensive coverage. Just make sure you have the money to replace the vehicle if something happens. 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.
  • 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.

Find Car Insurance Discounts

One of the easiest ways to save money is to look for discounts on car insurance policies. Some providers offer better discounts for students and others offer better discounts for owning a home. Here's a partial list of some car insurance discounts you may find:

  • Good student discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Multi-policy discount
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Defensive driving course discount
  • Military deployment discount
  • Veteran discount
  • Discounts for various safety features
  • New vehicle discount

Shopping For Cheap Auto Insurance

The 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 necessarily go with the first company you find. Instead, shop around. Each company has different 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 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 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 Cheapest Car Insurance Coverage

While we all want to save money, it's important to remember the cost of auto insurance isn’t the only factor to consider. After all, if you decide to go with just 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 you're 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:

  • Price
  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Reliability ratings
  • Financial reputation
  • Ease of filing an auto insurance claim

All these factors together will help you to find the provider that fits your needs, and you can save money in the process.

 

FAQ: Cheapest Car Insurance

Who has the cheapest auto insurance?

We recommend USAA car insurance if you're looking for the cheapest auto insurance. If you are not eligible for USAA, Erie Insurance and Root provide cheap car insurance. As always, we suggest getting several car insurance quotes to find the most affordable auto insurance for you.

What do you do if you can’t afford auto insurance?

With limited income, it is sometimes difficult to make financial decisions, including those related to car insurance. Most states have basic car insurance requirements, which is why you should never drive without insurance. If you can't afford your car insurance, consider reducing your premiums or switching to a cheaper car insurance provider. Learn more in our article: When You Can't Afford Auto Insurance.

How can I get cheaper car insurance?

Since car insurance rates are personalized for each customer, you’re not likely to see the same rates as your neighbor. Some common ways to reduce insurance premiums include choosing a higher deductible, asking an insurance agent about discounts, and dropping unnecessary coverage.

How much is USAA car insurance?

Our data shows the average annual cost estimate for USAA customers is $1,013, which comes out to about $84 per month. This is about 42 percent cheaper than the national average rate. However, USAA is only available to military members and their families.

Is Geico really the cheapest insurance provider? 

Geico is among the cheapest providers that offer service nationwide, according to our rate estimates. We found that State Farm may offer a comparable rate, but USAA has some of the most affordable prices on average. Erie Insurance also typically offers lower prices than some competitors but has limited availability.

What is an insurance quote?

An insurance quote is an estimate of the amount you will pay for car insurance based on the details you provide. Your rate typically is not finalized until the insurer checks your credit score and verifies your identity and personal information. Use insurance quotes to gauge the cost of a car insurance policy.


Methodology

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.
 

Read our other insurance articles: