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If you want to save money on your car insurance bill every month, there’s only one fast, easy, and free way to do it — getting quotes from multiple companies and comparing the rates they offer head-to-head. But with hundreds of car insurance companies out there, where do you even start? In our comprehensive guide below, we’ve broken down average rates from some of the country’s top insurance carriers and put together a list of everything you’ll need to know to start saving today.
In This Article
- Compare Average Car Insurance Rates by Company
- See How Rates Differ by State
- See Average Rates for Different Driver Profiles
- Find the Best Insurance Discounts
- The Easiest Way to Compare Car Insurance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Which Car Insurance Company has the Best Rates?
Just about every auto insurance company out there has advertisements on TV or online about saving you money on car insurance, but how are you supposed to know which one really offers the cheapest rates? While rates can vary quite a bit from driver to driver, the same can be said for insurance companies.
In the table below, you’ll see the national average rates for 10 of the top insurance companies in the U.S.
|Avg. Monthly Premium|
|AAA Auto Insurance||$314|
As you can see, rates can vary wildly from one company to the next. Companies like American Family, Erie Insurance, and State Farm have some of the cheapest average rates, while other companies’ prices can be over twice as expensive. That’s why it’s so important to compare auto insurance rates.
But just looking at the national averages doesn’t necessarily paint the whole picture. Car insurance pricing can vary drastically from person to person, and since no two drivers are the same, just because one company has the cheapest average rates, it doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be the cheapest for you.
Insurance companies take a wide array of factors into consideration when calculating how much to charge for insurance, including things like your age, gender, driving record, insurance history, where you live, and in some places, even your credit score. And without comparing quotes from multiple companies, there’s no real way to know which company will be the cheapest option for your unique profile.
Keep reading to see breakdowns of how rates change by all sorts of different factors.
Which Company is Cheapest for Liability Insurance? What About Full Coverage?
|Liability Only||Full Coverage|
|AAA Auto Insurance||$169||$459|
Car insurance can seem pretty complicated at times, but that doesn’t mean you need to get overwhelmed when you go to get quotes and compare rates for auto insurance. At the end of the day, while it may seem like there are a million different types of car insurance coverages out there, the two most common are “liability only” and “full coverage” policies.
Liability coverage is what’s required for all drivers in nearly every state. With this type of coverage, you have insurance to cover any injuries or property damage you cause to other drivers or passengers in an at-fault accident.
You’ll usually see these policies described with a series of three numbers, like 25/50/25. These describe the coverage limits under your policy. For example, a 25/50/25 policy has $25,000 worth of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of combined bodily injury liability for everyone involved in the accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability. This means that if you cause an accident, your insurance carrier will cover any damages up to these amounts, with anything above those limits falling on you to pay out of pocket.
The biggest downside to “liability only” car insurance policies is that they don’t cover any damage to your vehicle if you are at fault in a collision. In order to cover your vehicle, you’ll need what’s often called “full coverage,” which includes collision coverage and comprehensive coverage in addition to the bodily injury and property damage coverage you get with liability. With these types of policies, any damage to your car, whether from a collision, theft, break-in-, or even an “act of God,” will be covered by your insurance company after you pay your deductible (which is usually between $500-$1,000).
So, you’re probably wondering how much more expensive it is to get full coverage. Looking back at the top 10 companies mentioned earlier, the difference is significant, with most companies charging more than double to step up from a liability-only policy to one that has full coverage.
But as you can see, rates are still pretty drastically different across each company – another reason why comparing car insurance rates is so important.
Compare Rates for Liability vs. Full Coverage
Which State Has the Cheapest Car Insurance Rates?
Did you know that the state you live in is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to how much you can expect to pay for car insurance – sometimes even more than your driving record? Since auto insurance is regulated at the state level, rates can vary drastically from one state to the next. Keep reading to see how your state stacks up compared to the rest of the country.
|U.S. State (Cheapest to Most Expensive)||Avg. Monthly Premium|
In the above table, you’ll see average prices for liability insurance for each state, ordered from cheapest to most expensive. As you can see, the differences can be massive. For example, if you live in New York or New Jersey, you can expect to pay nearly double what drivers in Idaho or Iowa might pay. Even two neighboring states can have big differences – North Carolina’s average rates are nearly 25% cheaper than South Carolina’s, for instance.
So, if you’re planning on moving across state lines, you’ll definitely want to take the time to compare car insurance. It could make a huge difference in your monthly budget at your new home.
Find the Best Car Insurance Prices in Your State
Does Car Insurance Get Cheaper as You Get Older?
Two of the biggest factors affecting your car insurance rates are unfortunately two you don’t have any control over – how old you are and your gender assigned at birth. See how each affects your insurance rates in the tables and writeups below.
|18 year old||25 year old||65+ year old|
|AAA Auto Insurance||$689||$276||$238|
It’s probably no surprise that young drivers pay the most for auto insurance out of any age group. That’s because teenagers who have less experience driving are statistically much more likely to get into collisions that cause car insurance claims.
As you can see above, that difference can sometimes be staggering. Looking at the top companies, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of over $400 a month for their car insurance. Luckily, by the time you turn 25, your monthly rates will likely plummet – average rates for 25-year-olds is nearly two-and-a-half times less at $154 a month.
Drivers around retirement age tend to get the lowest rates due to their decades of experience on the roads. When looking at these companies, in particular, drivers 65 or older tend to pay around $135 each month for their car insurance.
Breaking Down Auto Insurance Rates by Gender
|AAA Auto Insurance||$331||$297|
Gender is another factor that can play a role in how much you pay for auto insurance. Generally, men will pay a little bit more each month compared to women – this is because they’re statistically more likely to cause a collision or get a ticket.
Usually, that difference is around 5% for most companies. It may not be huge, but even a few dollars a month can add up to something significant over the length of your policy.
How Much Will Your Rates Go Up After an Accident or Ticket?
It’s no secret that if you get into an accident or get a ticket, your auto insurance rates will most likely go up. But exactly how much of an increase will it be?
|Avg. Monthly Premium||Cheapest Company|
|Clean Record||$142||American Family – $118/mo.|
|1 Ticket||$177||Erie – $137/mo.|
|1 Accident||$202||American Family – $138/mo.|
|1 DUI||$227||American Family – $158|
Judging by the average rates of the carriers mentioned above, a ticket will be the least costly negative mark on your record, with DUIs causing the largest increase in rates. On average, a ticket will cause your rates to increase by about 25%, while an at-fault accident will lead to a little more than a 40% rate hike. A single DUI charge will likely cause your rates to nearly double.
So, which carrier offers the best rates for drivers with spotty records? Generally, American Family has the cheapest rates for many drivers with points on their record, but Erie Insurance, State Farm, Nationwide, and Travelers all offer competitive rates.
At the end of the day, the only way to know for sure which company is the cheapest is to compare car insurance rates. And don’t just settle for increased rates after an accident, ticket, DUI, or other driving infraction.
Following an incident like this is the perfect time to shop around for insurance. In fact, many companies (often referred to as “non-standard” carriers) specialize in auto insurance policies for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records. Going with one of these companies instead of the big names could save you hundreds.
Looking for Cheaper Insurance After an Accident or Ticket? Compare Rates and Save
How to Insurance Hikes After Getting a Ticket or Causing an Accident
If you’ve recently been in an accident or gotten a ticket, you’re probably worried about its effect on your car insurance rates. These incidents could cause you to lose a good driver discount or put a stain on your squeaky clean driving record. However, you can do a few things to avoid seeing an increase in your insurance premiums:
- Ask about accident forgiveness: Offered by several insurers, accident forgiveness insurance is when your insurance company will remove a single at fault accident from your record when calculating your insurance rates. You can only use it once every few years, so do so wisely.
- Raise your deductible: If your insurance rate increases, you can bring it back down by raising your deductible. While a higher deductible can save you money on your monthly premiums, make sure you can afford to pay it out of pocket if you have to file a claim. If you’re not sure how much you’ll save by raising your deductible, use Compare.com to play around with some numbers to see how much you’ll save.
- Take a defensive driving class: A defensive driving class probably isn’t your idea of fun, but it could help you get a discount on your insurance premium. Ask your insurer about which state-approved defensive driving classes will help you qualify.
- Ask about other discounts: Ask your insurer about additional discounts that apply to your situation. For example, if you drive less than the national average (12,000 miles), you might qualify for a usage-based discount.
- Shop around and compare rates: Shopping around for insurance after a ticket or accident can help you find cheaper rates with another insurer. They might offer discounted rates for specific coverage or allow you to only pay for the insurance you need.
Does Your Credit Score Impact Your Car Insurance Rates?
You’re probably already aware that things like your driving record play a big role in how much you pay for car insurance, but did you know that many auto insurance companies look at your credit score to determine your rates?
You might be asking “What does my credit score have to do with car insurance?” Carriers argue that your credit score has a direct impact on your overall risk, and the more risk a company takes on to insure you, the more they’ll charge for your policy. They say that drivers with bad credit are less likely to pay their car insurance bill on time and more likely to file a claim, which means they’ll charge you extra for a policy.
Like it or not, this is the case in many situations. However, some states – like California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and a few others – have outlawed the use of credit scores as a rating factor. There are also a few companies that don’t look at credit scores, regardless of where you live, including Root Insurance, Metromile, and others.
So, exactly how much does your credit score affect your monthly bill? Let’s check out some average rates:
|Avg. Monthly Premium||Cheapest Company|
|Excellent Credit||$124||State Farm – $80/mo.|
|Good Credit||$150||State Farm – $105/mo.|
|Fair Credit||$181||American Family – $141/mo.|
|Poor Credit||$268||American Family – $201/mo.|
As you can see, your credit score can have a lot bigger impact than you might have thought. Looking at overall average rates, a driver with “poor” credit can expect to pay more than double that of one who has an “excellent” credit score.
With that in mind, you’re probably wondering which company is the cheapest option for drivers with varying credit scores. Generally, State Farm has better rates for drivers with higher credit scores, while American Family offers the cheapest average rates for drivers with low credit scores.
But that doesn’t mean you should go straight to those companies for the cheapest rates. Since some companies don’t use credit scores at all, drivers with bad credit might be better off elsewhere. Once again, the only way to know you’re getting the best rates is to get quotes from multiple companies.
Find the Cheapest Rate for You in Minutes
The More You Drive, The More You Pay (usually)
One of the often-overlooked factors that affect your car insurance rates is how much you drive. Any time you get an auto insurance quote, companies will ask about your commute and/or how many miles you drive each year. The reason they ask about your annual mileage is because the more you’re on the roads, the more likely you are to get into an accident and file an insurance claim.
Check out the table below to see exactly how much annual mileage affects rates.
|6,000 Miles/Year||12,000 Miles/Year|
|AAA Auto Insurance||$307||$320|
On the other hand, if you drive less than the national average (usually around 12,000 miles a year), you can save some money on your car insurance policy. But this isn’t always the case.
As you can see above, not all companies put a big emphasis on annual mileage. Some – like Progressive and Farmers – offer the same rates, whether you drive 6,000 miles a year or 12,000. Others – like Nationwide or Allstate – have a difference of less than $5 a month.
If you’re looking to save some money because you don’t drive much (such as if you work from home), a better option might be “pay-per-mile” or usage-based car insurance. With these policies, you pay a low base rate each month and are then charged based on how many miles you drove that month. If you drive far below the national average, it might be worth looking into a policy like this (often offered by companies like Metromile or Progressive Snapshot).
Find Out if a Pay-Per-Mile Policy is Right for You
Where You Live Matters, Too
We already talked about how the state you live in can have a big impact on your car insurance rates, but the actual area you call home also can make a difference.
|Avg. Monthly Premium||Cheapest Company|
|Urban ZIP||$213||American Family – $166/mo.|
|Suburban ZIP||$176||American Family – $134/mo.|
|Rural ZIP||$151||Erie – $115/mo.|
Because urban areas are much more densely populated – both with people and with cars – people who live in these areas tend to pay more for car insurance than drivers in less populated areas.
As you can see in the above table, people who live in urban ZIP codes tend to pay over 40% more for their car insurance than those who live in rural areas. You’ll also see that certain companies offer better rates for drivers in urban vs. rural areas – yet another reason to compare auto insurance rates. You never know which companies might specialize in insuring drivers like you.
Find Out Which Companies Offer the Cheapest Policies in Your Area
Save Hundreds by Comparing Rates with Compare.com
Our users save an average of $720 a year!
Every car insurance company in the U.S. claims they can save you money on your car insurance. The surprising thing is that many of them may be telling the truth. The hard part is finding which one can save you the most.
But with Compare.com, you can be confident you're getting the best rates since we work with more than 65 of the nation's best carriers, all of whom will be competing against each other to offer you the most competitive rates.
In just a few minutes, you can compare rates from dozens of companies, with no obligations or pushy salespeople. Start your free online quote today!
How to Find the Best Car Insurance Discounts
Everyone wants to save money on their car insurance, but it’s usually not that simple. You may have seen commercials from insurance companies offering discounts for safe drivers, good students, or any other number of things. But which company offers the most discounts? Or, more importantly, which ones do you qualify for?
Companies like American Family, Liberty Mutual, GEICO, and a few others are known for offering the most discounts, but unfortunately, every company offers different ones. And many of them aren’t even advertised, which can make finding all the discounts you’re eligible for difficult.
Luckily, there are quite a few discounts most companies offer (though they may be called slightly different names):
- Safe driver discounts: For drivers who have stellar driving records and haven’t filed a claim in a certain amount of time (usually 3-5 years)
- Vehicle safety discounts: For people who drive cars with extra safety features like anti-lock brakes, airbags, and other options
- Pay-in-full discounts: For policyholders who choose to pay for their entire 6- or 12-month policy upfront
- Multi-policy discounts: For drivers who use the same company for both their home insurance policy with their auto insurance
- Multi-car discounts: For customers who insure more than one vehicle on the same policy
- Defensive driving discounts: For drivers who elect to take a defensive driving course from an accredited school or institution (but court-mandated classes usually don’t count)
Some other common discounts include savings for good students, new customers, anti-theft features, and many more.
At the end of the day, the only way to take advantage of all the discounts you’re eligible for is by using a site like Compare.com to compare quotes. We factor in all the discounts into the prices offered by our partners so that you can save as much money as possible.
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Are Cheap Car Insurance Companies Legit?
There are plenty of cheap car insurance companies, but you might feel a bit apprehensive about choosing one of them. Many drivers wonder if these affordable companies are legit or if they can be trusted.
Thankfully there are several legitimate cheap car insurance companies out there that you can choose from. If you need some convincing, we’ve highlighted three companies that have great reputations in the world of affordable car insurance.
- Commonwealth Casualty: Available to drivers in Texas and Arizona, Commonwealth Casualty was awarded an A- from AM Best and an A+ from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Along with these great ratings, this company is known for its courteous and professional insurance agents on the consumer site Clearsurance.
- Gainsco: As an insurer specializing in non-standard policies, Gainsco has an excellent reputation. Customers enjoy the low prices for high-risk drivers and the fast claims processing. Gainsco was awarded an A+ from the BBB, assuring customers of their great business practices.
- Dairyland: Dairyland insurance offers affordable insurance to drivers in all 50 states. Known for their friendly service and low prices, they’ve received an A+ rating from AM Best and the BBB.
While these are just three reputable, affordable insurance companies, dozens of companies like them are in the market. Use Compare.com to shop around and find the best cheap car insurance company for you.
What You Need to Compare Car Insurance Quotes Online
Want to get cheap car insurance? The best way to get more affordable rates is by comparing auto insurance quotes. But what do you need to get started and how long does the process take?
Luckily, comparison sites like Compare.com bring the car insurance companies to you, drastically reducing the time it takes to get quotes from multiple companies. Here’s what you need to get started comparing quotes:
- Driver information: Names, birthdays, and addresses of every driver on your policy
- Vehicle information: Your car’s year, make, model, and vehicle identification number
- Insurance information: Your current company, your policy’s expiration date (but remember, you can cancel any time, regardless of when your policy officially expires), and the day you’d like your new policy to start
- Payment information: Bank account info or credit card number
Once you’ve collected all of the above information, head over to a comparison site like Compare.com and start comparing quotes. You’ll be asked a few questions based on the info above and in less than 10 minutes, you’ll have real, accurate car insurance quotes from some of the nation’s best insurance companies.
And if you find a policy you like, it only takes another few minutes to sign up, enter your payment info, and get proper coverage. Who knew getting car insurance could be so easy?
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What’s the Best Place to Compare Auto Insurance Quotes?
There are a lot of sites out there these days offering to save you money on car insurance. Some even say they’ll help you compare rates from several companies at once, but not all car insurance comparison sites are equal.
Many sites offering to compare car insurance don’t show actual rates and are actually just lead generation sites that sell ads from insurance companies. Others will show you rates, but you’ll sometimes get bombarded with phone calls from the insurance companies that they pass your information on to.
It can sometimes seem like the sites out there that advertise as tools to compare auto insurance quotes are just a scam. But some sites, like Compare.com, are legit. With Compare.com, you get real rates from real companies. Keep reading to see why Compare.com is the best place to compare car insurance.
Compare Car Insurance Rates Instantly with Compare.com
Compare.com is the first comparison site in the United States to have direct integrations with auto insurance carriers. That means you get real rates in real-time, not just ads.
These days, Compare.com works with more than 65 top insurance companies, which means that when you get a quote, you know you’re getting the best price. And unlike some other sites, Compare.com asks the right questions, which means the quotes you receive are accurate, not just ballpark estimates.
Compare.com users save an average of $720 a year on their car insurance policies. And the process only takes 10 minutes. So, what are you waiting for?
Find Out How Much You Can Save with Compare.com
The Best Way To Get Car Insurance Quotes in 2022
Want to weigh your options and compare auto insurance quotes? Here's how you do it:
Start with a Comparison Site like Compare.com
Instead of spending all day hopping from website to website, head over to Compare.com, where we bring the insurance companies to you.
Gather Up a Few Things You'll Need
Grab a few pieces of information about yourself and any other drivers on your policy, including personal info (like dates of birth and addresses), driving records, insurance history, and vehicle info.
Understand Your Car Insurance Needs
Find the Policy That's Best for You & Start Saving
Hop onto Compare.com, answer a few basic questions, and watch the quotes start rolling in. From here, pick the one that best fits your needs and head over to their site to finish signing up. Who knew saving on car insurance could be that easy?
Auto Insurance FAQs
Why is comparing car insurance important?
There’s not one company that offers the cheapest prices for everyone. Since your car insurance rates are based on things like your age, gender, driving record, insurance history, and more, the quotes you get can vary quite a bit from company to company. The only way to know you’re getting the best price is by comparing auto insurance rates from multiple companies.
Which comparison site is best for car insurance?
Compare.com is the first U.S.-based car insurance comparison tool to offer real-time integrations with top insurance companies. That means the quotes you get on Compare.com are real, accurate, and most importantly, cheap. Compare.com brings the insurance companies to you, saving you time and money, with the average customer saving $720 a year on their auto insurance policy.
How do I compare car insurance online?
Comparing car insurance is easier than you might think. You don’t have to go from website to website, answering the same questions over and over to get quotes from each company. With comparison sites like Compare.com, you simply answer a few questions about you, your vehicle, and your insurance history, and you’ll get quotes from dozens of companies in less than 10 minutes.
Who is the best car insurance company?
There’s no one company that’s “best” for every driver. That’s because each company calculates rates differently. Some companies specialize in drivers with perfect records, others try to help customers who have poor credit or bad driving records. At the end of the day, the only way to find out which company is best for you is to compare quotes from multiple companies.
Do websites that compare car insurance quotes such as Compare.com, The Zebra, or Insurify, sell their customers’ data to other companies?
Some companies offer the ability to compare quotes, but are really just lead generation sites that sell your information to insurance companies and other partners, but Compare.com takes your personal information seriously. We don’t sell user data and only pass along information to our partners if it means helping you get more accurate, cheaper quotes for car insurance. You won’t be getting spam from us.
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