Virginia Car Insurance Guide
Compare car insurance rates in Virginia from multiple insurance companies in just minutes. Find an auto insurance quote you like and start saving!
Virginia Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements
To be a licensed Virginia driver, an individual must show financial responsibility in the form of car insurance. The minimum required insurance coverage in Virginia is:
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
- $25,000 for one person
- $50,000 for total damages
Property Damage Liability Coverage
- $20,000 per accident
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage
- $25,000 for one person
- $50,000 for total damages
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
- $25,000 per accident
The state minimums are a floor. Individuals are free to purchase greater coverage than is required. Given how much a car accident can potentially cost, the best insurance for you may be greater than the state minimums. Visit our coverages page for more details on your options.
Additional VA Insurance Coverage Options
- Collision Coverage
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Medical Expense Benefits
- Rental Car Coverage
- Roadside Assistance
These options listed above are not required in this state. However, they may be a good idea for expanded protection and service.
Virginia Car Insurance Comparison Chart
Virginia car insurance is on the cheaper side, relatively speaking. In 2014, the state’s average annual cost for auto insurance was $1,114 in comparison to the U.S average annual cost of $907.38. But that doesn’t mean everyone in Virginia pays low rates. We created a Virginia car insurance comparison chart for three different driver profiles to illustrate the range in premiums.
- Is a 44-year-old female
- Owns a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu LS
- Drives for pleasure
- Owns a home and has a master’s degree
- Is a low-risk driver with a clean driving record
- Is a 21-year-old male
- Finances a 2013 Honda Civic SI
- Drives to work
- Rents an apartment and graduated from high school
- Has two speeding tickets on his record
Joe and Julie Average:
- Are a married 41-year-old couple
- Owns a 2012 Grand Caravan SE and finances a 2011 Mazda 6S
- Drives to work
- Owns a condo and both have bachelor’s degrees
- Has minor tarnish on driving record
Which Profile is Most Like You?
All these quotes are genuine, although we’ve left out the names of the insurance companies. Obviously older, safer drivers pay lower premiums, but why are the differences so big? Let’s take a closer look.
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates
- Car insurance rates are affected by your driving history. In Virginia, car insurance companies can raise your premiums if you or a member of your household have an at-fault accident or traffic violation on your record. This is why, on our Virginia car insurance comparison chart, Johnny Racer & Joe and Julie Average are seeing some high premium quotes. By digging deeper you can see a $180 difference between the Averages’ highest and lowest paid-in-full premium. For this reason, it’s so important to compare car insurance quotes. There is good news though. In Virginia, premiums can only be increased due to accidents or violations in the past 36 months. If you want to check your driving history, you can request your records from the Virginia DMV.
- Your credit can affect your car insurance rates. Virginia permits insurance companies to consider consumer credit history when setting premium rates. So, if you have poor credit, you may see higher quotes. However, Virginia does prohibit insurance companies from deciding not to renew your policy solely because of your credit report.
- Age is a factor in determining premiums. Anyone under 25 will typically pay higher rates, but men under 25 pay especially high rates. Just look at Johnny Racer’s quotes in the Virginia car insurance comparison chart and you’ll see why. However, state law prohibits insurers from denying you a policy solely because of your age or sex — or your residence, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status or lawful occupation (including military service). And once you turn 55, Virginia law requires insurance companies to give you a discount if you complete an accident prevention class.
Want to find out how you can lower your car insurance rates? Click here!
Virginia Auto Insurance Discounts
- Accident-Free/Good Driver Discount– If you are ticket and accident-free for a specified time frame, you might notice a lower premium.
- Anti-Theft Discount– Some insurance companies may provide a discount if you use approved anti-theft technologies.
- Multi-Car Discount– If you insure multiple cars with a company, you might get a discount.
- Good Student Discount– Depending on your car insurance company, you may be eligible for a discount if you are a college student with good grades.
- Affinity Group Discount – Many Virginia businesses, groups and organizations offer “affinity group discounts” to their members. Some companies or groups that offer affinity discounts in Virginia are Dominion Power, Capital One, local or state government, state colleges or universities, and select fraternities or sororities. Check with your employer or group organizers to see if they have a business relationship with any insurance companies.
- Car Safety Discount – Certain safety features and technologies may help bring down your coverage rates.
- Passive Restraint Discount – By installing a passive restraint system, or by having a factory built air bag system, you can see a drop in insurance pricing.
- Home and Auto Bundling Discount – Add home insurance to your current auto insurance plan to receive a discount.
- New Vehicle Discount – Just by buying a new car, you may be able to see better auto insurance rates than that of a used vehicle.
Virginia Auto Insurance Penalties
Failure to meet the minimum requirements for Virginia may result in an array of penalties, including:
- $500 fee, plus costs of license and registration reinstatement.
- Suspension of your driver’s license, registration and license plates.
- A three-year requirement to file an SR-22 yearly to maintain your license, once it has been reinstated.
To learn more about the requirements and penalties, visit the Virginia DMV website.
Driving Without Insurance
In Virginia, it is illegal to drive without car insurance unless you have paid the $500 Uninsured Motorist Fee. This fee is a penalty for failure to pay insurance. It does not replace any liability coverage and does not protect you from being sued if you are at fault in an accident (and in Virginia, you’re almost always at fault). You can learn more about the Uninsured Motorist Fee on the DMV Website.
SR-22 and FR-44 Coverage
In Virginia, the SR-22 helps its citizens by tracking problem driver’s insurance behaviors. The driver’s car insurance company is required to file this form to show proof of the driver’s financial responsibility. Virginians may be required to use an SR-22 when:
- Convicted of a DUI or DWI
- Not stopping at the scene of an accident a.k.a – ‘hit and run’
- Convicted of Motor Vehicular Manslaughter
- Previous suspension from driving uninsured
- Unsatisfied judgment suspensions
The FR-44 is fairly similar to the SR-22 form, except it is usually required for drivers who have only received a DUI conviction. Insurance coverage limits are usually set with higher limits than those of the SR-22 which are:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $100,000 per person for total injuries
- $40,000 for property damage per person
Virginia Driving Laws
In order to operate a motor vehicle, you must become a registered and licensed driver. There are many laws to abide by, but here are some of the most important:
- Don’t drive without a license or with a suspended license
- Don’t drive without insurance unless you decide to pay the uninsured motorist fee
- Don’t make illegal U-Turns
- Don’t hang objects from your rear-view mirror
- Don’t text and drive
- Don’t drink and drive
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08% or above. If violated, the driver could be charged with a DUI or DWI.
In Virginia alone, there were 20,477 DUI arrests in 2015, 100 of which were drivers under 18 years of age. Let’s all work together to help lower these statistics.
It is legal for passengers to have an open container of alcohol within the vehicle in Virginia. However, if an officer has any suspicion that the driver has imbibed, this will likely increase the chance of a field sobriety test.
However, it’s not legal in every county to drink in a car. Check on your county’s local restrictions before planning to drink while your friend drives you.
Teen Driving Restrictions
- Driving between the hours of midnight to 4 A.M. is prohibited unless:
- You are driving to a school, religious or public organizational event monitored by an adult
- You are driving to work
- You are accompanied by a spouse, parent or chaperone that is 18 or older
- You are experiencing an emergency
- If you are under 18, you can legally only have one passenger under the age of 21 unless you have an adult riding along. You may have up to 3 passengers if:
- There is an emergency
- There is someone 21 or older in the front seat with a valid driver’s license
- Traveling to a school function
- Cell phone use while driving is strictly prohibited
Cheap Auto Insurance in Virginia
Virginia isn’t the cheapest state for car insurance, but it also isn’t one of the most expensive states either. The only way to find out if you can save money on your car insurance is to compare prices from several companies. In just a few minutes you could save up to 32% on your car insurance policy.
Auto Theft in Virginia
Some cars are more commonly stolen than others. If your car is statistically more prone to being stolen, it could affect your insurance premium. These are the top 10 most stolen cars in Virginia, according to nicb.org.
|Ranking||Year||Make & Model|
Virginia Driver’s License and Car Registration Guide
Navigating Virginia roadways have enough pitfalls. Getting licensed and registered shouldn’t be one of them. We can help you better understand how to get a valid Virginia driver’s license and registration.
Obtaining a Driver’s License
In Virginia, there are several types of licenses available, depending on what type of vehicle you will be driving. In addition to a standard driver’s license, Virginia residents can get commercial, hazardous materials, motorcycle and graduated licenses for beginner drivers.
Registering Your Vehicle
Registering your vehicle in Virginia is mandatory. If you do not register your vehicle, you could face a hefty fine and it may also affect your driving record.
It is also important to keep your registration up to date. It’s very easy to renew your registration on line by visiting the DMV website. To learn more about registering your vehicle and the steps necessary to do so, visit the DMV Registration Page.
Virginia State Car Inspection
A vehicle safety inspection is required for all cars and trucks registered in the state of Virginia. This is to help protect all drivers on roads by ensuring vehicles won’t malfunction and cause harm. Below is the list of components the safety inspection will evaluate:
- Parking Brake
- Other Lights
- Signal Device
- Steering and Suspension
- Tires, Wheels and Rims
- Windshield and Other Glass
- Windshield Wipers and Defroster
- Exhaust System
- Rear License Plate
- Hood and Area Beneath Hood
- Air Pollution Control System – Vehicles 1973 to Present
- Driver’s Seat
- Seat Belt
- Air Bag and Airbag Readiness Light
- Fuel System
- Floor Pan
To find out more about what is inspected with each component, visit the Virginia State Police website.