Best Cheap Car Insurance in Washington for 2022

Just looking to get auto insurance quotes?

by Nick Versaw Updated January 21, 2022

Car insurance is a necessity, but overpaying for your premium isn’t. To take the pressure off you, we’ve gathered all the information you’ll need to find the best cheap car insurance in Washington without sacrificing the quality coverage you need. Discover how you can save and find the lowest rates whether you’re new to the road, have years under your belt, have a clean driving record or one that’s not so spotless. 

Let’s get started. 

Washington Car Insurance Requirements

Washington skyline where you can get cheap car insurance

From volcanoes to glacial ice and rainforests, Washington state’s diverse terrain offers more challenges, potential hazards—and spectacular views—than your typical open stretch of rural road. But, before you plan an expedition or simply a short trip down Main Street to the grocery store, you’ll want to make sure you meet Washington state’s minimum car insurance requirements.

All Washington state drivers need body injury liability insurance coverage for at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, as well as $10,000 for property damage. Note that these amounts are higher—double in some cases—than the minimum liability requirements of many other states. Also, while not required, you should give strong consideration to securing collision insurance and comprehensive coverage in Washington state.

These aren’t required, but are critical for covering the cost of your medical payments and handling other damages if you’re at fault in an accident. 

Like many other states, Washington mandates that all auto insurance policies are written with uninsured motorist coverage, which drivers may choose to decline. With that in mind, remember an estimated 16 percent of Washington drivers skirt the law by illegally driving without proper coverage; that’s about 13 percent higher than the national average, according to the Insurance Research Council. 

One way around meeting the minimum auto insurance requirements is to put up a liability bond or certificate of deposit for $60,000, which demonstrates your ability to compensate other motorists and passengers if you’re at fault for an accident. Fleet owners may also apply to be self-insured.

Washington state also asks drivers to keep proof of insurance on them at all times. Well, it doesn’t just ask them, it’s a requirement, and those who have all the necessary coverage but forget their insurance ID cards during a traffic stop may still be cited.

Washington Car Insurance Penalties

Judge making a ruling in court

Failing to maintain the minimum car insurance requirements in Washington state will land you a fine of at least $550 for each offense. Additionally, if this results in loss of license, drivers will need to hold a form SR-22 for three years to demonstrate their ability to pay for damages for which occur when they’re at fault.

Beyond driving without insurance, you might need to carry an SR-22 in Washington if you drive or own a vehicle that’s involved in an accident, if you fail to pay judgments against you, or if you are convicted of or forfeit bail for certain crimes. 

You can fulfill Washington’s SR-22 requirements by carrying approved insurance or by carrying a $60,000 certificate of deposit or liability bond to show you can cover damages in case of an accident. If you choose to carry SR-22 insurance to fulfill the requirements of Washington insurance laws, you must ensure the state of Washington has approved your insurance. You can use the state’s search tool to determine if Washington supports your insurance company as an SR-22 provider. 

How an SR-22 Impacts Your Auto Insurance Rates

It’s important to understand that if you are required to file a form SR-22 in Washington state, your auto insurance premiums will likely increase. Expert research suggests Washington drivers can expect the following yearly insurance costs associated with various driving offenses: 

  • Reckless operation: $1,940
  • Hit-and-run: $2,120
  • Driving under the influence: $1,978
  • Speeding ticket: $1,701
  • At-fault collision: $2,016 

Washington drivers who are required to file an SR-22 are in a high risk category according to insurance companies, so the above costs are beyond what the typical driver in Washington can expect to pay for auto insurance. For example, the increase in insurance premiums associated with filing an SR-22 ranges from $333 per year for speeding to $752 for a hit-and-run accident. An at-fault accident leads to average yearly insurance premium increases of $648. 

In summary, the penalties for driving without insurance in Washington can include fines, as well as the requirement to file an SR-22, which increases your insurance premiums. To learn more about auto insurance in Washington State, contact the State Department of Licensing.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Young Drivers in Washington

Young drivers under 20-25 thankfully pay less each month than they did in their teen years, but it’s still more than they can expect to pay in the future. 

As a young driver in Washington, you can get the lowest car insurance from MetroMile, which charges around $162 per month on average. Of course, your particular rate will vary depending on your driving record, demographics and exactly where you live, but this gives you an idea of what’s possible. Find out which provider will give you the best deal on Compare. Just enter your zip code below to get started. 

Cheapest Car Insurance for Married Drivers in Washington

If you’ve made the commitment to get married, get ready to save on auto insurance – that’s because married drivers get even better rates on car insurance than single drivers. 

Insurance Company Monthly Premium
MetroMile $68
Answer Financial $75

MetroMile offers an average monthly rate of $68 for married drivers with Answer Financial coming up close behind charging $75/mo.  

Cheapest Car Insurance for Single Drivers in Washington

While single drivers pay more for auto insurance than married drivers in Washington, it doesn’t mean you can’t find cheap car insurance. 

These 10 insurance companies offer the most affordable rates. 

Insurance Company Monthly Premium
MetroMile $85
AnswerFinancial $90
Liberty Mutual $99
Safeco $103
The General $108
Direct Auto $108
Foremost $122
Dairyland $123
Nationwide $151

Single drivers can get the lowest car insurance premiums from MetroMile ($85/mo), AnswerFinancial ($90/mo), and Liberty Mutual ($99/mo) if they live in Washington. While higher than these more affordable rates, Foremost, Dairyland and Nationwide also offer cheap car insurance options. 

Cheapest Car Insurance for Men vs. Women in Washington

Overall Average Rates for Men vs. Women in Washington 

Women pay less for auto insurance than men in Washington state. The average rate for women is $93/mo and $109/mo for men. 

5 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Men in Washington

Insurance Company Monthly Premium
MetroMile $88
AnswerFinancial $93
Safeco $109
Direct Auto $113
Liberty Mutual $122

The lowest rates for men in Washington can vary among different auto insurance providers, ranging from $88 per month at MetroMile to $122 per month at Liberty Mutual. 

5 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Women in Washington

Insurance Company Monthly Premium
MetroMile $79
AnswerFinancial $81
Liberty Mutual $82
The General $97
Safeco $100

The cheapest auto insurance rate for women starts at about $10 less than it does for men at $79/mo with MetroMile. While paying less, women still see a similar range in premiums with the most expensive on our list being $100/mo at Safeco. 

Cheapest Car Insurance for Washington Drivers with Spotty Records

man and woman involved in a car accident

Cheap Car Insurance for Drivers with a Ticket on their Record

A ticket can increase your rates, but there are some companies willing to still offer lower premiums if you have one ticket. 

Insurance Company Monthly Premium
Direct Auto $100
MetroMile $100
The General $109
AnswerFinancial $110

Direct Auto and MetroMile offer rates averaging $100/mo, while The General and Answer Financial offer similar rates of $109/mo and $100/mo respectively. 

Cheap Car Insurance for Drivers with Multiple Tickets on their Record

Rates can climb even higher if you have multiple tickets. 

Insurance Company Monthly Premium
AnswerFinancial $113
Direct Auto $142

AnswerFinancial and Direct Auto give the best rates to drivers who have more than one ticket on their driving record. 

While AnswerFinancial offers a relatively cheap rate for drivers with multiple tickets at $113/mo, the rate climbs to $142 per month with Direct Auto proving that it pays (or better yet, saves) to be a safe driver. 

Cheapest Washington State Minimum Coverage

If you want to save on auto insurance and just get the minimum coverage required to drive legally, this is for you. Just keep in mind that while state minimum coverage will help you save monthly, if you’re involved in a collision, your out of pocket expenses will likely be high. 

Insurance Company Monthly Premium
MetroMile $67
Liberty Mutual $71
AnswerFinancial $76
The General $78
Direct Auto $88

The lowest state minimum coverage rates in Washington range from $67 per month at MetroMile to $88 per month at Direct Auto

Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance in Washington

If you want more than minimum coverage, you’ll have to pay more. Full coverage auto insurance in Washington will cost more than state minimum coverage, but the added protection is priceless.  

Direct Auto offers the most affordable auto insurance at $111/mo. 

Washington Car Insurance Rate Trends

The average auto insurance rates in Washington have fluctuated since 2017. 

Year Monthly Premium
2017 $103
2018 $120
2019 $121
2020 $106
2021 $98

Drivers paid an average of $103/mo in 2017 before rates jumped to $120/mo in 2018. 2019 saw a slight rate increase to $121/mo followed by a rate decrease to $106/mo in 2020. In 2019 we saw another decrease to $98/mo. 

Where will rates fall in 2022? We’ll just have to wait and see. 

No matter where trends go, the best thing you can do to keep your auto insurance rates low is compare rates between different companies. Enter your zip code below and we’ll show you rates from 60+ auto insurance companies in just 5 minutes.

The Best Rated Car Insurance Companies in Washington

While you might be on the hunt for the cheapest car insurance in Washington, here’s an idea of the best rates companies in the state. 

These insurance companies have received top ratings across various categories including coverage offerings, discount options, average premiums and more. 

Insurance Company BBB Rating AM Best Rating J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score
State Farm B A++ 844/1000
PEMCO A+ B++ 835/1000
Allstate A+ A+ 825/1000
GEICO A+ A++ 821/1000

State Farm

State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the United States with a long history of providing quality auto insurance. They offer several discount options and top notch customer service that keeps their customers coming back. 

PEMCO

PEMCO stands for Public Employees Mutual Insurance Company and exclusively serves drivers in Washington and Oregon. It’s one of the most well known companies in the Northwest while also offering home insurance, boat insurance and more. 

Allstate

Allstate is the third largest auto insurance company in the United States. Founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Company, it became its own entity in 1993. You can look forward to special programs and a variety of discounts that help you save on your premium. Also, their Accident Forgiveness Program can keep your premiums low if you’re involved in an accident. Their slogan “You’re in Good Hands” rings true for their 17+ million customers. 

GEICO

GEICO is the second largest auto insurance company in the United States. They’re known for their low rates and ease of securing insurance while saving on premiums. 

The reality is that while these 4 insurance companies are rated the best, what’s best for you will depend on your insurance needs and your background. Some companies are better for younger drivers, drivers with a spotty background or drivers who are seeking a certain type of coverage. That’s why it’s important to compare quotes and see what’s available for you.  

It is crucial to choose a Washington car insurance provider that offers affordable rates, takes care of your needs, and provides strong customer service. Considering customer ratings is a good idea, as these rankings can help you determine which Washington car insurance policy will give you the best bang for your buck. 

Washington Car Insurance Discounts

As you might guess, you can take advantage of car insurance discounts to lower your monthly auto insurance premiums. While the discounts will vary depending upon your insurance provider and what you qualify for, there are some common discounts available for drivers. 

For example, State Farm offers the following insurance discounts in Washington:

  • Accident-free discounts for making it three years without any accidents
  • Discounts for taking a defensive driving course if you are over 55 years old
  • Premium reductions of up to 30% for enrolling in a safe driving program, which bases rates on your driving behavior
  • Good driving discounts for having no at-fault accidents or moving violations within three years
  • Insuring multiple vehicles through the same company
  • Being a high school or college student and maintaining a 3.0 or higher GPA and/or being on the Honor Roll or Dean’s List 
  • Discounts for also carrying a home or life insurance policy through the same company 

MetroMile, which tops several lists of the cheapest Washington auto insurance, also offers discounts to its customers, but they vary slightly from State Farm’s offerings. For example, MetroMile provides discounts based upon the number of miles you drive each year, and for those racking up fewer than 10,000 miles, the annual savings could be as high as $947, according to the company. 

Your car insurance discounts will vary based on your insurance company and driving history. The best thing to do is reach out to your car insurance company (or potential company) to see what they can offer you. 

Compare Car Insurance Rates by Washington Cities

map of Washington where you can get cheap car insurance

The area you live in is one of the main factors determining how much or how little you pay for car insurance. If your area has a high auto theft rate, you may pay more. If there is very little traffic on your way to work, you may end up paying less. Given these facts, you might expect to pay higher auto insurance rates in large metropolitan areas or those with higher crime rates when compared to smaller cities with lower crime levels. Check out our rate comparison table below to help you see how rates vary from city to city.

City Average Monthly Car Insurance Premium
Auburn $95
Bellevue $71
Bellingham $63
Bothell $84
Bremerton $66
East Wenatchee $60
Everett $83
Federal Way $101
Kennewick $61
Kent $95
Kirkland $74
Lakewood $82
Longview $60
Lynnwood $85
Marysville $82
Olympia $72
Puyallup $94
Redmond $68
Renton $86
Seattle $77
Spanaway $98
Spokane $67
Tacoma $90
Vancouver $76
Yakima $60

Click on the name of each city in the table above to find detailed breakdowns of all the factors that go into calculating your monthly premium. Here, you’ll find all the information you need on how things like driving record, age, gender, vehicle make and model, and more will affect how much you pay for car insurance in each locality.

Washington Vehicle Registration Fees and Other Costs

If you’re in the market for a new or used car, you’ll need to budget for more than just the vehicle’s sticker price. You’ll be on the hook for basic DMV fees like title, license plate, and registration fees no matter where and how you purchase your new car, truck, or SUV, as well as buying a new car insurance policy for your car. But some buyers will find themselves with additional fees such as sales tax, documentation fees, personal property tax, emissions and inspection fees, hybrid and electric vehicle fees, lien recording fees, and a slew of other costs.

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, the baseline cost for license renewal fees is $43.25. The filing fee for title and registration is $10. Consult the state web page to explain and list vehicle registration fees and other costs in Washington. 

Check out Compare.com’s comprehensive vehicle costs breakdown to make sure you account for all the added fees you might be on the hook for when buying a car in Washington.

Washington Auto Insurance FAQs

What car insurance is required in Washington?

Washington requires all drivers to carry auto insurance. The minimum requirement is liability insurance that covers death or injury to others in the case of an accident, as well as damage to others’ property if you are at fault. 

The Washington car insurance requirement is 25/50/10, meaning you must carry liability insurance that covers $25,000 in death or injury to one person in an accident, $50,000 in death or injury to two people in an accident and $10,000 in damages or destruction to others’ property. 

How much is car insurance in Washington?

The rate for Washington car insurance will depend upon several factors, such as your age, marital status, gender, and driving record, as well as the type of vehicle you drive. 

What happens if you drive without insurance in Washington?

The state of Washington requires drivers to carry car insurance. This means that if a law enforcement officer, such as a sheriff or highway patrolman, stops you, you must be prepared to show proof that you carry insurance coverage. You will need to be ready with a card from your insurance company, which shows the insurance company’s name, the policy number, what dates the insurance is active for, and which vehicles it covers. Being unable to show proof that you carry Washington auto insurance is a traffic law violation.

Furthermore, driving without insurance in Washington is a violation of the law. You could be fined $550 or more for failing to carry insurance. 

Does Washington require full coverage car insurance?

Washington law does not require drivers to carry full coverage insurance, but they must have liability insurance to cover damages to others’ property or injuries to other people in the case of an accident. While you are not required to carry full coverage insurance in Washington, there are minimum requirements for liability insurance, which are as follows:

  • $25,000 for coverage of death or bodily injury to one person in an accident
  • $50,000 for coverage of death or bodily injury to two people in an accident
  • $10,000 in coverage for damage or destruction to others’ property 

Can you get car insurance without a license in Washington?

You may be surprised to learn that you can get car insurance without a license in the state of Washington. In fact, if you own a vehicle but do not have a license, you should still carry insurance on the vehicle. If something were to happen to your vehicle, this would provide you with protection. 

In addition, if someone else drives your car with your permission, it is important to have insurance to cover the vehicle in case of an accident. That being said, it may be more difficult and certainly more costly to get insurance without a driver’s license. Some insurance companies may even deny coverage because you are considered too risky to them. 


Methodology

All data referenced in this article comes from a combination of proprietary data — which is aggregated from millions of real customer quotes through Compare.com — and additional data gathered in collaboration with Quadrant.