Welcome to Washington, where the rent is too dang high — and so are car insurance rates. But you don’t have to break your budget — Compare.com can help! We’ll explain all the ins and outs of D.C. car insurance: what the requirements are, how no-fault insurance works, and how you can get cheap rates.
Don’t have time to read all this? Skip ahead to the good part and get quotes for cheap car insurance on Compare.com.
How Much is Car Insurance in Washington D.C.?
|Area||Average Monthly Car Insurance Premium|
Washington D.C. drivers will likely pay higher rates to insure their vehicle than in the rest of the country. Coverage in D.C. is about $47 more expensive than it is for the rest of the U.S.
Keep in mind that these are the average auto insurance rates for Washington D.C. and that the rate you get could end up being something different. Insurance companies take in a variety of factors when determining how much to charge you for your car insurance. Things like age, gender, vehicle make and model, driving record and, in some areas, credit score can all play a part in your policy’s monthly price.
Don’t sweat it however, we’ve broken down average rates for Washington residents based on several different factors so that you can get a more accurate idea of what it might cost to insure your vehicle. And if you think you might be overpaying for insurance, simply enter your ZIP Code below to learn more about rates in your area!
Average Washington D.C. Car Insurance Rates by Age
|Age Range||Average Premium|
|45-54||Not Enough Data|
It’s pretty safe to assume that the older you are, the longer you’ve been driving, right? That experience can really work in your favor when it comes to auto insurance. According to the table above, you can see that 18-24-year-olds pay significantly more than someone who is at retirement age.
For every ten years older you get, you can expect to see a drop in your monthly premium. Once you near retirement age, however, you may see your rates climb back up a bit in Washington.
Average Washington D.C. Car Insurance Rates by Gender
In general, women pay slightly less for car insurance than men. The difference in average rates in D.C. totals about $11 per month. Based on the chart above, you can see that male drivers pay $131 on average, while female drivers typically pay $120 each month.
Average Washington D.C. Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
|Infractions||Average Monthly Premium|
One of the biggest factors in determining your car insurance rates is your driving record. Drivers with clean records will pay lower rates than those with accidents or violations. The rate for drivers in Washington D.C. with a single accident on their record is about $148 a month. Similarly, drivers with one ticket will typically pay around $169 on average.
Regardless of where you live, accidents, tickets, and other driving infractions can greatly increase your premium. So, if you want the cheapest rates, drive carefully and try to maintain a clean driving record.
Average Washington D.C. Car Insurance Rates by Vehicle
|Vehicle Type||Average Monthly Premium|
The most affordable vehicles to insure in Washington are usually trucks and vans, which run about $101 per month.
Car owners can expect to pay an average of around $131 a month for their policy, while SUVs usually cost around $118 a month to insure.
|Vehicle Age||Average Monthly Premium|
|Less Than 1 Year||$130|
|15 Years or Older||$112|
Vehicle age has an impact on the cost of your policy as well. Generally, the most expensive vehicles to insure are going to be newer ones. However, once your car is close to 5 years old you may start to see your rates drop back down a bit. In Washington, for example, the most expensive vehicles to insure are vehicles four-to-five years old.
Average Washington D.C. Car Insurance Rates by Relationship Status
|Relationship||Average Monthly Premium|
|Single (never married)||$134|
Generally speaking, those who have settled down into marriage will pay slightly less for auto insurance. This oftentimes is a result of owning multiple vehicles that are on the same policy, something that will often get you a discount.
The difference in rates based on relationship status in Washington D.C. can be as much as $38 a month, so it’s worth keeping that in mind.
Average Washington D.C. Auto Insurance Rates by Housing Situation
|Housing Status||Average Monthly Premium|
|Live with parents||$156|
Your living situation is another component of how insurance companies calculate your monthly rate. If you rent your home or apartment, expect to pay around $9 a month more than if you own your own home in Washington. But if you live with your parents, you can expect to pay a lot more.
Bundling your home or rental insurance and auto insurance policies can oftentimes reduce your car insurance costs, depending on your insurance company.
Recent Trends for Car Insurance in Washington D.C.
Given that average rates are often changing, it’s a smart move to know the direction your area is trending when selecting an auto insurance policy.
|Year||Average Monthly Premium|
In Washington, car insurance rates rose from 2018-2019, but began to turn downward in 2020. This pattern has continued through 2021 when rates have most recently hit $67.
Why are Car Insurance Rates in Washington D.C. Different from Neighboring States?
Car insurance companies will take into account several factors when deciding how much to charge for a policy. A few of these factors affecting your personal policy have already been mentioned, but others are based around your home address. These include things like:
- Crime rates
- General road safety (how many accidents each locality has)
- Amount of off-street parking
- Number of drivers in the region
- Local laws
You can’t change these factors yourself, but they’re something to take into consideration when shopping for a new policy or looking to move into an area. Different cities and towns will each have different rates, so guides like these are a handy way to get started.
How Can I find the Cheapest Car Insurance in Washington D.C.?
In the end, the only way to know exactly what your rate will be is by requesting a quote from car insurance companies. Understanding what the average costs are for drivers prior to seeking out a quote can help you understand how closely the quote reflects local trends.
Good news! Compare.com has you covered. Put in your ZIP below, answer a few questions, and you’ll be comparing the cheapest quotes from dozens of car insurance companies offering coverage in Washington in no time.
What Are D.C.’s Auto Insurance Requirements?
If you live and drive in Washington, D.C., you have to carry liability insurance that meets these minimum limits:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $10,000 in property damage liability
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist bodily injury liability
- $5,000 in uninsured motorist property damage coverage
Which Company Offers the Cheapest Auto Insurance in D.C.?
D.C. car insurance is so expensive, isn’t it? Compared to all 50 states, the District has the fourth highest car insurance rates in the U.S. So which insurance company can give you the cheapest rates?
The truth is, there’s no single company that offers the cheapest rates to every D.C. driver. That’s because car insurance rates are based on an individual driver’s level of risk, and every insurance company calculates risk differently. If you’re young, single, and/or male, you may pay more; if you’re older, married and/or female, you may pay less. Your insurance costs also may depend on the car you drive, your address, your driving history and your credit. Consumer Reports actually found that a D.C. driver with poor credit and a perfect driving record may pay $700 more per year than someone with great credit and a DUI. Crazy, right?
This means there’s only one effective way to find the best deal on insurance: Compare personalized D.C. auto insurance quotes, side by side. Enter some basic info on Compare.com, then select the level of insurance you want. To find the absolute cheapest car insurance for you, pick state minimum coverage. Get started here!
Cheap Liability Coverage in Washington, D.C.
In Washington, it can be tough to find cheap liability car insurance. D.C. is notorious for high average insurance rates, so even a basic, liability-only policy is going to cost you. Compare.com can help you find the best deal, though!
When you’re comparing quotes, choose the state-minimum option. Then, you’ll see different insurers’ rates for a policy that meets the 25/50/10 liability car insurance requirements. (The plan will also include uninsured motorist coverage because D.C. requires it.) Our sample D.C. driver, a 27-year-old woman with a clean driving record, got quotes ranging from $140 to $151 per month.
Do I Need More than D.C. State Minimum Insurance Or Should I Consider Full Coverage?
That depends on your assets and your risk tolerance. If you’re generally a safe and careful driver, and you think the chances of causing a major accident are low, you may be OK with minimum insurance. Nationwide, the average auto liability claim for property damage is $3,683, and the average auto liability claim for bodily injury was $16,110. That means if you cause a minor accident, 25/50/10 DC minimum insurance may be enough to cover you.
However, if you own a house or investments, you should have higher coverage to protect yourself in case you get sued. And if you drive a newer car, or one with a loan, you’ll need to carry comprehensive and collision coverage to protect it.
How Do I Find Affordable Coverage with The Right Amount of Protection?
It’s not easy to find reliable car insurance you can easily afford. But we can help! We’ll show you how.
As an example, we’ll look at a 27-year-old driver living in Washington D.C. who has a clean driving record. When she enters her info on Compare.com, her quotes for state minimum insurance range from $140 to $151 per month, if she pays for six months of premiums up front. (You can also choose to pay month to month, but your rates will be higher).
Those insurance rates are pretty cheap (for D.C.!) but our driver has a five-year old Jeep Compass she needs to protect. So she selects Basic coverage, which adds comprehensive and collision with a $1,000 deductible. Now, her quotes range from $223 to $252 per month.
Now, let’s say our driver owns her own condo in the District, and she wants more insurance to protect her assets. Now, she’ll get quotes for the Plus level, which gives her a whole lot more coverage. In D.C., Plus-level insurance raises bodily injury and property damage liability limits to 50/100/50 (with 50/100/25 uninsured motorist coverage).
It adds $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP), which covers medical expenses after an accident — no matter who was at fault. Plus also drops the comprehensive/collision deductible to $500, and adds towing/rental car coverage. Our D.C. driver’s best quote for Plus coverage is $297 per month.
Your quotes will be different, of course! Take a few minutes to compare quotes, then once you find the best quote for the policy you want, just click to buy.
How Does No Fault Insurance Work in D.C.?
The District has a no-fault law for auto insurance, which means that when you get into an accident, you file a claim for your injuries with your own insurance company — no matter who’s at fault. So if a driver hits you and you suffer a fractured wrist, you would turn to your own insurance to pay your out-of-pocket medical expenses.
A lot of people think “no-fault” means they’re safe from lawsuits, and therefore can get along fine with the state minimum car insurance. But that’s not really how it works. In D.C., you can sue another driver if they cause an accident that results in a significant impairment in performing daily activities; permanent disfigurement or scarring; or medical bills that exceed the limits of all applicable insurance policies. After a car accident, you have 60 days to either use your no-fault coverage or file suit against the at-fault driver.
What are the Uninsured Driver Laws in Washington D.C.?
More than 15 percent of D.C. drivers are uninsured — probably because insurance is so expensive! But it’s not OK to drive without insurance. If you drop your insurance coverage, your vehicle registration will be suspended, and you’ll get hit with ever-increasing fines: $150 for a lapse in insurance coverage from 1 to 30 days, then $7 for each additional uninsured day, up to a maximum of $2,500.
If you’re having a hard time finding D.C. car insurance you can afford, Compare.com can help you compare your options and get multiple quotes. Start now!
What Costs Come with Buying a Car in Washington D.C.?
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.
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 the nation’s capital.
Washington D.C. Auto Insurance FAQs
What factors affect car insurance quotes in Washington D.C.?
Car insurance companies calculate quotes based on a wide array of factors. These include things you can’t control like your gender and age but also factors like your vehicle’s year, make and model, as well as your driving record, credit score, marital status, and address.
Why is the cost of car insurance in Washington D.C. different from other neighboring cities?
Your address and the city you live in have a significant impact on how much a car insurance company might charge for your policy. Companies take into consideration things like parking situations, local laws, and crime rates when calculating your quote — all of which can change from city to city.
Which car insurance company will offer me the cheapest rate in Washington?
No one insurance company is guaranteed to offer the cheapest rate across the board. Since companies base their rates on factors that differ from person to person, such as driving record, number of drivers on the policy, vehicle make and model, and many more, it’s a good idea to use sites like Compare.com to compare multiple quotes at once.
Do I need to change my insurance if I move to Washington?
Whenever you relocate or experience another major life event, such as getting married or finding a new job, you should consider re-evaluating your current insurance policy. By using services like Compare.com to compare quotes from multiple companies at once, you can be sure to capture any new savings brought about by your new situation.
Do I need to wait for my policy to expire to switch to a different car insurance company?
No. You can switch companies at any time, regardless of how long is left on your current policy. So, if you’ve recently moved to Washington or it’s been a while since you last compared car insurance rates, you may want to take 10 minutes and see if Compare.com can save you money.