AAA vs. Columbia: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

If you're in the market for a new insurance policy, you might be wondering how Columbia and AAA compare when it comes to the most affordable premiums and biggest discounts. To find out which of these companies is the best fit for you and your wallet, check out our newest guide below.
Newly insured car driving down the road
Why You Can Trust trust shield

At, it's our mission to find simple ways to help our customers save money on the things they need. While we partner with some of the companies and brands we talk about in our articles, all of our content is written and reviewed by our independent editorial team and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn about how we make money, review our editorial standards, and reference our data methodology to learn more about why you can trust

Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for car insurance, Columbia offers significantly cheaper prices than AAA
  • AAA offers more discounts than Columbia Insurance Group
  • Columbia offers more affordable rates for drivers with a DUI charge on their record

AAA vs. Columbia: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you in the market for a new insurance policy? You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering huge discounts, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might be considering AAA or Columbia as your top options, but which one has less expensive prices for auto insurance?

AAA Columbia

Looking at nationwide averages, Columbia is quite a bit cheaper than AAA, with premiums averaging $150 per month compared to $314 with AAA.

That being said, that doesn't necessarily mean Columbia will be the cheaper option for every single driver. After all, insurance companies can offer drastically different rates to each driver depending on rating factors like your driving record, your age, where you call home, or even your credit score (among other things), so rates could change drastically from person to person.

Luckily, we've broken down average premiums from both AAA and Columbia by multiple different rate factors, so read on to find out which company is the best for you.

AAA or Columbia: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State AAA Columbia

AAA and Columbia only compete against each other in two states, with Columbia offering more affordable prices to the average driver in all of them. Missouri has the most noticable difference, where Columbia rates are over 70% less expensive than car insurance prices at AAA.

But there's more to auto insurance than just where you live. As we mentioned above, there's a lot of things that go into how insurance carriers calculate your rates. Read on to find out more.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

AAA Columbia
18-year-old drivers$689$324
25-year-old drivers$276$145

Young drivers -- especially teens -- usually pay a lot for auto insurance compared to older drivers. It's because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in a car insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

But that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high car insurance premiums. As you can see above, teens who use Columbia save more than $350 a month compared to those who use AAA.

Even so, with both companies, you'll see your prices reduce significantly once you turn 25. For example, average rates for AAA policyholders decrease nearly 60% and Columbia's premiums drop over 55% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

AAA Columbia
65+-year-old drivers$238$109

Drivers around retirement age typically enjoy some of the lowest auto insurance prices you'll ever find. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which generally lowers their chances of accidents and other infractions that can increase premiums.

When looking at AAA and Columbia specifically, which carrier is best for retired drivers? Columbia gets the edge, with rates for drivers 65 and older $129 more affordable than the national average for AAA.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

AAA Columbia

Those who are single tend to get offered slightly more expensive insurance premiums than married drivers. That's because policies for married couples normally cover multiple cars, which lots of carriers will offer you a discount for.

When it comes to relationship status, Columbia is the clear winner for single policyholders, with prices about $192 per month cheaper than AAA, on average. The advantage for married policyholders with Columbia is also obvious, where drivers save more than 50% a month.

AAA vs. Columbia: Average Rates by Gender

AAA Columbia

Men are statistically more likely than women to cause a collision and get into accidents. That means when it comes to car insurance men will typically end up paying a little more.

With AAA, women usually pay almost $35 per month less than men, and over $10 cheaper with Columbia when compared to their male counterparts.

Looking at overall affordability, Columbia offers the cheapest average rates for both men and women. On average, women save about $153 a month and men save around $175 with Columbia compared to the average AAA policyholder.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

AAA or Columbia: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

AAA Columbia
State Minimum*$169$68
Full Coverage**$459$232

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

It's no secret that auto insurance can be pretty complicated. Everyone needs car insurance, but there are so many different coverages and limits that it can be hard to find the right policy.

The two most common policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability only (which covers the other party's property damage and injuries if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to liability).

If you're looking for state minimum limits for liability insurance, Columbia generally offers significantly less expensive premiums of $68 compared to AAA's $169. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Columbia again has the edge, with policies about $250 per month more affordable than AAA, on average.

Is AAA or Columbia Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

Tickets and at-fault collisions will most likely raise your rates, but is AAA or Columbia less expensive for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

AAA Columbia
Clean Record$213$104
1 Speeding Ticket$299$118

AAA policyholders can expect their prices to go up an average of $86 a month if they get a ticket, while Columbia normally raises rates around $14 per month, on average.

However, Columbia is usually the cheaper option for both drivers who have clean records and those with a recent speeding ticket -- their rates are around 51% less expensive for drivers with clean records and 61% more affordable for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

AAA Columbia
Clean Record$213$104
1 At-Fault Accident$339$142

AAA drivers who get in a collision can expect to see their premiums climb by over 35%, while those who have insurance through Columbia will see about a 25% increase.

Overall, the cheaper prices come from Columbia, with monthly premiums averaging $142 compared to AAA Insurance's $339.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

AAA Columbia
Clean Record$213$104
1 DUI$403$236

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple ticket or even an accident. For example, AAA increases average rates by just under $200 a month -- that's over a 45% increase.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable prices, Columbia tends to be the much more affordable option with average premiums of $236 a month compared to $403 from AAA.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

How does Credit Score Impact AAA and Columbia Rates?

Did you know that many car insurance companies take into account your credit score when calculating prices? This isn't always the case (for example, Michigan and Massachusetts are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it does affect quite a few policyholders out there.

The reasoning auto insurance carriers use is that drivers with bad credit will be less likely to pay their bills on time; so normally, they'll be asked to pay more, while those with good credit will be rewarded with less expensive rates.

So, which company offers the lowest prices for policyholders with good, average, or poor credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

AAA Columbia
Excellent Credit Score$185$138
Good Credit Score$247$141

If you have solid credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Columbia. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save more than 25% compared to AAA, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- around $106 or 43% cheaper every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

AAA Columbia
Fair Credit Score$304$147
Poor Credit Score$539$174

Columbia typically offers lower premiums than AAA when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about $157 per month less with Columbia compared to AAA, and those with "poor" scores typically save an average of around $365 per month.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Is AAA or Columbia Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

AAA Columbia
6,000 Annual Miles$307$150
12,000 Annual Miles$320$150

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in how much insurance companies will charge for coverage. Generally, those who drive fewer miles will end up with less expensive rates since there's less of a chance of getting into a collision and causing an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Columbia charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly premiums for AAA, with policyholders who drive 6,000 miles each year paying about $13 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, Columbia is the cheaper option for drivers in both categories.

AAA vs. Columbia: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where your home is can play a big role in how much you pay for auto insurance. Usually, those who live in rural areas will pay less than policyholders in urban areas because there are a lot fewer cars on the roads in those areas.

AAA Columbia
Urban Areas$384$169
Suburban Areas$301$152
Rural Areas$256$129

Columbia boasts the cheapest average rates for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

Drivers in rural ZIP codes see the lowest prices from both carriers, but Columbia comes out on top with average rates around $129 monthly. Columbia also has more affordable average premiums for policyholders in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a 56% and 50% a month respective difference when compared to AAA drivers in similar areas.

AAA vs. Columbia Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new car insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as possible, and the best way to do that is by utilizing as many insurance discounts as you can.

But where do you even start? With so many discounts out there, it may seem hard to find all the of the ones you qualify for.

In the section below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both AAA and Columbia so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

AAA Columbia
AAA Discount 
ABS Discount 
Academic Discount 
Advance Quote Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount
Driver Training Discount
DriveSharp Discount 
Education Discount 
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount
Garage Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount
Hybrid Vehicle Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 

AAA knocks Columbia out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 22 more discounts than Columbia.

Both companies offer lots of the same discounts -- like anti-theft discounts, distant student discounts, employee discounts, and multi-policy discounts -- but AAA also offers AAA discounts, academic discounts, advance quote discounts, and more that Columbia does not.

On the flip side, Columbia has a couple unique discounts of its own -- ABS discounts and education discounts.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Final Thoughts: Is AAA or Columbia Best for You?

So, you've seen how different factors can affect your auto insurance prices. We've broken down the different discounts each company offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, which insurance carrier is the right company for you and your specific driver profile?

Columbia might be best for you if....

  • You're single and purchasing insurance by yourself.
  • You're looking for more protection with "full coverage" car insurance.
  • You are over 65 years old and want to save some money on your insurance.

AAA might be best for you if...

  • You want to save extra money with discounts.

We hope this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare AAA and Columbia and that you can now make a more informed decision when it comes to your auto insurance.

At the end of the day, the sure-fire way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from multiple carriers, not just AAA and Columbia. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Simply enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top auto insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

AAA vs. Columbia FAQs

Is AAA or Columbia cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Columbia is the less expensive of the two carriers, offering average rates of $150 per month compared to $314 for AAA. But Columbia won't necessarily be the cheapest company for each driver, since there are many different variables (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, AAA or Columbia?

Sadly, the real answer is "it depends.". One carrier is not necessarily "better" for every driver -- it all boils down to your unique insurance profile.

Why do AAA and Columbia offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies take a look at several different factors when determining the premiums they charge policyholders. Things like age, where you live, your driving record, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both AAA and Columbia calculate prices using different variables, so each one will most likely offer different premiums. The only real way to see which company is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from several different carriers.

How do I know if AAA or Columbia is right for me?

The only way to find the insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from several companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your information once and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best car insurance carriers in your area. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the cheapest price. And who knows, the best company for you might not be AAA or Columbia at all!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

About's #1 goal is to save you money. We publish resources that are based on hard-hitting data and years of industry experience to help you make more informed decisions with your wallet.

  • All of's content is written and reviewed for accuracy by a team of experienced writers and editors who are experts on the topics they cover.
  • None of's content is ever influenced by the companies and brands we partner with.
  •'s editorial team operates independently of any of the company's partnership or business development interests. We publish unbiased information strictly for the benefit of our readers.
  • All of the content you see on is based on comprehensive analysis and all data is gathered and vetted from trustworthy sources.

Learn more about us, our team, and what makes us tick.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes