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

You've probably seen ads offering big savings on insurance, but are AAA or CSE right for you? Which company offers the cheapest prices, or the most discounts? Read on to see how AAA and CSE compare, and to find out which carrier is the best one for you, your vehicle, and your budget.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for auto insurance, CSE offers significantly less expensive rates than AAA
  • AAA has cheaper premiums for drivers who have less-than-stellar credit
  • CSE offers more affordable prices for policyholders who have a clean record

AAA vs. CSE: 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 large discounts, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You've maybe even narrowed it down to AAA or CSE, but between the two, which one has more affordable rates for car insurance?


As you can see, AAA has average rates that are about 45% per month more expensive than those from CSE when looking at the national average rates for insurance.

That being said, that doesn't necessarily mean CSE will be the less expensive option for every single driver. Auto insurance companies vary their premiums depending on things like where you live, how clean your driving record is, how good your credit score is, how old you are, and a variety of other factors. So, at the end of the day, rates from each company will differ quite a bit from person to person.

Wanting to know if AAA or CSE is really the right carrier for you? Keep on reading to see how average premiums can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

AAA or CSE: Average Car Insurance Rates by State


AAA and CSE only compete against each other in California, where CSE offers the cheaper average prices. For California residents, CSE offers insurance for $175 per month on average. AAA's average premiums come out to be over 20% more expensive, at $215 monthly.

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

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

18-year-old drivers$689$354
25-year-old drivers$276$173

Young drivers -- especially teens -- generally pay a lot for insurance compared to older drivers. It's because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

But still, even with seemingly sky-high rates, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have CSE for their car insurance pay nearly $350 less than those who use AAA.

However, both companies will offer you dramatically lower prices once you turn 25. For example, average rates for AAA policyholders decrease more than $400 and CSE's premiums reduce almost $200 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

65+-year-old drivers$238$128

Once you approach retirement age, you'll typically enjoy the most affordable auto insurance prices out there. You've been on the road for years, and all that experience pays off when it comes to your monthly rates for car insurance.

So, which company offers the best premiums to retired drivers? CSE gets the edge, with prices for drivers 65 and older over 45% cheaper than the national average for AAA.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?


Married policyholders tend to get slightly more affordable auto insurance rates than single policyholders. This usually boils down to married drivers having multiple cars on their policy -- something lots of insurance carriers will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, CSE is the clear winner for single drivers, with premiums around $165 a month less expensive than AAA, on average. The advantage for married couples with CSE is also obvious, where drivers save about $100 per month.

AAA vs. CSE: Average Rates by Gender


Men are statistically more likely than women to get into accidents and file an insurance claim. That means when it comes to auto insurance men will usually end up paying a little more.

With AAA, men normally pay around $35 a month more than women; and with CSE, everyone ends up paying the same monthly prices regardless of gender.

When it comes to the lowest rates for each gender, CSE comes out on top for both men and women, with average premiums 47% less for men and 41% cheaper for women.

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

State Minimum*$169$81
Full Coverage**$459$270

*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.

Insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. Everyone needs car insurance, but there are so many different terms and coverages that it can be hard to find the right policy.

The two most common policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (that covers bodily injury and property damage for other drivers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to what you get with liability).

If you're looking for state minimum liability limits, CSE typically offers significantly cheaper rates of $81 compared to AAA's $169. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, CSE again has the edge, with policies about $200 per month more affordable than AAA, on average.

Is AAA or CSE 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.

Collisions and tickets will most likely raise your prices, but is AAA or CSE cheaper for drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Clean Record$213$123
1 Speeding Ticket$299$161

AAA policyholders can expect their premiums to go up an average of $86 a month if they get a ticket, while CSE usually raises rates around $38 per month, on average.

But CSE is normally the less expensive option for drivers both with clean records and with a speeding ticket, offering prices that are $90 and $138 more affordable, respectively, compared to AAA Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Clean Record$213$123
1 At-Fault Accident$339$176

AAA drivers who get in a collision can expect to see their premiums increase by over 35%, while those who have insurance through CSE will see about a 30% increase.

Overall, the cheaper rates come from CSE, with monthly prices averaging $176 compared to AAA Insurance's $339.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Clean Record$213$123
1 DUI$403$241

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 premiums 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, CSE tends to be the much less expensive option with average rates of $241 a month compared to $403 from AAA.

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How does Credit Score Impact AAA and CSE Rates?

Did you know that many car insurance companies take into account your credit score when calculating premiums? This isn't always the case (Michigan, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a rating factor) but it will come into play for many policyholders.

Auto insurance carriers argue that someone with good credit is more likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them less risky to insure. Because of that, drivers with good credit will often be rewarded with more affordable prices.

So, which carrier offers the best rates for policyholders with good, average, or poor credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Excellent Credit Score$185No Data Available
Good Credit Score$247No Data Available

You'll often be rewarded if you have fantastic credit. Improving your "good" credit score to an "excellent" one will generally save AAA Insurance customers around $60. On the other hand, undefined doesn't have data available for credit scores, which means they most likely don't use credit to calculate your premiums.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Fair Credit Score$304No Data Available
Poor Credit Score$539No Data Available

Having bad credit can cost you with AAA Insurance. As you can see, AAA Insurance customers with poor credit scores pay about 45% per month more than those with fair scores (and even more compared to drivers with good or excellent scores). undefined, on the other hand, doesn't have data available for credit scores, which means drivers with bad credit could find better rates with undefined over AAA Insurance.

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

6,000 Annual Miles$307$161
12,000 Annual Miles$320$189

How much you drive can have a considerable impact on your monthly rates. That's because the fewer miles you put on your car, the less likely you are to get into a collision and cause an insurance claim.

For both drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicles yearly, as well as those who average twice that figure, CSE offers cheaper premiums than AAA. CSE's average prices for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in around 48% less expensive than AAA. Those who drive 12,000 miles annually can expect to pay about 41% less with CSE over AAA.

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

Where you call home can have a substantial impact on your monthly insurance cost. Typically, drivers who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban policyholders due to the small number of vehicles that are on the roads in those areas.

Urban Areas$384$186
Suburban Areas$301$178
Rural Areas$256$161

When comparing these two companies side-by-side, CSE normally comes out as the cheapest option for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

For drivers in urban ZIP codes, CSE offers rates around $186 monthly compared to AAA's $384. People who live in suburban ZIP codes can expect to pay about $178 a month for CSE and $301 for AAA. Lastly, those in rural areas tend to get the lowest prices from both carriers, with average monthly rates coming in at $161 and $256 for CSE and AAA respectively.

AAA vs. CSE 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. That's where auto insurance discounts comes into play.

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

In the section below, we've compared all of the different discounts offered by AAA and CSE so that you can find the company that has the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

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

AAA blows CSE away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 33 different discounts to CSE's five.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like employee discounts, mature driver discounts, and multi-policy discounts. AAA also offers AAA discounts, academic discounts, advance quote discounts, and more that CSE does not.

On the flip side, CSE has a unique discount of its own -- a goverment employee discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is AAA or CSE Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the factors insurance companies look at, and we've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers. But, when it comes down to it, which insurance company is the right carrier for you, your vehicle, and your wallet?

CSE might be best for you if....

  • You don't have any speeding tickets, DUIs, or at-fault accidents on your record.
  • You live in an suburban area.
  • You're buying car insurance for a teen and looking for a wallet-friendly option.

AAA might be best for you if...

  • Your credit is less-than-stellar.
  • Your credit score is high.
  • You care about discounts (Aaa offers the most).

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between AAA and CSE. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your auto insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your insurance policy is to compare quotes from a handful of carriers, not just AAA and CSE. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get multiple free quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Is AAA or CSE cheaper?

Looking just at the national average prices, CSE is the more affordable of the two carriers, offering average rates of $175 per month compared to $314 for AAA. Even so, CSE won't necessarily be the most affordable carrier for every policyholder, since there are a bunch of different variables (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, AAA or CSE?

Sadly, the answer truly is "it depends.". Neither company is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all boils down to your unique auto insurance profile. For example, CSE offers less expensive rates for drivers with a recent DUI, while AAA is cheaper for drivers with excellent credit.

Why do AAA and CSE offer me different rates?

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

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

The only way to find the insurance company 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 auto insurance carriers in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best price. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be AAA or CSE 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.

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