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

Looking for car insurance and wondering if AAA or Shelter is the right company for you? If so, you're probably wondering which carrier has the most affordable rates or the biggest discounts. Luckily, we've done the heavy lifting for you and compared the two companies to help you find the best deal on your next auto insurance policy.
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

  • In general, Shelter offers significantly more affordable prices than AAA
  • AAA offers more discounts than Shelter Insurance
  • Shelter offers more affordable premiums for residents of urban areas

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

So, you're considering switching your auto insurance. With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering huge discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You've maybe even narrowed your search down to AAA or Shelter as your top options, but between the two, which carrier will save you the most?

AAA Shelter

Looking at nationwide averages, Shelter has average rates that are about 35% per month cheaper than those from AAA.

However, Shelter may not be the cheapest or best option for each driver out there. Insurance companies vary their prices depending on things like where you live, how good your credit score is, how clean your driving record is, how old you are, and tons of other factors. So, at the end of the day, premiums from each company will differ quite a bit from person to person.

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

AAA or Shelter: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State AAA Shelter

AAA and Shelter only compete against each other in three states, with Shelter offering less expensive premiums to the average driver in all of them. Missouri has the most noticable difference, where Shelter rates are over 70% cheaper than auto insurance prices at AAA.

That being said, there are plenty of other factors that go into your insurance cost than just where you call home. Keep reading to learn more.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

AAA Shelter
18-year-old drivers$689$444
25-year-old drivers$276$197

Young drivers -- especially teens -- typically pay a lot for car insurance compared to older drivers. The reason is that young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

But still, even with seemingly sky-high premiums, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. As you can see above, teens who use Shelter save nearly $250 a month compared to those who use AAA.

But both carriers will drop rates by the time you turn 25. For example, average prices for AAA policyholders lower almost 60% and Shelter's rates decrease more than 55% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

AAA Shelter
65+-year-old drivers$238$141

When it comes to insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the lowest premiums out there.

When looking at AAA and Shelter specifically, which company is best for retired drivers? Shelter gets the edge, with prices for drivers 65 and older $97 more affordable than the national average for AAA.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

AAA Shelter

Married policyholders tend to get slightly less expensive auto insurance premiums than single policyholders. That's because policies for married couples normally cover several cars, which many companies will offer you a discount for.

When it comes to relationship status, Shelter is the clear winner for those who are single, with prices around $125 per month more affordable than AAA, on average. The advantage for married drivers with Shelter is also obvious, where drivers save nearly $80 a month.

AAA vs. Shelter: Average Rates by Gender

AAA Shelter

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into an accident or get pulled over for speeding. That means when it comes to car insurance men will usually end up paying a little more.

With AAA, women generally pay over 10% per month less than men, and about 11% less with Shelter.

Looking at the data for each carrier specifically, Shelter comes out on top for both men and women, with average rates 33% less for men and 34% cheaper for women.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

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

AAA Shelter
State Minimum*$169$129
Full Coverage**$459$288

*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. There are so many different limits and terms that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy.

That being said, most 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 a collision) and full coverage (which includes two additional coverages -- comprehensive and collision -- alongside liability coverage).

If you're looking for state minimum liability limits, Shelter usually offers less expensive prices of $129 compared to AAA's $169. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Shelter again has the edge, with policies around $150 a month cheaper than AAA, on average.

Is AAA or Shelter Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from car insurance carriers offering great premiums for good drivers, but that doesn't mean people with less-than-perfect driving records can't save money, too.

It's no secret secret that tickets and accidents lead to higher rates, but which company -- AAA or Shelter -- has the most affordable prices for drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

AAA Shelter
Clean Record$213$142
1 Speeding Ticket$299$181

AAA policyholders can expect their rates to go up an average of $86 per month if they get a ticket, while Shelter generally raises premiums about $39 a month, on average.

Even so, Shelter has less expensive rates for drivers in both categories. Drivers with a clean record can save around $71 per month and drivers with a speeding ticket can save about $118 a month with Shelter Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

AAA Shelter
Clean Record$213$142
1 At-Fault Accident$339$234

AAA drivers who get in an accident can expect to see their prices climb by just under $150, while those who have insurance through Shelter will see around a $90 increase.

Overall, Shelter offers the lowest premiums for drivers with an at-fault accident on their records, with monthly prices averaging $234 compared to AAA Insurance's $339.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

AAA Shelter
Clean Record$213$142
1 DUI$403$277

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

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable premiums, Shelter tends to be the much more affordable option with average prices of $277 monthly compared to $403 from AAA.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

How does Credit Score Impact AAA and Shelter Rates?

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

Car insurance carriers argue that those with poor credit scores are less likely to pay their bills on time every month, which increases the risk involved on their end, while the opposite is true for those with good credit.

So, which carrier offers the cheapest rates for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

AAA Shelter
Excellent Credit Score$185$164
Good Credit Score$247$187

If you have solid credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Shelter. Policyholders with "excellent" credit can save more than 10% compared to AAA, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- about $60 or 24% cheaper each month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

AAA Shelter
Fair Credit Score$304$221
Poor Credit Score$539$261

Shelter typically offers lower premiums than AAA when it comes to drivers with less-than-perfect credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $83 a month less with Shelter compared to AAA, and those with "poor" scores normally save an average of about $278 a month.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

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

AAA Shelter
6,000 Annual Miles$307$203
12,000 Annual Miles$320$214

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a large impact on your monthly rates? Typically, those who drive less will end up with less expensive prices since there's less of a chance of getting into an accident and causing an insurance claim.

For both drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicles yearly, as well as those who average twice that figure, Shelter offers cheaper rates than AAA. AAA's average prices for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in over $100 more expensive than Shelter. Those who drive 12,000 miles annually can expect to pay more than $100 more with AAA over Shelter.

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

Where you park your vehicle can have a big impact on your monthly insurance payment. Generally, drivers who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural policyholders because there are a lot more cars on the road in those areas, which increases the chances of an accident.

AAA Shelter
Urban Areas$384$235
Suburban Areas$301$187
Rural Areas$256$203

Shelter boasts the cheapest average prices for drivers in all areas, regardless of if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

In urban areas, Shelter's average premiums are around $235 while AAA offers rates about $384. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay a monthly rate of around $187 with Shelter compared to $301 with AAA. Those in rural areas can expect to pay about $203 per month with Shelter compared to AAA's $256.

AAA vs. Shelter Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new auto 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.

The hard part is finding all of the discounts you can take advantage of, since it can feel sometimes like every carrier has different discounts and each one is advertised differently.

In the table below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both AAA and Shelter so that you can find the company that has the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

AAA Shelter
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
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Hybrid Vehicle Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Military Discount 
Mobile Home Policy Discount 

AAA knocks Shelter out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 23 more discounts than Shelter.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like anti-theft discounts, discounts for getting driver training, discounts for being a good driver, and multi-policy discounts. AAA also offers AAA discounts, academic discounts, COVID-19 relief discount, and more that Shelter does not.

Shelter's discounts come through just a few categories, including Advance Quote, Anti-Theft, Defensive Driver, and more.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Final Thoughts: Is AAA or Shelter Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average premiums for many of the factors car insurance companies look at, and walked through the different discounts each company offers, too. But, at the end of the day, is AAA or Shelter the best one for you and your specific driver profile?

Shelter might be best for you if....

  • You have less-than-stellar credit.
  • You live in an suburban area.
  • You are over 65 years old and want to save some money on your auto insurance.

AAA might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for the carrier with the most discounts.

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

But, at the end of the day, there's only one way to know for sure that you're getting the best possible deal on auto insurance -- comparing quotes from a handful of carriers, not just AAA and Shelter. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get multiple quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in your area, all for free.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

AAA vs. Shelter FAQs

Is AAA or Shelter cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Shelter is the more affordable of the two carriers, offering average rates of $208 per month compared to $314 for AAA. That being said, Shelter won't necessarily be the most affordable company for everyone, since there are many different variables that come into play when it comes to your auto insurance bill.

Who is better, AAA or Shelter?

Sadly, the answer truly is "it depends.". Neither carrier is "better" for everyone -- it all boils down to your unique car insurance profile.

Why do AAA and Shelter offer me different rates?

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

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

The only way to find the car insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your area information and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best insurance carriers in your area. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the best price. And who knows, the best company for you might not be AAA or Shelter 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