Direct Auto vs. Nationwide: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

How do Direct Auto and Nationwide compare when it comes to auto insurance prices and discounts? If you want to find out which carrier has the best premiums for your unique profile, check out our latest guide below.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Looking at the national averages for car insurance, Direct Auto offers slightly less expensive rates than Nationwide
  • Direct Auto offers more affordable average premiums for drivers with a DUI
  • Nationwide tends to be a much cheaper option for policyholders who live in the suburbs

Direct Auto or Nationwide: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're thinking about switching to a new insurance policy. You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering huge savings, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might be considering Direct Auto or Nationwide, but between the two, which carrier will save you the most?

Direct Auto Nationwide

Looking at nationwide averages, Nationwide is around $0 more a month than Direct Auto.

But Direct Auto may not be the lowest or best option for every single driver out there. Insurance carriers use a ton of complex algorithms to determine rates, so depending on how clean your driving record is or where you live (among a lot of other factors), you could see wildly different prices from the ones above.

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

Direct Auto vs. Nationwide: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Direct Auto Nationwide

Direct Auto and Nationwide only compete against each other in one states, with Direct Auto offering less expensive rates to the average driver in all of them. Mississippi has the most noticable difference, where Direct Auto prices are $34 more affordable than auto insurance premiums at Nationwide.

There's a lot more that goes into your car insurance payment than just where you call home. Read on to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Direct Auto Nationwide
18-year-old drivers$363$380
25-year-old drivers$158$148

You might already know that teen drivers normally pay a lot more for auto insurance than any group out there on the road. Usually, that's because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

However, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their insurance. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of over 4% less per month by choosing Direct Auto over Nationwide.

Even so, with both companies, you'll see your rates reduce significantly once you turn 25. For example, average prices for Direct Auto policyholders lower more than 55% and Nationwide's rates drop over 60% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Direct Auto Nationwide
65+-year-old drivers$124$125

Drivers around retirement age generally enjoy some of the most affordable car insurance prices you'll ever find. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which typically decreases their chances of collisions and other infractions that can raise premiums.

When looking at Direct Auto and Nationwide specifically, which carrier is best for retired drivers? In this case, Direct Auto has the slight edge, with prices about $1 a month less than Nationwide. That being said, the difference is only around 5%, so other variables will likely come into play when determining which company has the cheapest premiums for you.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Direct Auto Nationwide

Did you know that auto insurance rates are usually more expensive for single policyholders than they are for married policyholders? That's normally because married couples tend to own and insure several vehicles, which can often earn you a discount.

When it comes to relationship status, Direct Auto is the winner for those who are single, with prices about 1% per month cheaper than Nationwide, on average.

Direct Auto or Nationwide: Average Rates by Gender

Direct Auto Nationwide

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

With Direct Auto, men generally pay around 2% more a month than women., and about 7% more with Nationwide.

Looking at overall affordability, Nationwide is the lowest carrier for women. Rates with Nationwide are $4 cheaper for women, while with Direct Auto, men can save around $4.

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Direct Auto vs. Nationwide: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Direct Auto Nationwide
State Minimum*$96$112
Full Coverage**$244$229

*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.

Car insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. There are so many different terms and limits that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy for you.

Even so, the most common policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (which provides property damage and bodily injury coverage for other drivers and their passengers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which normally refers to having collision and comprehensive coverages in addition to what you get with liability coverage).

When it comes to state minimum limits for liability insurance, Direct Auto has the edge, while Nationwide offers the most affordable average premiums for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Policyholders looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $15 with Direct Auto Insurance, while full coverage comes out to be about $15 more affordable with Nationwide.

Is Direct Auto or Nationwide Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from auto insurance carriers offering great rates 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 at-fault accidents and speeding tickets lead to higher premiums, but which company -- Direct Auto or Nationwide -- has the cheapest prices for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Direct Auto Nationwide
Clean Record$143$125
1 Speeding Ticket$181$149

Drivers who use Direct Auto for their insurance can typically expect their monthly bill to go up around 21% after getting a speeding ticket. Nationwide policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of about 16%.

However, Nationwide has less expensive rates for drivers in both categories. With Nationwide, drivers with a clean record can save around $18 per month and drivers with a ticket can save about $32 a month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Direct Auto Nationwide
Clean Record$143$125
1 At-Fault Accident$190$178

Direct Auto policyholders who get in a collision can expect to see their premiums rise by just under 25%, while those who have insurance through Nationwide will see around a 30% increase.

At the end of the day, drivers who use Nationwide end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with average prices coming in at $178 compared to Direct Auto Insurance's $190.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Direct Auto Nationwide
Clean Record$143$125
1 DUI$165$230

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single collision or speeding ticket when it comes to your car insurance bill. On average, Nationwide will climb your rates about 46% after a DUI, while Direct Auto's average premiums increase by nearly 15%.

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How does Credit Score Impact Direct Auto and Nationwide Rates?

Often times, your credit score can come into play when companies calculate your monthly bill. This isn't true for everyone (Michigan, for example, has banned the use of credit score as an insurance factor) but it does affect several drivers out there.

The reasoning insurance carriers use is that policyholders with good credit will be more likely to pay their bills on time; so they'll reward them with cheaper prices, while those with poor credit will usually be forced to pay more.

Looking at Direct Auto and Nationwide specifically, which one has the most affordable rates for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Direct Auto Nationwide
Excellent Credit Score$162$133
Good Credit Score$167$153

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Direct Auto Nationwide
Fair Credit Score$171$179
Poor Credit Score$179$215

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Is Direct Auto or Nationwide Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Direct Auto Nationwide
6,000 Annual Miles$170$170
12,000 Annual Miles$170$171

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in how much auto insurance companies will charge for coverage. Generally, the more milage you put on your car each year, the more you can expect to pay for car insurance.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Direct Auto charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly prices for Nationwide, with policyholders who drive 6,000 miles every year paying around $1 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles yearly.

Direct Auto or Nationwide: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you live can play a considerable role in how much you pay for auto insurance. Typically, those who live in rural areas will pay less than policyholders in urban areas due to the small number of vehicles that are on the roads where they live.

Direct Auto Nationwide
Urban Areas$226$199
Suburban Areas$168$159
Rural Areas$116$151

Nationwide boasts the cheapest average rates in urban and suburban areas, while Direct Auto wins in rural areas.

Those in rural areas can expect to pay about $116 per month with Direct Auto compared to Nationwide's $151. People in suburban areas pay around $159 with Nationwide compared to Direct Auto's $168 monthly. In urban areas, Nationwide's average premiums are about $199 while Direct Auto offers rates around $226.

Direct Auto vs. Nationwide Discounts

No matter 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 you can, and the best way to do that is by utilizing as many insurance discounts as possible.

But with what seems like a million different discounts out there, it can be challenging to find all the ones you qualify for or to nail down the company that has the most discounts for your unique driver profile.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and broke down all of the different discounts offered by both Direct Auto and Nationwide so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

Direct Auto Nationwide
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Bike Policy Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount 
EFT Discount
Employee Discount 
Good Driving Discount
Good Student Discount
Group Discount
Homeowner Discount
Intra-Agency Transfer Discount 
Life Policy Discount
Military Discount 
Mobile Home Policy Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount 

Looking at the total number of discounts, Nationwide comes out ahead with 22 discounts to Direct Auto's 19.

Both carriers offer quite a few of the same discounts -- like anti-theft discounts, EFT discounts, discounts for being a good driver, and discounts for being a homeowner -- but Nationwide also offers discounts for agency transfer, distant student, driver training, and more.

On the other hand, Direct Auto has a few proprietary discounts of their own for things like ABS discounts, bike policy discounts, military discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Direct Auto or Nationwide Best for You?

You've seen the role certain factors have on your auto insurance and the different discounts companies offer. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, is Direct Auto or Nationwide the right company for you and your specific profile and needs?

Nationwide might be best for you if....

  • You're planning on moving to another state soon -- undefined is only available in.
  • You have above-average credit.
  • Your home is located in the suburbs.

Direct Auto might be best for you if...

  • You will be the only person on the car insurance policy.
  • You live in a rural neighborhood.
  • You want to save money while purchasing insurance for a teenager.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Direct Auto and Nationwide and that it aids in making a more informed decision about 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 Direct Auto and Nationwide. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Direct Auto vs. Nationwide FAQs

Is Direct Auto or Nationwide cheaper?

Direct Auto is the cheaper of the two carriers when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $170 per month with Direct Auto and $170 for Nationwide. That being said, that doesn't mean Direct Auto will be the lowest carrier for every policyholder, since there are lots of different variables that are considered when it comes to your car insurance bill.

Who is better, Direct Auto or Nationwide?

Sadly, the real answer is "it depends.". No one company is "better" for each policyholder -- it all boils down to your unique insurance profile. For example, Nationwide is more affordable for drivers with excellent credit, while Direct Auto offers less expensive premiums for drivers with a recent DUI.

Why do Direct Auto and Nationwide offer me different rates?

Auto insurance companies use many different factors when determining the rates they charge. Variables such as age, where your home is, your driving record, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Direct Auto and Nationwide calculate prices differently, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which carrier is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from several different carriers.

How do I know if Direct Auto or Nationwide 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, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top auto insurance carriers for free. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best rate. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't Direct Auto or Nationwide at all, but another you hadn't even thought of!


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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