GEICO vs. Sterling: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

You've probably seen ads offering big savings on car insurance, but are GEICO or Sterling right for you? Which company offers the lowest premiums, or the most discounts? Read on to see how GEICO and Sterling 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

  • In general, GEICO offers significantly cheaper rates than Sterling
  • GEICO offers more affordable prices for people who are single and purchasing insurance by yourself
  • Sterling offers more affordable rates for residents in New York

GEICO vs. Sterling: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you considering a new insurance policy? After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering huge discounts. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You've maybe even narrowed it down to GEICO or Sterling, but which company will offer you more affordable premiums?

GEICO Sterling

As you can see, Sterling is quite a bit more expensive than GEICO, with prices averaging $301 per month compared to just $185 with GEICO when looking at the national average rates for auto insurance.

Even so, that doesn't mean GEICO will necessarily be less expensive than Sterling for every driver. Car insurance companies vary their rates depending on things like how good your credit score is, how old you are, where you live, how clean your driving record is, and all sorts of other factors, so prices could vary drastically from person to person.

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

GEICO or Sterling: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State GEICO Sterling

GEICO and Sterling only compete against each other in New York, where Sterling offers the cheaper average rates. For New York residents, Sterling offers auto insurance for $301 per month on average. GEICO's average prices come out to be over 30% more expensive, at $401 monthly.

That being said, there are plenty of other factors that go into your insurance payment than just your home state. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

GEICO Sterling
18-year-old drivers$369$539
25-year-old drivers$163$284

You might already know that teen drivers generally pay a lot more for car insurance than any other group of drivers out there on the road. Normally, that's because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

However, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their auto insurance. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have GEICO for their insurance pay more than $150 less than those who use Sterling. It's worth noting that GEICO offers car insurance in 50 different states compared to Sterling's one, which can skew the average premiums a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

That being said, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower rates once you turn 25. For example, average prices for GEICO policyholders drop over $200 and Sterling's premiums lower about $250 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

GEICO Sterling
65+-year-old drivers$148$227

When it comes to insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the cheapest rates you'll ever see.

So, which carrier offers the best premiums to retired drivers? GEICO gets the edge here, with average prices coming in at around $148 a month compared to Sterling's $227.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

GEICO Sterling

You may not be aware, but auto insurance rates tend to be cheaper for married drivers than they are for those who are single. This usually boils down to married couples having more than one car on their policy -- something a lot of car insurance companies will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, GEICO is the clear winner for single policyholders, with premiums about $126 a month less expensive than Sterling, on average. For married policyholders, the advantage is clear again - GEICO has the edge when it comes to average prices.

GEICO vs. Sterling: Average Rates by Gender

GEICO Sterling

Men are statistically more likely than women to get pulled over for speeding or get into an accident, which means they'll typically end up paying more for auto insurance than women.

Typically, women see rates around 4% per month less with GEICO, while with Sterling, the difference is closer to 8% a month.

When it comes to the most affordable prices for each gender, GEICO offers the cheapest average premiums for both men and women, with average rates $125 less for men and $108 cheaper for women.

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GEICO or Sterling: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

GEICO Sterling
State Minimum*$101$150
Full Coverage**$269$452

*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 isn't the easiest topic to understand. There are so many different terms and coverages that it can make it pretty confusing 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 a collision) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to what you get with a liability policy).

If you're looking for state minimum liability limits, GEICO usually offers significantly more affordable premiums of $101 compared to Sterling's $150. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, GEICO again has the edge, with policies about $200 per month cheaper than Sterling, on average.

Is GEICO or Sterling Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

You'll probably end up paying more with accidents and tickets on your record, but which of these two companies offers the lowest premiums to drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

GEICO Sterling
Clean Record$115$247
1 Speeding Ticket$150$247

Drivers with Sterling insurance policies don't report seeing their prices increase after getting a ticket, but GEICO policyholders can expect to see their monthly bill increase by around $35.

But GEICO is typically the less expensive option for drivers both with a ticket and with a clean record, offering rates that are $132 and $97 more affordable, respectively, compared to Sterling Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

GEICO Sterling
Clean Record$115$247
1 At-Fault Accident$200$289

GEICO policyholders who get in an accident can expect to see their premiums increase by just under 45%, while those who have insurance through Sterling will see about a 15% increase.

Overall, the cheaper rates come from GEICO, with monthly prices averaging $200 compared to Sterling Insurance's $289.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

GEICO Sterling
Clean Record$115$247
1 DUI$275$423

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly car insurance bill -- generally a lot more than a collision or speeding ticket. Sterling drivers usually see a 42% raise in their auto insurance rates after a DUI charge, while GEICO will normally increase premiums by around 58%.

GEICO has the overall most affordable prices for drivers with a DUI on their records at $275 per month, but it's worth noting that GEICO's average rates come from 50 states compared to just one for Sterling, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact GEICO and Sterling Rates?

You may not have known, but your credit score can be used as one of the factors to calculate your monthly car insurance rates. Certain states and carriers do not allow for credit score to be used as a rating factor, but it might come into play for quite a few drivers.

Insurance companies argue that those with good credit scores are more likely to pay their bills on time each month, which lowers the risk involved on their end, while the opposite is true for those with bad credit.

Looking specifically at GEICO and Sterling, which one has the best prices for policyholders at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

GEICO Sterling
Excellent Credit Score$131$223
Good Credit Score$164$268

If you have a solid credit score, you'll usually find a better deal with GEICO. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save over 40% compared to Sterling, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- about $104 or 39% less expensive every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

GEICO Sterling
Fair Credit Score$197$298
Poor Credit Score$253$417

GEICO typically offers lower premiums than Sterling when it comes to drivers with bad credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $101 a month less with GEICO compared to Sterling, and those with "poor" scores usually save an average of about $164 a month.

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Is GEICO or Sterling Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

GEICO Sterling
6,000 Annual Miles$181$301
12,000 Annual Miles$189$301

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in how much car insurance carriers will charge for coverage. Generally, the more miles you drive, the more you can expect to pay for auto insurance.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Sterling charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly rates for GEICO, with policyholders who drive 6,000 miles annually paying around $8 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles every year. Still, GEICO is the more affordable option for drivers in both categories.

GEICO vs. Sterling: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where your home is can have a sizable impact on your monthly insurance cost. Typically, policyholders who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural drivers because of the number of cars that are on the roads in those areas.

GEICO Sterling
Urban Areas$211$438
Suburban Areas$185$256
Rural Areas$159$210

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

Policyholders in rural ZIP codes see the most affordable prices from both carriers, but GEICO comes out on top with average premiums about $159 monthly. GEICO also has cheaper average rates for drivers in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a $227 and $71 per month respective difference when compared to Sterling policyholders in similar areas.

GEICO vs. Sterling Discounts

You want to save as much money as possible, right? The best way to do that is by utilizing as many car insurance discounts as you can.

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

In the table below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts GEICO and Sterling offer their customers so that you can see which company can save you the most money each month.

GEICO Sterling
ABS Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Commercial Drivers License Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Deployed Driver Discount 
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount 
Full Coverage Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Military Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
New Vehicle Discount 

GEICO knocks Sterling out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 28 different discounts to Sterling's eight.

There are a couple discounts both companies offer, but GEICO also offers commercial drivers license discounts, COVID-19 relief discount, deployed driver discounts, and more that Sterling does not.

Sterling's discounts come through just a few categories, including ABS, Anti-Theft, Defensive Driver, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is GEICO or Sterling Best for You?

So, you've seen how different variables can affect your insurance prices. We've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, is GEICO or Sterling the right carrier for you and your specific driver profile?

GEICO might be best for you if....

  • You've been pulled over for speeding recently.
  • You're looking for more protection with "full coverage" auto insurance.
  • You are purchasing your car insurance with a spouse.

Sterling might be best for you if...

  • You like the personalized touch of a small, regional company.

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between GEICO and Sterling and that it aids in making a more informed decision about your insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your auto insurance policy is to compare quotes from several carriers, not just GEICO and Sterling. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code 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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GEICO vs. Sterling FAQs

Is GEICO or Sterling cheaper?

Looking just at the national average premiums, GEICO is the more affordable of the two carriers, offering average rates of $185 a month compared to $301 for Sterling. Even so, GEICO won't necessarily be the lowest carrier for everyone, since there are several different factors (things like age, driving record, gender, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, GEICO or Sterling?

Unfortunately, the answer truly is "it depends.". No single company is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all comes down to what your unique insurance profile looks like.

Why do GEICO and Sterling offer me different rates?

Auto insurance companies take a look at several different variables when calculating the rates they charge drivers. Things like age, gender, where you park your vehicle, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both GEICO and Sterling use different formulas, so each one will most likely offer different premiums. The only real way to see which carrier is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a bunch of different carriers.

How do I know if GEICO or Sterling is right for me?

The only way to find the car insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. 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 rate. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be GEICO or Sterling 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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