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

How do Progressive and Sterling compare when it comes to car 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

  • In general, Progressive offers significantly more affordable rates than Sterling
  • Progressive offers more affordable prices for policyholders who live in rural neighborhoods
  • Sterling has less expensive premiums in NY

Progressive or Sterling: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you considering a new insurance policy? With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering huge savings, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You've maybe even narrowed it down to Progressive or Sterling as your top options, but which company will offer you cheaper rates?

Progressive Sterling

Looking at nationwide averages, Sterling is quite a bit more expensive than Progressive, with premiums averaging $301 a month compared to just $180 with Progressive.

That being said, Progressive may not be the lowest or best option for each driver out there. Insurance carriers use tons of complex algorithms to determine rates, so depending on how good your credit score is or how clean your driving record is (among multiple other factors), you could see wildly different prices from the ones above.

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

Progressive vs. Sterling: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Progressive Sterling

Progressive and Sterling only compete against each other in New York, where Sterling offers the cheaper average rates. Sterling drivers tend to pay about $192 per month less on average compared to drivers who use Progressive for their car insurance.

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

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Progressive Sterling
18-year-old drivers$451$539
25-year-old drivers$142$284

You might already know that teen drivers generally pay a lot more for insurance than any other group of drivers out there on the road. The reason is that teen 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 prices, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of almost 15% less a month by choosing Progressive over Sterling. It's worth noting that Progressive offers car insurance in 44 different states compared to Sterling's one, which can skew the average rates a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

But both companies will offer you dramatically lower premiums by the time drivers turn 25. Sterling offers the steepest reduction, with 25-year-olds paying less than half what 18-year-old drivers are charged. That being said, Progressive still has the cheapest prices at $142 a month.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Progressive Sterling
65+-year-old drivers$131$227

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

But who has the best prices for retired drivers between Progressive and Sterling? Progressive gets the edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older over 40% less expensive than the national average for Sterling.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Progressive Sterling

Did you know that auto insurance prices are usually more expensive for single policyholders than they are for married couples? That's because policies for married drivers typically cover more than one vehicle, which a lot of carriers will give you a discount for.

For those who are single, the difference in average rates between these two companies is significant, with Progressive prices coming in at a third less than Sterling's. The advantage is also clear for married policyholders - Progressive offers the lowest average premiums.

Progressive or Sterling: Average Rates by Gender

Progressive Sterling

Men are statistically more likely than women to get speeding tickets and get into accidents. That means when it comes to insurance men will generally end up paying a little more.

On average, women see rates around $5 per month more affordable with Progressive, but with Sterling, the difference is closer to $25 a month.

Looking at overall affordability, Progressive offers the cheapest average prices for both men and women, with average premiums 42% less for men and 38% cheaper for women.

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Progressive vs. Sterling: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Progressive Sterling
State Minimum*$111$150
Full Coverage**$250$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.

Car insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. There are so many different limits and coverages that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy for you.

However, most policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (that covers bodily injury and property damage for other drivers and their passengers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which normally refers to having collision and comprehensive coverages alongside liability coverage).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability insurance, Progressive has the significant edge, with average monthly rates coming in at $111. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, Progressive again has the edge, with policies averaging about $250 per month to Sterling's $452.

Is Progressive or Sterling Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no secret -- drivers with good records end up getting the best deals on their insurance. But that's not to say you can't save money if you don't have the best driving record, either.

At-fault collisions and speeding tickets will most likely raise your premiums, but is Progressive or Sterling cheaper for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Progressive Sterling
Clean Record$149$247
1 Speeding Ticket$180$247

Policyholders with Sterling auto insurance policies don't report seeing their rates increase after getting a ticket, but Progressive policyholders can expect to see their monthly bill increase by around 15%.

Even so, Progressive tends to offer the best prices for drivers both with clean records and with a speeding ticket -- their rates are around 40% less expensive for drivers with clean records and 27% more affordable for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Progressive Sterling
Clean Record$149$247
1 At-Fault Accident$214$289

Progressive drivers who get in an accident can expect to see their prices rise by over 30%, while those who have insurance through Sterling will see about a 15% increase.

At the end of the day, the cheaper premiums come from Progressive, with average rates coming in at $214 compared to Sterling Insurance's $289.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Progressive Sterling
Clean Record$149$247
1 DUI$177$423

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single collision or ticket when it comes to your car insurance bill. On average, Sterling will climb your prices around 42% after a DUI, while Progressive's average rates climb by more than 15%.

Progressive has the overall most affordable premiums for drivers with a DUI on their records at $177 monthly, but it's worth noting that Progressive's average rates come from 44 states compared to just one for Sterling, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Progressive and Sterling Rates?

Did you know many insurance carriers take into account your credit score when determining prices? Certain states and companies do not allow for credit score to be used as an insurance factor, but it will come into play for several policyholders.

Auto insurance carriers argue that someone with bad credit is less likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them riskier to insure. Because of that, drivers with bad credit will often be forced to pay more.

Looking at Progressive and Sterling specifically, which carrier has the best rates for policyholders at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Progressive Sterling
Excellent Credit Score$136$223
Good Credit Score$157$268

If you have great credit, Progressive will typically reward you the most. For drivers with "excellent" credit scores, Progressive comes in nearly 39.01 more affordable. Drivers with "good" credit scores usually save about 41% with Progressive compared to average premiums from Sterling.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Progressive Sterling
Fair Credit Score$181$298
Poor Credit Score$247$417

Progressive typically offers lower prices than Sterling when it comes to drivers with bad credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around 39% a month less with Progressive compared to Sterling, and those with "poor" scores normally save an average of about 41% per month.

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

Progressive Sterling
6,000 Annual Miles$180$301
12,000 Annual Miles$180$301

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a sizable impact on how much car insurance companies will charge for coverage? Usually, the more milage you put on your car each year, the more you can expect to pay for auto insurance.

In this case, neither Progressive or Sterling report increasing premiums for drivers with higher annual mileage figures. That being said, Progressive comes out as the cheapest for drivers at both intervals, whether they put 6,000 or 12,000 miles on their vehicle yearly, with average prices of $180 per month for both.

Progressive or Sterling: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you call home can play a substantial role in how much you pay for car insurance. Typically, if you live in a rural area with fewer cars on the road, you'll pay a little less for insurance, while the opposite is true for people in urban areas.

Progressive Sterling
Urban Areas$207$438
Suburban Areas$179$256
Rural Areas$154$210

When comparing these two carriers side-by-side, Progressive generally comes out as the lowest option for drivers in all types of areas, no matter if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

Those in rural areas can expect to pay around $154 monthly with Progressive compared to Sterling's $210. People in suburban areas pay a monthly price of about $179 with Progressive compared to $256 with Sterling. For drivers in urban ZIP codes, Progressive's average rates are around $207 a month compared to Sterling's $438.

Progressive vs. Sterling Discounts

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

But where do you even start? With what seems like a million different discounts out there, it may be hard to find all the ones you can take advantage of.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and compared all of the different discounts offered by Progressive and Sterling so that you can find the one that has the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

Progressive Sterling
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount 
Advanced Safety Feature Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Continuous Insurance Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount 
DRL Discount
E-Signature Discount 
Education Discount 
EFT Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Loyal Customer Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 

Progressive blows Sterling away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 34 different discounts to Sterling's eight.

There are a couple discounts both companies offer, but Progressive also offers discounts for advance quote, advanced safety feature, agency transfer, and more.

On the other hand, Sterling has a proprietary discount of their own -- a driver training discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Progressive 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, which company is the best company for you and your specific needs?

Progressive might be best for you if....

  • You have a speeding ticket on your driving record.
  • You want the most robust protection via a "full coverage" policy.
  • You've started working from home and don't have much of a commute.

Sterling might be best for you if...

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

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Progressive and Sterling. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision when it comes to your car 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 multiple carriers, not just Progressive and Sterling. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple quotes from some of the best insurance companies in your area, all for free.

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Progressive vs. Sterling FAQs

Is Progressive or Sterling cheaper?

Progressive is the cheaper of the two carriers when looking at national average premiums, with policies averaging $180 per month with Progressive and $301 for Sterling. That being said, that doesn't mean Progressive will be the most affordable company for every policyholder, 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, Progressive or Sterling?

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

Why do Progressive and Sterling offer me different rates?

Auto insurance companies use quite a few different variables when calculating the rates they charge. Things like gender, where you park your car, your driving record, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Progressive and Sterling calculate prices differently, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which company is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from lots of different carriers.

How do I know if Progressive or Sterling 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, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your area information and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top auto insurance carriers for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the lowest premium. And maybe you'll find that the best company for you isn't Progressive or Sterling 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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