How to Get Cheaper Car Insurance Quotes

by Quiana Darden Updated October 5th, 2021

The best way to get free car insurance quotes online while saving time, stress, and money is to start with Compare.com. Rather than go to each insurer—entering the same personal information repeatedly—you can generate multiple quotes to choose from at once. The process is simple, and you don’t receive calls or add yourself to unwanted marketing lists.

How Are Car Insurance Quotes Set?

From the type of coverage you choose to where you call home, the premium you’ll pay for car insurance changes. Even a person with the same coverage who lives in the same zip code will pay a different amount than another driver when you factor in other demographic information, insurance histories, and risk factors. Then, they change from insurer to insurer.

To get an idea of the range of car insurance quotes available, consider how location, age, gender, and the car you drive could impact your rate. While one insurance company won’t use the same calculations as another, these car insurance factors are usually on their list as a minimum for evaluating an application and producing a quote.

Location

Area to area—premiums vary. Insurers will increase certain rates when a neighborhood presents more risks or claims. Those with higher car insurance premiums may also earn less than others and live in areas with poorer quality roads, larger populations, and heavier traffic. These circumstances mean the insurance company can hike up your rate.

At the same time, someone who lives in a quiet neighborhood may pay less. This is especially true if they own the home they live in and park their car safely there. Owning your home can help bring in discounts and insurance premium breaks by bundling car insurance policies and demonstrating responsibility to the insurance company.

Demographics

Demographics include all the parts of life that combine to make up who you are to the insurance company. These pieces of information—about your age, education, car, neighborhood, etc.—give them what they need to know to make a series of informed guesses about the best, most profitable rate to offer.

Explore these demographic factors to see how the details of your life could potentially impact your car insurance premium. For the most part, you’ll realize car insurance companies are interested in how likely you are to make a claim (and seek payment). If a factor says you will (or won’t), you’ll pay more (or less).

Age

With each year, generally, the cost of car insurance decreases. By the time a driver reaches middle age, they are enjoying the lowest rates (assuming other factors stay put). Before this time, a lower age means you pose more significant insurance risks and get assigned higher costs for coverage.

For instance, a teenager is likely to pay three times as much for car insurance as someone nearing 40. Then, they’ll actually pay four times as much for the same car coverage as a 50-year-old. Even if you are just turning 25, you can get a rate about 30% less than the average teenage driver in the US. 

Gender

Auto insurance rates are set partially by gender, but the amount your gender influences your premium changes with age. Young drivers, like men under 20, will pay more for car insurance than a woman of the same age. As both these drivers mature, however, gender will play a smaller role in calculating their premium.

Credit

If you are like other drivers seeking cheap car insurance quotes, you may have had to make some difficult financial choices in the past. Unfortunately, these might affect your premiums if they hurt your credit score or give the impression to the insurance company that you lack creditworthiness (a sign you will make a claim). 

Insurance companies believe, based on data, that drivers with lower credit scores are less likely to act responsibly and more likely to cause a loss. As a result, drivers with unrepaired credit pay many thousands more for car insurance each year. They’ll get the same coverage on paper as someone who hasn’t needed to take on debt or miss payments.

Education

Your level of education can change your car insurance quote. Insurance companies use information about your education to calculate rates as a possible indicator of how likely you are to make a claim or cause a loss. Most drivers without a GED or diploma pay much more for car insurance than those who graduated high school.

Beyond this, those who graduated college or have doctorates get lower premiums than those who never attended or completed such schooling. In short, an advanced degree or a high school diploma can help with finding a low car insurance rate. You should keep it in mind as you shop for cheap car insurance quotes.

Employment

Car insurance companies won’t punish you for working certain jobs. Instead, they are more likely to reward you if you work in sectors like education, the military, or other organizations serving the public good. Firefighters and teachers, for example, often get reduced car insurance rates because of their service. It’s something to look into.

Insurance History

Like credit history above (and driving history below), your car insurance history indicates your rate. Negative marks and signs on the story of your interactions with insurers—such as policy lapses and missed payments—will pump up your premium, but even needing to make a claim can result in your car insurance rate increasing.

It’s not just what you do as an insured driver; however, that influences your rate with insurance companies. New insurance companies will even look at the reputation and risk of the previous insurer to decide whether you should be categorized as a high-risk driver (who will pay more on premiums).

Driving History

Accidents and fines or tickets and violations will tell insurers about the potential risk you present for making a particular insurance claim. If you have any suspensions, convictions, or points, you will see insurance companies quote more than you might like. The process of erasing, correcting, and deleting a driving record is slow, so drivers, be advised.

It may not be a surprise that perfect records will boast the best rates from car insurance companies. But, with an imperfect driving history like most applicants, you can find cheaper car insurance quotes by taking relevant courses, continuing to drive safely, and being patient as your driving record improves over time. 

Vehicle Type and Model Year

Some cars are stolen more often, some are in accidents more often, and some are part of claims more often. When offering you a car insurance quote, the insurer will study your vehicle’s type and model year. As part of this review, they’ll determine where it belongs in their risk calculation with the available data on your car from states and police.

The difference between an appropriate rate and a high car insurance premium can be as simple as one vehicle model, one year or another. That’s an important reason drivers ought to be thoughtful when deciding what kind of car to drive for their lifestyle, means, and (ideal) insurance. 

Discounts that can Reduce Your Car Insurance Rates

Looking for car insurance discounts means scouring all the factors that affect your rate and then finding areas where car insurance companies can cut you some slack. In addition to making a smart choice of insurer, you can look for discounts related to your housing, education, history, age, and more. Insurance companies may or may not advertise these, so explore the list below.

In the world of insurance, there are plenty of discounts to go around, and the secret is simply finding the best fit for you. See what kinds of car insurance discounts are available considering your age, policy, and unique situation by researching some of these popular money-saving options.

Multi-Policy Bundle Discount

There are many kinds of insurance products, and insurance companies are interested in selling you as many of them as possible. To save money, you can choose to bundle all the forms of insurance you need with a single company in exchange for a discount. For example, if you own a home and need car insurance, you can bundle the products and save.

The amount of money you can save with a bundled “multi” policy differs from company to company since each person will pay different premiums. Still, it’s an excellent way to cut costs without changing your coverage. Some save hundreds of dollars each year with this simple technique of housing their policies with one company.

Good Driver Discount

Car insurance companies really analyze your driving record. If you show few tickets and no accidents, they’ll cut your premium. Though you may have had an infraction or two in the past, you can still save money if you’re able to show the insurer how safely you drive over time. Ask them about their policies to decrease car insurance payments.

Good Student Discount

Students sometimes get higher rates because of their age and the likelihood of being in an accident as a young driver. Because of this, there are discounts available for students who show responsibility. Providing transcripts and other documentation can help you get one of these discounts, but each insurer will have its criteria for what makes a good student.

Some companies will want to look solely at your grades, and others will care about which groups you associate with at school. Participation in a fraternity could mean you get a lower premium as a benefit, but your alumni and student organization might also count. Check with your current insurer or potential one about the discounts they offer good students.

Safe Teen Discount

While teens pay some of the steepest rates in car insurance, some car insurance companies recognize the efforts of young drivers. Those who drive safely and successfully avoid making claims, receiving tickets, or getting into accidents can enjoy lower rates than those teens who don’t complete their programs and, in some cases, driving coursework.

Telematics Discount

For very safe drivers, a money-saving strategy for car insurance can include telematics, which collects driving information from cars automatically after they are installed. They create a driver profile and give rewards and discounts to drivers who show they drive safely.

Pay via Bank Discount

Just as with any transaction, some forms of exchanging funds are considered more secure than others. While insurance companies as a whole accept a wide range of payment methods, many will reward you for choosing methods which—more or less—guarantee your premium payments each month.

By going on a plan to pay your car insurance company every month directly through your bank, like with an ACH transfer, you may be able to save some money. You might also be able to take advantage of other payment savings by avoiding debit card transaction fees and signing up for automatic, recurrent payments on a specific date.

Pay in Full Discount 

Most insurance companies offer discounted premiums when you pay for the entire year or several months in advance. Whenever possible, making a large lump payment shows the insurer that your car coverage won’t lapse during that period. In addition to saving money with the insurer, you reduce “processing” fees by making payments once or twice a year rather than monthly.

Paperless Billing Discount

Everyone is looking to cut expenses and be more cost-effective. If you sign up for paperless billing, you can save the insurance company time, money, and energy because they don’t have to mail out your bill every month. It can also remind you to pay more quickly and on time for the insurer to collect. See if your insurance company values your participation in paperless statements. 

Multi-Vehicle Policy Discount

Just as you can bundle a policy on a home with a policy for a car to save, you can cover more than one car with the same policy for a discount. With the same provider, you can use multi-car or multi-vehicle insurance as a cheap, convenient avenue to get the insurance you need without expending resources on unnecessary second policies.

By having a multi-vehicle policy, you’re likely to lock in a much lower total premium than you would with separate policies. In addition, you’re only responsible for a single deductible after claims. This makes it important for households to understand the advantage of keeping multiple cars under the safety of a single policy. 

Safe-Driving Senior Discount

If you’re not working, saving money can be essential, and many car insurance companies recognize that many people over 60 struggle with expenses. Those seniors who demonstrate safe driving over time, who don’t make policy claims, and who keep up with their premiums receive various discounts.

Multi-Driver Policy Discounts

If more than one driver shares a vehicle, it may be worth exploring the option of getting a multi-driver policy to lower premiums. The policy is not different than a traditional policy because every driver listed is covered as long as someone is handling the premium, but the rate is affected by every driver’s behavior under the policy.

Because of this, one driver who needs to make a claim will raise the premium for the group. While none of the other drivers’ records will be affected by the claim and possible accident, the policy will be. Still, listing drivers is cheaper than separate policies, and some companies offer an additional discount for using one.

Anti-Theft Device Discount

Certain anti-theft devices can help you to pay a lower premium. Like a steering wheel lock, some of them can be installed easily, but others may need professional assistance for those seeking a discount for a “kill switch,” electronic alarm, VIN etching, or other. Anti-theft devices prevent claims, and insurers offer varying discounts after verifying them.

How to Choose the Right Coverage for You

Many kinds of insurance exist to protect you, your passengers, and your car. Some are inexpensive, some optional, some demanded by law. Other forms of insurance are more expensive, rarely used, and may not be necessary. Knowing which coverage (and how much) to choose gives you an advantage while shopping for cheap car insurance quotes

Liability Insurance

Usually mandated, liability coverage protects from bodily injury as well as damage. This simply means the insurance will help pay for injuries after an accident and repairs and replacements of assets and property.

Collision Insurance

In the event of an accident with another vehicle or object, you can get help paying for the repair or total replacement of your car (based on its cash value at the time).

Comprehensive Insurance

After a theft, fire, hail, or even vandalism, you can get help from your car insurance company with coverage that pays for the repair or replacement of the vehicle. Comprehensive coverage usually has a deductible for your reimbursement after the covered claim. 

Full Coverage Insurance

Combining elements from multiple policies, full coverage insurance is usually a combination of comprehensive, collision, and liability policies. It could pay for anything from natural disasters to thefts and medical treatment. 

Medical Payment Insurance

With medical payment (or “med pay”) coverage, you, your family, and passengers can get help paying for costs if serious injury is suffered. This insurance can pay for things like hospital visits and surgery as well as x-rays and therapy. 

Uninsured/Underinsured Insurance

You can get help paying for medical bills and repairs with this form of coverage if you are ever hit by a driver who doesn’t carry their own insurance. It also covers you if their insurance limits don’t meet the cost of the accident or your medical bills. 

Rental Car Insurance

Usually, rental car companies will extend you temporary coverage while they lend you a car, and it will protect you from damages if you’re involved in an accident. But, as a temporary policy, it may be limited, ends after the rental period, and can be pricey.

Roadside Assistance Insurance

Roadside assistance can help you with jumpstarts, battery replacement, tire changes, and more. Some drivers find this kind of coverage essential, but it won’t be required for safe driving on the road if you need to cut costs.

Compare personalized quotes and pick the best coverage for you

The Easiest Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance

There are quite a few ways to save some cash on your car insurance policy. Here’s some of the easiest:

Only File Claims as Needed

Filing a claim with an insurance company means they will view you as more risky and deserving of a higher premium. To keep your car insurance costs down, minimize claims.

Shop Around

The car insurance industry changes all the time. Even if you already have coverage, you can get a better rate if you start to look for cheap car insurance regularly. 

Add a More Experienced Driver

More experienced drivers add a sense of safety, security, and responsibility to the policy that insurance companies often notice. Adding an older, safer driver can save you money.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Get New Insurance

Taking time to shop for coverage helps most drivers get the car insurance they need without paying the price. If you do your homework, you’ll find an excellent, cheap car insurance policy.

Take a Defensive Driving Course

Insurance companies care about safe driving on our roads. Ask them about the driving courses they recognize, and learn a new skill to save a few dollars.

Increase Your Credit Score

Credit scores are a signal of your trustworthiness, and insurance companies take note of improvements. If you’ve been working on your credit, you’ll notice a difference.

Enroll in a Pay-As-You-Go Policy

A pay-as-you-go or pay-per-mile policy works for those who drive occasionally or rarely. By calculating the premium through miles driven, you can save on car insurance.

Increase Your Deductible

By saying you’ll pay more in the event of a claim, choose to increase your deductible and see how the insurance company lowers your monthly or annual payment. 

Consider Your Vehicle and Location

Choose a safe vehicle, store it in a safe location, and you’ll be ready to save on your car insurance premiums without additional effort.

FAQs about car insurance quotes

What’s a good car insurance rate?

Car insurance rates vary state to state, person to person, and company to company. They can even change based on your age and vehicle. To see the best rate for you and your car, use Compare.com to explore car insurance quotes and coverage.

What’s the best way to get car insurance quotes?

Traditionally, you had to meet with each insurance company, go over your application, and come up with a number slowly. Now, with tools like Compare.com, you can get cheap car insurance quotes as you like—quickly and online. That’s the best way.

What’s the best car insurance quote site?

There are countless car insurance quote sites, but they often don’t work with most major car insurance companies that customers want. Those drivers seek the very lowest payment for the best, legally required coverage. To them, we recommend Compare.com.

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