How to get cheap car insurance: 14 ways to lower your auto insurance rates


Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes
Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly
ZIP Code must be filled out!
 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
writter logo
Written by
Digital Growth Manager
reviewer logo
Reviewed by
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent
UPDATED: 2021-06-18T16:14:30.383Z
Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.
Saving on car insurance. An image of a toy car on a pile of coins.

When shopping for car insurance, we consider many things: the insurance company, policy features and price. Your car insurance rates are determined by a number of factors about you and your car. But did you know there are a number of small changes you can make in order to get cheaper car insurance? Read on to find out how to get cheap car insurance and what the average car insurance rates in the United States are.

What are 14 ways you can get cheap car insurance?

While some things that affect your car insurance rates are out of your control such as insurance fraud, an increase in accidents in your area, or the rising cost to repair cars there are ways you can get cheaper and more affordable car insurance. Take control of your car insurance rates by following these 14 ways to lower your auto insurance rates.

1. Shop around and compare car insurance companies

In order to get cheap car insurance, you'll need to shop around for the best price. This involves getting quotes from multiple companies so you can compare the policy options and prices from each one to choose the best option.

Which company can you get the cheapest car insurance from? In the tables below, you can find the average car insurance rates for male and female drivers of three different age groups for the 10 largest insurance companies in the United States. Please note: These are national averages based on a certain profile. Your insurance rates will differ depending on the state you live in and your unique driver profile and coverages.

Out of these 10 companies, USAA offers the cheapest car insurance rates for all three of these male driver profiles. USAA is an insurance company only available to military members and their families. If you don't qualify for USAA, the next cheapest car insurance, on average, is Geico for male teens and single adults and American Family for senior males.

Insurance Company Male teen rates Male single adult rates Male senior rates
Allstate $2,137 $1,819 $1,468
American Family $2,057 $1,338 $1,065
Geico $1,492 $1,204 $1,088
Farmers $3,513 $1,491 $1,168
Liberty Mutual $3,199 $2,862 $2,588
Nationwide $2,402 $1,363 $1,184
Progressive $2,953 $1,523 $1,190
State Farm $1,967 $1,418 $1,062
Travelers $2,879 $1,662 $1,254
USAA $1,092 $1,120 $ 811

Typically, female drivers receive lower rates than male drivers because male drivers tend to pose a greater risk to insurance companies statistically. Female drivers also tend to drive less than male drivers. Out of the 10 most popular car insurance companies in the U.S., USAA offers the cheapest car insurance rates across the board for all three female driver profiles. For those who aren't eligible for USAA, the second cheapest company on average for female teens and single adults is Geico. For female seniors, the cheapest is State Farm, on average.

Teen drivers have an increased average rate because they are still considered high-risk drivers. However, teens are eligible for a good student discount if they keep their grade-point average at or above a certain number.

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Insurance Company Female teen rates Female single adult rates Female senior rates
Allstate $1,889 $1,759 $1,447
American Family $1,701 $1,317 $1,049
Geico $1,460 $1,200 $1,079
Farmers $3,285 $1,537 $1,085
Liberty Mutual $2,625 $2,845 $2,583
Nationwide $2,028 $1,346 $1,096
Progressive $2,706 $1,575 $1,143
State Farm $1,721 $1,418 $1,062
Travelers $2,340 $1,632 $1,237
USAA $1,023 $1,106 $806

To determine the average national rates for male and female drivers for these 10 insurance companies, we created three driver profiles for both males and females and got rates for drivers for each profile. The profiles for male and female drivers were an 18-year-old teen with state minimum coverages and fair credit; a 35-year-old single adult with 100/300/50 liability limits in addition to full coverage with $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive, a good credit score, and one driving violation in the last three years; and a 65-year-old driver with 100/300/50 liability limits in addition to full coverage with $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive, a good credit score and no driving violations in the last three years.

Additionally, we averaged the rates in each state we had data for that company. Please note: rate data wasn’t available for every company in every state. Rate data is provided by Quadrant Information Services.

2. Take advantage of car insurance discounts

A great way to get cheap car insurance is to take advantage of all discounts available to you. Insurance companies usually offer many discounts depending on you and your car. Some of the most common discounts offered are:

  • Multi-vehicle discount - if you insure more than one car on the same policy
  • Safe driver discount - for drivers who have gone without a claim for a certain period of time
  • Affinity discounts - for drivers who are members of certain affinity groups, such as the military, educators or first responders
  • Good student discount - for young drivers who have good grades in school
  • Safe vehicle discount - if your car has safety and/or security features.

If you own a home or rent an apartment, be sure to look into bundling your insurance policies to earn a significant discount as well. Bundling policies also allows you to have one convenient payment for all your insurance types. You can see the best ranked auto and home insurance companies here.

3. Enroll in a driver tracking program

Some insurance companies offer driver tracking programs, or a usage-based insurance program, which monitors your driving habits for a certain amount of time and offers you a discount on your car insurance rates based on your driving. These programs usually operate through a mobile app or a telematics device installed in your car. Typically they measure things such as the time of day you drive, your speeds, hard braking, and fast accelerating. We've written reviews of some of the most popular programs: Progressive Snapshot, State Farm Drive Safe and Save, Allstate Drivewise and Liberty Mutual Right Track.

4. If you’re buying a new car, choose wisely

When buying a new car, keep the cost of car insurance in mind before you make your decision. Your car’s make and model affect your car insurance costs. Some vehicles are more expensive to insure than others based on how much they are worth, how expensive they are to repair or replace, and the likelihood of them being targeted by thieves. Cars that tend to be more expensive to insure in general are luxury cars, electric cars, and certain car models that tend to be targeted by thieves.

5. Increase your deductible

One way to get cheaper car insurance rates is to raise your deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket to your insurance company when you have a claim. Once you pay your deductible, your car insurance company can then pay to repair your car. When you opt to have a higher deductible, such as $1,000 instead of $250, you will pay less for car insurance per month, but more out of pocket if you have a claim.

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

6. Pay your premium in full

If you pay your car insurance premium in full upfront, you'll likely be able to get your car insurance coverage for cheaper. Insurance companies often offer discounts to policyholders who pay their policy in full upfront because it saves the company money and makes you less of a risk for them. The savings vary by company, so make sure to check with your company or agent to find out how much you could save by doing this.

7. Choose the coverage that best fits your needs and your car

When choosing your car insurance coverage for your car, make sure to consider the value of your car. For some drivers, certain coverage options may not be worth it to pay for if they drive an older car that doesn't have a high value. For instance, you may only need liability coverage and not full coverage depending on if you’ve paid off your car and its value.

8. Practice safe driving and maintain a clean driving record

While there are many factors that affect the cost of your car insurance rates, one of the primary factors is your driving record because it's a signifier of your risk to an insurance company. Drivers who maintain a clean record, free from claims or tickets, can generally expect lower rates than if they had a flawed record.

Typically, at-fault accidents and tickets stay on your driving record for three years before they are removed. If you remain claims-free for a number of years, some car insurance companies may offer a discount.

Did you know that a speeding ticket raises your car insurance rates by an average of $289 per year? If you want cheap insurance rates, it's important to stay violation free.

Additionally, whether you're a new driver or a more experienced one, you should consider enrolling in driver's education or taking a driver training course. For new drivers, driver education can help prepare you for the road ahead while for more experienced drivers, a course can give you a refresher on the best practices when you're driving.

9. Improve your credit score

Your credit score affects your car insurance rates in all states except California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. If you have a low credit score, insurance companies consider you a higher risk, therefore charge you higher rates. For cheaper car insurance, work on improving your credit score.

10. Install security and safety features to your car

You can install security and safety features to your car that will not only protect your car but also may earn you a car insurance discount. Anti-theft devices are a great way to protect your car and potentially earn a discount.

11. Park your car in a safe spot

Where you park your car on a daily basis affects the cost of your car insurance. Your car is more susceptible to damage if you park it on the street of a busy city. You may be able to lower your auto insurance rates if you can park your car off the street. It's even better if you can park it in a locked garage, putting it out of reach of vandals, thieves, and harsh weather, such as hail.

It can also help if you move to an area with a low crime rate. Your location, in part, affects your car insurance costs because of the crime rate in your area. If crime is high where your car is primarily kept, you'll likely be paying more for car insurance.

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

12. Drive less

Oftentimes, car insurance companies offer lower rates or discounts to policyholders who drive less than a certain number of miles per year. The threshold depends on the insurance company.

If you’re a low mileage driver, you may be able to get cheap car insurance from Metromile, a pay-per-mile car insurance company. With Metromile, you’ll pay a low flat rate each month and then a few cents per mile you drive.

For a ranking of the companies consumers say are the best low-mileage and pay-per-mile car insurance companies, visit our blog: Best low-mileage car insurance

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

13. Review your policy often

If you want cheap car insurance, be sure you're regularly checking your car insurance policy and take note of any rate increases. Your insurance company may slowly raise your rates so it's important for you to stay on top of it if you notice any change in your bill. You should check your policy at least every year, if not every six months.

Did you know that the drivers who switched their car insurance reported an average savings of $390 per year? If your rates are going up, it may be time to shop for cheaper car insurance.

14. Don’t let your coverage lapse

It's important you don't let your car insurance coverage lapse. A lapse in coverage is when you go without car insurance for a period of time. Reasons a lapse could happen include your insurance company canceled your policy, you didn't renew your policy, you moved away or are away at school and didn't need coverage, you're deployed in the military or you no longer have a car.

If you're in the military, there are a handful of insurance companies that will allow you to suspend your coverage while you're deployed. USAA is one of the most popular car insurance options for military members, but another popular choice with this option is Geico. If you cancel your policy and let your coverage lapse, you may pay much higher rates when you come back and need insurance again.

If you owned a car at one point but no longer do, a non-owner car insurance policy can help you maintain continuous car insurance coverage even when you don’t own a car.

Summary: 14 ways to get cheap car insurance

  1. Shop around and compare car insurance companies
  2. Take advantage of car insurance discounts
  3. Enroll in a driver tracking program
  4. If you’re buying a new car, choose wisely
  5. Increase your deductible
  6. Pay your premium in full
  7. Choose coverage that fits your needs and your car
  8. Practice safe driving and maintain a clean driving record
  9. Improve your credit score
  10. Install security and safety features to your car
  11. Park your car in a safe spot
  12. Drive less
  13. Review your policy often
  14. Don’t let your coverage lapse

Car insurance rates depend on many factors, but these changes can help you find cheap car insurance. If you're interested in finding the best and cheapest car insurance in your state specifically, visit Clearsurance’s best car insurance page and filter the page for your state.

Make sure your car is properly insured in your state. Check to see if you need to have more than the minimum liability coverage. Consider looking into comprehensive coverage to keep your car protected. And, look into adding additional coverages like bodily injury insurance.

Everyone wants the best auto insurance policy from the best company at an affordable price. A quick call to your local insurance agent can help answer any questions you might have about which policy is best for you and your family. You can also use our free tool to compare auto insurance quotes near you. It's simple, just enter your zip code!

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes

Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly

ZIP Code must be filled out!

Secured with SHA-256 Encryption


The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.

Save Money by Comparing Insurance Quotes
Compare Free Insurance Quotes Instantly
ZIP Code must be filled out!
 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption