Cheap Car Insurance in 2021
The best way to get cheap car insurance is to compare quotes from different car insurance companies. In order to help drivers nationwide find the cheapest car insurance rates for their needs and circumstances, WalletHub collected quotes from auto insurance companies across all 50 states.
Read on for the full results of WalletHub’s car insurance comparison, along with a detailed description of our methodology and additional insight from a panel of experts.
Best States for Cheap Car Insurance
Cheapest States for Car Insurance
|Rank||State||Average Yearly Premium|
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Full Coverage
Full coverage refers to a policy that goes beyond the minimum state requirements and includes both collision and comprehensive coverage. Because full coverage protects you in more situations, it costs more than the minimum required coverage.
WalletHub compared full coverage rates for policies that include collision and comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible, $100K in bodily injury liability coverage per person (up to $300K per accident), $50K of property damage liability coverage per accident, $100K in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person (up to $300K per accident), and $50K in uninsured motorist property damage coverage per accident. We used a 45-year-old, single man with a clean driving record and good credit as the policyholder for these sample quotes.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies After a Ticket
After a speeding ticket, most drivers will see their insurance rates go up for 3-5 years. The extent to which premiums rise after a ticket can vary significantly by insurance company, however. To illustrate the importance of comparing car insurance quotes after getting a ticket, WalletHub compared rates for a 45-year-old, single man with minimum coverage, good credit, and a speeding ticket.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies For Drivers with One At-Fault Accident
One at-fault accident will increase the average driver’s car insurance premium by around 50% for 3-5 years. The penalty is more severe with some insurance companies than others, though. To find the country’s cheapest insurance companies for drivers after an at-fault accident, WalletHub averaged quotes for a 45-year-old, single man with minimum coverage, good credit, and an at-fault accident.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies After a DUI
Insurers always charge drivers more for coverage after a DUI conviction, given what such an infraction indicates about the driver’s risk profile. To help drivers minimize the cost of car insurance moving forward, WalletHub compared quotes for a 45-year-old, single man with minimum coverage, good credit, and a DUI.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Drivers with Poor Credit
Less-than-good credit can lead to higher car insurance premiums, but there are two ways to avoid paying more than necessary as a result of a poor credit score. One is to work on improving your credit, which WalletHub’s personalized advice can be a big help with. The other is to comparison shop for car insurance. To that end, WalletHub found some of the cheapest car insurance companies for drivers with poor credit by averaging rates for a 45-year-old, single man with minimum coverage and a clean driving record.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Young Drivers
Since young drivers have less experience behind the wheel, insurers tend to charge them higher rates than more mature drivers. On average, most drivers will see their rates drop as they get older, with a considerable decrease once they turn 25 years old.
To help younger drivers keep costs low in the meantime, WalletHub compared quotes from drivers aged 16-24 years old with a clean driving record, minimum coverage, and good credit.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Older Drivers
Although mature drivers pay less for car insurance than teens, older drivers start to see their rates go up as they enter their senior years. By simply comparing quotes, older drivers can save hundreds of dollars per year. To get you started, WalletHub found some of the cheapest insurers nationwide for older drivers by averaging quotes for 55- and 65-year-old, single men with clean driving records, minimum coverage, and good credit.
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Premiums Nationwide
8 Tips for How to Get Cheap Car Insurance
1. Get a car that’s cheap to cover.
Certain car models cost more to insure than others. Cars that are safer and cost less, like minivans and SUVs, are cheaper to insure than expensive, fast sports cars.
2. Be on your best behavior.
Safe drivers with no history of accidents, tickets or arrests can look forward to cheaper rates than people who haven’t been as responsible. Convicted felons will also often have to pay more, even if their record isn’t related to driving.
3. Take advantage of discounts.
You may be able to get discounts if you are a veteran, get paperless statements, have a good driving record, bundle policies, are a student or have an anti-theft system, to name a few.
4. Build good credit.
Your credit score will often factor into your auto insurance rates – people with no credit pay 67% more than people with excellent credit on average. Insurers know that financial responsibility often correlates with responsibility in other areas of life. People with poor credit are more likely to file an insurance claim. To boost your credit score, always pay you credit bills on time and try to use less than 30% of your available credit.
5. Look locally.
There are several big-name nationwide auto insurers with lots of satisfied customers, but you don’t necessarily have to get coverage from a company that takes clients from all across the country. Plenty of car insurance companies only cater to customers in certain regions or states. These local insurers may provide lower rates but are often overlooked. Make sure to include them in your comparison, at least.
6. Choose a higher deductible.
An insurer may lower your monthly rates in return for a higher deductible - the amount you personally have to pay when you make a claim. That can save you money if you never have an accident. This approach makes the most sense for people who are very infrequent drivers.
7. Select less comprehensive coverage.
There are many types of car insurance. You will usually need liability coverage, to pay for the other person’s damages if you’re at fault in an accident. But you may not need collision damage (pays your repairs) or comprehensive coverage (pays for non-accident-related damages). Both pay out based on your car’s current value. If your car is older and will cost more to fix than to buy a new vehicle, it may not be worth it.
8. Consider pay-per-mile plans.
You don’t always have to pay a set amount per month. There are also plans based on how much you drive. If you have a car but rarely use it or only drive very locally, a pay-per-mile plan may be best for you. The insurance company will place a device in your car that tracks your mileage. It may also track things like your speed and braking, which could affect your rates positively if you’re a safe driver and negatively if not.
Car Insurance Survey
- 61 million Americans have reduced their car insurance coverage due to COVID-19.
- 105 million Americans say they’re not getting their money’s worth from their car insurance.
- 55 million Americans have second thoughts about owning a car due to COVID-19.
- 42% of Americans say it’s hard to switch car insurance companies.
- Almost 60% of Americans prefer purchasing their car insurance directly rather than through a local agent.
Ask the Experts: Cheap Car Insurance Pros & Cons
Car insurance is a necessary expense if you’re a driver, but trying to find the cheapest rates can be a time-consuming process. To gain more insight about getting cheap car insurance while still having quality coverage, WalletHub posed the following questions to a panel of experts. Click on the experts below to view their bios and answers.
- Why do car insurance rates (and even providers) vary so much from state to state?
- Is it riskier to drive in some cities and states than others?
- Is there anything that state and local governments can do to promote cheap car insurance rates for their constituents?
- Why do you think credit history has more of an impact on car insurance rates in some states than others?
- Is cheap/inexpensive car insurance bad car insurance?
WalletHub’s analysis of cheap car insurance companies is based on data from the state DMVs and Quadrant Information Services. Together with that data, WalletHub used the characteristics listed below to create a driver profile designed to identify the cheapest car insurance companies nationally. WalletHub compared top car insurance companies that operate in 10 or more states by averaging each insurer's state rank, across all the states that company operates in.
In the table below, you can see all of the profile characteristics that were used in WalletHub’s analysis.
|Category||All Profile Characteristics||Good Driver Profile|
|Age||16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 35, 45, 55, 65||45|
|Marital Status||Single, Married||Single|
|Teenage Driver Included on Policy||No, Yes||No|
|Driving Record||Clean, One Speeding Ticket, One At-Fault Accident, One DUI, Suspended License, Open Container, Red Light Infraction, Reckless Driving, One Not At-Fault Accident||Clean|
|Miles Driven Per Year||7,500 Miles, 15,000 Miles, 20,000 Miles||15,000 Miles|
|Coverage Level||Minimum, Standard, Full||Minimum|
|Discounts||None, Multi-Policy, Homeowner, Student||None|
|Credit Level||Poor, Good||Good|
|Filings||None, SR22, FR44||None|
|Car||Sedan, Minivan, SUV, Coupe, Truck||Sedan|
Below are additional details regarding the terminology and specific characteristics of the variables in the above table:
- Minimum Coverage: State minimum coverage requirements.
- Standard Coverage: Coverage levels of 50k/100k/25k of liability coverage and 50k/100k/25k of uninsured motorist coverage.
- Full Coverage: Coverage levels of 100k/300k/50k of liability coverage, 100k/300k/50k of uninsured motorist coverage, and collision and comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible.
- Sedan: 2018 Toyota Camry.
- Minivan: 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan.
- SUV: 2018 Toyota RAV4.
- Coupe: 2018 Ford Mustang.
- Truck: 2018 Ford F-150.
Where driver profiles are not specified, WalletHub used the good driver profile, using the above variables. Quote information is from Quadrant Information Services and is representative only. Individual rates will be different.
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