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Car owners in nearly every state are required to carry car insurance, making a policy a common part of most American budgets. But while most drivers have to account for the cost of a car insurance policy, car insurance costs can balloon quickly depending on your needs and how much coverage you select. That can make the idea of finding cheap car insurance seem impossible.

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Luckily, that’s not the case for most drivers, as many car insurance companies will offer discounts that can help make your policy more affordable. To help you make sure you’re maximizing your discounts, Bankrate compiled a list of the most popular car insurance discounts offered by the best car insurance companies. This information may be useful to ensure you’re getting the right coverage for the best price.

Types of car insurance discounts

Auto insurance discounts typically fall under a few categories. Depending on what each car insurance company offers, you could earn a discount based on your individual profile, driving history or your car’s features.

Because discount eligibility and amounts vary for every insurance company, it’s important to shop around with different carriers when looking for car insurance. After receiving quotes back, review the discounts and their impact on your insurance rates, and check if you might be missing any of the discount opportunities below.

Driver-based discounts

Some car insurance discounts are based on a driver’s characteristics, such as their age group, profession or membership in an affiliated group. While certain discounts may be applied automatically, it never hurts to ask if you don’t see it.

Discount type Potential savings Who the discount is for
Young driver discounts Varies by program Young drivers between the ages of 16 and 25
Student discounts Varies by school level and GPA Currently enrolled high school and college students
Military discounts *Up to 15% Active and retired military members, and some qualified family members
Professionals discounts Varies by industry Individuals who are in qualified industries, such as education or health care
Organizational based discounts *Up to 12% Individuals who are members of or employed by partner organizations

*This is the highest discount based on our research of top providers in the market. Your actual savings may vary.

Driving-based discounts

Having a clean driving record is generally the best way to qualify for many safe driving discounts, as it indicates to insurance companies that you are less likely to file claims. However, even without a spotless record, there are still many driving-based discounts you could qualify to earn savings for your driving.

Discount type Potential savings Who the discount is for
Safe driver discounts *Up to 40%, if using a telematics program and performing well Safe drivers who have not been in an at-fault accident or received a moving violation conviction. More savings may be earned by participating in a telematics program
Low-mileage discounts Varies based on miles driven Drivers who do not commute daily and drive very infrequently
Defensive driving course discounts *Up to 5% For people who are looking to improve their driving skills and reaction times

*This is the highest discount based on our research of top providers in the market. Your actual savings may vary.

Vehicle-based discounts

Your car’s installed features, such as anti-lock brakes, adaptive cruise control, daytime running lights and safety features, may make driving safer and help you to avoid accidents. Depending on your car insurance carrier, you may earn a discount for these features due to your lower risk.

Discount type Potential savings Who the discount is for
Safety features discounts *Up to 5% Vehicles that have specific safety features outlined by the insurance carrier
Anti-theft discounts *Up to 23% Vehicles that have anti-theft features outlined by the insurance carrier

*This is the highest discount based on our research of top providers in the market. Your actual savings may vary.

Loyalty-based discounts

Once you have found a company that works for you, you may earn additional discounts for being insured with the company, especially if you bundle your car insurance with home, life, boat or another type of insurance.

Discount type Potential savings Who the discount is for
Multi-car discounts *Up to 25% Drivers who insure more than one registered vehicle at their household
Multi-policy discounts *Up to 13% Policyholders who bundle two or more policies with a single carrier
Continuous policyholder discount Varies by company and length of being insured Policyholders who have maintained coverage either on their own or with the same carrier for several years

*This is the highest discount based on our research of top providers in the market. Your actual savings may vary.

Other car insurance discounts

We’ve covered the most common car insurance discounts, but more opportunities to save on car insurance may be available. Below are some discounts that all insurers may not offer, but they are worth asking about to see if you can include them.

New policyholder discount

To incentivize drivers considering switching their car insurance companies, some carriers may offer a new policyholder discount. This additional discount may be applicable for the first period of the new policy and eventually fall off.

Married discount

Compared to single drivers, car insurance for married drivers may be cheaper. Based on our analysis of average premium data from Quadrant Information Services, single drivers pay an average of $1,674 per year for full coverage car insurance, while married drivers pay around  $1,625 per year.

Homeowner discount

As homeowners are generally more financially stable than renters, they may be able to receive a discount on their car insurance due to having a lower likelihood of needing to file claims. If your insurance company doesn’t offer home insurance, making a multiple policy discount unavailable, you can ask if a homeowner discount is available.

Billing discounts

Depending on your billing and payment method, you may be able to earn more discounts on your policy. The most commonly seen are paperless billing, automatic billing and paid-in-full discount, but check with your insurance agent to see if there may be anything unique to your company that you can participate in.

How to find the best car insurance discounts

Shopping for car insurance can be an involved process. You may be considering how much car insurance you need, what coverage options to include and which carrier will give you the most competitive premium. Knowing the available discount opportunities and taking advantage of them could make a huge difference in finding the best car insurance policy within your budget. Below are some tips on finding car insurance discounts:

  1. Research a carrier website. This could be the easiest way to get an idea of what discount opportunities are available and if any could apply to you.
  2. Ask a licensed agent. Because most websites for large insurance companies provide general information, there may be additional discounts specific to your state. A licensed agent will be your best resource in this case.
  3. Bundling your home and auto. Out of all the discount opportunities available, bundling multiple insurance policies with a single carrier tends to be one of the best ways to maximize your savings. Consider getting a quote for homeowners insurance or another policy type when shopping for car insurance to see if a single provider can meet your multiple insurance needs.

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