Key takeaways

  • Drivers can save money on their auto insurance premiums by taking advantage of safe driver, student, military discounts and more offered by insurance companies.
  • Discounts can be applied based on individual profile, driving history, car's features and membership in an organization or military service.
  • Some drivers may also be able to save on their premiums by raising their deductible and tracking their annual mileage and driving habits.
  • Drivers with continuous insurance coverage may also receive discounts from their insurance company.

Auto insurance is a requirement in most states, but with premiums soaring ever-higher, paying for your coverage may strain your budget. Using data from Quadrant Information Services, Bankrate’s team of insurance experts found the average cost of a full coverage car insurance policy in 2024 is $2,543, a 26 percent increase from 2023. Minimum coverage is cheaper, with an average cost of $740 per year, but it still increased by 19 percent from last year. Thankfully, many insurers offer a list of auto insurance discounts that may help lighten the financial burden. Below, we’ll go over all of the different types of discounts to help you unlock auto insurance savings.

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How to get 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.

When looking for car insurance discounts, it may be helpful to evaluate the discounts your current insurance company offers and then compare them to the discounts on your existing policy to ensure that you’re receiving the discounts you qualify for. You can also speak with your insurance company or agent and request a review to ensure that you’re getting the discounts you may qualify for.

Discount eligibility and amounts also vary by insurance company, so it may also benefit you to shop around with different carriers to find out whether other companies may offer unique discounts that could save you money on your policy.

Types of car insurance discounts

Bankrate’s team of insurance experts has identified four main categories of car insurance discounts: driver-based, driving-based, vehicle-based and loyalty-based. Your insurer may also have other miscellaneous discounts, but our research indicated that the four we named are more common among most insurance companies.

Because discount eligibility and amounts vary for every insurance company, it’s important to shop around with different carriers when looking for cheap 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 High school or college students who are currently enrolled full-time
Military discounts *Up to 15% Active and former 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.

    • Young drivers face some of the most expensive average car insurance rates of all age demographics, but there are ways to earn discounts. To save money on car insurance for young drivers, some carriers offer a discount for completing a safe driving course designed for teen and young drivers, while others offer telematics programs intended to help young drivers practice safe driving habits.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Amica, Progressive, State Farm

    • Adding student discounts is another chance to save on your car insurance premium. By maintaining a good GPA (typically a B-average or higher), high school and college students may be able to add a Good Student discount to their policy. Additionally, college students who attend school far away from home and don’t take a family car with them may also be able to qualify for a distant student discount. Students typically need to be enrolled full-time to be eligible for this type of discount.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Allstate, Farmers, Travelers

    • Some insurance companies also offer discounts specifically for military members. Whether you are on active duty or active reserves, or retired or honorably discharged, you and qualified family members may be able to qualify for an extra discount.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Geico, Liberty Mutual, USAA

    • Many insurance companies offer special car insurance discounts for particular professions. Certain professions like those in the medical, educational, engineering and financial fields may be able to inquire if their career qualifies them for a discount.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Farmers, Geico, The Hartford

    • Membership in an organization could qualify you for another car insurance discount. While discounts are most commonly advertised for federal employees, alumni group members or employees of associated companies, asking your insurance agent if your particular membership qualifies you for a discount is the best way to find another savings opportunity.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Farmers, Geico, Travelers

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 auto insurance 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.

    • To qualify for a safe driver discount, a driver must not have been involved in an at-fault accident or received a conviction for a moving violation, like a speeding ticket, within a certain number of years. The amount of time and discount percentage may differ depending on the insurance company, so it’s worth shopping around to see what different carriers offer you.

      Even if you have a mark on your motor vehicle record, you can still work toward being a safe driver and receive potential savings. Many insurance carriers now offer usage-based telematics programs, which track safe driving habits. There is often a discount just for signing up, and you may be able to earn the maximum discount based on how well you perform during the testing period.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Geico, Nationwide, USAA

    • The average driver puts around 13,500 miles per year on their car. Drivers who have lower than typical annual mileage may qualify for a low-mileage discount. If you normally drive less than the average U.S. driver or only drive occasionally, a program specifically for low-mileage drivers could be worth a look. Most auto insurance companies also request odometer readings every year to calculate your rates correctly. If you do not drive very often, it may be worth contacting your insurance carrier to learn the requirements to qualify for this type of discount.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Allstate (Milewise), Nationwide (SmartMiles), American Family

    • Considerations when shopping for car insurance for seniors may look different compared to that of other age groups, but there are discounts this demographic may be eligible for as well. Taking a defensive driving course, for example, could be informative and earn drivers another discount on their car insurance. The course will generally need to be approved both by the state and the insurer. You should also check to make sure that the course is approved by the insurance company before signing up, as not all defensive driving courses will qualify.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Farmers, Geico, Nationwide

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.

    • Most new cars may come with a few standard safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, passive restraint, and air bags. You may even be able to customize your car to include more safety add-ons. However, keep in mind that every car insurance company is different, and the qualifications for safety features and discount amounts may vary.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Allstate, Geico, Travelers

    • Comprehensive insurance covers theft of your car, which can be costly for your insurer and inconvenient for you. For this reason, some carriers may offer an additional anti-theft discount for deterrents installed in your car.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Farmers, Geico, Nationwide

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.

    • If you are insuring more than one car, including both vehicles on a single policy could be an easy way to earn a discount. Keep in mind that the car needs to be registered to you or your spouse if you are married.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Geico, Liberty Mutual, Progressive

    • Bundling is a common discount offered by most major insurers. Whether you own your home or rent, having both your car insurance and your homeowners or renters insurance with one company could give you a discount on the premiums. There may also be bundling discounts available for bundling your auto insurance with other policies, like life or umbrella.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Nationwide, State Farm, Travelers

    • Depending on the carrier, this discount could be interpreted in two ways. Some insurance companies, like Progressive, may offer this discount to new policyholders based on how many years they were continuously insured at a previous carrier. Other insurance companies may consider how many years an insured has been with them, although it is common that it’s not included as a discount, but factored into the overall premium before discounts.

      Offered by major insurance companies like: Progressive, Travelers, USAA

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. As mentioned above, single drivers pay an average of $2,014 per year for full coverage car insurance, while married drivers typically pay less on average for coverage, based on our analysis of average premium data from Quadrant Information Services

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 is a good place to start. Most carriers list discounts you could be eligible for and any additional information about eligibility guidelines and how to claim the cost-savings.
  2. Ask a licensed agent. They can provide even more specific information regarding discounts you’ve already identified and share details about state-specific discounts you may not know about.
  3. Talk to friends or family. Referrals are a great way to find an insurance company that offers generous discounts. You may find that the discounts are more attractive than your current provider offers, and it could be worthwhile to switch insurance companies to receive the same level of coverage at a lower rate.

Other ways to save on car insurance

In addition to discounts, there may be other ways to lower your insurance premium. One option you may opt to consider is raising your deductible. By raising your deductible, you will typically have a lower premium for your car insurance, but keep in mind that your deductible is an expense that you could be responsible for paying at any point. As such, you should typically only increase it if you are sure you’ll be able to pay that expense out of pocket.

Once you have a policy in place, it may be beneficial to do periodic checks, or insurance reviews, before each renewal to make sure you are not carrying more coverage than you need. It may also be helpful to track your annual mileage and driving habits between renewals. Even if you did not qualify for a low mileage discount in the past, your current driving habits may change that, especially if you have recently started working for home or traveling less.

In addition, maintaining a clean driving record free of moving violations or claims is one of the easiest ways to get the best rate on your car insurance premium. Raising your credit score in most states may lower your risk profile and therefore may have a positive impact on your premium. Even maintaining continuous insurance coverage over an extended period of time could help lower your rate, depending on your carrier.

Frequently asked questions

    • All included discounts on your car insurance policy can be found in your policy declarations page. If you’re still in the quoting process, it will be on the quote completed by the company. You can use this to compare carriers to one another to see which one offers you more discounts and how much the discount decreases the premium.
    • Whether or not your car insurance premiums will be adversely affected by using a telematics program will depend on the carrier. Some insurance companies structure the program so that your rates are affected if you drive poorly while others do not. Check with your insurance agent to learn more about the specific program they offer before enrolling.
    • Most car insurance companies will ask for an odometer reading when you start your policy, and may also request one every year thereafter to get a sense of how much you drive. Drivers who are on the road more often tend to pay higher rates compared to low-mileage drivers. If your commute or annual mileage has changed recently, check with your insurance agent on how this might affect your car insurance rates.
    • Shopping around for car insurance quotes is a crucial step in ensuring you are not overpaying for your coverage. Each insurance company uses its own underwriting algorithm to determine your rate. For example, say you have a speeding ticket on your record. Some insurers may quote you a higher rate because of your driving history, while others may look more favorably on drivers with less-than-perfect driving records. The same goes for any other car insurance rating factor; casting a wider net can help you hone in on the provider that offers you the best rate for your unique driving profile and coverage needs. Different providers also may offer different discounts for auto insurance, which is worth keeping in mind while you shop.
    • The kind of vehicle you drive can play a large role in determining both your rate and the number of discounts you can add to your car insurance policy. If your vehicle comes equipped with safety features, those could help you earn more discounts. These features may help you avoid accidents that could cost both you and your insurer quite a bit of money.

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