Finding the cheapest auto insurance company can be an impactful way to lower your monthly expenses. Auto-Owners and USAA offer the cheapest minimum coverage car insurance on our list, with affordable rates at $382 and $384 per year, respectively.
In the U.S., the average cost of minimum coverage car insurance is $565 per year, while full coverage costs $1,674 per year, on average. Choosing an auto insurer that offers the cheapest insurance coverage for your situation can help you feel more in control of your finances.
- Auto-Owners offers the cheapest average minimum coverage at $382 per year.
- You can expect to pay about $35 a month for minimum coverage based on the major auto insurers Bankrate reviewed.
- Smaller providers, such as Union Mutual and EMC, offer competitive rates at $15 a month for minimum coverage.
- USAA and Erie offer the cheapest monthly rates for full coverage car insurance on our list if you have a DUI conviction.
In this article…
- Which companies offer the cheapest car insurance?
- Do smaller companies also offer cheap car insurance?
- Can I get cheap car insurance if I have a ticket, accident or DUI?
- What is the cheapest car insurance company in my state?
- How do I get cheap car insurance?
What is the cheapest car insurance company?
Auto-Owners offers the cheapest average auto insurance rates, based on our analysis of minimum coverage premiums obtained from Quadrant Information Services. USAA, Amica, Erie and Geico round out the top five cheapest companies on our list.
To determine which cheap car insurance companies to feature, Bankrate’s editorial team evaluated each company based on quoted average premiums, coverages, discounts, policy features and third-party rankings for customer satisfaction and financial strength. We combined these metrics into a Bankrate Score. The companies each received a score on a scale of 0.0 to 5.0. The higher the Bankrate Score, the more highly a company ranked in various rating categories.
|Insurance company||Average annual premium||Average monthly premium (rounded to the nearest dollar)||Bankrate Score|
If you prefer working with a local agent over using a mobile app, Auto-Owners has independent representatives in the 26 states it serves. The company ranks near the top of the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, indicating that its customers are generally very satisfied with its claims process. Auto-Owners offers numerous policy options as well, so you can build a policy that fits your needs.
Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review
If you are active or retired military or an immediate family member of someone who is, USAA is a great company to consider for cheap auto insurance rates and good coverage. The major insurer routinely receives exceptional customer satisfaction feedback from J.D. Power, although it is not officially ranked due to its eligibility restrictions. USAA has military-focused discounts like savings for storing your car while you are deployed and garaging your car on a military base, as well as a few optional coverages, including accident forgiveness and ridesharing coverage, to help you tailor your policy to your needs.
Learn more: USAA Insurance review
Amica combines low auto insurance rates while providing exceptional customer satisfaction. One of the company’s most unique features is its dividend policies, which allow you to recoup some of your premium each year. Amica also offers several optional coverages to help round out your policy, including roadside assistance, rental reimbursement and accident forgiveness. The company also offers a variety of discounts, including savings for homeowners, good student discounts and defensive drivers.
Learn more: Amica Insurance review
Although only available in 12 states and Washington D.C., Erie consistently performs well with its prices and customer service. Options like accident forgiveness, rental reimbursement, travel expenses and pet injury coverage are available in addition to the standard coverage options. Erie also has a unique Rate Lock feature that allows the policyholder to lock in their premium and coverage, although your rate will change if you make certain updates to your policy, like adding a new vehicle or driver.
Learn more: Erie Insurance review
With one of the largest menu of discounts in the industry, it is no surprise that Geico made our list of affordable auto insurance carriers. You may save for being a federal employee, military member, good student, safe driver or a member of certain organizations. Geico might also be a great choice for you if you like to handle your insurance digitally. The company earned the top spot in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study for the Service category.
Learn more: Geico Insurance review
Cheapest car insurance rates from smaller companies
Some drivers looking for cheap auto insurance may find it useful to get a quote from companies with a smaller market share. Regional insurers may offer more affordable car insurance and personalized coverage than larger, national insurers.
|Insurance company||Average annual premium||Average monthly premium (rounded to the nearest dollar)|
|Nodak Insurance Company||$164||$14|
Due to less advertising and lower overhead costs, many smaller companies can offer even more competitive premiums than their larger counterparts. Although these carriers might not sound as familiar as the larger companies, it could be worth your time to look for cheap insurance from a regional auto insurer serving your area.
Cheap car insurance by driving history
Although maintaining a clean driving record is one of the best ways to keep your car insurance premiums low, accidents happen. Most car insurance companies will surcharge your policy for at-fault accidents, tickets and DUI convictions. Multiple incidents on your driving record might mean that you will have to search for high-risk or non-standard coverage.
Because of the increase in perceived risk, auto insurers will typically charge more for high-risk drivers. However, getting quotes from several providers can still help you find the cheapest auto insurance company for your situation. We have included each company’s average monthly rates for full coverage car insurance for a driver with a clean record and after one speeding ticket, at-fault accident or a DUI conviction.
|Insurance company||Clean driving record||One speeding ticket||One at-fault accident||One DUI|
Cheap car insurance rates by state
Each state has its own insurance regulations, impacting the coverages you need to purchase and how much you will pay. And because each company has its own rating algorithm, the cheapest company for one driver might not be the cheapest for another. Getting quotes from several companies can help you compare premiums, but, on average, these are the cheapest companies in each state.
It is worth noting that, in many states, USAA offers cheaper average premiums for minimum coverage than the company we listed, but since eligibility is limited with this insurer, we have left them off this list. Taking that into consideration, Geico offers the cheapest average minimum coverage car insurance in more states than any other provider on our list.
|State||Cheapest car insurance company||Average annual minimum coverage premium|
|Arkansas||Southern Farm Bureau||$316|
|Iowa||Iowa Farm Bureau||$212|
|Kansas||Iowa Farm Bureau||$325|
|Nebraska||Iowa Farm Bureau||$271|
|New York||Main Street America||$304|
|South Carolina||American National||$227|
|South Dakota||Farmers Mutual of Nebraska||$172|
How to find cheap car insurance
Insurance helps protect your finances. Although your premium is an important factor, buying minimum coverage levels could leave you with out-of-pocket expenses. Keeping your coverage needs in mind while looking for a cheap auto insurance policy can help you protect your financial health. Here are some ways to find the best cheap car insurance for you:
- Shop around. Every company has its unique way of rating your policy, so the cost for the same coverage can vary between providers.
- Take advantage of discounts. Most companies offer auto insurance discounts to help lower your premium. Insurers that offer usage-based telematics programs or safe driving discounts may have a larger impact on reducing your rates.
- Understand your coverage needs. Full coverage car insurance provides more financial protection, but it is not the right coverage for everyone. Buying less coverage just to save money is not generally recommended by licensed agents, but knowing what coverage you need can help you only buy what applies to your situation. Speak with a licensed agent if you have questions about how much coverage is right for you.
- Consider your deductibles. If you have full coverage, you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy. Increasing one or both deductibles can lower your premium, but make sure you can afford to pay the deductible if you file a claim for damage to your vehicle.
- Reevaluate your auto insurance occasionally. Staying with the same company for several years can help you earn loyalty discounts. But if you have recently experienced a life event like buying a home, getting married, having a child or improving your credit score, you might want to think about your coverage needs and shop around.
Frequently asked questions
Who has the cheapest car insurance?
Car insurance rates vary from one driver to another depending on factors like location, age and driving record. Shopping around and comparing quotes based on your needs is usually the best way to find the most affordable car insurance for you. Many of the providers cited in this article offer affordable coverage for various types of drivers. Still, you may be able to find cheaper car insurance from providers not mentioned on our lists.
Is the minimum required insurance in my state enough coverage?
Your state’s minimum required levels of coverage are all you need to drive legally in your state, but most insurance experts recommend opting for additional coverage to offer more financial protection in case of an accident. Determining how much coverage you need involves a review of your broader financial picture. If you are not sure how much you need, consider speaking with a licensed insurance agent or licensed financial planner.
Does age affect car insurance rates?
Your ability to find cheap car insurance might depend on your age. Car insurance rates typically peak and drop at certain ages. Generally, premiums are more expensive the younger you are — especially for inexperienced teen drivers — and then begin decreasing between the ages of 25 and 60. However, senior-aged drivers may start to see rate increases around age 70 due to an increased likelihood of accidents and insured risk. Some states do not allow auto insurers to use age as a rating factor, so you may want to check your state’s insurance regulations to see if it could affect your premium.
State-sponsored options for low-income families
California Low-Cost Automobile program (CLCA)
- Annual income must fall below $32,200 for 1 person or $43,550 for 2 people. You must have a valid California driver’s license, your car must be worth less than $25,000 and you need to have a clean driving record.
- The CLCA program only offers liability and property damage coverage. Uninsured motorist and medical payments coverage is optional.
Special Automobile Insurance Policy (SAIP)
- Drivers must have a valid New Jersey license and must be enrolled in federal Medicaid with hospitalization.
Unlike other plans, SAIP only covers emergency medical costs if you get into an accident. It does not include coverage for liability or vehicle damages.
- Insurance from SAIP costs only $365 a year, which is significantly cheaper than private insurance.
Assistance to the Aged, Blind and Disabled program (AABD)
- Available to Hawaii residents who are 65 or older and meet the Social Security Administration’s legal definition of disabled or blind.
- Income must also fall below 34 percent of the 2006 federal poverty level, and you can’t be receiving aid that exceeds $2,000 for one person or $3,000 for a couple.
Maryland’s automobile insurance fund AKA Maryland Auto Insurance
- Offers vehicle liability insurance to drivers residing in Maryland who cannot obtain private liability coverage.
- The Fund acts similarly to any private insurance company and must follow regulations by the Maryland Insurance Commissioner. It also covers certain claims with uninsured motorists or in the event of a hit-and-run.
- Drivers must be rejected by at least two private insurance companies, have had their vehicle insurance cancelled or have not renewed vehicle insurance for reasons excluding nonpayment.
To register a vehicle, the owner must follow the minimum state requirements for coverage.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.
Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry-standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include its 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.