The “Land of Enchantment” features some of the oldest byways in the nation. Historic Route 66 runs east to west through the center of New Mexico and has carried motorists to their destinations for nearly a century. Recent decades have seen the number of New Mexican drivers rise as the state grows in popularity. In 2017, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics counted 1.5 million licensed drivers in the state, representing a 7.9% increase from the instate licenses counted in 2007.
New Mexico is a unique region with a culture all its own and plenty of different auto insurers to choose from. Finding the right fit can be a daunting task in any state, and there are a few things to consider before shopping around for a reliable New Mexico auto insurer:
- What is the driver’s history behind the wheel? Motorists with at-fault accidents on their records might be best served at a different insurance company than drivers with clean histories.
- What type of coverage is needed? People with auto loans usually need a higher level of insurance than those who have paid off their vehicles.
- What information is required for coverage? Have the vehicle’s mileage handy, as well as the VIN and license plate numbers, before speaking with a local insurance dealer.
Best car insurance companies in New Mexico
Every year, J.D. Power releases a study that looks at the finest auto insurers on the market. The 2019 edition of J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Insurance Study shows which auto insurance providers rise to the top of the industry to become the best in the Southwest. It’s always good to have a second opinion, so we also included ratings from AM Best and the Better Business Bureau to help determine the top insurance companies
- Allstate has comprehensive offerings that will fit the needs of most insurers, including collision coverage for accidents and medical payment coverage for both the driver and the passenger of the vehicle.
- American Family features plans with interesting offerings like discounts to incentivize safe driving and a car adapter that tracks driving for individualized discounts of up to 20%.
- Geico is the go-to option for the lowest auto insurance around and a great starting point for first-time car owners. Geico also allows different kinds of insurance plans to be bundled together for even more savings.
- Safeco gives its members access to a variety of options, such as ride-sharing insurance for professional drivers and selective accident forgiveness to reward good driving records.
- State Farm gets the highest rating from J.D. Power for good reason. State Farm has a comprehensive set of discounted insurance plans available, including defensive driving course discounts, good student discounts and multiple auto discounts.
|J.D. Power Rating||BBB Rating||AM Best Rating|
|American Family||3/5 Stars||A||A|
|State Farm||5/5 Stars||A||A++|
Finding the right cheap car insurance in New Mexico for you
The cheapest auto insurance isn’t going to be the same for all drivers. There are a few different factors that most insurance companies take into consideration when assigning monthly premiums to individual insurance plans. We looked to U.S. News & World Report’s best cheap car insurance ranking for New Mexico this year to find the plans that will fit every lifestyle.
Cheapest car insurance for drivers under 25: Geico
For younger drivers, Geico takes the cake for the cheapest auto insurance on the market in New Mexico. Depending on whether the driver is male or female, expect to pay from $1,046.97 to $1,258.46.
Cheapest car insurance for drivers with a spotty record: State Farm
No one is perfect, and even drivers who haven’t always been the best behind the wheel need reliable insurance. State Farm offers the best rates in these cases, with plans at $1,147.91 for motorists with one infraction.
Cheapest car insurance for low annual mileage: State Farm
Some drivers only use their vehicles occasionally and want their auto insurance to reflect that. If the annual mileage is going to be under 6,000 miles, then State Farm offers plans at $970.29. USAA offers plans even lower for active and former members of the U.S. Military.
Average car insurance cost in New Mexico
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average car insurance expenditure for a six-month premium in New Mexico was $762.56 in 2016. With a national average of $935.80, New Mexican motorists can expect to pay less for insurance than they would in many other states. In 2016, the New Mexico average for collision coverage was $276.98. The average for liability was $488.03, and the average for comprehensive was $172.57.
The 2019 Zebra report breaks down the average cost of car insurance in New Mexico into individual populations. Here’s how the rates stack up for different demographics:
|Demographic||Average Annual Premium|
|Good credit (670-739)||$1,582.06|
Car insurance discounts in New Mexico
Discounts on auto insurance rates come in all shapes and sizes. Most companies offer at least a few, but some companies may offer discounts that match up with your needs and lifestyle better than others. Take a look at a few of the different discount options available:
Allstate offers discounted rates for:
- Cars with anti-lock brakes or anti-theft devices installed
- People who also use Allstate’s homeowners or renter’s insurance
- Students who maintain good grades or complete the teenSMART® driving program
American Family customers enjoy discounts for:
- Children of parents who are insured by American Family
- Early birds who signed up within seven days of requesting an insurance quote
- People who leave competitors to sign up for American Family
Safeco features discounted insurance for:
- People who are not frequent drivers
- Safe drivers who use the Safeco’s monitoring system
- People who also sign up for home policies through Safeco
State minimum insurance requirements in New Mexico
In New Mexico, motorists are required to at least have liability auto insurance before getting behind the wheel. New Mexico’s Motor Vehicle Division lists the following minimum coverage requirements for instate drivers:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons
- $10,000 for property damage in any one accident
In this instance, bodily injury refers to anyone who has been injured by the driver in an accident, including pedestrians and other motorists. Property damage refers to any private or public property that has been damaged by a person’s actions while driving. And although liability auto insurance is all that New Mexico requires, many people choose higher coverage so they are not on the hook for the full expense in the event of an accident.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest car insurance in New Mexico?
This answer is going to change depending on the individual applying. For most people, Geico’s prices cannot be beat. However, if the driver applying is an active or former member of the U.S. Military, or a member of the AARP, there are options even lower from The Hartford and USAA.
What information is needed to get car insurance in New Mexico?
To get car insurance in New Mexico, people will need the standard proof that they are a licensed driver in the state and that they own the vehicle. Insurance companies also ask for the age and location of the driver and the make, model and mileage of the vehicle.
What happens if a driver fails to get auto insurance in New Mexico?
Any car without the minimum liability insurance is subject to having the vehicle registration suspended. The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division will issue a Notice of Suspension of Registration letter. Unless the driver responds within ten days, they will be subject to legal penalties, which could include criminal charges.
Is car insurance required for people who have a vehicle registered in New Mexico but are living out-of-state?
Yes. Even New Mexican drivers who are working in another state or are away at school need to have in-state insurance to keep their vehicle legal in New Mexico. The driver might also be asked to provide proof of their residency out-of-state.