The Cheapest Car Insurance - October 2022

The cheapest car insurance companies include Geico, State Farm and Progressive, according to NerdWallet's analysis of average minimum coverage rates.
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Nerdy takeaways
  • Geico is the cheapest car insurance company overall, with an average rate of $29 a month for minimum coverage.

  • Geico’s also the cheapest for drivers with poor credit or a recent accident.

  • American Family is the cheapest after a DUI.

  • The best way to find cheap car insurance is to shop around and compare quotes from at least three insurers.

NerdWallet analyzed auto insurance rates from 132 auto insurance companies nationwide to find the cheapest car insurance for a variety of drivers.

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The cheapest car insurance

The cheapest option will likely be your state’s minimum car insurance requirements, so we focused our analysis on those minimums. In many states, this is liability-only auto insurance, which pays for property damage and others’ medical bills from accidents you cause.

The absolute cheapest rate we found for minimum car insurance was an average of $29 per month, or $354 per year. But how much you pay for car insurance will vary depending on which state you live in and how clean your driving history is, among other factors.

Here are the cheapest car insurance companies overall, plus the cheapest options for several driver types:

If you want the best of the cheapest, check out NerdWallet’s roundup of the best cheap car insurance companies.

NerdWallet’s editorial team analyzed minimum coverage car insurance rates from pricing analytics company Quadrant Information Services. Our analysis looked at 40-year-old drivers in all ZIP codes across the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., with a variety of driving and credit histories. All drivers had a 2019 Toyota Camry L.

Another alternative is full coverage, but it can cost over $1,000 more a year on average than an annual minimum policy. That’s because it comes with additional coverage like uninsured/underinsured motorist protection and comprehensive and collision insurance.

If you have a car loan or lease, your lender will likely require you to buy comprehensive and collision coverage. These coverage types pay out if your car is stolen or damaged in an accident you cause, among other scenarios.

Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our writing and data analyses. You can trust the prices we show you because our data analysts take rigorous measures to eliminate outliers and inaccuracies in pricing data, which include rates from every ZIP code in the country where coverage is offered and data is available. When comparing rates for different coverage amounts, ages and backgrounds, we change only one variable at a time, so you can easily see how each factor affects pricing. Read our methodology.

The cheapest car insurance company overall: Geico

Geico is the cheapest major auto insurance company in the nation, according to NerdWallet’s most recent analysis of minimum coverage rates. Geico’s average annual rate was $354, or about $29 per month. The company also earned a 4.5-star rating from NerdWallet, and you can read our Geico auto insurance review to learn why.

Cheapest auto insurance from the largest companies

Company

Average annual rate

Average monthly rate

1. Geico

$354

$29

2. State Farm

$452

$38

3. Progressive

$619

$52

4. Farmers

$620

$52

5. Allstate

$666

$55

USAA*

$356

$30

*USAA auto insurance is available only to military, veterans and their families.

The cheapest regional car insurance company: Central Insurance

Finding affordable car insurance doesn’t mean you have to stick with large insurance companies. Central Insurance, MMG and Secura, smaller insurers that offer coverage in multiple states, have even cheaper car insurance rates than Geico.

While availability can be limited, regional and small insurers may beat the cheapest auto insurance prices from larger carriers. Plus, they often have great customer service.

Company

Average annual rate

Average monthly rate

1. Central Insurance

$257

$21

2. MMG

$287

$24

3. Secura

$319

$27

4. Hastings Mutual

$428

$36

5. Mutual of Enumclaw

$499

$42

We chose these companies because of their low rates and availability in multiple states. But there may be more affordable auto insurance options where you live. For example, many Farm Bureau insurance companies are available only in a single state, but they were often among the cheapest in our analysis.

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Cheapest car insurance after an accident: Geico

Depending on your driving record, the most affordable car insurance company varies. The table below shows average auto insurance rates from the largest companies for drivers with a recent accident on their driving record.

Our analysis found that Geico has the lowest average rate for drivers with one at-fault accident, at $577 per year, or $48 per month.

Company

Average annual rate after one at-fault accident

1. Geico

$577

2. State Farm

$618

3. Travelers

$634

4. American Family

$651

5. Nationwide

$901

USAA*

$535

*USAA auto insurance is available only to military, veterans and their families.

Cheapest car insurance after a DUI: American Family

A DUI on your driving record can greatly increase how much you pay for car insurance. According to our analysis, American Family is the cheapest car insurance company after a DUI, at $716 per year, or $60 per month, on average.

Company

Average annual rate after one DUI

1. American Family

$716

2. Travelers

$754

3. Progressive

$755

4. State Farm

$839

5. Farmers

$905

USAA*

$621

*USAA auto insurance is available only to military, veterans and their families.

Looking for even cheaper auto insurance? Try a smaller insurer. Drivers with violations like one at-fault accident or a recent DUI can find the most affordable auto insurance rates with MMG and other regional insurers.

Rates vary depending on many personal factors. Be sure to compare car insurance quotes from at least three insurers to find the cheapest auto insurance for you.

Cheapest auto insurance for poor credit: Geico

Your driving record isn’t the only factor that can increase your rates. Many insurers also use credit-based insurance scores to help calculate car insurance rates. This can make it harder to get cheap car insurance with poor credit in many states.

A credit-based score includes the same factors as a regular credit score, such as debt and payment history, but weighs them differently. California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan don’t allow insurers to use credit when determining car insurance rates.

Credit can have a shocking impact on auto insurance costs. Drivers with poor credit may pay over $400 more a year on average than those with good credit.

If you’re looking for affordable car insurance from a large company, Geico might be a good place to start. Based on our analysis of large insurers, the company has the lowest average rates for good drivers with poor credit, at $501 per year, or $42 per month, on average..

Still, you should always shop around to get the best car insurance rates, no matter your credit history.

Company

Average annual rate for drivers with poor credit

1. Geico

$501

2. Nationwide

$775

3. Travelers

$803

4. Allstate

$916

5. American Family

$952

USAA*

$626

*USAA auto insurance is available only to military, veterans and their families.

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Cheapest car insurance by state

What counts as cheap auto insurance will be different depending on where you live, as rates vary widely from state to state.

For the sake of comparison, we found the cheapest car insurance company on average in each state and Washington, D.C.

But state averages can tell you only so much. Even within a state, car insurance rates for minimum coverage can differ. That's why NerdWallet analyzed rates for some of the largest cities in the U.S.

Choose your city in the dropdown below to see the cheapest car insurance rates in your area.

How to find cheap car insurance for new drivers

If you’re a new driver, you may have difficulty getting cheap car insurance. That’s because auto insurers view drivers without a recent driving history as riskier to insure. This group includes those with a new license, drivers with a lapse in car insurance, immigrants and visitors to the U.S.

To get the cheapest car insurance, you’ll want to shop around and compare policies from a variety of companies each year. If you live with your family, it may be cheapest to stay on their policy until your driving history is more robust.

How to get cheaper car insurance

If you’re looking to save money with the cheapest possible car insurance, it’s essential to compare quotes from multiple insurers. You can use NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool to easily shop for cheap auto insurance online. You may find that you already have the most affordable insurance; but prices can change, so check roughly once a year.

These tips could help you get cheap auto insurance rates:

  1. Ask for discounts. There could be savings from car insurance discounts you’re not taking advantage of. For instance, maybe you now work from home and are driving less frequently than when you bought your policy. Mention that and you might get a low-mileage discount.

  2. Rethink your deductible. A higher collision and comprehensive deductible might make sense if you rarely drive or are comfortable with the financial risk. Raising your deductible means you’d owe more out of pocket if you had to file a comprehensive or collision claim. But it’s a surefire way to get cheaper car insurance.

  3. Know when to cut coverage. Don’t strip away coverage just for the sake of cheap auto insurance. But if you drive an older car, you can probably drop comprehensive and collision coverage. These coverage types pay out only up to your car’s current value, minus the deductible.

  4. Cash in on major life changes. Certain life events could translate to cheaper car insurance, so shop for quotes whenever something major changes in your life. For instance, many companies offer a lower rate for married couples or domestic partners. Or perhaps you moved to a suburb with lower accident and crime rates. Even if you moved to a more expensive area for car insurance, shopping around can help you get cheaper coverage.

  5. Revisit quotes after your driving record improves. Shop for cheap car insurance quotes online three to five years after any accidents, tickets or moving violations. They may have dropped off your driving record.

The type of car you drive also affects how much you pay for auto insurance. Check out NerdWallet’s analysis of the cheapest cars to insure to see if your vehicle made the list.

Frequently asked questions

Shopping around for car insurance quotes is the best way to find cheap auto insurance. Having good credit and a clean driving record can also keep your rates low. And be sure to ask about discounts you might be missing from your policy.

Teens and young drivers have some of the highest car insurance rates, on average. As you gain experience, rates decrease. According to a separate NerdWallet analysis for young drivers, rates drop significantly around age 25. Generally, rates continue to drop throughout adulthood, and then start to rise again at age 70, with a more dramatic increase around age 75.

Out of the nation’s largest insurance companies, Geico has the cheapest car insurance, at an average of $29 per month, according to NerdWallet’s analysis of minimum coverage rates. State Farm came in second place, with an average rate of $38 per month, while Progressive came in third, at $52 per month.

But rates vary widely from one person to another based on factors like gender, the car you drive and your location. To find the cheapest price, compare car insurance rates across at least three insurers once per year.

There is no one "best" car insurance company for everyone. The best auto insurer will be the one that best suits your needs.

And while price is important, the cheapest insurer isn't always the best. After all, the best auto insurance companies provide more than cheap rates. A top-notch insurer will provide a customer-first experience, whether you need help getting a quote or filing a claim.

To find the best company for you, check your state insurance commissioner’s website to find complaints and other information about companies in your area. You should also pick a company with strong financial health, which you can find through companies like AM Best.

Finally, make sure the insurer offers all the coverage you need. For example, not all carriers offer rideshare insurance, which you'll likely want if you drive for Uber, Lyft or a delivery service like GrubHub.

Methodology

NerdWallet averaged rates based on public filings obtained by pricing analytics company Quadrant Information Services. We examined rates for 40-year-old men and women for all ZIP codes in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Although it’s one of the largest insurers in the country, Liberty Mutual is not included in our rates analysis due to a lack of publicly available information.

In our analysis, “good drivers” had no moving violations on record; a “good driving” discount was included for this profile. Our “good” and “poor” credit rates are based on credit score approximations and do not account for proprietary scoring criteria used by insurance providers. These are average rates, and your rate will vary based on your personal details, state and insurance provider.

Sample drivers had the minimum required coverage by law in each state. Some policies include additional coverage at the insurer’s discretion.

We used a 2019 Toyota Camry L for all drivers and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven.

We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.

  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash that happened six months ago, resulting in $10,000 in property damage and no bodily injury claim.

  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation that happened six months ago.

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