Get Car Insurance Quotes For Free Online | July 2024

Start a free online quote. Learn how to get car insurance quotes and save.
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Written by Drew Gula
Lead Writer
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Edited by Ben Moore
Assistant Assigning Editor
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Car insurance quotes are personalized estimates of how much a policy will cost, based on factors like your driving history, age and location.

One of the best ways to find cheap car insurance is to shop around and get car insurance quotes from 3-4 different insurers. You can use NerdWallet’s online car insurance comparison tool to get quotes from multiple companies in minutes, for free.

To help you find the information you’re looking for, we split this guide into three sections:

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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 locale 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.

Why you should use NerdWallet to get auto insurance quotes

Car insurance quotes are personalized based on your driving history, location, age and other factors. Each insurer weighs these factors differently when they determine your quote. That’s why shopping around is the best way to find the cheapest car insurance rate for you.

NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool provides a completely free way to compare several auto insurance companies at once.

NerdWallet is not a car insurance company. Rather, we provide a tool that allows you to compare several carriers at once. This includes some of the biggest insurers in the nation like Progressive, Geico, State Farm and Allstate, along with smaller, regional insurers.

What are car insurance quotes?

Let’s keep it simple: A car insurance quote is an estimate of how much you’ll pay for a car insurance policy. Each insurer has a top-secret formula to calculate car insurance quotes, so even if you provide the same information to Geico, Progressive or any other company, no two quotes will be the same.

This is why shopping around can make a big difference. The more auto insurance quotes you get, the better chance you'll have of finding the cheapest car insurance policy for you.

How to get car insurance quotes

You can get auto insurance quotes online by visiting an insurer’s website or working with an insurance agent or broker. NerdWallet recommends getting quotes from several different companies so you can compare them and find the best fit for you.

To actually get the quote, you’ll need information about your driving history and vehicle use. Those details determine the price of insurance premiums, and they also affect the auto insurance quotes you receive. Be ready to share:

  • Basic information such as your name, address, occupation and birthdate.

  • Your current auto insurance company, if you have one.

  • Driver's license information for you and anyone else on the policy.

  • Annual and current mileage on your car, as well as how often you drive and why (such as for pleasure or commuting to work).

  • Vehicle information, including whether you own or lease your car, the vehicle identification number and any safety features.

  • Driving history for the past five years for all drivers on the policy, including tickets, accidents and other violations. Keep in mind that any company you choose will find your driving history before issuing a policy, so it’s best to be honest so you can get an accurate car insurance quote.

  • How much coverage you need. If you already have a policy, the declaration page lists the coverage you currently have. You can use this for reference.

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Where to get auto insurance quotes

There are several ways you can get free car insurance quotes (You can click on any of these links to jump straight to that section.):

But before you start making phone calls, remember these pro tips:

  1. Look into car insurance companies’ complaint records and customer satisfaction to help find the best companies to work with. Auto insurance reviews are a good place to find that information.

  2. Get at least three car insurance quotes online or from an agent so you can evaluate whether you’re getting a good price with your current insurance for the coverage you want.

  3. Understand coverage limits. When getting car insurance quotes, check that each policy has comparable liability limits and deductibles.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Looking to buy a new auto insurance policy, but not sure where to start? Here’s our guide on how to buy car insurance.

Here are the different avenues you can go through to get car insurance quotes:

Direct car insurance quotes online or over the phone

Getting free auto insurance quotes online is one of the most convenient ways to shop for car insurance. Most companies, like State Farm and Allstate, offer free auto insurance quotes online, letting you start on your own but then assigning you an agent to finalize your quote over the phone.

Purchasing a policy online (or over the phone) is referred to as buying car insurance “direct” from the insurer.

Buying insurance directly without the help of an agent gives you more freedom to adjust coverages, and you’ll be able to see auto insurance quotes online for yourself. However, there may be follow-up calls and emails or you may find that websites can provide less information than speaking directly with an agent.

Captive insurance agents

You could also get a free car insurance quote through a captive agent. These folks work for one specific insurance company, such as Allstate, Farmers or State Farm.

Any agent’s job is to help figure out what policy is best for you and provide a car insurance quote. In return, he or she earns a commission — or percentage of your premium — when you buy a policy. Unlike other agents, however, a captive agent may also receive a salary from the company they work for.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Direct sales agents are similar to captive agents, except they are employees of an insurance company. Meanwhile, captive agents own or work for separate agencies that sell insurance from a single insurance company.

If your insurance needs are relatively complex, like if you have multiple cars or need several types of policies, a captive agent may be able to help navigate your unique situation. But keep in mind that captive agents are limited to selling from one company, so they may be motivated to upsell to receive a larger commission.

Independent insurance agents and brokers

If you want to talk through your car insurance options but don’t want to limit yourself to one company, getting an auto insurance quote from an independent broker or agent might be a good option.

Independent agents and brokers work with multiple insurers and can offer a wide range of options and policies. Big-name insurance companies such as Travelers and Progressive, as well as smaller local companies, sell policies through independent agents. And because independent agents work on commission, they may be more motivated to provide you the best customer service possible. The downside is that they may also be incentivized to steer you toward more expensive policies.

Independent brokers differ from independent agents in that they charge a broker’s fee and must disclose commission rates to customers. This transparency allows you to know exactly how much the broker is making from your business.

Comparison websites

If you want to get car insurance quotes online from multiple companies for free, consider using a comparison website. NerdWallet’s auto insurance comparison tool matches you with several insurers so you can easily compare prices and find the cheapest quote. This can be especially helpful if you already know the kind of coverage you want.

Specialty agencies

Drivers who have had DUIs, speeding tickets or multiple accidents may need to find a nonstandard insurance company that specializes in policies for high-risk drivers. Many local and national agencies exist just to serve this customer base. These agencies find car insurance quotes specifically from companies willing to cover individuals with spotty driving histories.

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What to know before shopping for car insurance quotes

Knowing what you might expect to pay for coverage can be helpful in your journey to get car insurance quotes online or otherwise. This can give you a benchmark of what your auto insurance quotes may be and prepare you to budget for them.

But an average can only do so much, since many factors go into determining the instant car insurance quotes you get from different insurers.

Read on to see the average auto insurance costs for 35-year-olds with different driving histories, along with a rundown of factors that may affect what you pay.

How much are car insurance quotes?

Car insurance quotes can vary widely from person to person because of all the factors involved in pricing them. And because we don’t know details about your car, location and driving record, we can’t predict the exact auto insurance quote you’ll receive. But our June 2024 analysis of national car insurance rates helped us determine these averages:

Average auto insurance costs for a 35-year-old driver

Driver profileFull coverageMinimum coverage
Clean driving record, good credit$1,718$488
One speeding ticket, good credit$2,177$616
One at-fault crash, good credit$2,526$725
One DUI, good credit$3,186$919
Clean driving record, poor credit$2,741$756

What factors determine car insurance quotes?

Several factors affect car insurance rates, no matter who it’s from. However, how they differ changes from company to company. For instance, one insurance company might raise your rates by 10% if you live in a high-crime area, while a different insurer might only charge 5% more. Both companies are looking at the amount of crime in your neighborhood, but they calculate your insurance risk differently when they provide a quote for car insurance.

Here are some of the factors that affect car insurance quotes.

Personal characteristics like your age, gender, marital status and education level can affect your auto insurance quote, depending on where you live. This is because insurers use statistics about certain demographics to predict how likely a person is to crash. For instance, teen drivers will generally get higher car insurance quotes because they’re more likely to get in a car accident than almost any other age group.

The coverage you choose can make a difference in your auto insurance quote. Unsurprisingly, the more coverage you need, the higher your quote will be. In fact, NerdWallet’s research found that on average, full coverage car insurance costs more than double minimum coverage.

Your driving record, such as a history of accidents, speeding tickets and DUIs, will affect your auto insurance quote. But the same is true if you’re a new driver and don’t have a driving record yet. To get the cheapest auto insurance quote possible, you’d need a lengthy driving history with no recent traffic violations.

Details about your vehicle, including your car make and model, and whether it has features like a GPS system or safety equipment, all affect your car insurance quote. Why? Because luxury vehicles and cars with expensive features cost more to repair after an accident. (They’re also more likely to be stolen, making them a bigger liability for insurers.)

Location plays an important part in how much your coverage costs. The amount of coverage required to legally drive a car varies by state. As such, average rates for similar policies differ greatly. Other details about your location play a role in your insurance cost, too. Population density, crime and crash rates around your neighborhood are all factors insurers consider when giving a free car insurance quote.

Your credit-based insurance score — which is similar but not the same as your credit score — can affect the cost of your car insurance quote. According to the Insurance Information Institute

Insurance Information Institute. Background on: Credit scoring. Accessed May 30, 2024.
, drivers with low insurance scores are more likely to file claims, which could be costly for an insurer. Further, insurance companies may assume there is a correlation between how well a person manages their finances and how well they drive and maintain a vehicle. Keep in mind:

California, Hawaii and Massachusetts don't allow insurers to use credit when determining car insurance rates.

Your car insurance history plays a key factor in determining your car insurance quote, including:

  • Whether your car insurance has lapsed. Drivers who have had an insurance lapse, even if they don’t own a car, may be classified as high-risk. Non-owner auto insurance can help customers avoid a gap in coverage.

  • Insurance claims. Generally, a recent at-fault accident will raise car insurance rates 50% or more for a full coverage policy. Look for policies with accident forgiveness to help reduce how much your rate increases.

  • How long you’ve been at your last insurer. Many companies offer a loyalty discount, but sticking with the same company without shopping around also has drawbacks. Some insurers use data algorithms to determine whether a loyal customer will compare rates with other companies. If they don’t think you’ll shop around, they may raise your rates — this is called price optimization.

  • Your previous insurance company. According to research from the Consumer Federation of America

    , if your last insurer was a nonstandard company that insures high-risk drivers, your new insurer may give you a higher quote.

Car with shield on road

See what you could save on car insurance

Easily compare personalized rates to see how much switching car insurance could save you.
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How to get the cheapest car insurance quote possible

We already covered how and where to get car insurance quotes for free. But if you’re looking at lowering the cost you’ll pay for your insurance policy, that’s a different question entirely. Here’s how to get cheap car insurance quotes for the coverage you need.

For starters, regularly shopping around is the best way to find the least expensive policy for you. Even if you have a clean record and are happy with your insurance company, you might find a cheaper price elsewhere. The only way to know is to compare car insurance rates.

Besides shopping around (at least once a year), here are other strategies you can try to keep your premium down:

  • Work on your credit. Building your credit isn’t always easy, but it can make a big difference in lowering your auto insurance rate. For example, our rates analysis found that drivers with poor credit and a good driving record could pay almost as much for car insurance as drivers with good credit and a DUI. 

  • Shop for insurance before buying a car. Insurers will charge you more (or less) depending on the type of car you drive. A recent NerdWallet study found that the cheapest cars to insure include the Subaru Outback and Crosstrek and the Honda CR-V.

  • Drive cautiously. Car insurance is almost always expensive for drivers with a history of car accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs or other violations from the past three to five years.

  • Look for discounts. You can save on your car insurance if you own a home, take a driver’s safety course or belong to certain organizations.

  • Raise your deductibles. Opting to pay more out of pocket if you file a collision or comprehensive claim will help reduce your monthly premium.

Frequently asked questions

Most insurance companies offer free car insurance quotes through their website, on the phone or in person with an agent. You can also use an online car insurance comparison tool to see rates from multiple insurers at the same time.

You can — and should — get a free car insurance quote before purchasing a vehicle. Auto insurance is an important aspect to consider when budgeting for a new or used car.

Getting car insurance quotes online will not affect your credit score. However, having a low credit score will generally increase your car insurance quote.

There are several reasons why the quotes you’re getting are high. One possible reason could be if you have a history of car accidents, speeding tickets or DUIs. Similarly, if you own a luxury vehicle, live in a high-crime area or have poor credit, your quote might be higher than average.


NerdWallet averaged rates based on public filings obtained by pricing analytics company Quadrant Information Services. We examined rates for men and women for all ZIP codes in all of the 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 median rates, and your rate will vary based on your personal details, state and insurance provider.

Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.

  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.

  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.

  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.

  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.

  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.

  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect only the minimum coverage required by law in the state.

  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit. In states where credit isn’t taken into account, we only used rates for “good credit.”

  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.

  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken-driving violation.

  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.

We used a 2021 Toyota Camry LE in all cases and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven. We analyzed rates for drivers of the following ages: 20, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60 and 70.

These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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