Get Free Car Insurance Quotes Online | February 2024

Start a free online quote. Learn how to get car insurance quotes and save.
Drew Gula
Kayda Norman
By Kayda Norman and  Drew Gula 
Updated
Edited by Ben Moore

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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.

NerdWallet isn’t a car insurance company, but you can still use our car insurance comparison tool to match with insurers and get car insurance quotes. This tool includes quotes from some of the biggest insurers in the nation as well as smaller, regional insurers.

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.

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

What are car insurance quotes?

A car insurance quote is an estimate of how much you’ll pay for a policy. But every insurer uses their own top-secret formula to calculate car insurance quotes, so your quoted prices will probably vary from company to company.

That’s why shopping around makes a difference. The more car insurance quotes you get, the better your chances of finding an affordable policy that meets your needs.

How to get car insurance quotes

1. Identify your coverage needs

Car insurance gives you a layer of financial protection after an accident because it cuts down how much money you’ll have to pay. But the more coverage you get, the higher your car insurance quotes will be. So one of the first steps towards getting an auto insurance quote is to figure out how much coverage you need.

🤓Nerdy Tip

NerdWallet recommends getting enough liability car insurance to cover your total net worth. To determine your net worth, just add up all your assets and subtract any debt you owe.

You can choose minimum coverage car insurance, which will be just enough to meet your state’s requirements. Unfortunately it won’t cover damage to your own car, and it may not be enough to cover all medical bills or repair costs (depending on the severity of the accident).

You can also choose full coverage car insurance if you want coverage for damage to your own car after an accident you cause, or other events like vandalism or theft.

According to NerdWallet’s analysis, full coverage costs more than double what you’d pay for minimum coverage, on average. But even though it’s more expensive, full coverage can be extremely helpful if you’d be unwilling or unable to pay thousands of dollars to repair your car after an accident.

Full coverage car insurance typically includes comprehensive, collision and liability coverage. This combination provides financial protection in a variety of scenarios, such as natural disasters and damage to your own vehicle in an accident you cause.

Minimum coverage car insurance usually only includes liability insurance, which covers other people’s medical bills and property damage after an accident you cause.

2. Collect your personal information

Many personal factors affect the cost of auto insurance, so be prepared to share your:

  • Basic information, such as your name, age and marital status.

  • Current auto insurance company, if you have one.

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

  • Mileage details about your car, including current mileage and how often you drive.

  • Vehicle information, such as whether you own or lease your car and the vehicle identification number, or VIN.

  • Driving history for the past five years for all drivers on the policy, including tickets, accidents and other violations.

  • Credit-based insurance score, which can affect the cost of car insurance quotes. However, California, Hawaii and Massachusetts don't allow insurers to use credit when determining car insurance rates.

3. Compare car insurance quotes online

You can get free car insurance quotes by visiting an insurer’s website, or by working with an insurance agent in person or over the phone.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Shopping for car insurance online gives you the freedom to see quotes for yourself, but you may still need to work with an agent before you actually get a policy.

Quotes vary from person to person, and because we don’t know your driver profile, we can’t predict the auto insurance quotes you’ll receive. But our analyses of national car insurance rates helped us determine the average costs for a few common driver profiles:

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

Driver profileFull coverageMinimum coverage
Clean driving record, good credit$1,982$549
One speeding ticket, good credit$2,486$693
One at-fault crash, good credit$2,936$817
One DUI, good credit$3,693$1,045
Clean driving record, poor credit$3,217$863

Work with an agent to get free car insurance quotes

Although shopping for car insurance quotes online might be the most convenient option for some people, you can also work with an agent or broker to get free car insurance quotes. There are several different types of agents who can help you get car insurance quotes.

Captive insurance agents

Captive agents work for one specific insurance company, such as Allstate or State Farm. Their job is to help you find the best policy and provide a car insurance quote. So if your insurance needs are relatively complex — like if you have multiple cars or need several types of policies — you may want to work with a captive agent to navigate your unique situation.

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

Independent agents and brokers work with multiple insurers so they can offer a variety of options and policies. Both big-name insurance companies and smaller local companies sell policies through independent brokers or agents.

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.

Specialty agencies

Drivers who have had DUIs 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 poor driving histories.

How to get cheap car insurance quotes

Car insurance costs are increasing for drivers all across the country, but here are a few things to do that might help you find cheaper car insurance quotes.

Compare car insurance rates often

If you want to change insurers to save money on your policy, then you’ll need to compare car insurance rates to find cheaper options. NerdWallet recommends comparing quotes from at least three companies once a year.

Work on your credit

Building your credit isn’t always easy, but it can affect car insurance quotes. Our rates analysis found that drivers with poor credit and a good driving record pay almost as much as drivers with good credit and a DUI.

Shop for insurance before buying a car

Insurers may charge you more 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 more expensive if you have a history of car accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs or other violations in the past three to five years. Practicing safe driving habits and taking a defensive driving course may help you find cheaper insurance.

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. However, raising your deductible means you’ll owe more if you need to file a claim.

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 carriers 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.

Shopping around for car insurance quotes online will not affect your credit score. However, having a low credit score will generally increase your car insurance quote. California, Hawaii and Massachusetts don't allow insurers to use credit when determining car insurance rates.

There are several reasons why your car insurance is so 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.

Methodology

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 L 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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