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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Virginia for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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If you’re looking for cheap car insurance in Virginia, the most affordable company will depend on personal factors such as your age, driving record and credit history. Prices also differ from one insurer to the next, which is why it’s smart to compare several quotes.


To help drivers find the best deal, NerdWallet gathered rates from the eight largest companies in the state and found the cheapest Virginia car insurance options for several driver types.

Cheapest for good drivers in Virginia

For Virginians with clean driving and credit histories, the cheapest insurance companies and their average rates for full coverage are:

  1. Erie: $687 per year.
  2. Nationwide: $904 per year.
  3. Progressive: $974 per year.
  4. Travelers: $1,006 per year.
  5. Geico: $1,029 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Virginia

For Virginia’s minimum required auto insurance, these are the cheapest companies and their average rates, assuming clean driving and credit records:

  1. Erie: $282 per year.
  2. Geico: $372 per year.
  3. Progressive: $397 per year.
  4. State Farm: $426 per year.
  5. Travelers: $449 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended, since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

The cheapest insurers for Virginians with blemished credit and a good driving record, ranked by average rates for full coverage, are:

  1. Geico: $1,119 per year.
  2. Nationwide: $1,222 per year.
  3. Erie: $1,245 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,618 per year.
  5. Travelers: $1,873 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

Drivers in Virginia with a recent at-fault wreck on their record may want to look at these insurers, which returned the lowest average rates for full coverage:

  1. Erie: $885 per year.
  2. Nationwide: $1,244 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,415 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,430 per year.
  5. Travelers: $1,466 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in Virginia

For Virginians with a recent DUI on their driving record, these are the cheapest insurance companies and their average rates for full coverage:

  1. Erie: $1,054 per year.
  2. Progressive: $1,277 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $1,500 per year.
  4. Travelers: $1,603 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,668 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in Virginia

After a speeding ticket, the cheapest insurers and average rates for full auto coverage in Virginia are:

  1. Erie: $714 per year.
  2. Nationwide: $1,066 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,118 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,274 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,296 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in Virginia

Couples and families don’t always find their best car insurance rates at the same companies that are cheapest for singles. For this reason, shopping around for car insurance quotes is a smart move after any major life change, such as getting married or adding a teen driver. To see which insurers have the best prices in Virginia, we analyzed rates for a 50-year-old married couple, with and without a teen driver in the family.

Cheapest for a married couple in Virginia

For a husband and wife in Virginia, both 50 years old, with clean credit and driving records, these are the cheapest companies and their rates for insuring two vehicles:

  1. Erie: $1,078 per year.
  2. Progressive: $1,243 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $1,519 per year.
  4. Geico: $1,525 per year.
  5. Travelers: $1,615 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in Virginia

For a 50-year-old married couple with an 18-year-old on their policy as well, the cheapest insurers and their rates for a two-vehicle household in Virginia are:

  1. Progressive: $1,878 per year.
  2. Erie: $2,159 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $2,668 per year.
  4. Geico: $2,694 per year.
  5. Travelers: $3,091 per year.
Taking that same couple and adding a teen with two years’ driving experience is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers across the state.

Cheapest for young drivers in Virginia

Car insurance often costs more when when you’re in your 20s than when you’re a more experienced driver. But prices can vary quite a bit, because each insurer treats age and other personal factors differently when setting rates. To see which companies are cheapest for young drivers in Virginia, we analyzed rates for 25-year-olds in a variety of situations.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For a 25-year-old Virginia driver with a clean driving history and good credit, the cheapest insurers and their average rates for full coverage are:

  1. Erie: $825 per year.
  2. Nationwide: $1,019 per year.
  3. Progressive: $1,120 per year.
  4. Travelers: $1,179 per year.
  5. Geico: $1,279 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers all over the state with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount, but no others. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

For young drivers who want bare-bones auto insurance, these are the cheapest companies and their average rates for Virginia’s minimum required coverage:

  1. Erie: $336 per year.
  2. Progressive: $435 per year.
  3. Geico: $462 per year.
  4. Allstate: $465 per year.
  5. Travelers: $485 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers living across the state who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Poor credit and minimum coverage

Young drivers in Virginia who have poor credit and a clean driving record may want to look at these companies, which showed the cheapest average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Geico: $507 per year.
  2. Erie: $614 per year.
  3. Allstate: $677 per year.
  4. Progressive: $706 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $782 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates across the state for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

For 25-year-old Virginia drivers with a recent at-fault accident on their record, these are the cheapest companies and average rates for minimum required insurance:

  1. Erie: $448 per year.
  2. Geico: $612 per year.
  3. Travelers: $627 per year.
  4. State Farm: $656 per year.
  5. Progressive: $737 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers across the state with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

For a young driver in Virginia with a recent on-record DUI, the cheapest insurers and average rates for minimum coverage are:

  1. Erie: $545 per year.
  2. Progressive: $581 per year.
  3. Travelers: $708 per year.
  4. Allstate: $711 per year.
  5. State Farm: $787 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent on-record DUI. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

After a speeding ticket, here are the cheapest insurance companies and their average rates for a 25-year-old driver buying Virginia’s minimum required coverage:

  1. Erie: $352 per year.
  2. Geico: $491 per year.
  3. Progressive: $548 per year.
  4. State Farm: $584 per year.
  5. Travelers: $593 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Cheap for military families

Cheap auto insurance for drivers with a military connection is often available through USAA, which offers policies exclusively for active service members, veterans and their families. We didn’t rank USAA with the other companies above because its coverage isn’t available to everyone, but USAA was among the five cheapest options in Virginia for every driver category.

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Virginia

  • Good drivers: Erie
  • Minimum coverage: Erie
  • Poor credit: Geico
  • After an at-fault crash: Erie
  • After a DUI: Erie
  • After a speeding ticket: Erie
  • Married couples: Erie
  • Families with a teen: Progressive
  • Young good drivers: Erie
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Erie
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Geico
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Erie
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Erie
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Erie

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum car insurance requirements in Virginia

Virginia requires drivers who purchase insurance to carry liability coverage in at least the following coverage amounts:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $20,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • $20,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident.

If you ever cause a crash, liability coverage pays for others’ injuries and property damage, up to your limits. An at-fault crash could easily result in injury or repair bills higher than the amounts listed above, so it’s often smart to purchase more than the minimum coverage. You may also want to consider common add-ons such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist protection.

Find out more about how the required and optional parts of your Virginia policy work by visiting our guide to minimum car insurance requirements by state.

In Virginia, it’s possible to register a car without insurance, but you must pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee. Even if you pay this fee to avoid buying insurance, you still must pay for any damage you cause in a crash.

Alternative car insurance in Virginia

Drivers who are unable to buy Virginia car insurance on the open market — due to poor credit, DUI convictions or other factors — can apply for coverage through the Virginia Automobile Insurance Plan.

For more help finding cheap car insurance in Virginia, try our car insurance comparison tool.

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $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 coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
If required, minimum additional coverages were added. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. 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 minimum required coverage 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.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.
We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.