Car insurance is typically the largest expense of owning a car.
That means there’s room for big savings if we spend time getting the cost down.
Saving $3 on gas by driving another 10 minutes isn’t worth it. Saving $300 every year from getting a better insurance quote one time definitely adds up.
So how do you go about finding good coverage at an affordable price? Here are three top picks for cheap car insurance that’ll give you peace of mind on the road.
The 3 Cheapest Car Insurance Options
There’s a lot of options to get car insurance. And policies can get pretty complicated too. We break it all down in our guide to the best car insurance companies to get you started.
Out of all the options, here are the top three cheapest car insurance options available.
Esurance’s lowest quoted rate comes in at $534 for six months. Keep in mind that quotes vary depending on a variety of factors, including a person’s driving record, age, and gender.
With its fantastic mobile app and easy to use website, Esurance does a good job of taking the headaches out of car insurance. The company offers auto insurance coverage in 43 states. You can combine your car insurance with other types of insurance to get a better rate.
Esurance also offers some extras in addition to the regular car insurance coverage.
- Roadside assistance – If you do a lot of travel or highway driving, it might be worth checking out the roadside assistance option. With roadside assistance added to your policy, Esurance will cover up to $75 for things like lockout service, tire changes, and towing.
- Rental coverage – This add-on covers the cost of a rental car if your vehicle is stolen or in the shop for repairs. Rental coverage maxes out at $3,000 and extends 45 days.
- Gap coverage – After a car accident, many people receive the rude awakening that their totaled vehicle is worth less than what they owe on it, forcing them to come up with the money to fill the gap. With gap coverage, Esurance pays a maximum of 25 percent to bridge any gaps if a car is totaled.
Another great feature offered by Esurance is its DriveSense program. This uses an app that monitors a motorist’s behavior behind the wheel, checking for speed, sudden braking, and time behind the wheel. Responsible drivers who log good behavior on the DriveSense app are eligible for discounts. Basically, you get paid for being a good driver.
Progressive’s lowest rate is $556 for six months. As with other insurance companies, rates vary from one individual to another.
The company offers a wide range of insurance products, and it’s the third biggest car insurance company in the United States.
In addition to the standard car insurance coverage most people buy, Progressive also offers some extra forms of coverage that might be worth looking into.
- Pet protection – Do you usually have a four-legged passenger in your car? If so, Progressive’s pet injury protection might be a necessity. If your pet is injured in a car accident, this extra coverage will cover the cost of the veterinarian.
- Gap insurance – Like some other car insurance providers, Progressive offers coverage that bridges the gap between a totaled vehicle’s fair market value and what the driver owes on it. Progressive will pay up to 25 percent over the vehicle’s value in the event it’s declared a total loss.
- Deductible savings bank – Motorists who buy both collision and comprehensive coverage are eligible to participate in the deductible savings bank program. With this program, Progressive lowers your deductible by $50 every six months you drive without filing a claim. If you keep at it, you can even reduce your deductible to zero.
Progressive also has a good driving behavior rewards program. Through its Snapshot program, it gives motorists discounts based on their speed and other driving habits.
You might also be able to save by taking advantage of Progressive’s multi-line or multi-car discounts. For example, if you’re married or share a household with teens or a partner, you can usually save money by bundling all your policies together.
Travelers quoted $1,155 for six months of coverage. This rate can go up or down based on an individual’s driving record and other factors.
Travelers insurance has a good reputation on consumer review sites. It’s an especially good option for people who want to purchase various types of coverage from the same provider.
In addition to standard auto insurance, Travelers offers a number of optional extra coverage.
- Gap insurance – As with other auto insurers, Travelers lets you purchase gap coverage that will pay for the difference between the value of your totaled vehicle and what you still owe on it.
- Premier new car replacement – If your vehicle is five years old or newer and is declared totaled after an accident, premier new car replacement coverage will replace it.
- IntelliDrive – This requires you to use an app that monitors you while you drive. Practice good driving habits for 90 days and receive a 20 percent discount on your car insurance.
Like a lot of other insurance companies, Travelers offers multi-line and multi-car discounts. You might also be able to save by paying your bill online, as Travelers offers discounts for people who opt for electronic billing.
If you drive a hybrid vehicle, you should also include that information when you ask for a quote. Travelers may offer you money off your policy if your vehicle is a fuel efficient hybrid or electric model.
How to Choose the Best Car Insurance for the Best Price
Of course, you don’t just want cheap car insurance. Rather, you want affordable coverage that’s still comprehensive. Here are three considerations to keep in mind as you shop.
1. Type of Coverage
Car insurance coverage is more complicated than it needs to be. There’s a bunch of extra stuff that’s completely unnecessary, especially if you’re looking to save some money.
Here are our rules when getting coverage:
- Liability coverage = Get as much as possible.
- Deductible = Keep this low if you have regular accidents or don’t have cash on hand to cover a higher deductible. Otherwise, get a higher deductible.
- Underinsured motorist bodily and property damage = Skip this unless it’s required by the state you’re living in.
- Personal injury protection = Skip this unless it’s required by the state you’re living in.
- Extras = Skip these too unless you personally get a lot of value from it.
In other words, max out the liability coverage based on your budget, get the deductible that you need, then skip everything else. That will get you the cheapest policy with the most value.
If you need an even cheaper policy, choose a higher deductible. Only lower the liability coverage if you absolutely have to.
We break all this down in our best car insurance guide.
Before you simply opt for the cheapest coverage available, Take some time to see what other people have to say about the provider. Places like the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports make this pretty easy.
The insurance companies we mentioned above all have good reviews.
Definitely do some research if you’re considering a quote from a smaller insurance company.
3. Your Personal Details
Insurance quotes are tailored to individuals, and there are several factors that will influence how much you pay. Some of them you have control over, some of them you don’t.
For example, the make and model of your vehicle plays a big role in the cost of your auto insurance. You can anticipate paying a lot more for a Porsche than a Toyota. Likewise, you’ll probably pay less for an older vehicle than a brand new car fresh off the lot. As a general rule, pick a car that’s boring in order to get a lower cost of insurance.
Other factors that influence your car insurance rates include:
- Where you live
- Driving history
- Marital status
- How far you drive each month
- In some states, your credit score can impact how much you pay for car insurance
While most of these items aren’t easy to change, you could consider a few options:
- Is there a way to drive less? Living closer to work could easily save money even if rent or a mortgage is more expensive.
- Are you considering a move to another state? Apply for a few quotes with a zip code in that area to see if the rates are that different.
You should also never hesitate to ask for discounts. Not all insurance companies advertise their full menu of available discounts, which is why it doesn’t hurt to ask. In some cases, you can save by purchasing multiple policies from the same insurance company.
Shop Around for Multiple Quotes
It’s really easy to overpay for auto insurance. Shop around and gather multiple quotes.
I’d get at least 3 quotes before making a final decision.
Also keep in mind that your driving behavior plays a big role in how much you’ll pay. While you can’t control things like age and gender, you can definitely practice good driving habits behind the wheel.