The Best Cheap Car Insurance Companies of 2021

If you’re looking for the best cheap car insurance company, we found that Amica Mutual is great overall among car insurance providers, in part because it scores well in our criteria, particularly customer service.

Out of the top 25 licensed auto insurance providers, we’ve identified the five auto insurance companies we like best for cheap auto insurance, which we review below.

But as tempting as it may be, when looking at auto insurance, you don’t want to focus solely on price. That’s because the quality of the insurance provider will inform your experience when you make a claim or want to take advantage of great mobile tools. Bottom line: All auto insurance companies aren’t created equal.

That said, it is possible to find good auto insurance companies with low premiums and great service. And here, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you.

Compare Affordable Auto Insurance Rates

Save money on auto coverage with our simple comparison tool.

Matching you with providers.
We found results in
Click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

    Powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838)

    Research methodology

    At Info Readers USA, we created the InfoScore rating system for our readers to compare and better understand their options while shopping for auto insurance. For the best cheap car insurance, we compared the top 25 car insurance providers, then rated them all on a scale of 1 to 5. We looked at discounts, coverage options, customer satisfaction, support and accessibility, then calculated the overall score for each.

    We also looked at reputable experts in the field, including J.D. Power, AM Best, Consumer Reports and the Insurance Information Institute. These organizations measure customer satisfaction and financial strength, two of the most important aspects to consider when choosing an insurance company.

    In this article

      The best cheap car insurance providers of 2021

      CompanyWhy we like themAverage full coverageAverage minimum coverage
      Amica MutualGreat overall for car insurance$1,378$405
      USAAGreat car insurance for the price$1,225$384
      State FarmGreat car insurance for mobile tools$1,457$539
      GeicoGreat car insurance for customer service$1,405$433
      ProgressiveGreat car insurance for discounts$1,509$582

      Data is from Bankrate, which uses Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record and good credit.

      Compare the cheapest car insurance companies

      Great overall – Amica

      We think Amica Mutual is great overall for auto insurance. While Amica is not the lowest in price of the insurance companies we analyzed, we found them to be strong overall.  Across the board, Amica earns top marks among the ratings we follow.

      J.D. Power Rating
      5/5
      AM Best Rating
      A++
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA
      InfoScore
      5 / 5.0
      close
      InfoScore Amica 5
      Discounts 5
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 5
      Support 5
      Accessibility 5

      When it comes to our InfoScore, we particularly love this company’s number of discounts (18) and customer support (5 out of 5).

      Add to that, it is one of the lowest in its average full coverage, at $1,378 a year; for average minimum coverage, it’s $405, which is also one of the lowest we found.

      Great for the price – USAA

      Not only is USAA one of the lowest in average minimum premiums at $384 a year, it is actually the lowest of the car insurance providers we analyzed for average full coverage premiums, at $1,225 a year.

      J.D. Power Rating
      5/5
      AM Best Rating
      A++
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA+
      InfoScore
      4.4 / 5.0
      close
      InfoScore USAA 4.4
      Discounts 4
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 5
      Support 4
      Accessibility 4

       

      USAA is great for coverage options in part because it offers roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement. If you are a military member or family member, the USAA auto insurance may be an excellent choice for its quality and value.

      That in itself is a tempting reason to choose this carrier, but there are also the top marks in satisfaction from J.D. Power, as well best in class over at Consumer Reports, with a 5 out of 5 in satisfaction for claims, premiums, service and policy review.

      Great for mobile tools – State Farm

      We particularly love State Farm’s mobile tools, including their user-friendly app, which allows you to access your accounts, get roadside assistance and more. There are also the Drive Safe & Save™ and Steer Clear® to encourage safe driving.

      J.D. Power Rating
      4/5
      AM Best Rating
      A++
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA
      InfoScore
      4.6 / 5.0
      close
      InfoScore State Farm 4.6
      Affordability 4
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 4
      Support 5
      Accessibility 5

      In terms of sheer size, State Farm owns that space hands down, which might give you peace of mind if you are looking for depth in a company. 

      The Insurance Information Institute ranked this insurance provider No. 1 in auto insurance direct premiums written in 2019, the most recent year available. It holds 16% of the industry’s market share, and there are a whopping 19,000 independent contractor agents. Add to that, State Farm has competitive premiums, something you might not expect from a giant.

      Great for customer service – GEICO

      Geico is strong in customer service, in our estimation, in part because it does well in satisfaction for claims and service (4 out of 5 for each) over at Consumer Reports.

      J.D. Power Rating
      3/5
      AM Best Rating
      A++
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA+
      InfoScore
      4.8 / 5.0
      close
      InfoScore GEICO 4.8
      Discounts 5
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 4
      Support 5
      Accessibility 5

      One of Geico’s greatest strengths as a customer-oriented company is its app, Geico Mobile. With this tool, you can personalize your alerts and access all of your important information.

      This insurance carrier has one of our highest InfoScores for auto insurance, at 4.8 out of 5. That’s in part because of its superior offerings in discounts and coverage options. In terms of average minimum coverage, it offers one of the lowest we found.

      Great for discounts – Progressive

      We feel Progressive is strong for car insurance discounts, not so much in number (we counted 13), but in quality. Besides paying in full and being a safe driver, you also may get discounts for owning your home and having continuous insurance.

      J.D. Power Rating
      3/5
      AM Best Rating
      A+
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA
      InfoScore
      4.2 / 5.0
      close
      InfoScore Progressive 4.2
      Discounts 4
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 4
      Support 4
      Accessibility 4

      Progressive’s Snapshot tool is another great way to potentially save money. It rates your driving, monitoring things like how often you drive, if you slam on the brake or if you used your phone while driving.

      This company’s coverage options are also a valuable find. Among the 13 we found, there is pet injury coverage that pays veterinary bills up to $1,000 if your pets are injured in an auto accident.

      Consider smaller insurance companies

      Smaller insurance companies are not listed in our top picks due to limited regional availability, but these companies may provide a lower cost compared to national companies. It’s important to shop around within companies licensed in your state or region to find the best rate. We found that drivers paid $1,043 as an average annual premium with Erie Insurance. This stacks up with providers such as USAA and Geico. Below are examples of a full coverage annual premium for a sample of regional companies.

      Smaller regional carrierAverage full coverage premium
      Erie$1,043
      Main St. American Company$658
      American National$716
      Virginia Farm Bureau$968
      Oregon Mutual Insurance$1,054
      Home-Owners$938
      Integrity$989
      Countryway$1,170
      Grange$962
      Westfield National$1,114

      Car Insurance Rate Data. Premiums are assuming a 30-year-old with good credit who drives a 2017 Honda Civic.

      Compare Affordable Auto Insurance Rates

      Save money on auto coverage with our simple comparison tool.

      Matching you with providers.
      We found results in
      Click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

        Powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838)

        Discounts and good habits that save money on car insurance

        While insurance companies track a few things that are outside of your control, such as your age or gender, there are other aspects of your profile that you can alter. Smart shopping for car insurance is well worth your while, because you will likely be rewarded when you qualify for discounts or when you change your behavior.

        For example, work on improving your driving and focus on improving your credit score. Also, taking full advantage of discounts can help you land cheaper car insurance. Discounts can include everything from company loyalty to using autopay or paying for the full year in advance.

        [ More: Why Is My Auto Insurance Premium So High? ]

        Car insurance discounts come in a variety of types. There may be car insurance discounts for your age, if you are a college student, work field, type of car or your driving habits. Some of the discounts you can expect when you’re looking for the best cheap car insurance include:

        • Bundled insurance
        • Autopay discount
        • Pay in advance
        • Paperless statements discount
        • Good student
        • Senior
        • Military
        • Accident-free
        • Hybrid or electric vehicle
        • Defensive driver course completed
        • Anti-theft system
        • Garage parking
        • Anti-lock brakes
        • Airbags
        • Safety equipment

        Shop around

        Save time by using an online quote tool to get a quick snapshot of potential rates from several auto insurance companies at once. It also helps you avoid price optimization, where rates are established not just on how risky a driver is to insure but also on how much insurance companies think they’re comfortable paying. Getting new quotes regularly is the best way to avoid price optimization because insurers can see how often you shop around and therefore how likely they are to lose you as a customer.

        Bundle policies

        Many car insurance companies will give you a discount if you have other policies with them. The most common policies for bundling are home and auto insurance. However, you may get a break on low-cost insurance if you use the same provider for life, home, auto or renters insurance policies. Bundled policies are convenient too; you’ll be dealing with one company and sometimes only one bill. Keep in mind that every insurance company offers a different amount of savings for policy bundling.

        Boost your deductible

        You may want to consider raising your deductible if you have cash stashed away to pay a higher deductible in case of a crash. Factors such as your age and driving record will also affect how much raising your deductible will actually save you. Evaluate your financial position and risk tolerance before changing your deductible or speak to a licensed agent or your carrier to understand your options.

        Drive a low-risk car

        Luxury cars are generally the most expensive to insure. These cars also cost a lot more to fix and are attractive targets for thieves. Family-friendly vehicles including minivans, sedans and smaller SUVs usually cost less to insure. These cars may be simpler to fix, ultimately creating fewer claims. Based on our research, the Honda Odyssey XL, Jeep Wrangler Sport and Subaru Outback 2.5i are the cheapest cars to insure. All three cars have annual premiums of around $1,300.

        Change your driving habits

        If you get speeding tickets, your bill will skyrocket. If you’ve had a clean driving record for years, you will likely have cheaper car insurance. Driving less is the simplest, easiest way to change your driving habits. Many states have already outlawed texting and driving. Another good tip is to exercise patience and come to complete stops when necessary. Tell your insurer about your new habits to receive the best insurance rates. Some insurance providers offer in-car technology that identifies safe driving habits, like State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save and Progressive’s Snapshot.

        Maintain good credit

        Most car insurance companies look at your credit score to help determine your rate. According to consumer advocacy group United Policyholders, a rock-bottom credit score could mean you’ll pay double, triple or even quadruple over someone with a perfect credit score. This controversial practice is illegal in three states: California, Hawaii and Massachusetts. If you don’t live in one of those states, working to raise your credit score can help you get affordable auto insurance.

        How can I keep my insurance cheap after an accident?

        Your car insurance rate will generally increase after an at-fault accident. There isn’t a specific dollar amount because the rate increase depends on the severity of the accident and your carrier’s policy. An accident with injuries or higher costs of damages will probably result in the biggest increase. In most states, a car accident stays on your driving record for three to five years, after which time your insurance rate will decrease, barring other issues.

        However, there are several ways you can avoid the rate hike. First, see if your insurance provider offers accident forgiveness. It’s usually sold as an add-on option, so it will increase your rate somewhat, and you would need to have purchased the option at the onset of your policy before you have an accident. Alternatively, with some carriers, you may earn accident forgiveness after several years with no accidents as a policyholder. But it can be a major lifesaver if you get into a minor crash.

        If your car insurance provider offers a discount for taking a defensive driving class, now might be the time to consider it. You might be losing a claims-free discount, so make sure you’re taking advantage of every discount you qualify for. If you’re still facing a massive rate increase, consider shopping around for a cheaper policy from a different provider.

        What types of car insurance coverage do I really need?

        When you purchase car insurance, you’ll have to decide whether you want to opt for liability coverage or full coverage car insurance. Full coverage insurance, which includes comprehensive and collision coverage, comes with a heftier price tag than liability-only insurance. If you took out a loan to pay for your car, you probably don’t have a choice — your lender will require proof of comprehensive and collision coverage. Dropping this coverage usually isn’t a good idea if your car is worth a decent amount of money.

        There are situations when opting only for liability may make sense. For instance, if you drive an older, paid-off vehicle that doesn’t have much value to anyone but you, keeping only liability coverage could mean significant savings. Comprehensive and collision coverage may also be overkill on an older car you drive sparingly. Talk to a licensed agent about these coverages and consider comparing pricing options with your carrier before making any changes to your policy.

        [ See: Auto Insurance Quotes, Explained ]

        Minimum coverage car insurance

        The state’s minimum coverage requirement is usually the cheapest car insurance available, but state minimum coverage varies. For example, Alaska requires drivers to have a policy of 50/100/25 as a minimum legal amount, meaning $50,000 for bodily injury liability per person in an accident, $100,000 for bodily injury liability total per accident and $25,000 for property damage liability. In contrast, California’s minimum is lower than Alaska’s at 15/30/5.

        [ Next: What Is My State’s Minimum Car Insurance Coverage? ]

        Compare Affordable Auto Insurance Rates

        Save money on auto coverage with our simple comparison tool.

        Matching you with providers.
        We found results in
        Click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

          Powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838)

          Car insurance FAQs

          There are several ways you can lower your monthly premium for more affordable insurance. Start by shopping around for quotes to find a provider who can offer you the best insurance rates. You can also opt for a higher deductible, which will lower your monthly premium. Take advantage of discounts, like bundling your policies or insuring multiple vehicles. And don’t forget about your credit score — paying your bills on time and keeping credit card balances low will boost your score, which will translate into cheaper insurance rates. These factors can combine to help you get low cost insurance.

          The type of car insurance you choose depends on your needs and the amount of risk you’re willing to take. You aren’t required by law to have full-coverage car insurance (although if your car is financed or leased your lender will likely require it), but it does offer more protection if you cause damage to your vehicle in an accident or in instances where your vehicle is vandalized, stolen, or damaged due to weather-related incidents like hail, tornado, or fire.

          There is no single auto insurance provider that offers the cheapest car insurance rates for all drivers across the board. The most affordable insurance provider will vary from person to person. Remember that insurance companies look at a variety of factors when determining your rate, such as your age, the car you drive, your zip code and your credit score.

          Almost every state has a minimum coverage requirement that drivers must have before putting their car on the road. However, many people choose to purchase additional coverage on top of what is required for even more protection. How much coverage you purchase depends on your budget, and how much risk you are willing to take.

          We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the car insurance companies we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@inforeadersusa.com with comments or questions.

          Methodology

          InfoScore

          The InfoScore makes it easy to compare products and services featured here on Info Readers USA in a transparent, open and honest way. We rate these products and services using five factors and average them to calculate a single InfoScore. For auto insurance, we compare:

          • Discounts
          • Coverage options
          • Support
          • Customer satisfaction
          • Accessibility

          You can read more about each factor and the details of each score in our auto insurance methodology. Use our ratings and editorial recommendations as you shop for the best auto insurance that fits your coverage needs.

          Car insurance rates: We used insurance rates from Quadrant Information Services. This includes analyzing thousands of rates from all 50 states that were publicly sourced from 2019 insurer filings. Rates are based on a 30-year-old male or female that had a clean driving record. Full Coverage premiums assumed a $500 collision and comprehensive deductible, and we looked at those who had both good and poor credit. These rates should be used to inform your car insurance shopping process, but your own quote may differ.

          Why do some brands have different InfoScores on different pages?

          To ensure the InfoScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at Info Readers USA. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.
          However, it’s also possible for the same product from the same brand to have multiple InfoScores. For instance, if we compare State Farm’s home insurance according to our criteria for the best home insurance, it scores a 3.8 out of 5. But when we compare State Farm according to the criteria for the best auto insurance, it scores higher, since the features the company offers can vary by the type of insurance.

          Discounts

          We looked at the number of discounts each company offers — more discounts mean a higher score.

          Coverage Options

          We awarded higher scores to the companies that have the most coverage options.

          Support

          We awarded higher scores to lenders with the most channels for customer support.

          Customer Satisfaction

          We leveraged the J.D. Power 2019 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study℠ to see how customers rated their experience with each company. (If a company wasn’t included in J.D. Power’s study, we skipped this aspect and averaged the four remaining aspect scores.)

          Accessibility

          We looked at the level of accessibility of each company –– the more resources they have the higher their score.

          Elizabeth Rivelli

          Contributing Writer

          Elizabeth is a contributor to Info Readers USA, where she reviews insurance providers and policies. She has more than three years of experience writing for top online insurance and finance publications, including Bankrate, Coverage.com and Reviews.com.

          Reviewed by

          • Brittney Lundager
            Brittney Lundager
            Loans Editor

            Brittney Lundager is an editor at Info Readers USA who specializes in personal loans, student loans, auto loans, and debt consolidation loans. She is a former writer and contributing editor to Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, and elsewhere.

          • Patty Liu
            Patty Liu
            Insurance Editor

            Nasha Addarich is an editor at Info Readers USA and a former attorney who specializes in home insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, and savings. She is a former contributing editor to Reviews.com.