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Icon CheckLast updated: December 1, 2022

The Best Cheap Auto Insurance

Find the cheapest rates for your best coverage.

Best Overall Cheap
Metromile Insurance Logo

With an annual average price of $662, Metromile is the cheapest insurance provider in the U.S. Its prices are 212 percent lower than the national average.

Best for Safe Drivers
Root Insurance Logo

While Root has the second most affordable rates in the country ($829 annually), it’s selective in who it insures and bases its pricing primarily on driving history.

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One of the first questions drivers want to know when searching for car insurance is how to save money and find the most affordable car insurance with the most car insurance discounts. However, depending on your zip code, coverage levels, and driver profiles (that is, a poor driving record versus a clean one), the cheapest car insurance for you may not be the same insurance as it would be for someone else.

That’s why we’re here. We’ve compared some of the biggest providers out there to help you find the cheapest car insurance in general. You can either read this list, or call AutoInsurance.com directly to find cheap insurance over the phone.

Summary of the Best Cheap Auto Insurance of 2023

  1. 1.

    Best Cheap Auto Insurance Overall: Metromile

  2. 2.

    Best Cheap Auto Insurance for Drivers With a Great Record: Root

  3. 3.

    Best Cheap Auto Insurance for Customer Satisfaction: Erie

  4. 4.

    Best Cheap Auto Insurance for Rideshare Drivers: Clearcover

  5. 5.

    Best Cheap Auto Insurance for Military Families and Veterans: USAA

Comparison of the Cheap Auto Insurance of 2023

Features #1. Metromile #2. Root #3. Erie #4. Clearcover #5. USAA
Average annual cost $662 $829 $1,084 $1,119 $1,151
Student discounts

for full-time students with at least a B average

No No Yes Yes Yes
Bundling discounts (renters or homeowners insurance) Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Discounts by age Yes, for senior drivers No Yes, for teenagers and older drivers No Yes
Other discounts Low mileage Good driver discounts Diminishing deductible, vehicle storage, and safety saving Good driver, military, anti-theft, multivehicle, and more Military and veterans
Link to read review Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Clearcover review USAA review

Detailed List of the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

1. Best Cheap Auto Insurance Overall - Metromile
Metromile Insurance Logo

What We Like Most:

  • Save an average of 47 percent by basing insurance off of miles driven
  • Rates start at $29 a month, plus a per mile rate
  • 24/7 roadside assistance available

Metromile is, on average, the cheapest auto insurance provider in the country. Its annual costs are $662, or $55 a month. Part of the reason Metromile can offer such low rates is because its pricing model is based on how much you drive, also known as per-mile insurance. The less you drive, the lower your rates will be.

However, Metromile is currently available in only eight states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Washington
ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    People who drive less than 10,000 miles a year
  • pro
    Low-mileage young drivers
  • pro
    People who work from home
  • pro
    Drivers who want pet injury protection
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People who need to commute or drive long distances on a regular basis
  • con
    Drivers who don’t live in one of the eight covered states
  • con
    People who don’t want tech-heavy customer service

Pay Per Mile

Metromile only sells pay-per-mile car insurance. If you’re a low-mileage driver, Metromile could be a great option for you.

Metromile takes into account factors like credit score, driving history, and age to calculate your per-mile cost. Still, you might find better rates with Metromile if you’re a teen driver or have a bad driving record. Metromile claims you could save as much as $1,000 a year on car insurance if you drive less than 50 miles per week.1

Tracking and App-Friendly Features

Metromile bills you by tracking how many miles you drive through its Metromile Pulse device. When we tested the device, it only took us a few minutes to plug it in and activate it. As soon as we saw the red light on the Pulse device, we were ready to take it for a short drive to calibrate the GPS system.

From here, Metromile could track where we drove, how far we drove, how fast we drove, and other key driving behaviors that it used to come up with a quote later on. We communicated with the company through its intuitive mobile app. If you are tech savvy and appreciate managing your account from the comfort of your phone, Metromile could be the choice for you.

Pet Insurance

Drivers with pets might be glad to learn that nearly every Metromile insurance plan comes with pet injury protection. Unless you’re a driver in Virginia or Illinois, you will receive up to $1,000 in injury fees if your dog or cat is injured in an accident.

2. Best Cheap Auto Insurance for Drivers With a Great Record - Root
Root Insurance Logo

What We Like Most:

  • Savings of up to $900 a year
  • Discounts for good drivers
  • File claims through the Root app, no paperwork required

Root is a solid option for drivers with safe track records. Although Root is the second-cheapest insurance on our list at $829 annually, signing up comes with a few caveats. Root is able to offer great rates because it denies coverage to high-risk drivers. It primarily bases your costs on your driving record, so it’s a great choice if you’re a safe driver with a clean history.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Safe drivers
  • pro
    Drivers who don’t need SR-22s
  • pro
    Drivers looking for the cheapest rates
  • pro
    Tech-savvy drivers
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Drivers who don’t live in one of these states or districts:
    • Alaska
    • Hawaii
    • Idaho
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • Rhode Island
    • South Dakota
    • Vermont
    • Washington
    • Washington, D.C
    • Wyoming
  • con
    People with poor driving records
  • con
    Someone looking for a quick quote

Test-Drive Process

Part of why Root can offer such low rates is its strict vetting process. You must sign up for a test drive and allow Root to track your driving behavior for up to 30 days to get a quote.

Root connects to your smartphone and uses already available features — GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope — to measure your driving habits across those 30 days. Its tracking system will identify what time of day you’re driving, how many miles you’ve driven, your turn speed, and more. If your driving habits meet its standards, it will approve you and offer you some of the cheapest rates available today.

Safe Driver Discount Model

Root has a unique discount mode. The safer you drive and the better your driving record is, the cheaper your prices will be. While it offers bundling discounts for car and renters insurance, most of the company’s safe-driver discounts will be built into your final quote automatically. Drivers with the best driving records and test drive scores will be eligible for the lowest prices.

All-in-One App Management

Like Metromile, Root has a robust online and mobile app platform. You can manage elements of your insurance policy like claims, discounts, and coverage options through the app, as well as roadside assistance. Root is ideal for a tech-savvy customer who would rather use an app than speak to a human.

3. Best Cheap Auto Insurance for Customer Satisfaction - Erie
Erie Insurance Logo

What We Like Most:

  • Cheap insurance compared to the national average
  • Save for being a safe driver or having safety features in your car
  • Rate Lock program helps you avoid rate increases after filing a claim

Erie has an average annual cost of $1,084 and ranks highly for customer satisfaction and service. In both 2021 and 2022, Erie ranked second highest in customer satisfaction, with ratings of 878 out of 1,000 for midsize auto insurance providers.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers who love personalized customer service
  • pro
    People who want to bundle life, home, and renters insurance
  • pro
    Drivers who want to bundle with insurance for their RVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles, or ATVs
  • pro
    Drivers who travel a lot
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Anyone who doesn’t live in one of these states:
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Kentucky
    • Maryland
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • Ohio
    • Pennsylvania
    • Tennessee
    • Virginia
    • Washington, D.C
    • West Virginia
    • Wisconsin
  • con
    Drivers who want to manage their insurance online or from their phones

Personalized Customer Service

J.D Power ranks Erie highly on customer service and satisfaction. Part of what gives Erie the edge in customer service is its network of independent agents.

As a customer, you will need to work with an agent directly to help you narrow down the best insurance policy, make claims, and manage your current policy. The availability of independent agents is great for direct contact with someone who can walk you through the auto insurance process step by step.

Ability to Lock Your Rates

Erie has a unique rate-lock perk. If you qualify for a policy, Erie won’t raise your rates year over year unless you change your policy, drivers, or address. This means your rates won’t go up even if you have a claim on your vehicle.

Some restrictions and limitations apply. For example, you can only lock your rates for three years in Virginia, so speak to an agent to get the most accurate information for your plan and location.2

Perks and Coverage Options

Erie has a long list of discount and coverage options that appeal to a wide variety of drivers. Erie offers dozens of bundling options, including multiple-vehicle, home insurance, life insurance, and business insurance. While Erie offers all the most common coverage options — liability, collision, medical payment (PIP), comprehensive, and underinsured/uninsured motorist — it also offers a wide range of add-ons, including the following:

  • Gap insurance
  • Pet injury
  • Roadside assistance
  • Personal property coverage
  • New/better car replacement coverage
  • Windshield repair

GOOD TO KNOW


You can buy gap insurance from your dealership, but this is often the most expensive option. Ask your insurance agent if they offer gap insurance to compare rates, or find an independent third-party gap insurance provider.

4. Best Cheap Auto Insurance for Rideshare Drivers - Clearcover
Clearcover Logo

What We Like Most:

  • One of the lowest-cost auto insurance providers on average
  • Schedule repairs through the app
  • Discounts for active-duty members of the military

Priced at $1,119 on average annually, Clearcover offers affordable rates, has great options for rideshare drivers, and offers unique perks. One of those perks is the company’s lightning-fast claims payouts. While it can take most auto insurance companies weeks to pay a claim, Clearcover pays claims in less than a week on average (its record is seven minutes).

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Rideshare drivers
  • pro
    Tech-savvy drivers
  • pro
    Drivers looking for quick claims
  • pro
    People living in one of these states:
    • Alabama
    • Arizona
    • California
    • Georgia
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Kentucky
    • Louisiana
    • Maryland
    • Mississippi
    • Missouri
    • Nebraska
    • Ohio
    • Oklahoma
    • Pennsylvania
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Virginia
    • West Virginia
    • Wisconsin
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Drivers who don’t want to manage their accounts via mobile app
  • con
    Drivers who want more than just auto insurance from their provider
  • con
    Drivers who need SR-22s

Integrated Discounts

With most big insurance providers, you need to ask an agent about their discounts to see what you qualify for. Clearcover simplifies this process by integrating discounts into its standard pricing. Clearcover automatically builds discounts like safe driving, vehicle features, paying upfront, and more into its final price. Beyond its integrated discounts, you can also receive up to 25 percent off if you’re an active member of the military.

6-Month Terms

Rather than offering 12-month policies, Clearcover covers you for six-month periods. At the end of the six-month period, it will evaluate your driving history and let you know what discounts you may be eligible for. If you had a good driving record across the previous time period, you could qualify for more savings, more frequently.

Rideshare Insurance

Clearcover offers a rideshare endorsement add-on that allows you to drive for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft under its plan. Rates can be as low as $10 a month, but note that your rideshare insurance won’t extend to food delivery services like DoorDash, UberEats, or Postmates, only ridesharing services.

While most rideshare companies offer some coverage in their plans, their options are often limited to specific driving situations. For example, some companies will only insure you between when you’re dropping off and picking up a passenger, not when the passenger is in the car with you. Other plans insure you only when you have a passenger in the car, but not when you’re alone or driving to pick up a new passenger. Clearcover makes sure you’re covered in any rideshare situation.

5. Best Cheap Auto Insurance for Military Families and Veterans - USAA

What We Like Most:

  • Lowest rates for military members, veterans, and their families
  • Rideshare insurance available
  • Usage-based insurance available for low-mileage drivers

The United Services Automobile Association, also known as USAA, offers the cheapest rates out of the top 10 largest insurance providers. However, its auto insurance program is available only to active U.S. military members, veterans, pre-commissioned officers, and their spouses and children.

If you fall into that category, you can enjoy affordable rates, financial advice, and a number of other exclusive benefits like travel deals, shopping rewards, and car rental discounts. You must be a USAA member to sign up with USAA, but membership is free.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Active military members, veterans, and military families
  • pro
    Military members stationed overseas with their cars in the U.S.
  • pro
    Drivers looking for affordable premiums and financial benefits
  • pro
    People with good driving records
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People who aren’t veterans or active military members
  • con
    Drivers who have DUIs on their records
  • con
    Non-USAA members

PRO TIP


If you’ve been in a DUI, call or contact us at AutoInsurance.com. We can pre-qualify you and connect you to the best insurance provider for your specific needs.

Robust Discounts

USAA members don’t just get to enjoy some of the cheapest rates in the country; they also get a long list of discounts. The average driver saves $725 a year with USAA. These are some available discounts:

  • Good student discounts
  • Up to 15 percent for keeping your car on a military base
  • Up to 60 percent for keeping your car in storage when you’re deployed overseas
  • Multiple vehicle bundling
  • Safe driver discounts for going five or more years without an accident
  • Up to 10 percent for bundling your home and car insurance
  • 3 percent for making automatic payments

USAA Membership Perks

Outside of affordable rates and attractive discounts, you gain access to a number of membership perks as a USAA member:

  • 24/7 membership support from knowledgeable reps who can help you with your auto insurance needs, deployment questions, and help with transitioning back to life in the U.S.
  • Banking advice and products to help you with your loans, auto insurance, and other everyday needs
  • Financial advice for investing, saving, managing debt, and preparing for major life events such as retirement or buying a new home
  • Travel deals on hotels, cruises, shopping, vacation packages, and travel insurance
  • ADT home security deals with three-month deployment security credit

International Insurance

USAA understands the unique challenges that military members, veterans, and their families face. Leaving your family behind is one of the most difficult aspects of deployment, and USAA is dedicated to making that process as seamless as possible.

You won’t have to cancel your insurance policy if you’re deployed for a permanent change of station (PCS). USAA will protect your vehicle while you’re away with liability coverage, vehicle storage, and personal injury coverage. USAA will also provide guidance about deployment to the following countries and territories:

  • Azores
  • Belgium
  • Cuba
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guam
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • United Kingdom

Methodology

Our focus throughout this guide was to find the cheapest rates for the various unique needs that you may have as a driver. It’s important to note that depending on your location, age, gender, driving record, or vehicle type, the rates you’ll find might differ from the averages we’ve presented. Based on the company information, quotes, and data we’ve collected, we think these rates will apply to most drivers within their respective categories (military families, seniors, students, and so on). Our approach for finding these rates involved the following sources.

  • Proprietary data: Over the past 20 years, Autoinsurance.com has been collecting millions of data points based on transactions that people make when they sign up for car insurance. That data helps us discern what type of customer has had the most success with certain plans and insurance providers. By looking at which companies cater to a specific customer type or demographic, we use a data-driven approach to narrow down the type of provider that will give you the best plan at the best rates.
  • Public studies: While we use our own proprietary data from the various drivers we’ve helped connect to insurance providers, additionally, we use public studies from accredited organizations and leaders in the industry. We look at third-party studies from AM Best, the Better Business Bureau, J.D. Power, Moody’s, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and S&P Global to gather information on customer satisfaction and financial strength.
  • Information from the providers: Sometimes, the best way to find the information you need is directly from the source. That’s why we look directly at insurance providers to compare prices, request quotes, evaluate benefits and discounts, and assess their insurance processes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which provider offers the cheapest auto insurance rates for teens?

If you’re an 18-year-old USAA member, you can get competitive rates for around $120 a month. If you’re a safe teen driver, try a quote with Root Insurance. With an affordable rate of $69 a month, Root appeals to younger drivers with no driving records or credit scores because its prices are based on how safely you drive.

Which state has the cheapest auto insurance rates?

Maine has the cheapest rates in the country on average. According to the Consumer Federation of America, the annual average rate for car insurance in Maine was $696 in 2019, which is 54 percent lower than the national average.

Who offers the cheapest full coverage auto insurance rates?

On average, USAA offers some of the cheapest rates (around $100 monthly) for full coverage among the larger providers. If you’re not a USAA member, State Farm has great rates for full coverage at around $115.

Where can I find the cheapest rates if I’ve been in an accident?

After one at-fault accident, both USAA and State Farm have the lowest insurance rate increases at around $300 each. GEICO will increase insurance rates by about $700 on average after an at-fault accident. You can expect a 10 percent increase on average if you’re not at fault in an accident, but this will depend on your state and its local laws.

Which provider has the best rates if I have bad credit?

Both GEICO and USAA charge around $1,800 annually for drivers with bad credit, which is $1,000 cheaper than the national average.

Citations

  1. Everything You Need to Know About Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance. Metromile. (2021, July 16).
    https://www.metromile.com/blog/pay-per-mile-insurance/#how-does-pay-per-mile-auto-insurance-work

  2. Car Insurance Coverage Explained. Erie Insurance. (2022).
    https://www.erieinsurance.com/auto-insurance/car-insurance-coverage-explained

  3. Facts + Statistics: Insurance company rankings. Insurance Information Institute. (2022).
    https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-insurance-company-rankings