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Icon CheckLast updated: October 28, 2023

Cheapest No-Down-Payment Car Insurance in 2024

Get the most bang for your buck with the least amount of money upfront.

Best for Discounts
Allstate Logo 2023

Full Coverage Averages
• Annual Premium: $1,673
• Monthly Premium: $139

Read our Read our Allstate review.
Safe driving discount
Teen driver discount
X No multi-car discount

Best for Customizable Payment Options
Direct Auto Logo

Full Coverage Averages
• Annual Premium: $1,776
• Monthly Premium: $148

Pros + Cons
Accepts payments in cash
Robust military discount
X Available in only 16 states

Best for Low-Mileage Drivers
National General Logo 2023

Full Coverage Averages
• Annual Premium: $2,173
• Monthly Premium: $181

Pros + Cons
Variable rate for usage-based insurance
Flexible payment options
X Minimal coverage options

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Zero-down car insurance does not exist. Typically, auto insurance providers will integrate an initial deposit or down payment, usually a percentage of your premium, into your policy when you sign up for insurance. No-down-payment insurance means your initial payment will be applied to your monthly payments rather than an initial deposit.

Not all providers offer this option, so we’ll dive into the cheapest auto insurance companies that offer no-down-payment or low-upfront-payment options below.

What is no-down-payment car insurance?

No-down-payment auto insurance is a policy that allows you to start your coverage without making an initial upfront payment, instead spreading the premium cost over monthly installments. It’s important to remember that a “down payment” for car insurance isn’t an additional cost; it’s built into your overall rate.

Car and cell phoneOur Top Picks for the Best and Cheapest No-Down-Payment Car Insurance

  1. State Farm – Best for Discounts
    State Farm offers low premiums and a plethora of discounts. Plus, if you drive safely and bundle, you’ll save even more.
  2. Direct Auto – Best for Custom Payment Options
    Direct Auto specializes in coverage for high-risk drivers, including drivers with a low credit score.
  3. National General – Best for Low-Mileage Drivers
    National General has a pay-per-mile, usage-based policy. The less you drive each month, the less you’ll pay for car insurance.

How much does a car insurance down payment cost?

The initial down payment of the full premium commonly ranges between 8% and 33%. This means whatever you pay as a down payment will be deducted from your future payments. If you lower your initial down payment, your monthly, quarterly, or bi-annual premiums will increase.

How to Find Cheap Car Insurance With No Deposit

When putting together our list of the best auto insurance with no down payment, our team looked to find providers that met two key criteria:

  1. Excellent coverage options: Providers offer many different types of auto insurance, including standard coverages like liability and collision insurance as well as specialty options like rideshare coverage. When curating this list, we made sure our recommendations offered a variety of coverage options to meet your unique coverage needs.
  2. Payment flexibility: Many customers are looking for flexible payment options, especially negating initial onboarding costs. The best providers for low-down-payment or no-down-payment insurance will give you low-cost options for monthly payments, biannual payments, and one-time annual payments.

When looking for the cheapest down payment for your policy, consider the following strategies:

  • Compare car insurance quotes. Terms and conditions of auto insurance coverage vary from state to state, so be sure to talk to agents, compare quotes, and identify the best payments and lowest down payment structures for your state.
  • Inquire about your down payment options. Ask your agent about paying a down payment for the first 30 or 45 days’ worth of premiums. If possible, you may be able to secure a 30-day payment, which is typically the lowest down payment you can make.
  • Choose your payment method wisely. Ask if you can set up automatic electric fund transfers to reduce or eliminate service fees associated with credit cards. Some payment methods come with associated fees, so evaluating your payment options may cut costs on your down payment.
  • Ask about discounts. It might seem simple, but check to see which auto insurance discounts you qualify for. For example, you may get a discount and minimize your down payment if you pay your premium upfront.

Best Auto Insurance With No Down Payment

  1. 1.

    Best for Discounts: State Farm

  2. 2.

    Best for Customizable Payment Options: Direct Auto

  3. 3.

    Best for Low-Mileage Drivers: National General

  4. 4.

    Best for a Clean Record : Allstate

  5. 5.

    Best for a Bad Record : Acceptance Insurance

Comparison of the Best Auto Insurance with No Down Payment

Provider Best no down payment for Payment options Paid-in-full discount Average annual cost Review
State Farm Bundling Monthly No $1,419 State Farm review
National General Low-mileage drivers Monthly or paid-in-full Yes $1,714 Review coming soon
Direct Auto High-risk drivers Monthly or paid-in-full Yes $2,487 Direct Auto review
Allstate Clean records Monthly or paid-in-full Yes $1,673 Allstate review
Acceptance Bad driving records Not disclosed No $1,732 Review coming soon

Detailed List of the Best Auto Insurance With No Down Payment

1. Best for Discounts - State Farm

What We Like Most:

  • Multiple discounts for safe driving, including one specifically for young drivers
  • Local agents
  • Discounts for multiple cars

Founded in 1922, State Farm is one of the largest and most popular auto insurance companies. The company offers a wide range of insurance discounts and coverage options, and it’s especially cost-effective if you bundle policies like home, business, and auto insurance.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Customers with other State Farm policies
  • pro
    People who want the lowest car insurance rates
  • pro
    Safe drivers
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Drivers with multiple at-fault accidents
  • con
    People in Massachusetts or Rhode Island (where coverage isn’t available)

Flexible Payment Options

Unlike many auto insurers, State Farm’s default payment method is individual monthly car insurance payments, making it a great option for those who want a low upfront bill. On top of that, the company allows you to choose your own payment due date. Finally, State Farm simplifies the payment process for customers with multiple policies. Rather than paying multiple bills throughout the month, you can pay a single bill for all of your State Farm policies.

TIP:

The lowest insurance rate you can get is for your state’s legal minimum liability coverage. Make sure you check how much insurance you need to stay on the road (only two states don’t require insurance at all).

Bundling Discounts

State Farm offers savings of up to $1,073 if you combine your home and auto policies. You can also combine your condo, renters, life, or second automobile policies for similar savings. Bundling also saves you time by providing you with the convenience of managing and paying your bills from the same online portal or mobile app account.

Accident-Free Discount

State Farm offers accident-free savings if you are insured and drive without incident for three years.

2. Best for Customizable Payment Options - Direct Auto
Direct Auto Logo

What We Like Most:

  • Low rates for high-risk drivers
  • Can pay in cash locally
  • Save money by bundling with life insurance

Direct Auto is one of the newer (and smaller) insurance companies on our list. It specializes in harder-to-find insurance options and offers discounts for high-risk drivers. Of course, high-risk drivers typically pay more for auto insurance, so keep that in mind when you compare rates. Discounts for active-duty military members, homeowners, and prior coverage can help offset the increased premiums.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    High-risk drivers, including those with an SR-22
  • pro
    People who want to pay in cash
  • pro
    Customers who want specialty coverages, such as coverage for classic cars or for travel to Mexico
  • pro
    Drivers in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Drivers in most states (as coverage is only available in 16 states)
  • con
    Rideshare drivers (as Direct Auto doesn’t offer rideshare coverage)

Coverage for High-Risk Drivers

Direct Auto doesn’t just offer insurance to high-risk drivers; covering them is one of the core missions of the company. Direct Auto works with its customers to build affordable policies as well as to use discounts to lower premiums as much as possible. It also accepts cash payments at many of its store locations, which helps if your credit is not great.

Many Opportunities to Save

Direct Auto has an impressive list of available discounts. Discounts are available for safe drivers, good students, and senior citizens. You can reduce your premium and earn a Direct Auto discount by:

  1. Joining the DynamicDrive program
  2. Taking a driver education course
  3. Having multiple vehicles on your policy
  4. Owning a vehicle with certain safety features
  5. Having multiple policies with Direct Auto
  6. Being a homeowner
  7. Switching from another insurer
  8. Setting up automatic payments
  9. Paying in full
  10. Agreeing to paperless billing

Discounts for Military Members

Other than the motorcycle military discount from Acceptance Insurance, Direct Auto is the only other provider on our list that offers a discount for military members. Active service members can save an impressive 25 percent on their premium as long as they provide a copy of their orders or other documentation providing their service status.

3. Best for Low-Mileage Drivers - National General
National General Logo 2023

What We Like Most:

  • Personal and commercial policies available
  • Lower rates for good drivers with DynamicDrive app
  • Report claims, and get reimbursed, within 48 hours

National General’s usage-based, pay-per-mile auto insurance policy is great for people who don’t drive often. National General will track your driving each month and calculate your cost based on how much you drive. The fewer miles you drive each month, the lower your premium will be. Add flexible payment options to a low monthly premium, and National General is a great option if you’re looking for low-down-payment car insurance.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Low-mileage drivers
  • pro
    Customers who own RVs
  • pro
    Good drivers
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Drivers who want a provider with robust digital tools
  • con
    Customers who want a variety of coverage options

Perks for Low-Mileage Drivers

If you don’t drive many miles, consider National General’s pay-per-mile insurance, which offers a discount for low-mileage drivers. This perk may be especially attractive if you’re a remote worker whose car sits unused often, or if your family has multiple vehicles and you don’t use all of them on a daily basis.

Unique Bundling Options

Like most other insurers, National General offers a discount when you bundle your policies. However, this company’s options are particularly unique, especially for RV owners. You can earn a 20 percent discount when you insure both an RV and another vehicle. Even better, you’ll pay only one deductible if both vehicles are damaged within the same covered accident.

Flexible Payment Options

If you want flexibility in your insurance payments, National General might be right for you. As with the other companies on our list, National General allows customers to pay their premium monthly, meaning you can bring your monthly cost down with discounts and minimize your upfront cost.

4. Best for a Clean Record - Allstate

What We Like Most:

  • Three ways to earn a student discount
  • Pay-per-mile option for drivers with low mileage
  • No waiting period to purchase accident forgiveness

Allstate is one of the largest insurance providers in the country. It offers a wide range of coverage options, including coverage for motor homes, RVs, and classic cars. Flexible payment options and wide coverage options place Allstate near the top of our list for the best no-down-payment auto insurance.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Customers who want discounts for bundled policies, safe driving, car safety devices, and more
  • pro
    Families with teen drivers
  • pro
    Drivers looking for classic car coverage or a Mexico insurance endorsement
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Customers with multiple cars to insure, as Allstate does not have a multi-car discount)
  • con
    Hybrid or electric vehicle owners

Perks for Teen Drivers

If your family has a teen driver, Allstate could be the right insurance company for you. Allstate advertises policies for teen drivers specifically, so it’s easy for parents to add their children to their policy when they start driving. The provider also offers several ways to save with student and teen discounts.

  • TeenSMART discount: TeenSMART is a training program that can help improve your teen’s driving, reduce your teen’s risk of at-fault accidents, and reduce your premiums.
  • Smart Student discount: Allstate’s Smart Student discount allows you to save on your car insurance if your teen has a GPA of 2.7 or higher.
  • Student-away-from-home discount: Once your teen goes off to college, you can save even more, since the company offers a discount when your teen attends a school at least 100 miles from where they garage their car.

Excellent Savings Opportunities

As we’ve mentioned, Allstate offers a FullPay discount that allows you to save when you pay your full policy premium upfront. Allstate also offers discounts for the following:

  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Anti-theft device to prevent auto theft
  • Automatic payments
  • Bundling with home or renters insurance
  • New car
  • On-time payments
  • Paperless billing
  • Safe driving
  • Signing your policy at least one week before it becomes effective

Coverage Options

Allstate has a variety of coverage options. It offers the standard coverages you would expect of any insurance company, such as liability, collision and comprehensive insurance, and uninsured motorist coverage. On top of that, it offers unique coverages you won’t find with many other companies. Those coverages include classic car insurance and car insurance for travel to Mexico.

Allstate also offers accident forgiveness. Accidents can happen to even the safest drivers, so the supplemental accident forgiveness protection ensures your premium won’t go up, even after one at-fault accident.

5. Best for a Bad Record - Acceptance Insurance
acceptance insurance logo

What We Like Most:

  • Accepts high-risk drivers
  • Bundle with renters', homeowners', or pet insurance
  • Good for those with bad credit

Acceptance is a relatively small provider that was founded in Texas in 1969 with the belief that all drivers deserve car insurance coverage, even those with an imperfect record. Today, the company serves nearly 200,000 people across 15 states. If you have a bad driving record — meaning multiple accidents, traffic tickets, DUIs, claims, or other serious violations, Acceptance will still provide coverage at a reasonable rate.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers who want to bundle multiple policies
  • pro
    People with a bad driving record
  • pro
    Those with bad credit
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People with a clean driving history
  • con
    Drivers outside of Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

Coverage for a Bad Driving Record

If you have a bad driving record or have a poor credit score, then you probably know how difficult it can be to find car insurance. Some providers charge high-risk drivers considerably higher rates, while others deny high-risk drivers coverage altogether. Not only does Acceptance offer insurance to high-risk drivers, but it also markets its services to them specifically.

Reimbursement for Tickets

One of Acceptance’s unique perks is its TicketProof program. While this program requires an additional fee, it will reimburse you for traffic tickets. You’ll get up to $100 reimbursed for tickets up to twice per year. Furthermore, you’ll get a $200 reimbursement for legal fees if you need to go to court for your ticket, as well as a $250 reimbursement if you are required to attend traffic school.

SR-22 Coverage

An SR-22 certificate is often required by states for certain driving violations, including DUIs, traffic violations, and suspended driver’s licenses. Drivers required to obtain SR-22s typically have a more difficult time finding coverage. However, Acceptance offers policies to SR-22 drivers specifically to ensure they have access to coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a car insurance down payment?

A car insurance down payment is usually a percentage of your total car insurance premium that gets calculated into your monthly cost. As opposed to a flat fee or surcharge, you will have to pay this amount as part of your monthly premium. Insurers may require a larger amount down payment for customers without good credit.

Is car insurance cheaper if you pay upfront?

Whether or not car insurance is cheaper when you pay upfront depends on your insurance company. Many insurers, including Allstate, Direct Auto, and National General, offer discounts when you pay your full premium upfront rather than in individual monthly payments.

Why do some car insurance companies require a down payment?

A car insurance company may require a down payment as a way of reducing its own risk. If companies offered car insurance without requiring you to pay anything upfront, they would run the risk of having to pay out a claim without you ever paying any premiums.

Can I pay half my car insurance upfront?

In many cases, companies allow two payment options for car insurance: one upfront payment or individual monthly payments. You may be able to pay half of your premium upfront instead of the entire amount, but you may not be eligible for a discount.

Methodology

When choosing the car insurance companies on this list, we took a three-pronged approach that included analyzing company information and data from third-party sites, using our own proprietary data, and implementing our institutional knowledge gained from more than two decades in the auto insurance industry.

  • Company information: We analyze data about each company and the lowest-rate policies it offers, including information surrounding coverages and payment plans. Customer satisfaction and financial strength ratings from AM Best, the Better Business Bureau, J.D. Powder, Moody’s, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and Standard & Poor’s factor into our final rankings.
  • Proprietary data: AutoInsurance.com connects people to car insurance providers every day. Over our 20 years of business, we’ve collected millions of data points on transactions. This data provides us with the tools we need to identify which types of customers have the most success with which companies.
  • Institutional knowledge: We’re fortunate enough to be able to consult with Paul Ford, the president of insurance at Centerfield, AutoInsurance.com’s parent company. Paul has spent nearly three decades in the insurance industry, with tenures at Canadian Access, Inslogic, Capital One Insurance Services, NetQuote, Bankrate, and Datalot. We leverage Paul’s extensive knowledge of car insurance to help customers find the perfect policy.