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Icon CheckLast updated: December 8, 2022

The Best Auto Insurance for Used Cars

Get the coverages you need for a used car.

Best Overall
USAA Logo

Available to military members and their families, USAA offers competitive rates for insuring used vehicles without compromising on the quality of coverage. In particular, USAA’s financing terms for used cars and roadside assistance offerings set it apart.

Best for Discounts
Geico Logo

GEICO is widely available and offers some of the best rates and car insurance discounts. GEICO holds an A++ rating from AM Best for financial strength, meaning you don’t have to worry about its ability to pay for claims.1

According to the Bureau of Transportation Services, the average age of a vehicle in the U.S. is about 12 years. The agency also found that used cars account for about 70 percent of vehicle sales in the country.

Some providers charge less to insure used cars, mostly due to their lower values. However, other companies charge more, partly because used vehicles lack the cutting-edge safety features of newer ones. Each insurance provider uses a different formula to calculate premiums, which is why it’s important to shop around. We’re here to walk you through the pros and cons of each insurer and help you pick the company that’s right for your used car.

Comparison of the Best Auto Insurance for Used Cars

Insurance company What it’s best for Available discounts Average annual cost Review
USAA Overall Good student, clean record, garage car on military installation, track safe driving behavior, multi-policy, multi-vehicle, newer vehicle (3 years old or less), anti-theft, loyal member $1,151 USAA review
GEICO Discounts Good student, vehicle safety features, good driver, defensive driving course, driver education course, military member, federal employee, membership association, multi-vehicle, multi-policy $1,194 GEICO review
State Farm Young drivers Multi-vehicle, multi-policy, track safe driving behavior, accident-free, good driving history, defensive driver course, safe vehicle, good student $1,419 State Farm review
Nationwide Low mileage Multi-policy, multi-vehicle, track safe driving behavior, accident-free, good student, defensive driver course, anti-theft, safe driver, automatic payments, paperless $1,614 Nationwide review
Erie Comprehensive and collision optional coverage Good driving history, track safe driving behavior, safe vehicle, multi-policy, multi-vehicle, reduced usage, young driver, annual payment, good student $1,084 Coming soon

Summary of the Best Auto Insurance for Used Cars

  1. 1.

    Best Overall: USAA

  2. 2.

    Best for Discounts: Geico

  3. 3.

    Best for Young Drivers: State Farm

  4. 4.

    Best for Low Mileage: Nationwide

  5. 5.

    Best for Comprehensive and Collision: Erie

Detailed List of the Best Auto Insurance for Used Cars

1. Best Overall - 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 (USAA) offers auto insurance to individuals affiliated with the U.S. military. It combines good rates, solid coverage, and reliable customer service, making it a good choice for used car owners.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Military members, veterans, and their families
  • pro
    People looking to purchase roadside assistance
  • pro
    Customers who plan to finance a used vehicle with USAA
  • pro
    Drivers who want to upgrade their vehicle in the event of a total loss
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People not affiliated with the U.S. military
  • con
    Rideshare drivers (USAA covers only the first period of work under rideshare insurance)

Exceptional Roadside Assistance

According to a report from AAA, vehicles 10 years old and older are twice as likely as newer vehicles to break down on the road and four times more likely to need a tow.2 Purchasing emergency roadside services helps protect you in the event your used car breaks down. USAA’s roadside coverage includes:

  • Towing (up to 50 miles)
  • Tire changes (spare required)
  • Fuel delivery (cost of fuel not included)
  • Jump-starts
  • Lockout services
  • Winching for stuck vehicles

In addition, USAA offers a few roadside assistance services that are less common. For example, even if you don’t have roadside coverage, you can call for help and receive services at a special negotiated rate. USAA also offers coverage outside the U.S., including in the following places:

  • Canada
  • England
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

Strong Loan Terms

USAA provides an array of financial services in addition to auto insurance, such as vehicle financing. For used car models from 2015 to 2020, USAA offers loan rates starting at 5.14 percent. (According to Edmunds, the average used car APR is around 9 percent.3) USAA loan offers are good for 45 days and have the following benefits:

  • No application fees
  • Loan terms up to 84 months (seven years)
  • 0.25 percent discount for enrolling in automatic payments

Typically, you will get a decision on whether your loan is approved within a few minutes. USAA does not impose fees or penalties for paying off a loan early.

Car Replacement Assistance

If you own a newer or higher-value used car, you may consider purchasing USAA’s car replacement coverage. With this coverage, in the event of a total loss, you will get an additional 20 percent over the actual cash value of the car. You will receive the money in cash so you can decide whether you want to spend it on another vehicle or something else.

Take note that in order to purchase car replacement assistance, you also need to carry comprehensive and collision coverage. For older vehicles, the value may be too low to warrant purchasing the coverage.

2. Best for Discounts - Geico

What We Like Most:

  • Discounts for military and government employees
  • Good for all driving records
  • Repair estimates straight from the mobile app

With solid customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power and a history of affordable rates, GEICO is a great choice for used car owners.4 It’s a particularly good option for those on the hunt for discounts. If you want affordable property casualty insurance, whether you want minimum coverage or full coverage, consider GEICO when seeking the best car insurance provider.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    People who want to choose from companies that offer discounts
  • pro
    Drivers who want to purchase emergency roadside coverage
  • pro
    People who value the mobile app experience
  • pro
    Rideshare drivers
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    High-risk drivers
  • con
    Customers who want to work with local agents

Many Discount Options

GEICO is known for being one of the most affordable insurers in the country, and it offers customers a number of discounts. The following can help you save on premiums for your used car:

Discount Potential savings
Airbag 23%
Anti-lock brakes 5%
Anti-theft system 23%
Daytime running lights 3%
Good driver (5 years accident-free) 22%
Seat belt use Varies
Defensive driver course Varies
Driver education course Varies
Good student 15%
Emergency military deployment 25%
Federal employee 12%
Membership and employee (over 500 affiliates, including alumni associations, Berkshire Hathaway Companies, and professional organizations) Varies
Military 15%
Multi-vehicle 25%
Multi-policy Varies

DID YOU KNOW?


Anti-lock brakes (ABS) help prevent loss of vehicle control if you need to brake in an emergency. Since 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has required ABS on all vehicles.5

Emergency Roadside Services

Because used vehicles are more likely to break down than new ones, it can be a good idea to purchase emergency roadside coverage. GEICO’s emergency roadside services cover the following:

  • Towing (up to 20 miles)
  • Jump-starts
  • Tire changes (spare required)
  • Lockout services for keys locked in vehicle (up to $100)
  • Winching if your vehicle is stuck on or near a road
  • Fuel delivery (cost of fuel not included)

Coverage starts at $14 annually per vehicle, or a little over a dollar a month. If you hold coverage and pay for services out of pocket, you can submit a claim for reimbursement. GEICO claims that assistance typically arrives within an hour of calling for help.

Solid Mobile App

For used car owners who want to manage their policies via a mobile app, GEICO is a good choice. The GEICO Mobile app holds a 4.8-star rating in the App Store and a 4.5-star rating in Google Play. The app provides a number of functionalities, including:

  • View and pay your bill.
  • Access your insurance card and add it to your digital wallet, which you can use as proof of insurance.
  • Call for roadside assistance 24/7 (with coverage).
  • Submit photos of vehicle damage and receive claims estimates.
  • View your car’s service history, check for open recalls, and create a maintenance schedule.
  • Receive answers to your questions through a virtual assistant.
3. Best for Young Drivers - State Farm

What We Like Most:

  • Local agents
  • Rideshare insurance available
  • Discounts for having multiple cars

State Farm combines affordable coverage with strong customer service and financial strength. With multiple ways to save, it’s an especially strong choice for young drivers of used cars.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers under age 25
  • pro
    Customers looking for rental reimbursement
  • pro
    Rideshare drivers
  • pro
    Customers who want to bundle policies
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People who live in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, where State Farm no longer sells new policies
  • con
    Drivers who financed their used cars with a lender other than State Farm Bank

Discounts for Young Drivers

Because the cost of insuring teen drivers is higher than for adults, a used vehicle often makes the most sense. In addition to the savings of driving a used car rather than a new one, State Farm offers several ways for young drivers and their families to spend less on auto insurance:

  • Steer Clear program: Drivers under age 25 with no at-fault accidents or moving violations in the past three years can save up to 15 percent. To qualify, drivers must complete a training course in the State Farm mobile app, which includes lessons, videos, and real-life driving practice.
  • Good student: Full-time students under age 25 can save up to 25 percent for maintaining a B average, or 3.0 GPA. Homeschooled students must rank in the top 20 percent of a national standardized test they took in the past 12 months to qualify.
  • Driver training: Drivers under age 21 get a discount for taking an approved driver education course. If multiple young drivers share a car, all of them must take the course in order to get the discount.
  • Student away at school: Students under age 25 who attend school away from home get a discount. To qualify, the student must go to school at least 100 miles away, keep the car at home, and use it only on breaks and holidays.

In addition, if a teen is driving a low-value car or a vehicle older than 10 years old, you may consider removing collision and comprehensive coverage from your policy in order to lower insurance costs. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average cost of a used car is $28,205, a record high as of January 2022, though the market is finally starting to cool down.

Good Rental Reimbursement

If you rely on your car as your primary mode of transportation, it’s a good idea to purchase rental reimbursement coverage. That way, if something happens to your vehicle, you don’t have to worry about paying out of pocket for a rental while your car is in the shop.

If you add rental reimbursement to your State Farm policy, you can choose your daily and per-claim coverage limits. The higher your limits, the higher your premium. For example, if you have limits of $15 per day and up to $375 per incident, you’ll pay less than if you have limits of $25 per day and $625 per incident.

State Farm’s rental coverage comes with a couple nice benefits:

  • Travel expenses: If the damage to your car occurs more than 50 miles from home, State Farm will pay you up to $500 for lodging, meals, and transportation home. It will also include a return trip to pick up your car.
  • Deductible repayment: If you’re involved in a covered incident in the rental car, State Farm will pay up to $500 toward the deductible.

Keep in mind, you must carry collision and comprehensive coverage in order to purchase rental reimbursement. In general, collision and comprehensive coverage make the most sense for used vehicles less than 10 years old. That’s because the older a vehicle gets, the less it’s worth and the lower the payout will be in the event of a total loss. For vehicles more than 10 years old, the annual cost of collision and comprehensive coverage may add up to more than what the vehicle is worth.

Extensive Rideshare Coverage

If you bought your used car in order to earn money driving for rideshare, State Farm is a great choice. Its rideshare coverage is one of the most widely available nationally. You can purchase the coverage everywhere except the following places:

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota

State Farm’s rideshare coverage extends the protections of your personal policy to the times when you’re driving for rideshare. While rideshare companies must offer some insurance coverage, it’s often insufficient, especially in the period when you’ve turned on the app and are waiting to match with a rider.

Coverage App is on Matched with rider Transporting passenger
Bodily injury and property damage liability State Farm Rideshare company Rideshare company
Medical payments State Farm State Farm State Farm
Collision, comprehensive, rental reimbursement, and emergency roadside assistance State Farm State Farm State Farm

Keep in mind, Lyft and Uber have requirements for vehicle age, and older cars are often disqualified.6 Uber requires vehicle models to be 15 years old or newer. Lyft requirements vary by location, but fall within the 10- to 15-year range.7

4. Best for Low Mileage - Nationwide

What We Like Most:

  • Discounts for taking a defensive driver course
  • Network of local agents
  • Usage-based insurance program for low-mileage drivers

Nationwide offers a pay-per-mile program, making it a good option for used car owners who don’t drive frequently or long distances. It also provides a unique insurance review program that can help ensure you have the coverages you need.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    People who drive infrequently or shorter distances
  • pro
    People who want to work with an agent to assess their coverage needs
  • pro
    Customers on the hunt for an array of discounts
  • pro
    Drivers looking to purchase accident forgiveness
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Drivers who live in Alaska, Massachusetts, or Louisiana
  • con
    People seeking an insurer with a history of high customer satisfaction (Nationwide has received below-average ratings from J.D. Power)

Pay-Per-Mile Coverage

If you bought your used car for short trips around town or other infrequent use, Nationwide offers an option that may cost less than a traditional policy. With Nationwide’s pay-per-mile program SmartMiles, you’ll pay a monthly base rate plus a rate per every mile you drive each month. For example:

Monthly base rate Cost per mile Miles driven per month Monthly cost
$60 $.07 250 $77.50
$60 $.07 350 $84.50
$60 $.07 500 $95

SmartMiles offers the same coverage options as a traditional policy. It is available in all states except Hawaii, North Carolina, New York, and Oklahoma.

Nationwide tracks your miles driven with a small device that you install on your vehicle. Most vehicles manufactured after 1996 are compatible, though some hybrids and diesel-powered cars may not be.

Pay-per-mile options make the most sense for people who drive infrequently. For example, you might consider the option if you:

  • Work from home
  • Live and work in an urban area
  • Have an extra car that you don’t drive regularly

Chat With an Agent Regularly

As your used car ages and loses value over time, your insurance needs may change. After you buy a policy, Nationwide will give you the chance to review your insurance needs with an agent regularly. The conversation can help you determine whether:

  • You have the protection you need, without unnecessary coverage
  • Upcoming life events will change your insurance needs, like moving, adding a new driver, or purchasing a vehicle and adding it to your policy
  • You’re taking advantage of all available discounts

You can take advantage of this benefit every year, or whenever you experience a change that might affect your insurance needs.

Many Discount Options

Buying a used vehicle will save you money in car payments, but you’ll also want to take advantage of discounts to keep your insurance premium as low as possible. Nationwide offers the following discounts:

  • Multi-policy: Combine your auto insurance with a policy for your home (whether you own or rent), motorcycle, or boat. You can also save money by bundling with life insurance or insuring multiple vehicles on your auto policy. Nationwide claims to offer a discount of up to 20 percent if you bundle home and auto, or an average savings of around $650.
  • Driver tracking: Nationwide’s SmartRide program tracks four aspects of your driving: miles driven, hard braking, rapid acceleration, and nighttime driving. You’ll save 10 percent when you enroll and up to 40 percent based on your driving habits.
  • Good student: If you’re a full-time student between the ages of 16 and 24 with a B average in school, you’ll earn a discount. Homeschooled students must score in the top 20 percent nationally on standardized tests like the PSAT, SAT, or ACT to qualify.
  • Clean record: You can save up to 10 percent if you have no at-fault accidents or major violations in the past five years. However, this discount will not apply to those with poor driving records.
  • Defensive driving: If you’re over 55 years old, you can earn a discount if you take a state-approved defensive driving course and have had no at-fault accidents in the past 35 months.
  • Preferred payment: You’ll save money if you set up automatic payments for your premium and if you choose to receive your bills electronically rather than by mail.
  • Anti-theft: Nationwide gives you a discount if you have an anti-theft device in your car, whether it was installed at the factory or after you purchased the vehicle.

TIP:


If your used vehicle doesn’t already have an anti-theft device, you can install one. Visible steering wheel locks and aftermarket alarm systems can deter theft and save you money on insurance.

5. Best for Comprehensive and Collision - 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 offers a range of coverage options and a number of benefits you won’t find everywhere, making it a good choice if you plan to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage. In addition, J.D. Power has consistently ranked Erie highly for customer satisfaction, and Erie holds an A+ rating for financial strength from AM Best.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers who want to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage
  • pro
    Customers looking to lock in their auto insurance rates
  • pro
    People who want to upgrade their vehicle in the event of a total loss
  • pro
    Customers seeking accident forgiveness at no extra cost (added after three years)
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
  • People who don’t live in one of the following places:
    • District of Columbia
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Kentucky
    • Maryland
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • Ohio
    • Pennsylvania
    • Tennessee
    • Virginia
    • West Virginia
    • Wisconsin
  • con
    Customers who want a big insurer (Erie has about 6 million policies in force, which is less than some major providers)
  • Strong Coverage Options

    While it doesn’t always make financial sense to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage for a used car, Erie offers several perks that may tip the balance. If you purchase collision and comprehensive coverage, you also get the following:

    Benefit Description Comes with
    Transportation expense/rental reimbursement Rental coverage for a basic compact sedan is included in your policy automatically. If you need a bigger vehicle and/or want rental coverage for collision losses, you can buy additional coverage. Comprehensive
    Auto glass repair Erie waives the deductible for glass repairs. For a small charge, you can add full window glass coverage, which waives the deductible in the event of a replacement. With both options, new wiper blades are included in the event of windshield replacement. Comprehensive
    Locksmith services You get up to $75 in locksmith costs if you lock your keys in the car. Comprehensive
    Personal items coverage Erie helps cover the loss of clothing, luggage, and other personal belongings inside the car in the event of a covered incident. Collision or comprehensive

    Additionally, each year you go without filing a claim, Erie will reduce your deductible by $100, up to $500 total.

    Lock in Your Rate

    A recent J.D. Power study found that rising costs of auto insurance have decreased customer satisfaction with insurance providers. Kelley Blue Book reports that the average cost of insurance rose by about 5 percent in 2022, and rates are projected to rise by another 5 to 10 percent in the coming year.8

    RISING RATES:


    Auto insurance costs are going up for a number of reasons, including inflation, higher vehicle prices, and increased cost of replacement parts due to supply chain issues, as of 2022.

    Erie’s rate lock feature can help you avoid car insurance rate increases by locking in your rate year over year. In other words, your rates will not change when you renew your policy unless you make certain changes. These include:

    • Adding or removing a vehicle or driver
    • Changing your primary address or the location where you park the vehicle overnight

    If you choose to add or remove coverages, your premium will reflect that adjustment without changing the cost of your other coverages. Keep in mind, rate lock does not guarantee coverage. For example, if you get a DUI or commit another serious violation, Erie can choose to drop your policy.

    Better Car Protection

    If you purchased Erie’s better car protection coverage, in the event of a total loss, you can replace your car with a vehicle that is two model years newer. Purchasing the protection can offer a silver lining in a stressful situation.

    Keep in mind that this coverage is not available in New York or North Carolina. In order to purchase the coverage, you need to have collision and comprehensive coverage. Erie also offers lease/loan protection, which will cover the balance of your auto loan if your car is totaled.

    Methodology

    To determine the best auto insurance companies for used cars, we used a three-point methodology:

    • Proprietary company data: For over 20 years, we’ve matched customers with insurance policies. We have collected millions of data points from those transactions, and we use the data to identify which companies are the best fit for different customers. For this guide, we chose providers that tend to offer the best policies for customers with used cars.
    • Independent sources: Our ratings account for information from third-party sources such as the S&P Global Ratings, J.D. Power, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, AM Best, and the Better Business Bureau. We leverage these sources to rate providers on their financial stability, claims satisfaction, and quality of customer service.
    • Institutional knowledge: Our team of experts is deeply familiar with each insurance provider and what it has to offer. We consult with Paul Ford, an expert with 30 years of experience in the auto insurance industry. Paul’s past experience includes time with firms like NetQuote, Capital One Insurance Services, Bankrate, Datalot, Canadian Access, and InsLogic. Currently, Paul is president of insurance services at Centerfield, AutoInsurance.com’s parent company.

    FAQs

    What is the best car insurance company?

    The following companies offer some of the best auto insurance:

    • Allstate
    • Erie
    • GEICO
    • State Farm
    • USAA

    The best company for an individual depends on a number of factors, like location, type of coverage, credit score, and age. Insurance is cheaper for those with good credit, for example.

    Where can I find cheap car insurance?

    The following providers offer cheap auto insurance:

    • Erie
    • GEICO
    • Metromile
    • State Farm
    • USAA

    In general, the best way to find cheap auto insurance is to shop in advance and get at least three quotes before choosing a provider.

    Should I get insurance before buying a used car?

    Yes, you should get insurance before buying a used car. In most states, you can technically buy a car without auto insurance, but you can’t legally drive it off the lot. It’s wise to get a car insurance quote before going to the dealership or meeting a private seller so that you can insure the car as soon as you buy it.

    If you already have insurance for another vehicle, many insurers have a grace period to add newly purchased vehicles. During the grace period, your existing insurance will cover the car, even if you haven’t added it to the policy yet.

    How much does it cost to insure a used car?

    The cost to insure a used car depends on the vehicle type; the average cost of insuring a vehicle is $1,070 annually, or $89 a month. According to Progressive, a Subaru Forester and Honda Accord are two of the cheaper cars to insure.

    Citations

    1. Search for a Rating. AM Best. (2022).
      https://ratings.ambest.com/

    2. Double Digits Means Double Trouble for Vehicle Breakdowns. AAA. (2018).
      https://newsroom.aaa.com/2018/04/double-digits-means-double-trouble-vehicle-breakdowns/

    3. Auto Loan Interest Rates Climb to Highest Level Since 2019 in Q3, According to Edmunds. Edmunds. (2022).
      https://newsroom.aaa.com/2018/04/double-digits-means-double-trouble-vehicle-breakdowns/

    4. Usage-Based Auto Insurance Takes Center Stage as Satisfaction Flatlines, J.D. Power Finds. J.D Power. (2022).
      https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2022-us-auto-insurance-study

    5. Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2022).
      https://www.nhtsa.gov/fmvss/electronic-stability-control-systems-heavy-vehicles

    6. Vehicle Requirements. Uber. (2022).
      https://help.uber.com/driving-and-delivering/article/vehicle-requirements?nodeId=2ddf30ca-64bd-4143-9ef2-e3bc6b929948

    7. Vehicle requirements. Lyft. (2022).
      https://help.lyft.com/hc/e/all/articles/115013077448-Vehicle-requirements

    8. Car Insurance Premiums: Here’s Why They Keep Rising. Kelley Blue Book. (2022).
      https://www.kbb.com/car-advice/insurance/vehicle-insurance-premium-rising/