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Last updated: June 12, 2024

State Farm Drive Safe & Save Review

An in-depth look at State Farm's usage-based insurance discount

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Drive Safe & Save is State Farm‘s usage-based telematics discount program, which rewards you with lower rates if you drive safely. State Farm advertises a discount of up to 30 percent or more, depending on your state, with this program.

To access the program, simply start by downloading the Drive Safe & Save smartphone app and follow the steps to enroll. State Farm will then send you a Bluetooth beacon to link to the app and track your driving habits. If you have a 2020 or newer Ford or Lincoln vehicle, you may also be able to enroll your car to send data directly to State Farm.

Your discount will be calculated based on your driving behavior and will be reflected in your premium at each policy renewal.

I am a State Farm customer and use this discount myself — I’ll share my experience as well as my industry knowledge as a senior editor and analyst at AutoInsurance.com to walk you through how Drive Safe & Save works and whether it’s worth it for you.

In addition to Drive Safe & Save, we’ve reviewed other safe driving discount programs, including Progressive Snapshot and Nationwide Smartride. We’ve also reviewed the best cheap auto insurance providers.

Quick Look: State Farm Drive Safe & Save Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Save just for signing up, and up to 30% or more at your renewal

  • User-friendly app experience

  • No risk of rates increasing if driving behavior is deemed unsafe

  • Can detect accidents and offer to send help

Cons

  • Discount not available in California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and may not be available in North Carolina

  • Actual savings vary by state

What Is State Farm Drive Safe & Save?

Drive Safe & Save is a usage-based telematics insurance discount program offered by State Farm. Drive Safe & Save tracks the following:

  • Speed: Try not to exceed 8 miles per hour over the speed limit.
  • Acceleration: Don’t accelerate too quickly.
  • Braking: Try not to brake hard and suddenly.
  • Cornering: Don’t speed around turns.
  • Distracted driving: Don’t use your phone while driving — this will be flagged if your vehicle is moving, the phone recording the trip is moving in the vehicle, and the phone screen is on.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Occasional hard braking may be needed to avoid an accident, but if you make a habit of following too closely and frequently braking quickly, it will affect your discount.

When you complete a trip, you’ll be able to view your score for each of these areas. State Farm notes that not every metric affects your discount, but it provides these insights to help you learn about your driving habits and improve them.

Here’s what it looks like in the app:

Drive Safe & Save Home Screen

The discount you receive is also based on your annual mileage, with a higher discount being awarded if you keep your mileage low. For this reason, the app periodically prompts me to enter my odometer reading.

Most people can easily enroll in the program by downloading the app on their smartphone — assuming your phone supports it — and if you have certain Ford or Lincoln vehicles, State Farm can also get the data directly from the vehicle through Drive Safe & Save Connected Car.

How Much Do You Save With State Farm Drive Safe & Save?

You can get a discount of 5 percent just for signing up for Drive Safe & Save and up to 30 percent or more at your next renewal, depending on your driving habits and state. The discount is capped at 30 percent in New York, but State Farm notes that it may exceed 30 percent in other states. However, the cap may also be lower in certain states.

The program is not available at all in California, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and it may not be available in North Carolina, depending on individual circumstances. (Currently I live in Pennsylvania, but previously when I lived in North Carolina I was able to apply the discount there, too). Drive Safe & Save can only lower your premium — State Farm will not increase your rates if it detects poor driving habits, unlike some other programs, like Allstate’s Drivewise.

I drive as safely as possible, but I like knowing that I don’t risk increasing my premium by using Drive Safe & Save — especially because the way it detects phone use doesn’t distinguish between driver and passenger use, or even just receiving a notification, so it’s very easy to get penalized even if you’re not distracted. This discount saved me around 10 percent on my last renewal. I hoped it would be higher, especially since I hold good driving scores, but it’s better than nothing.

When Do You Start Earning the Drive Safe & Save Discount?

You get a small 5 percent discount for your first policy period just for signing up for Drive Safe & Save. There is no minimum trip requirement, and your discount will be applied to your next policy renewal, which is usually every six months.

State Farm uses driving information from up to the previous 12 months if available, and your discount is subject to change at each renewal depending on your driving habits for that period. Scores in the Drive Safe & Save app update every two weeks so you can keep an eye on how you’re doing. If State Farm doesn’t get enough driving data by your next renewal, your discount may be $0.

FYI:

State Farm calculates your renewal discount 60 to 90 days prior to your renewal, so I recommend enrolling as soon as possible if you’re interested in the program.

The app is transparent about how much you save:

State Farm Drive Safe & Save Explore Trip Classification

Households With Multiple Drivers

State Farm allows multiple drivers to use Drive Safe & Safe with the same car, but you won’t get a bigger discount just for enrolling more drivers. However, if all of the drivers in your household drive safely, having everyone sign up will increase the data sent to State Farm and give you more chances to increase your discount.

To use multiple phones with one car, each person has to download the app and log in separately so that their phone can track the trips they take. You can also add multiple cars to your Drive Safe & Save app if you have more than one vehicle on your policy.

How Does State Farm Drive Safe & Save Work?

Enrollment

To sign up for Drive Safe & Save, State Farm suggests first texting SAVE to 42407 to verify your phone’s eligibility. However, if you have a smartphone, chances are it’s eligible. Then, you need to download the specific Drive Safe & Save app from the Apple app store or Google Play store — this is separate from the main State Farm app.

You can log in with your driver’s license or your user ID and password. Then, you simply follow the instructions in the app to complete enrollment, including consenting to the participation terms and verifying your email address and your home address where you’d like the beacon sent.

Once you receive the beacon in the mail, take it out to your car with your phone, go back into the app, and hit “Complete setup.” Hold down the button on the beacon until you see it light up, tap the beacon ID that matches the number on the side of your beacon.

The app will tell you when the beacon has been paired, and you’ll then be able to attach it to your windshield behind your rearview mirror. In certain states, you may also need to enter your car’s odometer reading.

I found this process to be simple and straightforward when I set up my beacon and didn’t have any issues — the app walks you through the process and it just takes a few minutes once you have the beacon.

This is what the beacon looks like:
State Farm Drive Safe and Save Beacon Device

When State Farm detects the battery is low on the beacon, it will send you a new one. In my experience, removing the old beacon required applying some pressure, but did not leave a residue on my windshield.

Trip Tracking

State Farm uses the Bluetooth beacon in your car paired with your phone to track your trips, so it will only track data from trips you take in the vehicles you’ve enrolled in the program. You don’t need to worry about the app incorrectly counting a trip that you take as a passenger in another car. I’ve seen this is an issue with app-only programs, like GEICO Driveasy or Progressive Snapshot.

My main complaint about Drive Safe & Save is the distracted driver tracking, since it will lower your score in this category any time your phone screen is on and the app detects that your car is in motion. This can even include getting a notification that lights up the screen, even if you’re not looking at it. I never use my phone behind the wheel, and I find that the app mistakenly detects that I have. You can manually edit this in the app to flag that you weren’t using your phone (or that a passenger was using it), but it can be frustrating to have to do it every time you drive or to remember. Your best bet is to put your phone in do not disturb mode while you’re driving.

Here’s how to classify a trip (including noting that a passenger was using your phone):

  1. Select the ‘Trips’ tab at the bottom of the screen
  2. Find the trip in question
  3. Tap the driver icon on the top right of a trip
  4. Reclassify whether you were the driver, the driver but passenger used phone, or the passenger:

State Farm Drive Safe and Save Trips

State Farm Classifying Trips

Data Privacy

Using Drive Safe & Save requires keeping your location enabled at all times. State Farm notes that it does not sell your information and that your data is only temporarily stored on its servers. However, according to its privacy policy, it may share data with marketing partners. If you don’t feel comfortable accepting its terms, the discount won’t be a good option for you.

Crash Detection

The Drive Safe & Save app includes an option to opt into Accident Assistance. If the app detects a collision, it will send a notification asking if you’ve been in an accident. If you tap yes, the app will ask if you need an ambulance, and if you reply yes again, a State Farm representative will call you to connect you to emergency services.

If you don’t answer two calls in a row, State Farm will send emergency services to the location detected by the app. If you don’t need an ambulance, you will be able to request towing or file a claim. If multiple household members are using the program, each person should be sure to log in with their own credentials so that the correct person is contacted in case of an accident.

I have never had to use this feature, but I like knowing that it’s available if I ever do need it.

App Store and Google Play Reviews

Overall, I’ve found that the Drive Safe & Save app is intuitive to use and does a pretty good job of tracking driving behavior, other than the distracted driving score I mentioned earlier. It’s not glitchy or buggy, and generally runs smoothly.

I also looked at app store data to get a broader sense of people’s experiences. In general, iPhone users may have a better experience than Android users as the app has a higher rating in the App Store.

Drive Safe & Save App Rating (out of 5)
Android (Google Play) 4 stars
iPhone (App Store) 4.6 stars

Here are some of the most common complaints about the app:

  • Has unrealistic or overly sensitive standards regarding braking and acceleration
  • Drains battery quickly because of location monitoring and Bluetooth
  • Doesn’t distinguish between driver and passenger phone use
  • Unclear requirements for achieving the highest available discount

Positive reviews note that the app has helped them identify areas where they could improve their driving, especially for people who are learning to drive.

State Farm Steer Clear

Steer Clear is another usage-based discount program offered by State Farm, but it’s specifically designed to help young adult and teen drivers save on car insurance and learn to be better drivers. To be eligible for the program, you must be under 25, have a valid driver’s license and have no driving violations or accidents from the past three years.

State Farm uses a separate mobile app for Steer Clear. Those who qualify simply need to download the app and follow the instructions to enroll. I’m too old to qualify for this program, but I imagine the setup is very similar to Drive Safe & Save.

In addition to tracking driving data, Steer Clear includes five training modules and quizzes to help young drivers learn safe driving habits. It also requires five hours of driving practice across at least 10 trips. The program must be completed within six months of starting it to earn the discount, which varies by state.

The Steer Clear app holds a 4.7-star rating in the App Store and a 4.3-star rating in the Google Play store. Negative reviews complain that the app can be glitchy and is too sensitive in recording driving data. Positive reviews note that the learning modules are helpful.

State Farm is the only company I’ve seen that offers a safe driving discount specifically for young drivers.

State Farm Drive Safe & Save vs. the Competition

Here’s how Drive Safe & Save stacks up against other major insurance companies’ usage-based discounts:

Discount program Maximum discount (often varies by state) Enrollment discount (often varies by state) What it tracks Tracking method Review period
State Farm Drive Safe & Save 30% 10%
  • Acceleration and speed
  • Braking
  • Cornering (sharp turns)
  • Phone distraction
  • Mileage (in some states)
Bluetooth device Every 6-month renewal (first 90 days counted for initial discount)
Allstate Drivewise 40% 10%
  • Speeding
  • Braking
  • Time of day driven
App only 50 trips; discount on renewal
GEICO DriveEasy 25% 10%
  • Braking and acceleration
  • Smoothness (consistent speeds)
  • Phone distraction
  • Cornering (sharp turns)
  • Other trip factors (including time of day)
App only Each policy renewal (usually 6 months)
USAA SafePilot 30% 10%
  • Braking
  • Annualized hours driven
  • Phone distraction (including hands-free calling)
App only 325 miles/16 hours, then each policy renewal
Nationwide SmartRide 40% 10%
  • Miles driven
  • Braking
  • Acceleration
  • Nighttime driving
App or plug-in device 80 days
Liberty Mutual RightTrack 30% 10%
  • Braking
  • Speed
  • Acceleration
  • Nighttime and rush hour driving
  • Phone distraction
App (except in New York) 90 days
Progressive Snapshot $94 on average, according to Progressive $231 average
  • Braking and acceleration
  • Nighttime driving
  • Overall time on the road
  • Phone distraction
App or plug-in device Usually after 6 months

IN THE NEWS:

According to J.D. Power, insurers are pulling back on usage-based telematics discounts. In 2024, only 15 percent of customers were offered such a discount, down from 22 percent in 2023. And customers who are enrolled are less satisfied with their savings—they averaged only a 6-point increase in price satisfaction in 2024, down from a 32-point increase in 2023.1

Alternatives to State Farm Drive Safe & Save

If you’re not sure whether Drive Safe & Save is worth it for you, there are other ways to lower your car insurance premium through State Farm:

  • Bundling: Bundle your car insurance with another policy from State Farm, such as homeowners or renters insurance, to save money on all policies.
  • Low mileage: State Farm offers a discount if you drive fewer than 7,500 miles per year.
  • Good student: Students under 25 who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA can qualify for a discount.
  • Safety features: If you have an anti-theft device or certain safety features, you may be eligible for a discount.
  • Multi-car: You can also save by insuring multiple vehicles on your policy.
  • Defensive driving: You can lower your premium by taking an approved defensive driving course if you’re 55 or over.

The Bottom Line: Is Drive Safe & Save Worth It?

For the most part, I think it’s worth enrolling in Drive Safe & Save. You get a decent 5 percent discount just for signing up, and you can pretty easily increase that discount at your next renewal as long as you drive safely based on the app. Car insurance keeps getting more expensive, so it’s wise to try to get as many discounts as possible.

Based on my own experience as well as many positive app reviews, using this program can also help you pay more attention to your driving and even improve it. Of course, the app doesn’t have situational awareness, and sometimes you may need to brake hard to avoid a collision — you should never make unsafe decisions because of what the app may track.

If you have young drivers on your policy and are interested in usage-based discounts, State Farm’s Steer Clear is another great option for them.

Since State Farm won’t use the driving data it collects to increase your premium, even if you score low, there’s not much downside to trying it out, as long as you live in a state where it’s available. The worst case scenario is that you won’t get any discount, and your premium will stay the same. If you find that it’s not working for you and your driving habits, you can simply unenroll, but chances are you will get at least a small discount.

In summary:

Drive Safe & Save Is Best For You if You:

  • Tend to drive safely, specifically avoiding hard braking, speeding, fast cornering and using your phone while driving
  • Are trying to maximize discounts on your car insurance
  • Pay higher rates due to a prior accident or driving violation, and you’re looking for ways to lower your premium
  • Are looking to minimize the financial impact of having a teen driver on your policy

Drive Safe & Save Is Not Best for You if You:

  • Live in an urban area where you frequently drive in traffic and need to brake hard
  • Don’t want State Farm to track your data
  • Live in California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island or potentially North Carolina (depending on your circumstances, Drive Safe & Save may not be available in the state)

Why You Can Trust Our Reviews

We use the following methodology to evaluate usage-based insurance discount programs like State Farm Drive Safe & Save.

Tracked Behaviors and Data

We examine what type of data the program uses to calculate discounts. Programs usually track braking, acceleration, speed, cornering, miles driven, phone use while driving and the time of day you’re driving. We prefer programs that detect trips automatically. Crash detection is a nice-to-have, but it’s not a necessity. Ideally, the insurance company encrypts this data and doesn’t share it with third parties for marketing purposes.

Availability

We consider where the program is available, as not all programs are available in all states. We also take into account whether the discount varies by location and by how much.

Telematics Technology

Telematics programs operate through a mobile app, a plug-in or Bluetooth device or a combination of the two, and the ideal setup is a matter of personal preference. Mobile apps are more straightforward than plug-in devices, but they may drain your phone battery and are more likely to incorrectly track trips where you’re a passenger, like rideshare rides. If the program uses an app, we check its ratings on the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

Rates

We give preference to programs that offer potential insurance discounts of up to 30 percent or higher in addition to sign-up discounts. We also consider whether the program could increase your premium instead of reducing it due to driving behavior it deems unsafe and prioritize programs that won’t do this, regardless of driving data.

Drive Safe & Save Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good score on Drive Safe and Save?

State Farm doesn’t disclose what specific scores you need to hit to get a specific discount, but the tracking categories are all scored out of 100 points, so the closer you get to 100 for each category, the higher your discount will be.

Can you turn off State Farm Drive Safe & Save?

Drive Safe & Save requires your location to be enabled to track your trips, so if you disable your location, your driving will not be tracked. To unenroll from the program entirely, you can uninstall the app or contact your agent.

Can State Farm Drive Safe & Save increase your rate?

No, unlike other usage-based car insurance discount programs, State Farm Drive Safe & Save will only lower your rate. If you drive unsafely or the app doesn’t collect adequate data, your discount will simply be $0, but your base premium will not increase.

Can I put my State Farm beacon in my glove box?

State Farm recommends against storing the beacon in your glove compartment as it may lead to inaccurate or incomplete data. The best place for it is adhered to your windshield behind your rearview mirror.

Does State Farm Drive Safe track your location?

Yes, in order to use the Drive Safe & Save program, you must consent to State Farm tracking your location.

Citations

  1. Half of Auto Insurance Customers Currently Shopping for New Policies, J.D. Power Finds. J.D. Power. (2024, Apr 30).
    https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2024-us-insurance-shopping-study