Why Use a Car Insurance Calculator?
A car insurance calculator helps you estimate what you’d pay for car insurance based on your situation. Different calculators may take different factors into account, but the most important factors are your location, age, driving record and vehicle.
Using a car insurance calculator won’t give you exact quotes from each provider. However, you can use it to decide what type of car to purchase if you’re on the fence between different models. You could also compare estimates for different types of car insurance coverage, like full coverage compared to minimum coverage.
What You Need for a Car Insurance Calculator
You’ll need basic information to use a car insurance calculator. Prepare the following information:
- Vehicle year, make and model
- Address of vehicle registration
- Type of coverage you want
- Tickets and at-fault accidents from the past three years
Depending on the calculator you use, you might not need to enter all of this information. Some calculators just need your location to give you an average rate, while others take your vehicle and driving history into account.
What You Need for a Car Insurance Quote
While a car insurance calculator can give you an estimate of your premium, a quote will show you your potential rate from a specific company. A quote takes many more factors into account and can show you what car insurance discounts you qualify for.
You can get quotes online from car insurance companies and comparison sites or by contacting an agent or broker. To get a more accurate quote, you’ll need to supply more detailed information.
- Your full name, date of birth, marital status and address
- Driver’s license and Social Security numbers for any drivers who live in your home
- Information about your vehicle (make, model and mileage or vehicle identification number)
- Vehicle ownership/lender information
- Vehicle’s garaged address
- Current insurance company and policy expiration date
- Driving history
- Information for anyone else who drives your car
You can use our car insurance calculator here:
Average Car Insurance Rates From Top Providers
Car insurance prices depend on the company, your background and vehicle and the kind of coverage you want. You’ll need to get personalized quotes to know the exact amount you’ll pay for auto insurance.
Below, we’ve highlighted some of the most popular car insurance companies and their average annual rates for different types of drivers. Overall, USAA, Nationwide, Geico and State Farm tend to be some of the most affordable companies for full-coverage insurance.
Cheapest Car Insurance for Good Drivers
People with clean driving records tend to pay the lowest car insurance rates. The national average for good drivers is $1,730 per year, or $144 per month, for a full–coverage policy. USAA typically offers the cheapest premiums for good drivers, with an average rate of $1,054 per year, or $88 per month. These averages are based on a married 35-year-old with a clean driving record and good credit.
Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With Poor Credit
Car insurance companies typically charge higher rates to drivers with poor credit scores in states where such practices are legal. (California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan prohibit insurance companies from using credit scores to calculate rates.) The average national rate for drivers with poor credit is $3,123 per year, or $260 per month. USAA tends to offer the cheapest coverage for drivers with poor credit, with an average rate of $1,807 per year, or $151 per month.
Cheapest Car Insurance for Young Drivers
Young drivers, especially teen drivers, generally pay much higher rates for car insurance. The average national rate for a 16-year-old on their own policy is $6,912 per year. Our rate averages show that, on average, 18-year-olds pay $4,958 per year and 21-year-olds pay $2,786 per year for full coverage. USAA tends to offer the cheapest car insurance for young drivers overall, though State Farm, Geico and Nationwide are also affordable options.
Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With a Recent Car Accident
Having an accident on your driving record can cause your rate to go up. The average national rate for a 35-year-old male driver with a recent car accident is around $2,689 per year, or $224 per month. USAA offers the cheapest rates on average at about $1,647 per year, or $137 per month.
Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers With a DUI
Getting a DUI can result in a much higher insurance premium. The national average rate for a 35-year-old male driver with a DUI is around $3,277 per year, or $273 per month. Those with a DUI on their record can generally find the lowest rates through State Farm, which has an average rate of $2,180 per year, or $182 per month for these drivers.
Factors That Influence Car Insurance Rates
Since car insurance exists to pay for damages you might cause or sustain in an accident, companies determine your risk of filing a claim based on many factors. These include:
- Driving history: Recent accidents, speeding tickets and traffic violations directly affect your auto insurance rate.
- Age: Teen drivers have less experience on the road, so they may pay double or triple what middle-aged drivers pay for coverage.
- Location: Densely populated areas often have higher rates of accidents, vandalism and theft, so insurance costs more in these places.
- Vehicle: Safer cars cost less to insure, while expensive and high-tech vehicles cost more to insure.
- Other drivers in your household: As you list drivers in your household on your policy, your car insurance premium can change depending on who’s covered or excluded.
- Mileage: If you’re a low-mileage driver, you can usually save money on your car insurance.
- Credit history: All states except California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan allow companies to use credit-based insurance scores to predict risk. The lower your score, the higher your car insurance premium.
- Coverage limits: Your rates can go up and down depending on your coverage limits. Higher liability limits and other coverage limits will result in a higher premium.
- Deductible: A high deductible will reduce the cost of your car insurance policy and vice versa.
- Discounts: All insurance companies offer at least a few discounts, and some discounts may be better for your situation than others.
How To Find Lower Car Insurance Rates
Think of a car insurance estimate as a snapshot in time. Prices can change at any time due to changes in your driving profile, a company’s pricing and state regulations. Here are some ways to find lower prices.
Look for the Right Discounts
Finding the right discounts can save you a lot of money. For example, State Farm has a good student discount of up to 25%, which is a larger student discount than any other major provider offers.
Similarly, you may want to look for a new car discount if you just purchased a vehicle or a bundling discount if you want to add homeowners insurance. Many auto insurance companies also offer discounts for good driving, like avoiding at-fault accidents or traffic violations.
Consider a Higher Deductible
If you can cover a higher deductible, you can lower your insurance rate. Many people choose $500 deductibles, but deductibles can go as high as $2,500 in some cases.
By paying your debts down, keeping a low credit utilization ratio and making payments on time, you can improve your credit. This will help you find cheaper auto insurance coverage (except in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan, where credit scores can’t be used to determine auto insurance rates).
Adjust Your Coverage Amounts
Depending on your coverage needs, you might be able to save money by lowering your limits. For example, you may choose limits of $50,000 for bodily injury liability instead of $100,000. Your provider will make sure your policy at least meets your state’s minimum insurance requirements, but you should make sure you’d feel comfortable with your coverage in the event of an accident.
Compare Auto Insurance Quotes
The cost of car insurance can vary drastically between providers. Use a car insurance calculator or compare quotes from providers to get a clear idea of costs. Be sure to compare the same coverage types and amounts between each provider.
Practice Safe Driving Habits
It’s always smart to drive safely. Avoiding infractions and at-fault accidents helps you get the best rates available.
Why Car Insurance Quotes Can Change
A car insurance calculator provides a general estimate, while a quote from a company provides a more exact price. Most companies allow you to purchase insurance and start coverage based on this rate. However, there are situations in which this rate may change once you pay your first premium.
States allow auto insurance companies to investigate your background and modify rates or even cancel your policy within a certain time limit. This is called the underwriting period, and it lasts from 30 to 90 days depending on the state.
Say your 17-year-old son lives in your home but drives his own car. You didn’t include him in the car insurance quote. The underwriter can raise your rate if they find this out. In some cases, your auto insurance policy could be canceled if there are material differences that greatly influence the financial risk you pose to the insurance company.
Differences in your vehicle information, address and living situation can all affect your rate after you use a car insurance estimator. That’s why it’s important to provide complete and current information.
How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?
The type of coverage you need or want dictates prices to a large degree. That’s why it’s good to know your state’s minimum requirements and compare liability vs. full-coverage options before getting a car insurance quote.
Going with minimum coverage is the cheapest choice, but your state’s minimum requirements might not be enough to cover a serious accident. You may also want to protect against damage to your car if you cause an accident or run into a stationary object. In that case, you’ll want full coverage, which generally includes both collision and comprehensive coverage. Some online car insurance calculators let you compare minimum- and full-coverage estimates.
Source: Progressive Insurance
Additional Coverage Options
Depending on the provider, you can also find optional coverage such as:
- Classic car insurance: Many standard auto policies won’t cover classic or exotic cars, but you can buy specialized coverage for these high-value vehicles.
- Gap insurance: You can buy guaranteed asset protection, or gap insurance, to cover the difference between what you owe on a vehicle and what it’s worth if it’s totaled or stolen.
- Ride–share insurance: With ride–share coverage, you can cover what apps like Uber and Lyft don’t, such as your downtime between giving rides.
- Roadside assistance: Emergency roadside policies cover some or all of the cost of services like tire repair and replacement, towing and fuel delivery.
- Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI): Similar to an extended car warranty, MBI policies cover the cost of repairs to your car’s components when they break down.
Car Insurance Calculator: The Bottom Line
A car insurance calculator can give you an idea of the average rate for your location without requiring you to fill out an entire quote form. Some can take other factors into account, like your vehicle or your driving history. Once you want to move forward, consider comparing car insurance quotes to find more accurate rates.
Our Recommendations for Car Insurance
Whether you want to get basic liability coverage or full coverage, USAA, Geico and State Farm tend to be affordable options for many drivers.
USAA: Low Rates for Military
According to our rate analysis, USAA tends to offer the cheapest average rates for full–coverage car insurance. However, to get coverage, you need to be a military member or veteran or an immediate family member of someone who is. Besides cheap rates, USAA is known for offering extras such as roadside assistance and useful tools for military personnel.
Keep reading: USAA insurance review
Geico: Affordable for Most Drivers
Geico is another company known for providing affordable insurance policies. It offers some of the lowest average rates for many types of drivers nationwide, and drivers can save with a number of discounts. One of Geico’s standout features is its mechanical breakdown insurance option, which covers mechanical failures like an extended warranty.
Keep reading: Geico insurance review
State Farm: Editor’s Choice
As we mentioned above, State Farm has a great student discount for anyone under 25 who has good grades. The company also offers a program called Steer Clear®, which helps young drivers improve their skills and earn more discounts.
State Farm has been around since 1922. It’s the largest car insurance company in the country, holding more nearly 17% of the market share, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Keep reading: State Farm insurance review
Car Insurance Calculator: FAQ
Below are some frequently asked questions about car insurance calculators.
Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best car insurance companies. We collected data on dozens of auto insurance providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the insurers that scored the most points topping the list.
Here are the factors our ratings take into account:
- Cost: Auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities were both taken into consideration.
- Coverage: Companies that offer a variety of choices for insurance coverage are more likely to meet consumer needs.
- Reputation and experience: Our research team considered market share, ratings from industry experts and years in business when giving this score.
- Availability: Auto insurance companies with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements scored highest in this category.
- Customer experience: This score is based on volume of complaints reported by the NAIC and customer satisfaction ratings reported by J.D. Power. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each insurance company’s customer service team based on our own shopper analysis.
- 800 hours researched
- 45 companies reviewed
- 8,500+ consumers surveyed
*Data accurate at time of publication.