When purchasing car insurance, you’ll have to make an initial payment to start your coverage. While you won’t be able to find cheap car insurance with no down payment, you may find cheap auto insurance with a low deposit.
We at the Home Media reviews team will explain insurance down payments and walk you through options to find more affordable auto insurance coverage. To find the best rates, we recommend getting quotes from the best car insurance companies in the industry.
What Is No-Down-Payment Car Insurance?
Technically, there’s no such thing as no-down-payment auto insurance or “free car insurance.” All legitimate car insurance policies require you to pay money up front. If an insurer offers “low-down-payment insurance” or “low-deposit car insurance,” the down payment is the first month’s premium. In most cases, the deposit is simply a percentage of the total premium and is not a separate fee.
What Are My Car Insurance Payment Options?
You’ll typically pay your car insurance premium either as one lump sum or in installments with a payment plan. If you choose to pay in monthly installments, you may pay more in the long run. Paying in six-month or annual installments might save you money, especially if your insurer offers a discount for paying in full.
Why Do Car Insurance Companies Require a Down Payment?
A down payment is the money required to start your auto insurance policy. Once you make that initial payment, you’re covered under the policy you purchased. If you haven’t made a payment toward your auto coverage, you won’t be able to file a claim and receive a payout from your insurer. Car insurance providers take on risk, so by requiring a down payment, they make up for some of that risk immediately.
How Much Are Auto Insurance Down Payments?
Down payments vary based on state regulations, the policy you purchase and the insurance company’s guidelines. Higher-risk drivers, those with poor credit or drivers who need to file SR-22s may have to make higher down payments. The type of vehicle you’re insuring may also dictate your down payment’s size. Newer and more expensive vehicles will have higher insurance down payments.
How Can I Save Money on Car Insurance?
There are some things you can do to pay lower car insurance rates. We’ve outlined some steps to help you find affordable car insurance in the sections below.
Get Quotes From the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
To find the best rates, compare car insurance quotes from a number of providers. The average estimates below are based on a married 35-year-old driver with a clean driving record and good credit.
Cheapest Liability Insurance Providers
Based on our estimates, USAA and Auto-Owners Insurance offer the cheapest liability insurance policies on average. Your rates can vary significantly from these prices based on your age, driving history, credit score and more.
*USAA is only available to active-duty military members, veterans and their immediate families.
Cheapest Full-Coverage Insurance Providers
We found that USAA and Erie Insurance offer the lowest average annual premiums for full-coverage car insurance.
Look for Insurance Discount Opportunities
Most insurers have at least a few discount opportunities that many policyholders can qualify for. Here are some of the most common car insurance discounts insurance providers offer:
Usage-based Insurance Discount
Your provider may lower your monthly premium if you opt into a telematics insurance program. Also known as usage-based insurance, these programs use plug-in devices or providers’ mobile apps to track your driving habits while you’re behind the wheel. Many programs track your speed, how hard you brake, how long you drive and more. Depending on your driving, some programs may increase your premium.
The best way to pay less for car insurance is to drive safely. Insurance costs for motorists with speeding violations or DUI convictions are much higher than rates for drivers with good driving history. Make sure to always go the speed limit, be aware of your surroundings and limit your phone use while driving.
Improve Your Credit Score
If you have poor credit, you’ll likely pay a lot more for car insurance coverage than someone with good credit. Work to improve your credit score and your car insurance premium will decrease.
Cheapest Car Insurance With No Down Payment: Conclusion
In short, you won’t find legitimate car insurance that doesn’t require a down payment. You can still get very cheap car insurance by driving safely, seeking out car insurance discounts and getting free quotes from the cheapest auto insurance companies.
Top Auto Insurance Recommendations
We recommend getting auto insurance quotes from State Farm and Geico.
State Farm: Editor’s Choice
State Farm has built a strong reputation in the auto insurance industry by offering affordable rates and strong customer service. Based on our research, full-coverage insurance from State Farm tends to be about 14% lower than the national average. The company holds an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Read more: State Farm insurance review
Geico: Affordable for Most Drivers
Geico is the country’s second-largest insurance company. According to our rate estimates, full-coverage insurance policies from Geico tend to be about 24% cheaper than the national average. Because of its low insurance rates, we give Geico an overall rating of 9.1 out of 10.0. Geico also has an AM Best financial strength rating of A++, which shows its ability to write out claims, and an A+ rating from the BBB.
Read more: Geico insurance review
Cheapest Car Insurance With No Down Payment: FAQ
Below are frequently asked questions about the cheapest car insurance with no down payment.
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 (30% of total score): Auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities were both taken into consideration.
- Coverage (30% of total score): Companies that offer a variety of choices for insurance coverage are more likely to meet consumer needs.
- Reputation (15% of total score): Our research team considered market share, ratings from industry experts and years in business when giving this score.
- Availability (10% of total score): Auto insurance companies with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements scored highest in this category.
- Customer Experience (15% of total score): 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.
*Data correct at time of publication.