The Best Cheap Car Insurance Companies

Low prices alone aren’t good enough

When it comes to finding cheap car insurance, price is naturally a top priority — but it shouldn’t be the only consideration. A bargain-basement premium won’t mean much if your insurance provider can’t come through when you need them. (And when you need them — immediately after a car accident — isn’t going to be a stress-free time.) That’s why when we set out to find the best cheap car insurance provider, we didn’t throw out reliability and customer service in favor of “low, low rates!” In the end, GEICO prevailed as our top pick for its blend of strong financial stability, we’ll-be-there-for-you customer service, and consistently low rates.

Our Picks for Best Cheap Car Insurance

  • Geico

  • State Farm

  • Progressive

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Our Top Picks


GEICO was one of the top three cheapest options in more than 75 percent of the states we researched and it was the most affordable choice nearly twice as often as its closest competitor, State Farm.

While rates varied depending on location, GEICO’s best offer was often hundreds of dollars lower than the next cheapest option. The company also offers a wealth of learning resources to help you better understand your policy and make more informed decisions about exactly what types of coverage you need. Once you’re equipped with that additional knowledge, you’ll likely also appreciate GEICO’s extensive online policy-management tools.

On the downside, GEICO’s overall coverage options may not always beat (or even match) what the competition can provide. And while it does offer discounts based on driving habits and whether you’ve completed a defensive driving course, some fairly common price breaks (like low-mileage discounts) aren’t available.

Overall, though, GEICO has a knack for offering the most consistently low quotes and if price is your top concern, it definitely deserves strong consideration. To learn more, read our more in-depth review of GEICO.

State Farm

While it didn’t come away with even half as many first-place finishes as GEICO, State Farm was a top-three cheap car insurance provider just as often. Between the variety of discounts it offers and the company’s vast network of more than 18,000 agents, State Farm consistently serves up a good mix of value and service.

The company’s numerous discounts include price breaks for low-mileage drivers and members of the military. If you stick with State Farm for the long term, you might also earn some healthy loyalty discounts. However, it doesn’t offer a paid-in-full discount — a popular option many competitors provide.


Progressive Insurance had a strong showing in our state-to-state survey, coming in as one of the top three cheapest options in roughly a third of our searches. The company’s wide range of policy discounts and coverage options make it both an affordable and a flexible choice.

Progressive offers a pretty solid set of discounts based on not only your driving habits, but also your vehicle’s built-in safety equipment. If you often take your furry companions on the road with you, check to see if Progressive’s pet injury coverage is offered in your area — if it is, it’s often included with collision coverage at no additional charge.

The company’s mobile app, however, doesn’t have as strong a rating as some of its competitors, with some users citing a lack of available features. So if you like using your smartphone to manage your policy or to file a claim, Progressive’s app isn’t going to give you the best experience. However, the company’s mix of discounts, coverage options, and competitive prices earn it a spot on our list. For more info, head to our detailed Progressive review.

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Did You Know?

The best way to find the cheapest car insurance for you is to get a handful of quotes.

Our data shows that GEICO is the most reliably cheap car insurance provider nationwide, but that still doesn’t mean it’ll be the absolute cheapest for you, too. Insurance rates are a result of complex algorithms unique to each carrier that take in a bunch of your personal information — your age, ZIP code, driving history, credit score, and the kind of car you drive — and come back with a quote. Each company weighs those individual risk factors differently, so even if GEICO is the cheapest for many, it isn’t going to be the cheapest for everyone.

You can drive your rates down even further.

Drive a less risky car. If your vehicle is among the most frequently stolen in your area, insurance companies may opt to charge more for coverage. They’re also likely to charge more if your vehicle is sportier.

Improve your credit score. It might take a while to improve your credit score, but it’s worth the work. Car insurance is just one of many areas you’re probably paying more for your low credit score.

Report your ZIP code change when you move to a different area. Insurance providers take your location into account, and if you live in an area that has a denser population, more cars on the road, or a higher crime rate, your car is riskier in the eyes of insurance providers. It might not be feasible (or worth it) to move for a lower auto insurance premium, but if you do move, don’t forget to let your insurer know.

Drive less. Some companies offer discounts based on how much you actually drive your vehicle. If you can shave some miles off your work commute with a new route, let your insurer know and you might also shave some dollars off your monthly premium.

Ask about discounts. Some providers offer price breaks if you take a defensive driver course or if your vehicle has certain safety equipment. One common option is the multi-policy discount, so if you’re also in the market for affordable home or renters insurance, you may be able to lower your rate.

Your insurer could be using big data to see if you’d stomach a rate hike.

In some states, it’s legal for insurance companies to base their rates on things outside of your riskiness as a driver. Companies have begun analyzing your habits in general, looking for how willing you’d be to pay more for your policy. It’s a practice called price optimization. The companies have access to a wide variety of factors like your online shopping habits, your social media footprint, and how often you compare prices or get quotes from competitors.

While price optimization is a widespread and largely uncontroversial practice outside of the insurance industry, regulators have been keeping a close eye on the trend to see if it’s unfair to consumers. More than 15 states have already banned the practice. It’s worth checking to see where your state stands on price optimization. If price optimization is legal where you live and drive, you should absolutely get quotes once a year, if only to signal to your insurer that you’re not complacent.

Upping your coverage might be cheaper in the long run.

In some states, the minimum coverage requirements are as low as $10,000 in property damage; in New Hampshire, there isn’t a state minimum at all. No matter where you live, though, if you get in an accident, but only have the bare minimum coverage, you could be on the hook for some hefty out-of-pocket expenses.

While you’re comparing quotes in your area, it’s worth seeing how much companies charge for not only the most basic plans, but also additional coverage. In some of our tests, the cheapest company’s upgraded plans were still less expensive than the runner-up’s cheapest offering, and in a few surprising instances the upgraded coverage was somehow less than the state’s minimum coverage.

Take Action

Get multiple quotes. The best way to find the cheapest option is to dive in and start filling out online quote forms. We recommend getting at least five quotes from high-quality companies. (No worries, each one takes only five minutes.) According to our 50-state research, GEICO, State Farm, and Progressive should all be on your list.

Find the best auto insurance in your area.

Get a quote by entering your ZIP code and start saving today.