8 Ways to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance Possible
Most of us need car insurance, yet few of us fully understand it.
Dozens of car insurance companies, including large players and regional insurers, are vying for your business. Many offer an eye-glazing assortment of policy options, making it hard to compare policies and figure out what’s the best and cheapest car insurance.
Here are eight things you can do to ensure you get good coverage at the best possible rate.
1. Don’t assume any one company is the cheapest
Some companies spend a lot of money on commercials that try to convince you they offer the lowest car insurance rates. But prices that different people pay for the same coverage by the same company can vary widely. No single insurer can claim to be the low-price leader for everyone. The insurance company that’s cheapest for one person in one place might be the most expensive option for a driver in another state.
The only way to ensure you’re getting the best deal is to shop around.
The only way to ensure you’re getting the best deal is to shop around.
There are some savings at stake: A NerdWallet analysis found that good drivers could be missing out on $416 a year on average by not comparing insurance prices.
Our study also found that 38% of Americans who have car insurance haven’t compared insurance costs in at least three years, if ever.
2. Don’t ignore local and regional insurers
Just four companies control nearly half the nation’s auto insurance business: Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm. But smaller, regional insurers such as Auto-Owners Insurance and Erie Insurance often have higher customer satisfaction ratings than the big names — and they may have lower rates, too.
3. Check for discounts
Insurers provide a variety of discounts, including price breaks for customers who:
- Bundle car insurance with other policies, such as homeowners insurance
- Insure multiple cars with one policy
- Have a clean driving record
- Pay their entire annual or six-month premium at once
- Agree to receive documents online
- Own a car with certain anti-theft or safety features
- Are members of particular professional organizations or affiliate groups
Don’t be swayed, however, by a long list of possible discounts. Compare your final prices from multiple insurers.
4. Pay your bills on time
Your credit score is a significant factor in the car insurance quotes you receive — except in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, which don’t allow insurers to consider credit when setting rates. Insurance companies say customers’ credit has been shown to correlate with their chances of filing claims.
A NerdWallet analysis found that having poor credit can boost people’s car insurance rates by hundreds of dollars a year compared with having good credit.
Improve your credit — and get cheaper insurance — by paying your bills on time and reducing your debt. Track your progress by checking your credit score regularly.
5. Consider insurance costs when buying a car
You probably already pay attention to factors such as fuel efficiency and repair costs when picking a car to buy, but you should also consider insurance premiums. A NerdWallet analysis of the cheapest cars to insure among top-selling vehicles found the lowest rates are for the Honda CR-V, Subaru Outback and Jeep Cherokee.
6. Skip collision and comprehensive coverage for an older car
Collision coverage pays to repair the damage your vehicle after an accident with another car or an object such as a fence. Comprehensive coverage pays to repair vehicle damage from weather, animal crashes, floods, fire and vandalism. It also covers car theft. But the maximum payout under either policy is limited by the value of the car if it’s totaled or stolen. If your car is older and has a low market value, it may not make sense to shell out for these types of coverage.
7. Consider raising your deductible
If you buy comprehensive and collision coverage, you can save money by opting for higher deductibles. (There is no deductible on liability insurance, which pays for the damage you cause others in an accident.)
8. Consider usage-based or pay-per-mile insurance
If you’re a safe driver who doesn’t log many miles, consider a usage-based insurance program such as Allstate’s Drivewise, Progressive’s Snapshot or State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save. By signing up for these programs, you let your insurer track your driving in exchange for possible discounts based on how much you drive, when you drive and how well you drive.
If you drive less than 10,000 miles a year, you might be able to save money with a mileage-based insurance program such as Metromile or Esurance Pay Per Mile. Metromile is available in seven states; Esurance Pay Per Mile is available in Oregon.
Where can I find multiple car insurance quotes?
When shopping for car insurance, it is always recommended that you get multiple car insurance quotes before you purchase a policy, but where do you get those quotes?
You could go to several insurance company websites and fill out numerous forms, which can be time-consuming, or you can find a website with a comparison tool that offers multiple quotes from several different insurance companies.
Start comparing auto insurance rates now by using our FREE quote tool above!
Benefits of Changing Insurance Companies
If you have had your car insurance for years, there’s a good chance you could save money and get better insurance by switching companies.
Shopping for Car Insurance
Shopping around for car insurance allows you to compare rates and coverage levels between various insurers and specific policies. The reason this is important is that different insurance companies charge different rates for similar policies.
Your first step should be to locate an insurance comparison tool and fill out the small questionnaire. You will be asked questions about yourself, your location, your driving habits and your car.
It is very important to answer truthfully so that you get the most accurate information.
Once you submit the form, you will receive multiple quotes from multiple insurance carriers. It is important to read the quotes in detail and pay attention to more than the policy premium. You should read through each policy, compare them to your current policy and compare them against each other.
The goal of this step is to find the most coverage for the least amount of money. If you find a policy you like, but can’t afford the premium, you can try changing your deductible amount in order to lower your costs.
- Use a comparison tool to receive multiple quotes for free
- Review each quote
- Narrow your policy choices down to two or three
Free Auto Insurance Comparison
Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save
Choosing an Insurance Company
Once you’ve narrowed your choices, it’s time to research the insurance companies. The first thing you need to determine is whether or not the insurance company is authorized to provide insurance in your state.
In many instances, the comparison tool will only pull up insurance companies that operate in your state, but it is best to make sure the insurance company is properly licensed.
You can do this by researching the company with your state’s Department of Insurance.
Make sure your potential new insurance company has the cash to pay any potential claims, which is best accomplished by researching their standing on a reputable financial website, like J.D. Power.
Lastly, research the company on your local BBB website. If they have numerous unresolved complaints or less than a B rating, you may want to consider other companies.
Once you are finished researching, choose your new insurance company and car insurance policy:
- Is the insurance company licensed to operate in your state?
- Do they have the financial resources to pay your claims?
- What is the insurance company’s BBB rating?
- Choose a company and a policy.
Activating Your New Car Insurance Policy
Once you have chosen your insurance company and policy, it’s time to activate it. This can usually be accomplished by choosing your payment terms and using a credit card to purchase your policy.
It is important that you pay for your new policy and ensure it is active before you cancel your old policy.
If you cancel your old policy before your new one is active, you may inadvertently end up with a gap in your car insurance.
This could result in your old insurance company reporting you to the DMV for not having insurance, and you driving illegally without insurance.
- Purchase your new policy
- Make sure your new policy is active
- Cancel your old policy
When choosing a new insurance policy, it is important to get quotes from at least three different insurance carriers. This is best accomplished by using a comparison tool.
Once you have your quotes, compare the policies to your current policy and research the insurance companies. Once you’ve found the right carrier and policy, pay for your new policy and cancel your old policy.
Start comparing auto insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE quote tool below!
Compare Car Insurance
These Car Insurance Company Comparisons Will Shock You
Whether you are buying your first policy or looking for a better value for your dollar, it is important to get coverage that makes sense for you. Which auto insurance companies provide the best coverage and the best value? How do you know if that coverage meets your real life needs? Many people start with an online car insurance quote comparison, but it can be difficult to compare “apples to apples” when you are reviewing car insurance through online searches.
The Shocking Truth Behind “Big Brands”
The Trusted Choice brand is built on the customer focused integrity of more than 300,000 business owners, agents and employees nationwide. With more local insurance agents than State Farm and GEICO, this network of agencies serves more consumers and pays out more claims
What You Get with a Big Brand Insurance Company
Comparing car insurance rates through a company whose ads you see on TV is one way to get multiple quotes. The challenge is that you are not typically comparing multiple companies. In other words, you may be able to compare various levels of coverage through the same insurance carrier, but at the end of this process some challenges remain.
For example, you may not feel that the company has your best interests in mind. The goal on the other end of the phone line may be a sale and a new customer, not optimal service.
Additionally, you may not be able to determine whether the representative provided the best auto insurance for your needs and your budget.
What You Get with an Independent Agent
Independent agents write policies for multiple insurance companies. As your agent, they will be able to compare car insurance prices, policies and options with you. This means you have more choice and control over your coverage.
What if you have multiple vehicles? Good news! This means you can combine policies and get discounts. Your agent will also have access to a range of additional discounts that can lower your auto insurance costs. Ultimately, you will have a customized policy that is affordable and well matched to your real life needs and risks.
Questions to Ask When You Compare Rate Quotes Online
- Are the deductibles and limits the same on multiple sites and do they match your needs?
- Is the amount of liability insurance appropriate for the real life risks you face?
- Are you comparing the same amount of liability insurance in your price comparison?
- Are you comparing the same amount of collision and comprehensive coverage?
- Are the coverage amounts, limits and deductibles right for you and the value of your car?
About Online Car Insurance Quote Systems
Every quoting system is different, and each insurance company uses its own unique algorithm to get a quote. The accuracy of the estimated quote is based on how much information the online tool requires and how truthful and complete you are in providing answers. For example, if you don’t mention a speeding ticket, your actual quote will be very different from the online estimate.
Online quoting tools differ considerably in the amount of personal information they gather in order to provide your quote. If you want to compare quotes from multiple online tools, you will be entering your contact information into multiple databases.
Comparing Car Insurance Companies
Whether you work with a big brand company or a Trusted Choice agent, your insurance policy will be provided through an insurance carrier.
While comparing auto insurance rates, you can review the benefits of working with the various insurance companies as well. It is also a good idea to compare car insurance companies based on customer satisfaction, or a rating system such as AM Best. If you do need to file a claim, you want it to be with a company you can trust.
Choosing Your Auto Insurance Policy
After comparing auto insurance rates and coverage choices, you and your agent will have found a policy that meets your needs. Before you buy, make sure you understand the details of the plan.
Most insurance plans have restrictions and exclusions. And the amount of coverage you choose is important too. Many drivers are not aware that their policies are not adequate until after an accident, when they have to pay out-of-pocket for vehicle damage and medical expenses. It is vital that you discuss those limitations with your agent, and evaluate coverage options that may help you to weather accidents and the claims process with ease.
When you work with your Trusted Choice member agent, be sure to discuss discount options. You may be eligible for a number of discounts that will help to make your auto insurance more affordable. Contact a member agent today to get started.
We don’t offer multi-car insurance comparison – here are some companies  offering quotes 
- Link single car insurance policies together for a discount, or start a new multi-car policy
- Transfer or match pre-existing no claims discounts between policyholders
- Find out whether flexible multi-car cover could save your household money
Multi-car insurance lets you bundle all your car insurance together with a single insurer, either with multiple policies held together or a single policy for all vehicles. You’ll usually be rewarded for this with a discount on your premiums.
For multi-vehicle households it’s a convenient way to buy and pay for your insurance and for some there can be a healthy saving on the cost of buying stand-alone policies from separate insurers.
But it’s important to note that the pros and cons of multi-car insurance are not necessarily as straightforward as they initially appear.
No matter how many cars you have, there’s no guarantee it’ll be the cleapest option for your circumstances, so it’s a good idea to check out the prices of individual vehicle policies as well to see if you could save.
The benefits of a multi-car policy
Like car insurance, multi-car policies will usually last for one year, and policyholders may be able to spread the cost of the policy across 12 months, although this is likely to incur interest.
As well as the possibility of a discount, the convenience of having a single contact point for all policies in the household could be an attractive benefit of multi-car insurance.
A comprehensive multi-car policy could include any of the following as standard, or as an optional add-on:
- First car discount
- Courtesy car
- European cover
- Windscreen repair
- Stereo cover
- Personal injury cover
- Sat-nav cover
- Emergency helpline
- No claims bonus match
But single car insurance policies joined together to gain discounts may each contain different benefits and add-ons, rather than share them across all policies.
How many vehicles can go on a multi-car policy?
A multi-car policy can cover two or more vehicles, but the number will be capped at a specific limit.
When this article was researched in April 2017, the majority of providers would cover between two and five vehicles.
Other providers can add more vehicles to a multi-car policy; Churchill and Direct Line, for example, could offer a policy for 10 cars in April 2017, however these are independent policies linked together to get a multi-car discount.
Which is the best multi-car insurance policy?
The best policy for you will depend on your own circumstances and renewal dates – not all providers treat these the same way:
Depending on your unique circumstances, a multi-car deal may give you greater flexibility and help you spread the cost of insurance across the year, but it may not be a cheaper way to take out cover than arranging multiple individual policies, and there are a number of other things you should take into account before committing.
The ‘best’ multi-car insurance policy is entirely relative to your individual situation, but as a starter for 10, review how the insurer deals with no claims discounts:
- Read your terms and conditions carefully to see if your no claims bonus can be transferred to your multi-car policy
- Renewal may need to be at the same time for all policyholders, so be aware that if you switch to a multi-car policy part-way through an existing policy, you’ll miss out on your no claims bonus for that year and may not be able to get a refund on unused premiums
- There may be problems transferring a no claims bonus accrued on a multi-car policy if you choose to change provider – or switch to a single-vehicle policy – in the future
Renewal dates can be another sticking point. If your cars aren’t all up for renewal at the same time, you may be concerned about the cost of adding cars at a later date.
Some providers will let you get a quote for the second car when you take out cover for the first and guarantee to ‘lock-in’ this price when the second vehicle’s renewal is due.
Can new customers have a multi-car policy?
New customers can buy multi-car insurance policies but always read the small print carefully to find the right policy for you – there will be nuances specific to each provider.
For instance, check if the multi-car policy you want to buy absorbs the no claims bonus of other listed drivers, by ‘matching’ their bonus.
And make sure each car listed on a multi-car policy can earn its own no claims bonus.
If one car is involved in an accident the rest of the ‘family’ remain unaffected, and depending on your terms and conditions, the driver of the damaged car may be covered for a courtesy car.
But, be aware that an incident-free driver on a multi-driver policy may lose out because of a claim made by someone else.
Remember too that different companies will treat renewal dates in their own way.
Above all else, it’s important to remember that the terms and conditions of every provider’s cover can vary significantly.
Will taking out a multi-car insurance policy save me money?
Unfortunately there’s no single answer as to whether a multi-car policy will prove cheaper than taking out individual policies for each vehicle.
Research conducted by Admiral between 1 August, 2016 and 31 January, 2017, found that 10% of multi-car customers saved £454. 
Whether you save or not depends on the large number of factors used to calculate an insurance quote, each of which is assessed and rated differently by each different insurance provider.
The only real way to tell is to obtain individual quotes – which you can do quickly and easily through a site such as Gocompare.com – then compare the total price to a quote for a multi-car policy.
You may also want to get more than one multi-car quote, given the fact that the deals offered by every individual provider will vary significantly.
If a multi-car policy is the cheapest and best way for you to arrange your cover in one year, remember that this won’t necessarily be the case when it comes to renewal.
Providers are likely to be keen to push the benefits of the ease and convenience of renewing all your motor insurance in one go, but auto-renewal without shopping around is one of the most costly mistakes made by consumers when sorting out their cover.
“Loyalty counts for very little when it comes to insurance,” said Gocompare.com’s Lee Griffin. “Many drivers would be better off switching rather than sticking with the same insurer.”
Multi-car insurance on comparison sites
The more complicated nature of multi-car policies – and the fact that the terms of the policies offered by different insurers varies so widely – means that you may struggle to find a genuine comparison service available for them.
This is one reason why insurers like to promote multi-car policies; it’s a way of attracting customers directly to a provider rather than through a third-party comparison site.
If you do find a multi-car option on a comparison website, bear in mind that it’s probably a policy that’s offered by a single provider – you’re not comparing it against other multi-car policy options in the market.
As an alternative, remember that you can compare and buy multiple individual car insurance policies through Gocompare.com, which may work out cheaper.
Multi-car policy renewal dates
Remember that different companies will treat renewal dates in their own way.
The policy may be opened with one car, with other vehicles joining on their renewal date.
The cars that join the policy later may be insured up to the original car’s auto-renewal date, on a pro-rata basis, but it will vary between insurers.
Some will allow each individual policy within the multi-car deal to run and renew on its own timescale, others will demand that each individual policy renews at the same time.
The latter example could potentially see you losing out on months of cover from an existing policy in order to synchronise all the vehicles into a multi-car deal.
It’s worth being aware of the administration charges associated with the policy, especially given the fact that multiple people and vehicles increase the likelihood of changes needing to be made in the course of the deal.
Potential changes to bear in mind could include a change of address or of the vehicle, and if the whole household moves, that could even result in an admin fee for each driver on the policy.
By Sean Davies
 We do not offer a full comparison service on multi-car car insurance at Gocompare.com but instead have provided links to some companies that do offer multi-car insurance. These companies are not listed in an order that indicates that one is better than another but are instead ordered in line with our commercial arrangement with each one. Please remember, as different companies offer different policies, it is up to you to choose the one that best suits your needs
 Gocompare.com introduces you to Admiral and esure to provide multi-car insurance quotes. All providers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Gocompare.com’s relationship with Admiral and esure is limited to that of a business partnership, no common ownership or control rights exist between us.
 According to Admiral on 2 May, 2017, 10% of respondents between 1 August, 2016 and 31 January, 2017, who gave a best alternative price saved £454