Insurance for New Cars Versus Used Cars

  • Car Insurance

Is a new car really more expensive to insure than a used car? According to countless car owners, you’ll always pay more if you have a new vehicle, but how true is this, do auto insurance companies really place that much emphasis on the age of your car and, if so, what can you do about it?

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Is an Auto Insurance Policy Cheaper for New or Used Cars?

Generally speaking, a used car will be cheaper to insure than a new car, but the difference isn’t as big as you might think. In fact, we ran a few insurance quotes and found the difference to be less than 10% on average for most providers and up to 20% for providers like State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, and Progressive.

In truth, however, there are too many variants at play to say with any certainty that auto insurance rates are cheaper for used cars than they are for new cars.

​What do Car Insurance Companies Consider?

Insurers focus on risk. The only thing they care about is whether or not you are likely to make a claim. If the odds of you making a claim increase and the costs of that claim are likely to be high, your insurance costs will increase.

A new car is more likely to have advanced safety features, anti-theft devices, and other technology designed to reduce the chances of everything from minor dings and parking mishaps to full-on accidents. However, if major repairs are needed, the state-of-the-art features could be expensive to fix and replace, driving those insurance costs up.

For obvious reasons, new cars will also cost much more to replace than used cars. 

Car Loans and Full Coverage

Another reason new model cars may cost more to insure is that they are more likely to have financing. If you have financing on your car, you will be required to have comprehensive coverage and may also need gap insurance. That way, if anything happens, the lender doesn’t lose out.

Of course, this means that in addition to your monthly car payments you’ll be paying through the teeth for a full coverage car insurance policy.

How to Reduce New and Old Car Insurance

Just because new cars can cost more than older ones, doesn’t mean they always will. Many variables are at play here. If, for instance, you’re comparing a sports car that is over a decade old to a brand-new SUV with a high safety rating, the latter should always cost less (if all coverage is equal). And even if you have the former or have just purchased a new sports car or luxury car, there are still ways to save:

Compare Multiple Car Insurance Quotes

In our comparisons of used vehicle car insurance quotes vs new vehicle car insurance quotes, we found some notable differences and we only tested one state, one type of car, and one type of driver.

The differences between car insurance quotes can be staggering once you consider all minor details, including driving history, vehicle history, and more.

Don’t just assume that a specific insurer will have the cheapest rates and don’t base your decision on the insurer your friends/family use or the one whose commercial appealed to you the most. Compare all national and local providers and don’t forget about insurers like the USAA, which offers low-cost policies to current/former members of the military and their families.

Look for Car Insurance Discounts

Car insurance discounts are offered by most providers and relate to everything from your driving history to the type of car you drive. Some discounts are required under state law, but many are not and whether they are available or not will depend on your state of residence. Here are a few of the most common discounts:

  • Good Driver Discounts: Drivers with a history of clean, safe driving can benefit from reduced insurance premiums. They have proven themselves as responsible drivers and, as a result, are able to reap the rewards.
  • Good Student Discounts: Young drivers pay more for their car insurance than any other demographic, but there is some reprieve, and this comes in the form of a good student discount, which is offered to all students that maintain a B average.
  • Safety Features: Front-and-side airbags and anti-lock brakes can save you up to 40% on full coverage with some insurers. These features are standard on most cars so you may not have noticed this discount. However, once you try quoting for a car that doesn’t have these features you’ll understand just how important they are.
  • Anti-Theft Features: If the risk of theft is high in your area or for your car, your premiums will increase. However, you can save money if your car has an alarm, a tracking device or another anti-theft feature.
  • Membership Discounts: The biggest savings are offered to members of the military and their families, as they can save as much as 90% if they are on active duty and use specific providers. Discounts are also available through the AAA and the AARP for seniors going through providers like The Hartford.
  • Payment Discounts: These discounts are a little smaller but are also easy to acquire. Many providers will give you a discount if you choose Auto-Pay and a further discount if you go Paperless or pay in full.
  • Driver Courses: Prove your ability behind the wheel by completing defensive driving courses and other driver education courses. Most insurers will offer you a discount in exchange for finishing such courses.

Boost Your Credit Score

Credit reports will be checked during every insurance application. It may seem unfair, and even a little odd. After all, you’re applying for car insurance, not a credit card. But research suggests that bad credit drivers are more likely to claim than those with good credit, and quite significantly so.

To improve your chances of getting good rates, boost your credit score. You can’t reach an Excellent score overnight, but there are a few ways you can boost your score quickly and this short-term improvement should be enough to improve your chances of paying lower rates:

  • Repay Debt: The more of your debt you repay, the better your credit utilization ratio will be. This counts for 30% of your total FICO score.
  • Increase Credit Limits: Call your credit card providers and increase your credit limits. This will also increase your credit utilization ratio, and it won’t cost you a dime.
  • Stop Applications: Every time you apply for a new credit card, you’re hit with a hard inquiry, which can reduce your FICO score by 2 to 5 points. If you activate that card, it will take a further hit. Once the new credit limit is taken into consideration and your credit utilization ratio has been boosted, the pros should outweigh the cons, but that takes time, and in the short-term, your score will drop.
  • Become an Authorized User: By adding yourself as an authorized user to a parent’s credit card you can benefit from their great credit and high limits without being responsible for the debt.
  • Dispute Errors: Check your credit report, make sure all information is correct and if you notice any mistakes, correct them. You can contact the credit reporting agency directly, provide them with proof of their mistake, and wait for them to fix it.
  • Use a Credit Building Loan or Card: If your credit score is rock bottom then the above tips may not be enough to help. In such cases, you need to start from the bottom and work your way up, and that’s where credit builder loans and secured credit cards come in. These work just like traditional forms of credit, only all of the benefits are stripped away and the only thing remaining is the ability to build your credit.

Combine Cars and Policies

If you have multiple drivers in your household then consider adding all of them to the same policy. Obviously, that policy will increase, but you’ll pay much less than if you were to buy two separate policies. All car insurance companies will allow you to do this and many of them will even contact you when your child is ready to drive, offering you this service.

The bigger insurers also offer something known as a “multi-policy” discount. Typically referred to as “bundling“, this discount is provided to consumers who purchase multiple policies from the same provider, such as adding homeowners insurance to car insurance.

Consider your Coverage and Deductible

Your first step is to make sure you have the minimum coverage required by your state. This cover will span bodily injury liability, property damage liability and, in some states, it will also include uninsured/underinsured motorist cover, personal injury protection (PIP), and medical payments.

Get what you need and then consider how useful all other options are. Collision coverage will cover you if you’re involved in a collision that doesn’t involve another vehicle; comprehensive coverage will ensure you get a payout if your car is vandalized or involved in a non-collision accident. If you have an expensive car and want the best cover, go for it; if you have a cheap car and won’t stand to lose much in an accident, think about skipping it.

You can discuss your options with an insurance agent. They have experience in this field and can advise on the best course of action.

Look into Mileage-Based Insurance

Drivers who only use their cars for short commutes or occasional weekend driving should look into mileage-based car insurance. Many of the big providers offer specific programs that use devices and apps to track how much you drive and how well you drive, before setting your rates accordingly. 

Keep Your Car in Good Condition

Commit to regular oil changes, car washes, and other basic maintenance, and fix minor issues before they have a chance to grow into something more serious. Not only will this offer some much-needed peace of mind, but it will also keep your car running for longer and prevent breakdowns resulting from poor maintenance. 

Keep a Clean Driving Record

The more accidents you’re involved in and the more moving violations you receive, the higher your insurance costs will be in the future. A single speeding ticket could see your rates climb by as much as 30% and a DUI or DWI will trigger an even sharper rise.

By being responsible, there’s less chance you’ll be involved in a serious accident and more chance you’ll get cheaper car insurance rates the next time you renew.

Renew After Major Life Events

In addition to the type of car that you drive, your age, and your driving record, insurance companies will also consider some less-obvious factors when underwriting your policy.

For instance, rates are cheaper for homeowners than they are for renters, and married drivers will pay less than single drivers. As a result, it’s important to inform your insurer every time there is a significant life event. Not only could this result in a cheaper policy but it will also keep all of your information accurate and up to date.

Plan Your Next Car Purchase Carefully

Now that you know how important your choice of car is for your insurance premiums, you can make better choices in the future. You shouldn’t focus only on the cars that give you the cheapest insurance rates. In doing so, you could save a few hundred dollars, but only at the expense of driving a car you don’t really like.

But while prospective insurance rates aren’t everything, they are a small piece of the bigger picture and could help to sway you one way or the other. To help you with this decision, here are a few of the cheapest cars to insure:

  • Honda Accord, Civic, and CR-V
  • Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee
  • Toyota Tacoma, RAV4 and Highlander
  • Ford Fusion, Escape, and Explorer
  • Nissan Sentra and Altima
  • Chevrolet Silverado and Equinox

Buying New vs Used

Insurance rates should always be considered when choosing between a new car and a used car. However, let’s be honest here, there are more important things to consider. Sure, the insurance premiums can make a big difference, but saving a few hundred bucks on used car insurance or new car insurance may not be enough to cover the additional maintenance costs or sticker price.  

It’s important, therefore, that you consider all the pros and cons of buying a new vehicle vs a used vehicle:

Benefits of Buying Used vs New

The idea that new cars are much more reliable than used cars is somewhat dated. Sure, new cars are that little bit more reliable as they have driven very few miles. But most cars are built to last these days and it’s not uncommon for them to hit 50,000 and even 100,000 miles before they need any serious repairs.

The idea that new cars are much more reliable, therefore, is a complete fallacy, as is the notion that new cars offer many more benefits than used cars. Just take a look at the following ways that used cars are better than new ones.


The biggest issue with new cars is the price. You’ll pay much more for a new vehicle than one that is a couple of years old. In fact, the average price for a new car in the United States recently climbed above $36,000, which is a staggering sum of money.

To put that into perspective, it’s more than the average cost of a wedding and it’s more than three times the cost of the average funeral. It’s also close to twice the average down payment for a house. Of course, very few Americans are paying all that money upfront and most take out an auto loan, but whether you’re paying for it upfront or over several years, it’s still a huge sum of money.

The average cost of a used car, on the other hand, is just over $20,000. This is still a lot of money, but this average cost has increased significantly in recent years as more consumers understand the benefits that used cars bring.


New cars depreciate at a rapid pace. In fact, you could lose a few grand as soon as you drive it out of the lot and after 12 months the average new car will lose up to 20% of its value. This means that a $35,000 car could be worth just $28,000 after a year, and it only gets worse from there.

Estimates suggest that new vehicles will continue to lose at least 10% of their value every year for the next 4 years. After 5 years, your shiny new $35,000 investment could be worth half what you paid for it. This is a substantial financial loss and it’s made worse by the fact you’re paying interest on it.

Used cars will also depreciate. But the rate of depreciation will be much slower. By purchasing a car that is just one or two years old, you’ll be getting many of the benefits that come with driving a new vehicle (well maintained, high-tech features) but without paying the cost of that rapid depreciation.  

Buy a Better Car

$25,000 to $35,000 can get you a brand-new Nissan, Honda or another cheap car. You’ll get all the features and a relatively well-built car, but as reliable as these vehicles are, they can’t quite compare to a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus.

One of the great things about buying used is that you can move to the next level, going from affordable to luxury. A brand-new low-end vehicle costs the same as a used luxury car, and because you’re buying from a reputable manufacturer known for producing quality, you know it will last.

Dings and Scratches

If a new car gets damaged, it’s heart-breaking. You just dropped tens of thousands of dollars on that vehicle and even the slightest ding or scratch can hurt you to your core.

With an old car, it’s less of an issue. Of course, damage is damage, and no one wants to experience it, but there’s no doubt that it cuts deeper when the car is new.

Benefits of Buying New vs Used

Everyone enjoys that new car smell and the idea they are the first person to drive the vehicle. This isn’t a real benefit, however, as no one can justify spending up to 50% more on a car just because of a smell or slightly cleaner fabrics, not when you can stick a car-freshener in there and pay for a deep clean. But new cars still have a wealth of benefits compared to used vehicles.

Finding the Right Car is Easier

Shopping for new cars is much easier than shopping for older cars.

The used car buying process is taxing and frustrating. You struggle to find the right car in the right budget and in the end,  you settle for something that is a little more expensive, not in the right color, and/or lacking in key features. Used car shopping is all about compromise, but the same can’t be said for new car shopping.

When you buy a new car, you have the freedom of choice. You can get the features you want in the color you choose, adding or removing options to tweak the price.

In both cases, you can also negotiate, but with car dealerships, you may have more options, as you can discuss free additional features and services as well as a reduced price.

Betting Financing Options

Car dealerships will do all they can to get you to sign on the dotted line and with new cars, they tend to have more maneuverability. You can get a brand new car with a low down payment and an affordable monthly payment.

The Latest Technology

New cars are fitted with the latest technology, including the most advanced safety features and anti-theft devices. These can help to reduce your car insurance rates as they make you less of a liability behind the wheel. More importantly, they can keep you safe and give you all the joy and convenience that comes from playing with new gadgets.

Technology is moving at a rapid pace, so even a difference of just a few years can be massive in terms of available technology.

Bottom Line: A Big Decision

Whether you choose a new car or an old car can have a big impact on your finances over the next few years and is, therefore, something you need to consider very carefully. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting a car that you want; a car that you’ll be comfortable driving, and a car that will keep you safe and get the job done.

Consider all these things, compare and contrast, and take your time. Spending a little extra time on this process and expending a little more effort could save you thousands in the long run.


The Economic Impact of Commercial Real Estate

New commercial real estate development, and the ongoing operations of existing CRE buildings in the United States, had a vital impact on the U.S. economy in 2020, supporting 8 million jobs and contributing $1.01 trillion to U.S. GDP, according to a study released last month by the NAIOP Research Foundation.

The study broke out several key measures by sector – and demonstrate the impact of the pandemic:

  • Office construction expenditures totaled $38.8 billion in 2020, down 28.5% from 2019.
  • Retail construction totaled $11.7 billion in 2020, down 29.5% YOY. This was the fifth straight year of decline.
  • Warehouse construction outlays decreased slightly in 2020, down just 0.3% YOY.
  • Industrial (manufacturing) construction spending was hard hit, declining 29.5%.

The top five states in 2020, by development impact, were Texas, New York, Florida, California and Illinois.

This year, job growth is expected to improve, and GDP growth will make up some of what it lost in 2020. And NAIOP remains optimistic. “Many factors point to a commercial real estate rebound in 2021,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, president and CEO. “We believe that while the pandemic has accelerated trends already progressing in real estate, we have a bright future.”


Cheap Car Insurance for Newly Weds

  • Car Insurance

Of all the things that can affect your car insurance rates, getting married is, perhaps, one of the most surprising. In this guide, we’ll look at the reasons why newlyweds are likely to pay less for their car insurance policies than single drivers, while also showing you some of the ways you and your new spouse can save money on the best car insurance coverage.

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Why Does Getting Married Reduce Your Insurance Rates?

There are two reasons you can get cheaper car insurance rates when you tie the knot.

The first is the most obvious: There are now two of you. By offering cheaper rates to married couples, insurers know they’re getting two for the price of one. They want you to combine policies and they also know that married couples are more financially responsible and more likely to need other insurance products.

Secondly, as with everything else that can impact insurance rates, married drivers are less likely to claim than unmarried drivers.

It’s reasonable to suggest that married people are more likely to practice caution behind the wheel, as they have more to lose and are no longer living the free and single life. But that’s not the only thing at play here. 

This statistic may also have something to do with the fact that responsible drivers are more aware of the damage that a single claim can do to their driving record, and may, therefore, be less willing to claim for small dings and fender benders.

Whatever the reason behind this statistic, it doesn’t really matter. All the insurance company cares about is that married drivers claim less and can, therefore, be offered lower rates.

What Newly Weds Need to Consider

Once you tie the knot, enjoy your honeymoon, and open all those wedding gifts, it’s time to get down to business and start making the changes needed for your new life together.

When it comes to car insurance, you need to consider all the following factors:

Should You Combine Policies?

If your spouse has a bad driving record you might be tempted to get separate policies and to keep their record as far away from you as possible.

However, most insurers will consider your spouse’s record even if you’re not combining your policies. This, combined with the fact that many insurers offer multi-vehicle discounts, means it’s nearly always better to combine policies.

Do You Have Enough Coverage?

Many customers will stick with the state minimum requirements for car insurance, but those requirements are very limited, but in financial coverage and scope. 

To get complete cover, you should look into higher liability coverage options as well as additional coverage such as collision, comprehensive, and more.

What Can You Afford?

Affordability is key with any new purchase but determining your affordability isn’t as simple as seeing how much money you have left every month and then deducting your projected auto insurance rates.

Affordability also stretches to the types of coverage you choose. For instance, if you have a new car but don’t have much left in your budget, you may be tempted to opt for the most basic liability coverage.

But can you really afford to take such a risk? After all, liability coverage only applies to the other driver, and if you hit a wall, tree or an uninsured driver, you could lose everything you have invested in that car.

Other Ways to Get Cheaper Car Insurance Quotes

The average wedding in the United States costs over $30,000. Getting married just to save a few bucks on your car insurance premiums is akin to buying single malt whiskey just so you can sell the empty bottles. 

You will also save on your premiums if you are a homeowner, as research suggests that homeowners are more reliable than renters. Again, you’re not going to buy a house just to save on your car insurance, but if marriage and a move are already in the pipeline or you have just tied the knot, those cheaper premiums are an added benefit.

What’s more, by implementing a few other simple strategies and making some minor changes, newlyweds and long-term married couples can save even more on their auto insurance:

Add Multiple Cars and Policies

Most auto insurance companies offer a multi-car discount, whereby policyholders can save money by adding all their household cars to the same policy.

If you have more than one car, add them all and your insurer will give you a sizeable discount.

It’s not just cars, either, as insurers will also offer you discounts when you combine different types of insurance coverage and insurance policies into one. For instance, all of the big insurance companies (GEICO, Esurance, State Farm) will give you a discount if you purchase home insurance and car insurance. 

Often referred to as “bundling” or a “multi-policy discount”, this is essentially the insurer’s way of convincing you to purchase more products. You’ll also benefit from having car insurance, homeowners insurance, and other forms of insurance with the same company, as it will be easier to claim when the time comes.

Improve Credit Scores

If both you and your partner have a good credit score,  your chances of getting cheap car insurance will increase considerably.

Credit scores play a very important role in determining your car insurance rates, as research suggests that good credit drivers are less likely to be involved in an accident and to commit traffic violations.

Of course, improving your credit score is easier said than done and if you have two credit scores to improve, you’ll have a lot of work on your hands. But simply paying your bills every month while paying off as much debt as you can, increasing credit limits, and avoiding hard inquiries, will do the job.

Pay Upfront

Most car insurance companies will give you a discount if you pay for your premiums upfront. That’s a lot of money to spend in one go and many policyholders will deem the discount (often just a couple of percent) to be too low. But it all adds up, and once you combine this discount with all the others, your premiums will be a fraction of what they were.

If you’re not going to pay for everything upfront, at least consider going paperless as this can have just as much of an impact. You will also be doing your bit to reduce waste, and there is no need for paper bills and invoices in this day and age.

Clean Driving Record

Insurers want drivers with clean records and a spotless driving history. Such drivers are less likely to be involved in an accident and to make a claim. There is still a risk, of course, but by driving responsibly, staying within the speed limit, and avoiding all tickets, you can get the very best rates in the future.

Consider More Insurable Cars

New cars may cost more to insure than used cars; sports cars will always cost more than SUVs. These are just two key facts to understand when shopping for cars.

The difference between a highly insurable vehicle and a high-risk one could be over $1,000 depending on other factors, so it’s very important to keep these things in mind.

What’s more, with a new car you will typically need more coverage, especially if it’s financed. You’ll need options such as collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and even new car replacement benefits. You may also want to consider low deductibles.

With an older and cheaper car, none of these insurance options are necessary. You can take more risks because you stand to lose a lot less if anything happens to your vehicle.

Collect All Discounts

Car insurance discounts are offered to all applicable drivers and can be accessed even if you have a bad driving record. Discounts are also available with all insurance providers, although the types of discounts they offer can differ considerably from one insurance carrier to the next.

With many, you’ll get a discount if your car has safety features and anti-theft devices (airbags, anti-lock brakes, alarms, trackers) as well as good student and good driver discounts. With some, you can also get discounts if you’re in the military or are a member of the AARP. 

Car insurance discounts are all about rewarding you for the things that reduce risk and encourage you to make changes that benefit the insurance companies.

Bottom Line: The Cheapest Auto Policies for Married Couples

The final and most important step in getting the cheapest car insurance as a married couple is to compare as many quotes as you can. 

Get free insurance quotes online, speak with insurance agents, tweak deductibles and coverage options, and only settle when you have found the perfect range of coverage for the best possible price. It takes a little extra time and effort, but it’ll all be worth it in the end when you’ve saved hundreds of dollars and haven’t forced yourself to make risky sacrifices.


Cheap Car Insurance for College Students

  • Car Insurance

Surviving as a college student is about living cheaply, saving money everywhere you can, and fleecing as much money from your parents as humanly possible. But at times, this is easier said than done, especially when it feels like the world is against you and you’re being charged the highest prices even though you have the least money.

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Tip: Act now to see if you qualify for lower rates!

Compare free personalized quotes from the nation’s top providers.

Car insurance is a perfect example of this. College students are hardly known for having a lot of disposal income, yet car insurance companies quote them significantly higher rates than any other demographic. So, what can you do, how can you save?

Average Cost of Car Insurance by Age

Your insurance rates are determined by a multitude of factors, all of which are used by the underwriters to predict the likelihood that you will make a claim. The more likely you are according to the statistics at the underwriter’s disposal, the higher your insurance premiums will be.

Students are at a disadvantage from the outset, as young drivers and first-time drivers will pay considerably more than drivers with age and experience on their side. According to the national averages, you can expect to pay approximately the following amounts for each age:

  • Age 17: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $2,200; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $5,800.
  • Age 18: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $1,900; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $5,100.
  • Age 19: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $1,300; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $3,500.
  • Age 20: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $1,100; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $3,200.
  • Age 21: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $900; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $2,500.
  • Age 22: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $800; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $2,300.
  • Age 23: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $750; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $2,100.
  • Age 24: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $700; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $2,000.
  • Age 25: Average Cost of Minimum State Insurance = $600; Average Cost of 100/300/100 Liability Insurance = $1,750.

For comparison sake, the average cost for all car insurance policies in the United States is just over $1,000. This gives you an idea of just how much more money young drivers are expected to pay.

Main Car Insurance Discounts for Students

There are two types of car insurance discounts aimed specifically at students.

The first, and the best known, is the good student discount. Offering an average saving of 25%, this discount applies to all student drivers who maintain good grades throughout the life of their policy. Generally, those grades need to be at least a B average, but the specifics will depend on your state and insurer.

The second is known as a student away or full-time student discount. This can go much higher, often to between 40% and 50%, but it is only available to students who live on campus and, therefore, spend very little time at home and behind the wheel.

Other Discounts Offered to Students

Many of the driver discounts offered to adults and experienced drivers are also available to student drivers and are a great way to bring those rates down. These discounts include:

  • Multi-Policy and Multi-Car Discount: A multi-car discount is provided to policyholders who add multiple cars to the same policy. If you’re buying an auto insurance policy for your child, consider adding them to your policy and you can benefit from this discount. Adding a child to a parents’ policy will generally cost a lot less than getting them their own policy.
  • Good Driver Discount: A student doesn’t have a driving record until they get their driver’s license and climb behind the wheel for the first time. But that doesn’t mean they can’t work towards the goal of getting a clean and safe driving record. This will allow them to make bigger savings in the future.
  • Driving Training Discount: Driver safety courses and defensive driving courses are a great way for drivers of all ages to secure cheaper car insurance quotes. It’s proof that you’re a good driver, have the skills needed to stay safe, and are committed to improving yourself.
  • Mileage Discount: Some insurers will give you a discount if you allow them to track your driving habits and use the information gathered to tweak your rates. You can also get insurance coverage that charges by the mile.

The Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies for Students

The more policies you compare, the more likely you are to get the best car insurance cover and the lowest possible cost. Most insurers will cover you as a student, but some are better than others and to help you get started, we have listed some of the very best:

State Farm

Based on the number of policyholders and combined claims, State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the United States. It also spans all fifty states and along with a 25% good student discount, it offers teen driving programs and driver safety training.


Allstate has a higher good student discount than most, offering a saving of 35% to all qualifying applicants. Its student car insurance rates are reduced further by the addition of a 5% student away discount, as well as generally low rates.


GEICO is consistently ranked as one of the cheapest and best car insurance companies in the United States, and it’s easy to see why. GEICO’s good driver discount may be capped at 15%, but when the base rates are already low, big discounts aren’t necessary. 

In our research on national averages, GEICO consistently came out on top for the cheapest car insurance premiums when looking at minimum liability coverage and fully comprehensive coverage.


Students going through Progressive can save up to 20% more on their car insurance, with 10% for maintaining good grades and 10% for studying away. It also offers driver course discounts and other unique ways to save.

Bottom Line

In the list above, we covered just a handful of the cheapest providers for students. You should also look into the likes of Liberty Mutual, American Family, and, if you qualify, the USAA. These insurance providers may offer you cheaper rates, they may not, but the differences from state to state and user to user can be huge, so you won’t know until you try them and get those quotes.

Metromile and other usage-based car insurers also offer very cheap car insurance, but only if you barely use your car.


How to Get Car Insurance with a Bad Driving Record

  • Car Insurance

Your driving record is one of the many things that car insurance companies consider when underwriting your policy. A good record suggests that you know what you’re doing and, as a result, will drive safely and avoid any serious accidents. A bad driving record, on the other hand, suggests the opposite. It increases your risk of being involved in an accident and making a claim, which in turn means you can expect to pay much more.

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But how much more, and are there are ways to get cheap insurance quotes as a high-risk driver?

What is a High-Risk Driver?

​As the name suggests, a high-risk driver is simply someone who poses a greater threat behind the wheel. Insurance companies base their rates on probability, which in turn is based on a vast well of data gathered from decades of driving habits.

It doesn’t matter how many times you insist that your DUI was a one-off or that your speeding ticket was a mistake. Insurers know that, statistically, once you have accidents and traffic violations on your record, you are more likely to claim and cost them money. 

There are generally four different types of driver as viewed through the eyes of an insurer:

  • Preferred-risk: Drivers in this category are low-risk. They are over the age of 25, have a clean driving record, and a strong credit history. In most cases, they may also live in an area with very few car accidents and a low crime rate, making them the ideal customer for the majority of car insurance companies. 
  • Standard-risk: The bulk of drivers will fall into this category. They probably have a few tickets and may not have the best credit score or driving record. As a result, they will be offered average rates, much less than those offered to high-risk drivers but less than those reserved for drivers in the “preferred-risk” category.
  • Nonstandard-risk: The highest premiums of all are reserved for drivers in this category. They may have just only received their driver’s license or have a number of tickets, violations, and insurance claims on their record.
  • Uninsurable: Drivers in this category are considered to be so high risk that insurance companies won’t go anywhere near them. If you have been turned away by many insurance companies because your record is so bad, your only option is to go through your state’s “assigned risk” pool of insurers. As a result, you will likely pay more than twice what other high-risk drivers are being charged.

How Much do Insurance Costs Increase By?

Car insurance rates will increase significantly if you have a bad record. There’s no getting away from that. However, all infractions don’t carry the same weight. 

A DUI conviction, for instance, could result in between 40% and 50% higher premiums. You may also face a multitude of legal issues, including fines, suspensions, and even jail time or community service orders. An at-fault accident could result in a similar increase, although it’s usually less and it can be negated by accident forgiveness programs.

A speeding ticket, on the other hand, will likely only increase your premiums by between 10% and 20%.

Running a stop sign will have the same effect, while reckless driving and racing will fall somewhere between the two extremes, adding between 20% and 30% to your premiums.

It all depends on which insurance carrier you go with, what insurance options you purchase, and how you fair with regards to the other key data parameters.

What Else do Auto Insurance Companies Look at? 

In addition to your driving record and whether you have any at-fault accidents or not, insurance underwriters will also consider a multitude of other factors. Some of these can be influenced, others cannot, but all are crucial to determining your risk factor and seeing your rates:

  • Coverage Options: The extent of cover provided by your insurance policy will have a major impact on the price. Whether you choose the most basic state required cover or opt for full cover (including collision coverage and comprehensive coverage) could determine whether you pay a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars.
  • Demographic: Men are more likely to be involved in a car accident than women and teenagers are more likely to claim than any other age group. As a young male driver, you are a huge liability, and if you have a DWI or other violation, you’ll be paying through the nose for high-risk insurance.
  • Discounts: Car insurance discounts are a great way to reduce those auto insurance quotes. They include everything from safety features (airbags, anti-lock brakes) and anti-theft devices, to good student discounts, safe driver discounts, and more.
  • Credit Score: Underwriters prefer drivers with a strong credit history as research suggests they will make fewer claims and cost the company less money. Simply boosting your credit score by a couple of hundred points could net you some big savings on your auto insurance rates.
  • Married vs Single: Married drivers tend to be much safer and more responsible than their single counterparts, allowing you to save money on your car insurance policy as soon as you tie the knot.
  • Homeowners vs Renters: Owning a home is a big financial commitment and one that requires you to take a big step forward. As a result, it should come as no surprise that homeowners are considered less of a risk and can save more on their car insurance as a result.

Cheap Car Insurance Providers for Bad Driving Records

GEICO has one of the consistently lowest rates across the United States and offers a wealth of insurance coverage as well. We have praised this company countless times in the past for this very reason. However, while GEICO is great for good drivers and even those with a few minor moving violations, once you start adding car accidents, DUIs, and other serious issues to your record, it falls behind.

If you have a bad driving record, we still recommend getting some quotes from GEICO, but we also recommend taking a look at Amica, Allstate, and Progressive, the latter of which tends to have the lowest insurance premiums for “bad drivers”.

Bottom Line: Getting Affordable High-Risk Auto Insurance

Having a few blemishes on your driving record doesn’t mean you can’t get cheap auto insurance. It does mean that your options are few and far between and that you can’t get the sort of low rates reserved for those with the best driving histories. However, with a little patience and a lot of research, you can find suitable cover at an affordable price.

We recommend getting some free auto insurance quotes online and talking with an independent insurance agent. You should also work on fixing your driving record as soon as possible. The sooner you start paying more attention to how fast you go, where you park, and when you drive, the sooner you can reap the rewards that a clean driving record brings.


What to Do If an Auto Insurance Company Denies Coverage

  • Car Insurance

A car accident can bring your life to a screeching halt, adding a whole host of extra stress and responsibility. In an ideal world, you’d make a claim, have your personal and property costs covered, and then get back on track. But what happens if your claim is denied? 

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There are many reasons your car insurance claim can be denied, but fortunately, there are also a few things you can do to turn the tables. In this guide, we’ll look at all of them.

Reasons Your Claim was Denied

Your car insurance claim can be denied for a number of reasons, including:

1. You Don’t Have the Cover you Thought You Had

Car insurance policies are complicated and if you’re a new driver, there’s a good chance you don’t understand your policy and the details of it.

Young drivers may assume they have full coverage just because they’re paying several thousand dollars a year, when in fact those costs are likely the result of their age and inexperience. Furthermore, full coverage doesn’t mean you have every possible coverage option.

It could also be the result of a misunderstanding with collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. In some cases, drivers may assume that the former provides the cover only offered by the latter, which is an easy mistake to make. 

In other cases, the issues are a little less obvious. For instance, if you’re driving along a country road and hit a deer or moose, doing serious damage to your vehicle, you may expect to be covered by collision coverage.

But that’s not the case.

You’ll only be covered if you swerve and hit a wall or tree. To get cover from actually hitting an animal, you will need to have comprehensive coverage.

2. The At-Fault Driver Hasn’t Paid Their Premiums

The driver’s insurance pays for your bodily injuries and property damage in the event they cause an accident. But if they missed any of their monthly payments, their policies may have been canceled.

This can happen without the driver’s knowledge, so they may inform you that everything is okay and willingly exchange details with you, only for you to later be refused a claim.

3. You Were Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

If you were found to be using alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, your claim might be refused. It’s another reason, if you needed one, to avoid drinking before you drive.

4. You’re Not Named on the Policy

If you are not named on the car insurance policy, then you won’t be covered and the same applies to the driver responsible for the crash. It’s important to make sure that all legal drivers in your household are insured to drive your vehicle, otherwise, their claims may be denied following an auto accident.

5. You Didn’t File a Report on Time

A car accident claim must be made within a specific time, the exact details of which will depend on your car insurance company and your policy. The adjuster needs time to investigate, and if you leave it too late, they may not have the time they need and could reject the claim. 

6. You Didn’t Report Big Changes

It’s important to tell your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as you make big changes to your vehicle. If, for instance, you make changes that result in your vehicle being worth considerably more and then have an accident, you’ll be covered for the original cost of your car and not the new cost.

Every time you make big changes like this or buy a new car, tell your insurance company about it.

7. The Claim is Higher Than the Policy Limits 

All auto insurance policies have ceiling limits. These limits may be as little as 25/50/25, which means they have $25,000 in property damage liability, $25,000 in bodily damage per person and $50,000 per accident.

These limits can be increased, but only at the expense of much higher insurance premiums.

8. You Filed Incorrectly

One of the most common ways you can make an incorrect filing is to claim that the other driver was an uninsured motorist, only for them to have insurance. If you do this, your claim will be denied.

If you file a fraudulent claim and they have reason to believe that such a claim was made, it will also be rejected, and a police report may be filed. Defrauding an insurance company in this manner is a felony.

9. You Live in a No-Fault Insurance State

You cannot file a personal injury claim against the other driver if you live in a no-fault insurance state. There are twelve such states in the US:

  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Florida
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Hawaii
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Utah

10. The Claim is Disputed

A denied claim could be the result of a disputed liability. The insurance company may not agree with the damages that you are claiming for and may choose to investigate things further.

Alternatively, they may dispute who caused the accident and, as a result, who is responsible for paying the damages.

11. You Sought Medical Attention too Late

If you’re filing for an injury claim following an accident, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.

Waiting several weeks before getting checked over could lead to a claim being rejected. Those hospital fees will only be covered if they can be traced directly to the accident, which means they need to occur soon after that accident has taken place.

What to Do If Your Claim Was Denied

If your claim was denied, the first step is to understand why.

Ask the insurance adjuster for more details on the rejection. They should tell you why they rejected the auto insurance claim, which can help you in a couple of ways.

Firstly, insurers are required to act on good faith and if the claim was rejected out of bad faith, you can file a lawsuit against them. Most importantly, it lets you know where you stand and how to proceed:

  • If you believe a mistake has been made, contact the insurance company and provide proof.
  • If you reside in a no-fault state, you can’t sue the driver, but you can get money from your own insurance company.
  • If a claim is denied because of policy limits, request that the state be changed to “tendering policy limits”, which will ensure you get cover to the maximum that their policy will allow.
  • Prove the value of your car where possible. You can’t claim for a $50,000 car if all signs point to it being worth much less and you don’t have any receipts to prove otherwise.

Bottom Line: Get Help

Policyholders struggling with claim denial should seek professional help. An accident attorney can help you with this issue and ensure you get everything that you are owed, covering everything from property damage and medical bills, to any other funds lost through missed work, childcare, emotional damages, and more.

The good news is that while denied claims are not uncommon, the reasons for the denial are often minor and it’s not the end of the road.


Low Mileage and Usage-Based Discounts

  • Car Insurance

It has never been easier to track driver habits and mileage, determining everything from the severity of braking to the miles that they travel and the times they drive. This data is used by car insurance companies to create more personalized car insurance rates, and could, potentially, save you a small fortune.

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Known as usage-based discounts, these offers are available with most major insurance providers and are worth considering if you’re not clocking tens of thousands of miles every year and believe yourself to be a safe and responsible driver.

In this guide, we’ll look at how low mileage and usage-based discounts work, before highlighting the very best usage-based insurance programs on the market.

How Much Are Low-Mileage Discounts?

The less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to have an accident and make a claim. It makes sense, therefore, for car insurance companies to offer you cheaper rates if you drive much less than the average. But rarely is that the case.

In our research, we found that the difference between someone who drives 5,000 miles and someone who drives 15,000 miles (the average is around 12,000) was just a few dollars. In other words, even if you drive twice as much as the national average, you won’t necessarily pay that much more.

There are exceptions, though. In some built-up cities, including Los Angeles, there are very noticeable differences between someone who drives 5,000 miles and someone who drives 15,000. Furthermore, many insurance companies offer specific programs tailored towards those with low annual mileages. Some companies cater exclusively to drivers in this category, essentially offering a pay-as-you-drive insurance policy.

Take a look at the programs and insurers below to see what you can save by doing fewer miles.

Allstate Drivewise Program

With the DriveWise program from Allstate, you can steadily reduce your rates based on your driving habits. If it turns out that you don’t have optimal habits, Allstate promises that it will not increase the base rate of your premiums, so there’s nothing to worry about in that regard.

Drivewise is offered in all states and considers several key rating factors to potentially reduce your premiums by as much as 40%. 

As with many similar programs, Drivewise is a plug-in device that connects to the Onboard Diagnostics port to gather real-time data.

  • Potential Savings: Up to 40%
  • What it Tracks: Hard braking, the time of day that you drive, and your speed.
  • Where it is Available: Offered in all 50 states.

Allstate Milewise Program

Launched in 2018, Milewise offers Allstate customers discounts when they drive less. It offers regular feedback concerning recent trips and mileage and tweaks insurance premiums based on data provided. In some states, including Arizona, Allstate changes insurance premiums on a weekly basis.

  • Potential Savings: Up to 39%.
  • What it Tracks: Mileage.
  • Where it is Available: Arizona, Delaware, D.C., Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia.

Esurance DriveSense Program

Online-only provider, Esurance, offers an instant discount of between 5% and 10% for all policyholders who sign up for the DriveSense program. This app, which tracks user data, can reduce insurance costs for motorists with safe driving habits and low mileage.

  • Potential Savings: Up to 30%.
  • What it Tracks: Speed, time of day, idle time, braking, acceleration, cornering.
  • Where it is Available: Everywhere except for the following states: California, Florida, Indiana, New York, and North Carolina.

GEICO DriveEasy Program

For many years, GEICO was one of the few major car insurance providers that didn’t offer a usage-based program. In fact, of the ten biggest insurance carriers, it was the only one, and that’s why you won’t find GEICO on many other website lists discussing low-mileage programs and telematics.

GEICO finally changed tact in 2019 when it adopted the DriveEasy program. As things stand, this mobile app is only offered in a couple of states, but there are plans to roll it out across the country. GEICO serves all states and is one of the nation’s biggest providers, so it could be a matter of time before you see it in your state.

  • Potential Savings: Up to 20%.
  • What it Tracks: Use of your phone, hard braking, other driving habits.
  • Where it is Available: Connecticut and Pennsylvania, with more states to be added soon.

SafeCo/Liberty Mutual RightTrack

Make weekly savings with the RightTrack program, which tracks driving habits to determine if you’re a good driver or not. It is not available everywhere and requirements/discounts differ, but there are only a few states where you can’t sign up for this program.

  • Potential Savings: Save an average of 30%.
  • What it Tracks: Mileage, the time of day that you drive, acceleration, and braking.
  • Where it is Available: Everywhere except for the following states: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and DC.


Metromile is a pay-per-mile auto insurance company geared towards those with a short commute and very few miles on the clock. It launched in 2011 and was underwriting its own policies within 5 years after experiencing massive growth. 

Metromile is only available in a handful of states, but more are being added to the list all of the time.

  • Potential Savings: Over $500 a year.
  • What it Tracks: Mileage.
  • Where it is Available: Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Virginia.

Progressive Snapshot Program

Progressive changed the game when it launched the SnapShot program back in 2008, offering one of the first devices of its kind. Designed to discover low-mileage drivers and reward safe driving, this device checks a host of data points and offers substantial savings if it determines that you’re a safe driver that makes good decisions when behind the wheel.

  • Potential Savings: Get an average of $150 when you complete the program.
  • What it Tracks: Speed, time of day, times you check your smartphone, and other driving habits.
  • Where it is Available: All states.

State Farm Drive Safe Program

With Drive Safe, you can get 5% just for signing up to the program and up to an additional 45% once it gathers the necessary driving data (via the installation of a telematics device) and determines what type of driver you are.

State Farm is the nation’s biggest provider of car insurance and offers a wealth of car insurance discounts in addition to the Drive Safe program.

  • Potential Savings: Up to 50%.
  • What it Tracks: Hard braking, acceleration, time of day, number of miles, use of smartphone.
  • Where it is Available: Everywhere except for New York, Massachusetts, California, and Rhode Island.

The Hartford TrueLane Program

As a policyholder with The Hartford, you can request a free telematics device that you install in your car. You will get a 10% discount just for adding the device and can save up to 25% per vehicle from there.

  • Potential Savings: Up to 25%.
  • What it Tracks: Time of day that you drive, braking/acceleration data, and other driving behaviors.
  • Where it is Available: Everywhere except for the following states: Alaska, California, Florida, Montana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Kansas, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada, and Rhode Island.

Bottom Line

Telematics devices can be installed in all new cars and many older ones as well. Providing you don’t drive a car manufactured prior to the mid-90s, you shouldn’t have an issue in this regard. And due to the instant savings offered by usage-based programs and the information they can provide, we recommend them to all drivers.

In the worst-case scenario, you may discover that you’re not as safe and responsible as you thought you were, but if you choose your insurance company carefully, this shouldn’t result in higher premiums, and will give you the data you need to improve your driving habits. In most cases, you’ll also get an instant discount just for signing up.

It’s a win-win!


Emergency Road Service Coverage

  • Car Insurance

Road service coverage, also known as roadside assistance, is a service offered by most auto insurance companies. Adding this package to your insurance policy will cover you for essential services in the event of a breakdown, with the insurance company helping you to get back on the road or to transport your car to a garage. 

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What Does Roadside Assistance Include?

Roadside assistance offers a few basic services and, in the event of a breakdown, can help you get back on the road. These services include:

  • Call Out: Whatever the reason, if your car breaks down and you have emergency roadside assistance, you can simply make a call and a recovery vehicle will be sent to your location. 
  • Flat Tire: Stranded by the side of the road because of a punctured tire? The roadside assistance provider will come out, change your tire using your spare, and get you going again.  It’s worth noting, however, that this service will generally not cover tire changes for motorcycles.
  • Towing: The main goal of roadside assistance is to get your car going again. If the service provider fails to do that, they will tow your car to a nearby mechanic. Your insurance company will set a limit regarding how far your car can be towed and if it is towed to a location within this limit, you won’t be charged. If you want it taken to a specific garage or you’re stranded far away from the nearest mechanic, they will still tow the car, but you’ll need to pay a fee.
  • Fuel Delivery: If you run out of fuel at the side of the road, your roadside assistance program will arrange for some fuel to be taken to your location. In most cases, you will be charged for this fuel, but some programs will cover the cost up to a limit.
  • Battery Jump-Start: If your battery is flat this service can get it going again. However, it doesn’t apply to all vehicles and may not be possible with hybrid and electric vehicles.
  • Lockout service: A lockout service is required when a driver has locked their keys in their car or can’t get in the vehicle for some other reason. Roadside assistance services will often use a tool known as a pump wedge to create a gap in the door through which a long tool can be used to pop the lock. This allows them to gain access to the vehicle without causing any damage to the door or paintwork.
  • Locksmith Service: It’s not always possible to gain access to a vehicle using the aforementioned method, and if the roadside service professional can’t access the vehicle, they will call for a locksmith service. Many roadside assistance providers will not cover this additional cost or will only cover a small percentage of it. Check your policy for more information about this add-on.
  • Extrication or Winching: If the vehicle becomes stuck, this service will help to pull it out and get you going again.

Should I Get Emergency Road Service Coverage?

Emergency roadside assistance is a useful option to have on your car insurance policy. If you breakdown, you can request assistance with a simple phone call and be back on the road again in a couple of hours. But it isn’t always worthwhile and whether you need it or not may depend on how you answer the following questions:

Commute and Driving Habits

If you don’t drive more than a few miles every day and never go more than a few miles from a repair shop, you can probably skip the roadside assistance. In such cases, it will be easier and cheaper to call your local shop and ask them to help you out.

It’s important to remember that not getting roadside assistance coverage doesn’t mean you’ll be stranded and helpless in the event of a breakdown. It’s not a case of “roadside assistance or nothing”. You can still call for help following a breakdown and if you live in built-up and easily accessible areas, it’s probably cheaper than paying for a premium service you may never need.

Conversely, if you take long drives in sparsely occupied areas and are dozens of miles from any repair facility, it may pay for itself in time.

Age of Vehicle

If you have a new car, you probably already have a roadside assistance program with your manufacturer. We have discussed a couple of these in the next section, but generally, they last for a fixed period of time or number of miles and will cover you if the car breaks down. Furthermore, because it’s a new car, it’s much less likely to breakdown in the first place.

Paying for Convenience or Saving Every Cent

Ultimately, the biggest deciding factor here is whether or not you’re happy to pay for convenience or will do everything you can to save. If you’re the sort of person who will happily take half an hour out of their day to save a few dollars on a purchase, and none of the above applies to you, roadside assistance coverage can be avoided.

But if you value convenience over anything else and want the peace of mind that comes from having this cover and the simplicity that it provides when you need it, it’s a worthwhile addition.

Do I Have Roadside Assistance?

Check your auto insurance policy to see if you have roadside assistance. If not, you can contact your auto insurance company to add it to your policy. They will talk you through the possible add-ons and standard coverage options, including towing services, delivery of gas, and flat tire changes.

But before you rush off to purchase this emergency service, make sure you check to see if you have it already. 

Roadside assistance is offered by many premium credit cards and auto insurance clubs, such as the AAA. It is also provided be some car manufacturers. To give you an idea of just how widespread this coverage is and to help you find the right provider, take a look at the list below:

  • Basic Credit Cards: Pay-per-use roadside assistance coverage is available on most Visa credit cards and Mastercards. It was also offered on many American Express credit cards, before being phased out at the beginning of 2020. With these services, you pay a flat fee (typically around $70) when you need to use the service.
  • Premium Credit Cards: Many visa credit cards, including Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and a few airline cards offered by United, have roadside emergency cover as standard. You can use this cover when you need it and for whatever service you require, with a cap of $50 per time and a limit of 4 uses per year.
  • Tesla: Electric vehicles and other high-tech cars are a little more temperamental and require specific skills and services. That’s why Tesla offers a complimentary roadside assistance service for the first 50,000 miles on all Tesla vehicles. The services are mainly limited to towing, as there isn’t much else they can do, but as long as you’re under that 50,000-mile limit and have owned the car for less than 4 years, you won’t need to pay.
  • General Motors: Another complimentary emergency roadside service provider, GM offers cover for all GM vehicle owners if they have owned the car for less than 4 years and driven fewer than 70,000 miles. Services such as a tow truck callout and fuel delivery are covered.
  • State Farm: A low-cost policy add-on that will cover you for all of the basics, including winching, towing, fuel delivery, lockouts, and more.
  • Allstate: Pay $125 every time you use the service to tow a vehicle. All services, including winching and fuel delivery, are provided.
  • AAA: Three different levels of roadside assistance services are provided: Basic, Plus, and Premier. Costs range from around $50 to $130 per year. Car can be towed for up to 100 miles to a repair shop of your choice, and other basic services are also provided.
  • GEICO: A cheap roadside coverage option is available for all policyholders with comprehensive coverage. This service will tow the car for up to 100 miles and help with lockouts, fuel delivery, and other basics.

Bottom Line: Weighing Up the Pros and Cons

Roadside assistance is a useful service, but only if you can actually benefit from it and find an affordable option. You can add this service to auto insurance quotes to determine affordability and check with credit card providers, auto clubs, and car manufacturers to make sure you don’t already have it and can’t get better coverage elsewhere.


Defensive Driving and Driver Training Car Insurance Discounts

  • Car Insurance

Auto insurance companies offer discounts for drivers who complete defensive driving courses. These courses can be completed quickly and cheaply and are worth their weight in gold, providing a host of benefits that far outweigh the cost and the time it takes to complete them.

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What are Defensive Driving Courses?

A defensive driving course often takes just 4 or 5 hours to complete and is staged over the course of a single day or weekend.

The course covers safe driving essentials, including driver training, local driving laws, and more. Drivers will learn the tricks and techniques needed to stay safe on the roads, and that, in turn, will reduce their chances of being involved in a car accident.

This is where driver education discounts come in. Insurers acknowledge that an experienced and knowledgeable driver is a safe driver, and that’s the type of driver they appreciate the most. 

Defensive driving courses can also be used to offset some traffic tickets, reducing the fines and the damage of moving violations.

Car Insurance Discounts for Driver Courses

Auto insurance discounts vary from state to state and provider to provider. Some states have mandatory discounts, which means that all insurance carriers must offer them. Such is the case with many good student discounts and senior discounts. In most cases, however, it’s all down to the insurance carrier.

Car insurance discounts are there to reward low-risk behavior and to encourage specific habits. Defensive driving classes are the best example of this. Insurers know that drivers who complete these courses are less likely to be involved in an accident and better equipped to avoid catastrophic damage should a mishap occur.

Defensive driver courses will typically reduce your rates for 3 to 5 years. Once that period has passed, you can simply take another course (if you meet the eligibility requirements) and get another discount.

Who is Eligible for a Defensive Driver Discount?

The most eligible drivers are the ones in the highest-risk category, including young drivers and senior drivers. Young drivers are particularly at a disadvantage. A 16-year-old driver is considerably more likely to be involved in an accident than a more experienced driver just 2 or 3 years older than them. As a result, they are quoted significantly higher car insurance premiums and need discounts like this to make those premiums more manageable.

But you don’t have to be in a high-risk category to get a driving course discount. In some states, including New York, insurers are required to offer driver safety course discounts to all age groups.

Furthermore, and as noted above, the onus is on the insurance company to offer these courses in other states and because they can reduce claims, many of them do.

Online Defensive Driving Courses vs Offline Courses

Driving techniques can be taught online or offline. The courses typically cost between $20 and $100 and take just a few hours. Online courses are generally a much cheaper option and can be completed in your own time. However, many of these courses are not accredited and, as a result, may not result in a discount.

At the end of accredited online and offline courses, drivers will get a certificate of completion. In some states, these courses are spread across an entire weekend, with drivers required to work for between 4 to 6 hours each day. Your state laws will dictate how intensive the driving courses are in your area.

With online courses, you will be provided with the information you need via text, video, and images. Offline courses, on the other hand, occur in a classroom alongside multiple other students.

Before making it to the course completion, you will be expected to learn all of the following:

  • Safety Statistics: How many drivers die on the roads every day, at what times are you most likely to have an accident and what activities trigger these accidents the most? These are the statistics you will learn during your course.
  • State Traffic Laws? Do you know all the laws of the road in your state? Probably not, but the course can help you with this. 
  • Driver Techniques: Geared towards driver improvement, this aspect of the course will ensure you know how to avoid accidents and understand what you need to do if the threat of an accident is looming.

You need to pay close attention throughout this course, because you won’t get a defensive driving discount unless you pass a test at the end.

Which Insurance Companies Offer Driver Training Discounts?

The majority of top insurance companies in the United States offer defensive driving discounts, with very few exceptions. However, these discounts differ greatly depending on location and demographic:

  • Allstate: Discount requirements and amounts vary by state.
  • American Family: Only offers discounts to drivers aged 55 or older, with between 5% and 10% offered depending on the state.
  • Esurance: Older drivers can get up to 5%, while younger drivers can save as much as 15%.
  • Farmers: Amount varies, and discounts are only offered to drivers aged 65 or older.
  • GEICO: Only offers discounts to drivers aged 50 or older, with between 5% and 20% offered depending on the state.
  • Liberty Mutual: Discount amounts vary by state and are only offered to drivers under 20.
  • MetLife: Discount requirements vary by state and range from between 5% and 10%.
  • Nationwide: Discount amounts vary by state and are only offered to drivers aged 55 or older.
  • State Farm: Discount amounts vary by state and are only offered to drivers under 25.
  • The Hartford: Drivers of any age can secure a discount of up to 10%.
  • Travelers: Discount amounts vary by state and are only offered to drivers under 25.
  • USAA: Discount amounts vary by state and are only offered to drivers under 25.

Defensive Driver Discounts by State

To give you an idea of how much you can save based on your state, take a look at the list below. The following information is taken from GEICO, which offers some of the biggest discounts across most states:

  • Alabama: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Alaska: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old without an at-fault accident or traffic violation.
  • Arizona: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Arkansas: Driver Course Discount Available = 15%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • California: Driver Course Discount Available = 5%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Colorado: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Connecticut: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Delaware: Driver Course Discount Available = 15%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Florida: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old or 55 in some cases.
  • Georgia: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must not have been involved in an at-fault accident or have a violation on your driving record.
  • Hawaii: Defensive Driver Discounts Not Available in Hawaii.
  • Idaho: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old without an at-fault accident or traffic violation.
  • Illinois: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 55 years old.
  • Indiana: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 55 years old.
  • Iowa: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. No Strict Eligibility Requirements.
  • Kansas: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Kentucky: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old or a member of the military.
  • Louisiana: Driver Course Discount Available = 15%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Maine: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old. No one in your household can be subject to a driver’s license suspension.
  • Maryland: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Massachusetts: Defensive Driver Discounts Not Available in Massachusetts.
  • Michigan: Defensive Driver Discounts Not Available in Michigan.
  • Minnesota: Driver Course Discount Available = 12%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Mississippi: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old without an at-fault accident or traffic violation.
  • Missouri: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Montana: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old (or in the National Guard) without an at-fault accident or traffic violation.
  • Nebraska: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Nevada: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old without an at-fault accident or traffic violation.
  • New Hampshire: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • New Jersey: Driver Course Discount Available = 5%. No Strict Eligibility Requirements.
  • New Mexico: Driver Course Discount Available = 20%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • New York: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. No Strict Eligibility Requirements.
  • North Carolina: Defensive Driver Discounts Not Available in North Carolina.
  • North Dakota: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. No Strict Eligibility Requirements.
  • Ohio: Driver Course Discount Available = Varies. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Oklahoma: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. No strict eligibility requirements.
  • Oregon: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old or 55 in some instances.
  • Pennsylvania: Driver Course Discount Available = Varies. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old, without traffic tickets or at-fault accidents.
  • Rhode Island: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • South Carolina: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. No strict eligibility requirements.
  • South Dakota: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. No strict eligibility requirements.
  • Tennessee: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old, with no convictions or tickets and without a suspended license.
  • Texas: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Utah: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old and without a traffic violation.
  • Vermont: Defensive Driver Discounts Not Available in Vermont.
  • Virginia: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 55 years old.
  • Washington: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Washington DC: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • West Virginia: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Wisconsin: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.
  • Wyoming: Driver Course Discount Available = 10%. Eligibility Requirements = Must be at least 50 years old.

In most states, including many of those with no age requirements, discounts will only be offered if the courses were completely voluntary, and not if they were ordered by the state.

Bottom Line: Insurance Rates and Driving Skills

Defensive driving discounts are great, especially if you meet the requirements needed to secure 10% or more. For the sake of a few bucks spent on a driver’s course and a few hours at traffic school, you simply can’t complain.

And the benefits don’t end with discounts. Driving courses will make you a more appealing prospect to your insurance provider now and in the future and they will also limit your risk behind the wheel. There is less chance you’ll have minor accidents, which means there’s less chance of losing money with out-of-pocket expenses and being forced to watch as your rates increase. 

More importantly, you’re less likely to be involved in a serious accident, and you can’t put a price on safety and the peace of mind that comes with it.