Get Cheap Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Get great auto insurance coverage at an even better price.

Car Insurance shoppers quickly learn that there are a multitude of factors that go into the setting of premiums. Some of those factors, such as your driving record, the coverages you choose, your credit rating, and the car you drive, are under your control. Other factors, including state insurance coverage regulations and stipulations from lenders and leasing companies, are out of your control. 

One huge factor that you should consider if you’re planning a move is the cost of auto insurance in different states. According to U.S. News & World Report’s study of car insurance rates, premiums can vary greatly by location. The most expensive state has premiums for the types of drivers and vehicles profiled in our study that are nearly three times the premiums in the least expensive state. 

The average annual rate in our analysis from the state of Michigan, for example, is $2,444. Hop just over the border to Indiana or Ohio, and annual study rates drop to $1,001 and $941, respectively. We’ll get into the reasons for the differences later in this guide.

Which States Have the Cheapest Car Insurance?

In our analysis of auto insurance rates, U.S. News & World Report found that Maine has the lowest representative prices for the wide variety of auto insurance customer profiles included in our study. On average, the customer profiles in our analysis would pay $861.37 per year for coverage in Maine. 

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Maine is followed by New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Idaho as the cheapest five states to insure a car, according to our study. Rounding out the top ten are North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, Washington, and Alaska. Rates can vary significantly within a state, as insurance premiums are typically based on the zip code where the insured vehicle or policyholder resides. 

The most expensive places to insure a car are Michigan, Louisiana, California, New Jersey, and New York, according to our analysis. 

How We Found the Cheapest States for Car Insurance

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our ranking in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Cheapest Car Insurance Rankings. 

Our Study Rates

For this study, U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford-F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes. 

To get the state-wide study rates shown here, we computed the mean representative rate for male and female driver profiles at ages 25, 35 and 60 who drive 12,000 miles per year, have medium coverage, good credit, and a clean driving record. The representative rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered "average" rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.

The 10 States With the Cheapest Car Insurance Costs

  1. Maine: $861.37
  2. New Hampshire: $896.57
  3. Ohio: $941.36
  4. Virginia: $945.68
  5. Idaho: $952.10
  6. North Carolina: $997.72
  7. Indiana: $1,000.57
  8. Iowa: $1,027.23
  9. Washington: $1,052.45
  10. Alaska: $1,077.50

Why Do Auto Insurance Rates Vary State to State?

There are many reasons why some states (and areas within states) have higher or lower auto insurance premiums than others. Legal requirements, traffic congestion, economic conditions, weather, and competition are some of the top factors that lead to different rates. 

Legal Requirements

Different states require different levels of insurance coverage, with a couple not requiring it at all. Varying coverage requirements lead to higher or lower premiums in those states. Michigan, for example, has the highest rates in the country, according to our analysis, mainly because it requires unlimited medical benefits to cover crash injuries. 

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Traffic Congestion

In general, consumers in urban areas can expect to pay higher insurance rates than those in rural areas, as increased congestion leads to higher crash rates. Urban areas are also more prone to car break-ins, theft, and vandalism. Because of these factors, states with lower population densities see cheaper insurance rates. Within states, car insurance customers in rural zip codes can expect to see significantly lower prices than those in urban areas. 

Economic Conditions

States (and areas within states) with a high rate of poverty, low wages, or high unemployment can expect to have higher insurance rates than more prosperous areas. Not only is crime typically higher in depressed areas, but more drivers are likely to be uninsured or underinsured. If someone can’t afford to buy insurance or simply decides not to but drives anyway, the cost burden of their accidents is borne by insured drivers. 

Weather

Drivers in states that have a history of severe weather are likely to have higher car insurance premiums than those in milder climates. States like Louisiana, for example, that frequently experience both minor and major flooding, plus the effects of hurricanes, see the costs of those disasters reflected in their insurance rates. In Michigan, it's the cost from winter weather and its impact on roads that causes vehicle damage and contributes to high insurance costs. In the central U.S., hail damage leads to higher premiums for comprehensive auto insurance policies. 

States with milder weather can see lower rates, as the chance of damaging weather and destructive road conditions are smaller. 

Competition

Car insurance customers in states where there is lots of competition among car insurers are in a great position to see lower annual average car insurance rates than those in areas where only a few firms are competing. Not all insurance companies do business in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. 

10 States With the Lowest Annual Insurance Rates

If you’re a resident of one of these states, you have a good chance of getting a great rate on your car insurance. Of course, much of the cost of your premium is up to you. Having a good driving record, a solid credit score, and picking the right coverages and deductibles are the best way to find the cheapest auto coverage. 

10) Alaska

America’s 49th state is the largest in area, but the third smallest in population. While its remote location makes many things in Alaska expensive, auto insurance is not one of those things. In our analysis, we found the average rate for the driver profiles we studied is $1,078. That’s about $250 less than the national average in our study for those same driver profiles.

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USAA is the least expensive insurer in Alaska, according to our study, with State Farm and Progressive coming in second and third, respectively. The average study rate USAA charges our representative car owner profiles is $849 per year. If you don’t qualify to get USAA, which is limited to current and former military members and their families, check out State Farm, which has an average representative rate in Alaska of $905.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Alaska

Company

Average Rate

Allstate

$1,444.84

Geico

$1,058.18

Progressive

$1,130.47

State Farm

$904.90

USAA

$849.11

Average

$1,077.50

9) Washington

Situated in the upper northwest corner of the lower 48 states, Washington is a mix of dense urban areas, mountainous forests, and broad swaths of agricultural regions. Our study shows that for our representative group of insurance customer profiles, USAA offers the best annual study premiums, but not by as much as they lead in many other states. Our numbers show that USAA driver profiles would pay an average representative rate of $737 per year. That’s $273 less than average national study rates for our representative consumer profiles. 

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Progressive insurance customer profiles pay $769 for similar coverage, while Nationwide would charge a study rate of $855.11 on average for our representative car owner profiles. The average premium charged to the Washington customer profiles in our study would be $1,052. 

Read more in our guide to car insurance in Washington »

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Washington

Company

Average Rate

USAA

$737.15

Progressive

$769.41

Nationwide

$855.11

State Farm

$1,033.31

Geico

$1,170.26

American Family

$1,197.40

Farmers

$1,303.69

Allstate

$1,353.27

Average

$1,052.45

8) Iowa

In our study of insurance rates, we found that our representative insurance buyer profiles in the heartland state of Iowa would pay the eighth-lowest study rates in the country. Their annual representative premiums would average $1,027, with USAA customer profiles paying the lowest study rates, averaging $797 for our representative group of buyer profiles.

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Progressive Insurance buyer profiles would pay the next lowest representative premiums, at $898. Nationwide offers our representative driver profiles the third-lowest study premiums, at $946 per year. 

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Iowa

Company

Average Rate

Allstate

$1,312.92

American Family

$1,078.88

Farmers

$1,085.65

Geico

$1,003.03

Nationwide

$946.27

Progressive

$897.92

State Farm

$968.55

Travelers

$1,154.80

USAA

$797.06

Average

$1,027.23

7) Indiana

Though the home of the Indy 500 has higher insurance study rates than some of the other states in the Midwest, Indiana still offers the customer profiles in our analysis the seventh-lowest representative rates in the country. As with many states, USAA has the lowest study rates available, on average. Our studied driver profiles would pay an average of just $645 per year with USAA. The next cheapest insurer in Indiana is Geico, with an average price in our study of $778. 

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Among the nine insurers in our study, our representative group of consumer profiles would pay an average of $1,001 in Indiana. That's $325 lower than the average national study rate. 

Read more in our guide to car insurance in Indiana »

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Indiana

Company

Average Rate

USAA

$644.55

Geico

$777.56

Travelers

$802.99

Progressive

$845.62

Farmers

$915.88

State Farm

$1,014.10

American Family

$1,209.72

Nationwide

$1,253.08

Allstate

$1,541.60

Average

$1,000.57

6) North Carolina

In our study, our representative insurance customer profiles who live in the Tar Heel state would pay the sixth-lowest car insurance representative premiums in the country. On average, the customer profiles in our study would pay $998 per year, which is $328 less than the national average study rate. 

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According to our research, Progressive would have, by far, the lowest insurance representative rates for our driver profiles, at just $330 per year. The rate from Progressive included in our study is low and may be a result of the unique way rates are set and reported in North Carolina. The next lowest-cost insurer in North Carolina is Geico, with an annual cost of $722, according to our study.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in North Carolina

Company

Average Rate

Allstate

$1,733.67

Geico

$722.23

Nationwide

$1,185.94

Progressive

$330.11

State Farm

$926.47

Travelers

$1,087.93

Average

$997.72

5) Idaho

Idaho used to brag about their famous potatoes on the state’s license plates. When you look at their insurance rates in our study, you’ll see that they’re worth bragging about too. In our analysis of auto insurance rates, our driver profiles would pay an average representative premium of $951 per year in Idaho. That’s $373 less than the national average for the same driver profiles. 

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As with most of the states where USAA does business, it has the lowest study rates for the representative insurance buyer profiles, with average annual study premiums of $568. The next least expensive in the Gem State is Travelers, with average yearly rates of $673 for those in our study.   

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Idaho

Company

Average Rate

Allstate

$1,389.02

American Family

$1,133.94

Farmers

$986.16

Geico

$902.55

Nationwide

$1,179.90

State Farm

$783.91

Travelers

$673.10

USAA

$568.26

Average

$952.10

4) Virginia

Like many states, the geography of Virginia has a significant effect on the auto insurance rates residents pay. Those in urban areas near Washington, D.C. pay the most, while those in rural Virginia pay less, on average. Overall, the insurance rates in our study show that for our representative customers Virginia has the fourth-lowest rates in the country. On average, they would pay $945.68, which is $379.87 below the national average for the same customer archetypes. 

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With the naval bases around Norfolk and the Pentagon in Northern Virginia, the state has an above-average population of military members and their families. In most cases, they'll qualify for our study's cheapest auto insurer in the state, USAA. Their average annual premium for the customers in our research is $669.08. That’s about $70 less per year than Progressive, the second-least expensive insurer in Virginia.

Read more in our guide to car insurance in Virginia »

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Virginia

Company

Average Rate

USAA

$669.08

Progressive

$740.55

State Farm

$934.79

Geico

$976.93

Nationwide

$1,044.37

Allstate

$1,308.33

Average

$945.68

3) Ohio

Despite being only the 34th largest state in the nation, Ohio is the seventh most populous, with large urban areas dotting its map land with broad swaths of farmland between them. An aging population, with a large percentage of middle-aged and older drivers, plus short commutes, give the state one some of the cheapest insurance premiums in the country. Our representative group of consumers would pay an average of $941.36 per year for their coverage, which is $384.19 less than the national average for the same group. 

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Our analysis also shows that USAA would be the cheapest car insurance option, on average, for the drivers in our study. Their average annual premium would be $631.78, compared to the second most affordable company, Geico, with average premiums of $704.06. 

Read more in our guide to car insurance in Ohio »

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Ohio

Company

Average Rate

Allstate

$1,283.54

American Family

$739.63

Farmers

$1,031.48

Geico

$704.06

Nationwide

$1,321.46

Progressive

$999.08

State Farm

$1,020.28

Travelers

$740.95

USAA

$631.78

Average

$941.36

2) New Hampshire

Buying car insurance is not mandatory for residents of New Hampshire, as it is in most states. You are, however, still liable for damages you cause in an accident. Because the losses and potential legal exposure could be substantial, for most people in the Granite State choosing to have coverage is a great idea. 

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In our study of auto insurance premiums across the nation, we found that for our representative group of drivers, New Hampshire offers the second-lowest premiums available. Their rates, on average, would be $896.57, which is $428.99 lower than the national average for the same group of drivers. 

Like most states where they offer auto insurance, USAA offers the best rates to our representative group of drivers, with average annual premiums of $590.73. That’s more than $300 less than the average of the six insurers in our study. After USAA, Progressive is the next least expensive insurer in New Hampshire, with average rates for those studied of $761.58.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New Hampshire

Company

Average Rate

Allstate

$1,418.86

Geico

$808.01

Nationwide

$961.25

Progressive

$761.58

State Farm

$838.97

USAA

$590.73

Average

$896.57

1) Maine

There’s more to Maine than lobster. It has the lowest auto insurance rates in the United States, on average, for the representative group of consumers in our rate study. The average car insurance premium in Maine is $861.37. That’s $464.18 lower than the national average and a whopping $1,583.06 less than the average in the most expensive state, Michigan

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Geico offers the lowest rates, on average, to the representative group of drivers in our study. Their annual rates average $515.66. That even beats USAA, which is often the lowest-cost provider in the states where they provide car insurance. Their Maine rates average $526.95 for the consumers in our study. 

Read more in our guide to car insurance in Maine »

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Maine

Company

Average Rate

Geico

$515.66

USAA

$526.95

Travelers

$676.42

State Farm

$846.45

Progressive

$1,083.90

Allstate

$1,106.27

Farmers

$1,273.99

Average

$861.37

Get Cheap Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Get great auto insurance coverage at an even better price.

What You Can Do to Keep Your Car Insurance Rates Low

Moving to a state with low average insurance rates isn't the only way to save money on auto insurance. Prices can vary considerably within a state, depending on whether it's an urban or rural area and the loss history insurance companies face in different zip codes. 

In California, for example, the representative rates for the driver profiles in Los Angeles average $2,487. Choose a house in nearby Anaheim, and those rates in our study drop by more than 25% to $1,814. In some cases, moving just one zip code can save you significant money, so it is vital to consider the cost of car insurance when choosing a place to live. 

Of course, many of the costs of car insurance are based on your choices and behavior behind the wheel. By choosing the right coverages, appropriate deductibles, and best insurance company, you can save huge amounts of cash each year while ensuring you’re fully covered if something goes wrong. Avoiding tickets and at-fault accidents, while making sure to pay your bills on time will protect your driving record and credit rating. In most states, auto insurance companies can look at your credit history when determining premiums.

The Best Car Insurance Companies

Check out our full ranking of the Best Car Insurance Companies.

Our Car Insurance Ranking:

  1. USAA
  2. Travelers
  3. State Farm
  4. Geico
  5. Farmers
  6. Nationwide
  7. Progressive
  8. Allstate
  9. American Family

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

Check out our full list of the cheapest car insurance companies.

Average Annual Rates: